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Chan Gailey: "Every week is critical"


Head Coach Chan Gailey**

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Q: How critical is this point of the season being 3-4 and knowing the two teams you have coming up?

A: To me every week is critical. I cannot say that there is one more critical week than another. You are fighting your rear off to get yourself into a position to get yourself into the playoffs. That is what you do every week. So every week is critical.

Q: Coach, will DE Mario Williams and LT Cordy Glenn be able to practice today?

A: Both of them, as was stated to me by the training staff this morning at our early meeting, they will both be available in a limited basis. They may not take every rep, but they will be available in a limited basis today.

Q: How tough of a week is this for Williams? He was talking about how he was basically pushed out the door in Houston. Do you see something extra there for him?

A: You have to ask him about that. We do not talk about that. Not something I have had a conversation about with him.

Q: As a coach who has seen a lot of players return to places they have played, do you notice anything from players who return to play their old teams?

A: It depends on the player. Some players it is a big deal. Some players it is just another game. It just depends on the guy.

Q: What about when you yourself returned to Dallas and Kansas City?

A: If it is me, it is just another game. I do not make that big of a deal about it. You think about it a little bit. But if that's what drives you then you are in trouble because then next week you do not have that and what drives you?

Q: Williams practiced against the Houston offense for years. Can he help the coaching staff with the offense?

A: I am sure he probably can. We have not talked about it—I have not talked about it with Dave (Wannstedt) if he has had that conversation. I am sure that they have had that conversation.

Q: Williams said he does not need a crystal ball to see what is coming.

A: Yeah, everybody knows what is coming. You know that the run game is coming and the play action pass is coming. You know what you have to stop. They are not fancy. They just do extremely well.

Q: The fact that this team has struggled against the run, this has to be a challenge.

A: Sure it is. It is a big challenge for us to stop the run. This is not just your normal running game. This is somewhat of a unique running game, the way they run the outside zone and the inside zone. The way they do it will be a real challenge for us.

Q: It looks like you guys have an advantage in special teams this week with you guys playing well and their numbers being down. Is that something you can take advantage of maybe a little bit more than usual?

A: You hope to, but you do not want to return kickoffs very often and you hope you make them punt a bunch so you get those opportunities. There is a lot that goes into it. You cannot say 'Well we are just going to go make big plays on special teams.' You have to create those opportunities. 

Q: Do you feel like you have gotten in the right groove with the run game? Are you using RB Fred Jackson and RB C.J. Spiller the way you like to or are you still trying to figure that out?

A: I think it changes week to week. I really do. I do not think there is a balance that you are shooting for. You go into each game and you have a plan about how you are going to do it—and that might change every week. I do not know if that is something that we are going to set in concrete and say 'This is how we are going to do it from here on out.' I think you have to be fluid with that situation in order to maximize them and to create problems for the defense. If you keep saying this is the only way we are going to do it or this is how we are going to do it, then maybe they draw a beat on that. You want to keep changing that up.

Q: Just a couple of days removed from when we last talked, how is CB Terrence McGee doing? Has he improved?

A: He has improved. He is going to get on the field today. We are going to see… It is going to be kind of a wait and see situation about how far he has come and where we see him for this week.

Q: Other than injuries, have you made any changes in your starting lineup?

A: No.

Q: Getting back to Mario for one second. He said there is a healing process that has to take place, but he thinks he will be more effective just based on range of motion or mentality. Are you absolutely certain that he plays Sunday?

A: I cannot say that I am absolutely certain, but I am in the upper-90 (percentile) that he is going to play.

Q: Speaking of injuries WR David Nelson was back on the field (at the last home game visiting). How is his recovery going? * * 

A: I think it is going well. I have just seen him from time-to-time and he says he feels good. He is getting back, getting the rehab that he needs and getting back to somewhat normally. It is a long process.

Q: Is J.J. Watt all energy and motor out there or is there more than that?

A: Yeah, there is more than that. He has got great quickness. He is an extremely quick football player. He does not play just your normal way that defensive linemen sometimes play. He will jump around, block but then he is quick enough to go close his gap off. He is good enough and strong enough to close it down the traditional way. He is a dynamic football player. He really is. He is high energy, do not get me wrong, but he is a very unique player in the way he plays the game.

Q: Coming off of a game that a lot of people thought you were going to win at home, do you look at Houston and think you have to go in there and almost steal that Tennessee game back? Do you look at it that way?

A:  You look at a season and I have said this 100 times-You look at a season and you try and go out and win every game. Then you get through 12 or 13 and you evaluate where you are and what you need to get where you want to be. I do not like to talk about getting games back or losing critical games. That is done. To me, those are done at the end of the season. If you go on a run, then it was one of those things that was a glitch. If you do not, then it may have been one of those that was hard to swallow. I look at them, and there is a lot of different ways to look at games, but (Houston) has the best record in the AFC, so they are the best team in the AFC today. You have to go down there and try to find a way to win a ball game.

Q: With this stretch of games, do you think the team's leadership in the locker room is going to be tested?

A: I have used this term before and I really believe this, the accountability factor is to each of them to each other. That is who they have to be accountable to. If our team is going to get where we want to be, we have to understand accountability to each other. I think they understand that and we just have to continue to grasp that. Yes, you want your leaders to step up, understand where we are and what we have to get done.

Q: If things do not proceed well with McGee would that mean CB Aaron Williams would get a full chunk of reps at corner or would you rotate someone else in?

A: Do not make me answer that one today. I am not ready to answer that one.

Q: Will you reactive CB Ron Brooks?

A: Do not make me answer that one yet either. We are getting him ready to play in case we do.

Q: What are your thoughts on OT Erik Pears' play so far this season?

A: I think I got that same question Monday or last week sometime. He has been up-and-down. He has struggled at times. Probably the last game was the worst game he had played. He has done some good things though. He has done plenty of good things. Hopefully we will be able to get him back. He has been struggling a little bit coming back from the injury somewhat. We will see how he goes.

Q: What has been good about Pears' play?

A: He has done some good things in the run game and the pass game from time to time. It goes back to everything. The term that I keep bringing up is consistency. We have to have all of our people be more consistent. There is not anybody that cannot be more consistent.

Q: The defensive numbers on third-down I'm sure are not where you want. What have you seen in the biggest reason for the struggles?

A: I think it is probably a little bit of everything. Early in the season, I thought the coverage was a little soft. We are not getting as much rush as we need with the four man rush. We need to get more pressure with the four man rush. The other thing you have to do is stop the run where the third-downs are not third-and-shorts. That is the one thing that kills you. If you end up in third-and-less-than-seven on a regular basis, the odds of them making those go up tremendously. You have to do better in the run game so you do not end up with a bunch of third and shorts, which hurts you.

Q: You are not blitzing a lot. Do you want to see more pressure via the blitz?

A: We have evaluated that and that may be something that we look at as part of our process to try to get better at third down. Maybe we bring a little bit more pressure. You have to balance that out by bringing pressure and then dropping eight sometimes. You have to mix it up a little bit and I think in our evaluation process we looked at that. We will see how we need to change on that.

Q: In your evaluations, was stopping the run your top priority?

A: Yeah, people getting in the right place at the right time. That is how you stop the run. The big runs that have come against us have been somebody did not get in the right gap. Somebody did not play in the right technique. If we can just get all of that down where it is supposed to be, I think we have chance to stop the run when we need to.

Q: On Monday, you said Thursday would be the definitive day for DE Mark Anderson, would he have a chance to get back on the practice field today? A: No. He will not get out there today and tomorrow would be the day. It is looking less and less likely.

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