Monday, September 16, 2013
Obviously it was good team win for us against a team that has talented players on offense and really a front seven that was playing extremely well and well-coached on special teams. I’m proud of our players for hanging in there and I said that after the game. I think offensively Stevie (Johnson) played well for us in that game, so we’re excited about that. Defensively, Mario (Williams) played well, which is great and obviously Kiko (Alonso) did some good things and really played well for us in that game. Then I think on special teams,
Q: Coming off the drop against New England, how important was it for Stevie to bounce back?
A: Our expectation of him is extremely high. There was never any doubt that we were going to come right back to him again. I don’t think it’s one of those situations. I don’t think that Stevie, I was never ever worried with him having a lack of confidence or maybe trying to get him back in there. We just look at him as a player that can be very productive for us and going back after them. As far as the leadership in that group, I think Stevie has the ability to be very productive in that group. We also have other players in that group that can do a good job too.
Q: We’ve seen the poise from
A: I think again back to that’s what we’re expecting from that position. My conversations with him today, there’s a lot of things that we have to clean up with him. There are a lot of mistakes that are out there that he committed that we don’t expect him to make. For us, it’s going to be a hard week and really working on the footwork and the reads and decisions to where we’re going with it. At the same time, we can get a lot more productivity and better play out of him in that position.
Q: So you don’t think he’s arrived yet because of that drive?
A: Oh no. No. Which is good. I look at it that way, here’s a guy who made some plays, he did a heck of a job getting out of the scramble where he was able to stay up was a great play, an athletic play. I think the scramble going down to the one, one and a half, two yard line at the end is a great play. Don’t get me wrong we’re excited about that and that’s what we expected, but there are other things that we need to get out of him and we will. The one thing about EJ is he’s hard on himself. We like that in the players.
Q: When he is apparently waving off plays from the sideline and saying ‘I’ve got it’, what does that show you about his confidence?
A: The reason why for that is we’ve had some helmet to quarterback issues, so we’ve repeated a lot of plays during the game, so when he’s said, ‘I’ve got it, I’ve got it,’ it’s because we want to make sure that he’s getting it because we have to clean that part up. It’s more just technical than it is actually the communication or buttons or anything. We had to switch to the walkie talkie out of the button, so we’ll get a better job of that. That’s more the reason to that. Like I said before, there is a great thing, in other words on a very positive note and I said this after the first game, it is a great feeling to see someone and his demeanor as far as on the sideline and what’s going on and being able to take in information and to be able to go out there on the field and produce to a certain extent. But at the same time I told him, and I said this after the game, he’s got to stop telling me for me to relax. I am relaxed out there. I’m trying to make sure that he knows what the heck is going on.
Q: You’ve given
A: I think it’s because he has the ability to be a three down player and we saw that early on and I think that’s what we’re getting out of him. It’s the same situation, there’s still things that we have to improve on. Here as a young player, his communication to the rest of the defense is extremely important in what he’s saying. I think that’s something that will just get better each week.
Q: When you’re developing a quarterback, to have him lead a comeback win in a two minute drill in his second game that has to feel nice.
A: Well in the preseason we saw a drive before the half where you saw him drive down and do that. I think that was the first sign. Obviously we work on that quite a bit. In a league that is going to come down to a lot before the half and at the end of the game, you need to work on that. That’s one of the situations where I think what separates you form others is you have to prove yourself every time in those situations before someone starts getting labeled. To say does it help to have that experience and do that? We do it quite a bit during practice, but to be able to get it in a game obviously helps even though you don’t want it to come down to those situations if you’re winning the game.
Q: How problematic where the helmet to quarterback issues?
A: We have a backup plan with signals and what we do. It’s not a problem.
Q: Talked to
A: I think the question for me is how do we operate more efficiently? At the end of the day that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I’m not worried about where the tempo is and where the tempo’s going. I’m more concentrated on the efficiency of what we’re doing and I think that’s the most important thing and that’s the one thing you can’t lose sight of as you go.
Q: Is it logical to think that if you’re more efficient you’ll be faster?
A: Yeah. I think if you’re more efficient you will be faster. I’d agree with that.
Q: What were you most discouraged by looking back at yesterday?
A: I think when we talk to the players, when you’re looking at games you see things that obviously we were minus-one in turnovers. I think that’s where it starts. That’s obviously an issue. Third down was pretty even in the game when you look at it. I think we talked about starting fast. A Carolina team that when they have started fast they’ve won a lot of football games or won the games that they’ve won. They had an interception and then the next start series for them, they had a touchdown. We had a missed field goal, then a field goal. I think one of the main things was field position. On average of twelve possessions they had about a 15-yard head start from a field position standpoint. When you look at those things you create a situation where it’s very difficult to win. That’s what we can’t do, at the end of the day we’re not going to win as many games as we should if we keep playing football that way. The positive note is we did and we won, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.
