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Kevin Gilbride, 10.04.12

Q: Are you disappointed that Hakeem isn't playing on Sunday or are you confident enough in those guys that it doesn't really phase your preparation?
A: Well, you're losing a terrific football player who not only is extremely important to what you do, he's invaluable just in terms of his leadership and his ability in the bigger the moment to make the bigger play, so you lose that and you know that and you're not going to make it up with one guy. What you hope is collectively the rest of everybody will contribute enough that you can make up for his absence to enough of a degree that you win the game. That's what you're looking for.

Q: If you take away the top receivers from many teams, they're going to lose something. You guys haven't. Is it just the guys, your scheme, the quarterback? What do you think has been responsible for that?

A: Obviously, you've got to have some players that can play and I think it's a tribute to some of the guys who aren't starting that they continue to work. Guys like Ramses, Domenik Hixon that maybe haven't started or played a lot or played always, but when they've had their opportunity, they've worked, they've listened, they've absorbed what we teach and I think the coaches do a great job of teaching them. So collectively, we've been able to get guys that probably most people would've thought there would be a terrific or dramatic fall off. There hasn't been, knock on wood, so hopefully we can keep it going. You do reach a point, if you keep losing them, that's the point of no return. I don't think we've reached that point, but we're going to have certainly another challenge and some other guys we haven't had to depend on a lot are going to have to play a lot this week and play important roles and you just hope that they have worked as hard as the Ramses Bardens and the Domenik Hixons and guys in the past now that they're getting their opportunity that they'll play well enough.

Q: One of those guys is Rueben Randall. His effort was called into question the other day. What have you seen in him from a work ethic standpoint?
A: I think he's shown some improvement the last couple of weeks in all areas and I think we're looking forward to him making some plays for us. He needs to make some plays for us and he's going to be in a position where the ball is going to come his way and he certainly catches it well enough. Now it's a matter of doing the things necessary to get uncovered, get open and you hope that he has the ability to do that. I think he does, but there's certainly a level of understanding what's happening out on the field, what the defense is doing, what adjustments you have to make so that you can put yourself where you've gotten some separation from you that's zone droppers or it's a easier in man, in the sense intellectually, you know exactly who you're working against. That presents a challenge of have you developed enough technique to get open and so we'll see. I think he has shown some progress over the last few weeks and he's going to get a chance to... an opportunity and he'll have to make those plays when those opportunities avail themselves in the game, but I have a great deal of confidence he will.

Q: Can you talk about how D'Qwell Jackson runs things for their defense?
A: He's tremendous. He's unbelievable. He's a good run support because he's got great speed and everything else, but where he... because you don't hear a lot about him, I was surprised how... He may be as good as I've seen in pass coverage. He does a tremendous at reading the quarterback's eyes and getting the jump on where the ball is going and they use him, even in man coverage, they'll use him as what we call a funnel player. He's still the zone player and he does a tremendous job of... He'll start that way, see the quarterback look over this way, flip his hips and get involved on patterns he really has no right to get involved in and he's delivered some crushing blows and he's made a couple picks that are very impressive. I know their record doesn't indicate that, but we look at it and they're playing very hard. They put more pressure on the quarterback than maybe I expected. Again, looking at it statistically, they look like they're up around the quarterback. They're getting some sacks and I think their linebackers run very, very well.

Q: It looks like they're keeping them in games.
A: Hopefully we see that on the film with our guys and they're realizing... I think they do. I think they realize it's going to be a challenge and they're going to have to play at their best to have an opportunity to win.

Q: It seemed like the running game is going well and then Sunday it wasn't. People said that you switched running backs. Do you see any relationship there?
A: The obvious thing is to say, ‘Just go back to the running back.' But as you look at it statistically, neither had distinguishing statistics that would say if you were better off with this one as opposed to the other one. So certainly when Andre played a lot, we did run the ball very well, but is it attributable to him? I think he was certainly a part of that. I think he did a great job, but it also was the guys did a nice job up front, we moved people and the opportunity to run and for him to get that yardage was there. So we'll see. I know it sounds cliché and it's not the answer you're looking for, but usually it's not one thing. Usually, it's a couple of things. So we'll just keep exploring and see. Both have earned the right to play. Certainly, Ahmad does a very good job in his pass pro(tection) because we weren't running the ball very well. We wound up having to throw a little bit more than maybe we had anticipated having to do and so that automatically goes into his ... because he does that very well. We'll see. It's something we were disappointed in. The second half we did a great job, we never punted. We just needed to put it in the end zone and we had that penalty that brought us back and we had the interception that negated two scores, otherwise we would have had 20 points at least. But the first half, we had some chances for big plays and we just didn't make them. The throw to Domenik, the drop by David Wilson, the holding call that negated the... So we just never got a big play and so we never got the thing going until the last drive of the first half. The second half, I thought we did a tremendous job. We just needed to finish the opportunities that we created for ourselves by those drives.

Q: Can you talk about the last play of the third quarter, the fourth and inches? Is that something you saw earlier?
A: I kind of guessed what they would do coverage wise and hoped they would give us a chance to finally get Victor one on one and we actually had all three guys, four guys really, on that one. Vic one, Martellus one, the X one, Domenik one so it was just a matter of picking and choosing because they all out blitzed us, which I thought they would do based on what they did on third and one.

Q: Chris Snee is hurt right now. What's the level of concern going forth Sunday and what happens if he can't go?
A: Next guy. Probably be Mitch Petrus.

Q: Do you expect to divide the snaps at running back?
A: We don't know. Again, we didn't intend it to be that way, express itself or manifest itself that way. We expected it to be more 50/50, but as the game was going, it looked like it was one of those days where we wound up throwing the ball more and so Ahmad wanted to be in there more. We'll play it out and see who's having some success. Unfortunately neither one of them were having a lot of success. So it was no reason to stay, from a running perspective, with one of them as opposed to or over the other. It was really a matter of what were we doing? Well, we were throwing more and Ahmad, right now, is a better pass protector.

Q: Is David still limited to a package of plays?
A: We keep trying to create things for him, but so far, he hasn't had success when we've given him a chance. So we just keep waiting for that day when he makes a play for us and we'll give him some more.

Q: He seems to be doing really well with kick returns.
A: That's great. Now we need him to do it on offense.