Monday, December 17, 2012
Q: Are you guys putting in the necessary preparation and why is the team’s preparation not translating into games?
A: I think we are. I know we are putting in the work. I know the coaches in terms of the way they are grinding right now with the game plan and the way the players are in here watching film on Tuesday. Then the way practice has gone Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For whatever reason it has not translated, but it is not because of a lack of effort. It is not because of a lack of caring and passion. That is all there. Unfortunately, it has not been going the way we want it to and as an offense you look at that last game, it is just the turnovers in the second half that kind of kill us. Trying to sometimes do too much or just things that we cannot have that make a loss even worse.
Q: What case can be made to keep this group together from coaching staff on down?
A: I think the last two games will kind of show a lot of that one way or the other. I think this is a group that is not going to quit. We all understand the situation we are in right now. I think we all understand the importance of these last two games in terms of the effort and the product we put on the field to show that we have made progress. There is hope with the guys that we have in this locker room.
Q: Have you done enough to keep the job as the starting quarterback next year?
A: Yeah, that is a great question. For me, in terms of putting in the work and trying to get the guys ready and all of that. I think that stuff has been great. Unfortunately the product on the field and the results especially the win-loss record is not where it needs to be. And so, again, I think the last two games are important and then you just see how it plays out from there. I think for me and for everybody else in this locker room, we have to put everything we have into these last two games.
Q: What has to happen to start connecting on some of those deep plays that can be game changers?
A: They definitely can and we had a couple that were close in the last game. For whatever reason, they just do not seem to be happening. We just have to continue to take the shots down the field and make some plays. Whether it is the catch that Stevie (Johnson) made on the seam route, which was unbelievable, but whether it is a guy making an unbelievable play or me just putting it right on the money there is some stuff we have to do better. I said it a few weeks ago, the one we hit to T.J. (Graham) down the middle of the field we have been very successful in practice recently with all of that stuff. We just need to carry it over to the game.
Q: Your thoughts on being able to sustain your consistency with WR
A: He is a guy that is remarkably consistent, I think. Knowing that he is going to be out there every Sunday with however many games he has played in a row and having all the stuff that he has played through. Me just knowing the kind of guy I have out there and the relationship we have off the field along with the chemistry we have on the field. He is just a very consistent player. People know that I want to throw him the ball and defenses scheme for that and try to get two guys on him or try to get help. He still has a knack for finding holes, getting open and making the big play. I thought he was feeling it a little bit on Sunday just in terms of the effort that he showed out there on some of the catches and plays that he was making. You really try to get him the ball when you see he is in that mode.
Q: What are your feelings on the dashed expectations for the season?
A: It is a huge disappointment. Not only four months ago, but a month and half ago kind of the rest of the season we looked at the schedule we had and there was still a lot of hope in terms of getting it turned around with everybody starting to play a little bit better as a team and as a unit. It just has not happened so I think there is a lot of disappointment right now in this locker room. We know what is at stake here the last two games and we know we have to go out, be professionals and finish on a high note.
Q: It seems like Johnson has taken his confidence to another level. Do you see that?
A: I do. I think part of it is just he is developing into the role of a leader, not only of that receiver group but kind of a leader on our team and of our offense. No longer do we have Lee Evans or whoever it is—guys that he used to look up to, to make the big play or to do all that stuff to get us going. Stevie realizes that is him and he is going to be the guy that has to do something unbelievable. A great example is that catch that he made. This is my eighth year in the league and I have not seen too many like that. I think he understands that and it has been good to see him kind of develop into that role and understand that he is a guy that has to step up and make the big play when things are not going well. He is a guy for us that can kind of turn the momentum.