A: Yeah, I think so. I think right now we’re in a positive mode of rehabilitation with them. We had Hopkins out here today doing some work with him. I think Doug has done a nice job and Jairus is working extremely hard. I think as far as the rehabilitation process going, it’s moving in the right direction and I think it’s one of those things we’ll see day to day.
A: Yes. I really am.
A: I think a lot of times you put labels, people get labeled and Robert was labeled as the guy who from pre-draft and post-draft status of being most ready. I think you have to be careful when you say that in this league because you really don’t know until you get in here. I think Robert has been a professional in that he’s performed on Sunday’s. That’s what puts him in the category of ‘Yes, he’s ready.’ The last game, I think he averaged like 17 yards a catch. We were able to go to him in the two point play which is a big play in the game, obviously they’re all big, but that was a big play. It was good catch, a tough catch. He’s shown he can make that. When people say that and you think and that’s what you expect when you go in, when they actually go out there and do that then you say to yourself, ‘Ok, yes. I am very pleased with that.’
Q: When Dustin Hopkins is 100 percent will it be a competition between him and
A: I’ll wait to make that decision to say it. Right now what we have is Dan is out there playing for us and we’re happy. Obviously he did a great job coming back and hitting the 55 yarder. That was a big play in the game and we’re happy with that. Right now that’s all we have to play with until Hopkins comes off. I’ll look at it once Hopkins comes off it. Right now Dan is our kicker and he’s doing the best job, we appreciate that.
Q: Did Hopkins kick today?
A: He kicked a Nerf ball today. Which is part of the progress of his rehab and that was positive.
Q: With it being a young team, obviously you are moving on to the game against the Jets, but do you want them to at least soak up this feeling a little longer?
A: I’ve always had a theory, whether I was right or wrong on this and I can only speak of the theory from my standpoint, is I think what makes this game difficult for all of us is when you don’t win a game, I think it hangs with you until Wednesday or Thursday and the challenge is to get rid of it and put it behind you. I think when you win you already start thinking of the next opponent. It’s a tough profession to be in on how you manage that because you can’t enjoy the wins as much as you don’t enjoy the losses. I think we’ll come right back to work and that’s the mindset we try to make sure the players know we’re building with.
Q: Can you talk about what the difference will be going on the road for your next game?
A: I actually like the road. The road is good. I’ll tell you what, there are a lot of challenges at home. When you play at home it’s great, you have the crowd, you have everything going on, but you also have a lot of challenges from a player’s standpoint. Family is coming in, who’s coming in for dinner, how about the tickets, how am I getting to the game, can you get me an extra parking pass? There are a lot of things going on. Especially when you’re young and we try to talk to our players about how to handle those things. Now you love playing at home in front of the crowd because our crowd is awesome. They’re outstanding and we can play off their emotion, they’re a big part of us winning and playing well. I think when you go on the road, the challenge becomes the opposite. You don’t have to worry about tickets; you don’t have to worry about anyone coming. You just have to worry about how you handle the different environments I think a lot of players are used to that depending on what programs they’ve come from. It’s just a level of focus. Make no mistake; it will be something different for this team. Something that we haven’t experienced together, but in the first year there are a lot of those situations.
Q: Da’Norris Searcy looked hobbled at one point in the game and Stevie had something with his wrist. Are there any injuries to update us on?
A: I met with the doctors this morning; we came out of the game as healthy as we can be. I’m excited about that. That’s probably the biggest thing.
Q: (Nigel) Bradham only had one snap on defense. Can you address that?
A: Personnel matchups. We just felt better with the matchups we had in there. I told the coaches to make sure we talk to Nigel today, he should’ve understood that situation beforehand of what we’re trying to accomplish defensively.
Q: What’s been the biggest problem keeping the offensive from getting off to a fast start?
Q: Can you talk about what
A: Obviously Mario did a great job winning the one on one battles with what he has to do. When you have other players around you that are pushing the pocket and taking the double teams off, which people are going to do to Mario and most ends in this league. I think it frees some people up. Just like anything else it’s a team effort from what we’re doing. It’s a chain reaction of things that we’re doing. Kyle and Marcell and (Alex) Carrington who has been working his butt off in there and maybe a lot of people have seen the production out of him, but there is production in there for what he’s getting done.
Q: When you see Mario playing with such passion and determination, what does that do for the rest of the team?
A: I just keep going back to I’ve always had that expectation. When we first came in to camp he was going a hundred miles an hour. I give him credit; he had that condition that he worked through. We tried to be very smart about that in how we handled it so he would have the ability to get out there and play at the level that he’s playing at right now. It’ll be tough because the higher level you play at puts a little more onus on your next opponent, whoever they may be, on what they’re going to do. If you just have one guy out there that’s doing it, I think you can take those types of guys away, but when you have a lot of good players that are rushing the quarterback or playing those positions, then it becomes a little bit tougher schematically. So you need to the production out of everyone to be productive overall as a team.