I’m very proud of this team. They’ve worked hard all week again. We talked to them about winning two wins in a row, which we haven’t done, I’m excited about that. We have to finish strong. It’s important for us that we make sure that we wanted a winning record within our division. Those are the things that we talked about during the week.
For the players, I thought they went out there and we did a good job up front. It’s that same story, I said it before to the team, we protect the quarterback well at home, we run the ball, we’ve done some better things at home than we have on the road. I thought the offense went out and did that. They did exactly what they needed to do. I thought early on we hit a lot of third downs; we were about 50% at halftime, which was big. I think you have to be careful when you look at the second half there were things strategically that we wanted to do to get the clock going and not take as many chances.
Defensively, I think they were outstanding. Two of 14 on third downs, held them to a total of 103 yards. Those guys really came and they really played. It was an honor to be on that sideline and watch those guys perform.
Q: Was the pass rush an emphasis this week?
A: When we saw them early on and they have been winning quite a few games, they were really getting the ball out and doing a nice job. We felt that we might be able to do some things and give them one look and come the other way. Those guys up front and even the other guys probably don’t get as much credit, the guys that come from the secondary. They’ve been doing a good job all year. I think during the game someone said there was a record for sacks or something that happened. Those guys have done a good job all year. I think it’s very difficult, you have to pick and choose who you want to match up with, where you want to go, who do you want to slide to, who do you want to double team inside, what do you want to do with Mario (Williams)?
Q: What about the quality of coaching for the pass rushing?
A: Yeah it’s an excellent job. I really feel schematically, coaches can always say this should happen or that can happen, the most important thing in coaching is to make sure that whatever play you call or whatever you do, your players can execute it. That’s really the key of coaching. I think anyone can come in and draw up plays and say, ‘This should’ve happened or that should happen.’ I think today the defense was outstanding. I thought offensively we did a good job. We had almost 400 yards of offense against a team that is stout up front, against a team that has played extremely well these last couple of weeks, against a team that was pushing themselves toward the playoffs. Our guys came out there and they were ready to play.
Q: How much of a factor was it that you were playing this team for the second time?
A: I really think I need to do a good job of the way we play at home. Our guys love playing at home. I know people say that, I think the fans are great, they’re outstanding I think our guys get fired up. I think it’s a different feel and I have to do a good job of getting our players ready because we go on the road this week. We have to get our players ready to go on the road and play like they’ve played at home. They’ve played well at times at home and today was a culmination of really offense and defense. Special teams was though, that wind was—I always say it’s the wind and never the cold, but it was swirling down there pretty good.
Q: Can you talk about the effort of
A: I sit back and I try never to look at it from the standpoint of he just continues to amaze me. The way he goes about this business, I give him credit. Everyone knows we had some time with him; we took him out during this week to rest him a little bit. He’s taken some good shots along the year. Early on, I think maybe some other players—not talking about players on this team, I’m talking about other players that have had what he has—I’m not sure they can go out and perform like that. I give him a lot of credit and I admire him for that. That’s not an easy thing to do to play with that type of injury.
Q: Can you talk about
A: Schematically, it’s not a secret we were trying to get them to push the protection to one way and then bail out and bring the pressure from the other side. We got it once, maybe twice and then the other time Nickell timed it up well and beat them. They knew it was coming and beat them. I think that’s what you saw going on, that type of cat and mouse game.
Q: Are you impressed that a guy his size can do that?
A: I’m always poor at this. He left some sacks on that field, but I am. He’s been impressive from an instinctive standpoint from day one. Really has. Coming in to camp and breaking on balls, just having a good feel. He’s a very good definition of instinct. When you come on here and you just have the feel for the slot, has a feel for the routes, has a feel for things going on out there and he’s done a nice job. That’s been a good acquisition; we took him after the draft.
Q: You have a franchise record for sacks and have gotten very good defensive play all year, but won’t be getting to the playoffs. Do you feel like you’re wasting their play?
A: No because we’re going to build on that and we’re going to get after it next year. I don’t look at it that way, but I do look at it a little bit of—my son asked me the same thing, the same exact question you asked me. ‘Do you look back and say should’ve, could’ve, would’ve?’ I told him in life you can’t do that. Not in the present time and not with what we’re doing. You always have to move forward and just keep working and building it. After this season is over you’re going to look at things and kick yourself in the butt again. I think that overall I don’t want anyone to be mistaken, we have a lot of goals ahead of us now and going to play next week of those things we talked to the players about. We as a team are disappointed in where we are from a record standpoint, but the difference is that I told you guys during the week that these two games would be critical. We got off to a good start with this game, let’s go ahead and finish this game strong. We feel good about ourselves knowing that there are situations we have to get better in, but there are some things that we’ve done very well that we’re proud of.
Q: Any update on
A: It was the same injury he’s had this injury before where it kind of goes and comes and we call it a knee. So I don’t know of the extent of it, obviously it’s worse than it has been in the other games. We’ll know more after the doctors talk to him.
Q: You held Marcell (Dareus) out of the first quarter. Was that the ankle or something else?
A: No it was something else. We have team rules and I held him out for the first quarter. That’s behind us, we move forward from it and that’s really all I’m going to comment on it.
Q: Any other injuries?
Q: The 92 yard drive in the third. What did you think of that?
A: I think it was 19 plays, 92 yards. It was big. I really think a lot of it at certain points in that game and I’m just proud of the conditioning of our team. I thought our guys were able to go out there and just bang, bang, bang, bang and go down that field. I thought that’s a credit tot the weight coaches and the players. They’ve done a good job form a conditioning standpoint. I thought we really had it and were going and I don’t want to take away from the in, it was great. We all know we want to sit down here and we want to push those plays home. The decisions on the field goals, you guys know we’re trying to go up by two scores and three scores and do things like that. It’s a crazy game, a lot of things can happen. When we go down there, we’ve got to go and push it in and we will.
Q: You had some long scoring drives last week too. What does that say about the team?
A: You kind of get in to a tempo, you get in to a roll, get in to a rhythm and you do well. Miami was the number one team coming in when scoring under two minutes left in each half and I think they really have done a great job at that to be number one in the NFL. Anything we do to get a rhythm going offensively and for us it’s always been when we can get the running game going and play action, it helps us quite a bit.
Q: What can you say about the job the receivers did when you got down to only having three of them?
A: I thought they were outstanding. I feel good, we’ve got five guys—what helps us is that even though
Q: What was your view of the play where (Robert) Woods got ejected?
A: I missed it. Someone said it was a punch, that’s what the officials told me and if that happens they’re in charge and we’re all in charge of the integrity of the game. I haven’t seen that play.