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Chan Gailey: "I believe in our players"


Head Coach Chan Gailey**

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Q: RB Fred Jackson?

A: No. He is not going to make it. He is going to be out for the rest of the year.

Q: Are you going to put him on injured reserve?

A: It looks like it, but let me hold off to see what is officially done. That looks like the plan. Yes.

Q: We heard it is a sprain?

A: Yeah. It is an MCL sprain is what I was told. Whatever grade that is that takes him three, four or five weeks to get back.

Q: In the sense that it is not an ACL…

A: That is great. That is great.

Q: Has it come to the point you have to make a decision for some guys on IR just to field a team on Sunday?

A: I think we are OK. We have some guys coming back. I do not know, Mark (Anderson) is going to try to do some stuff tomorrow. Maybe we can get him back. We get Aaron (Williams) back it looks like this week. So we are getting some guys back as well. We are still hopeful we will get Eric (Wood) back. Not this week, but maybe for the last two if we get fortunate.

Q: Do you need to make a roster move for another running back?

A: We might do that or we might just let Corey (McIntyre) kind of be the third back. We might go that direction too. There are a couple of ways to think about it. We will have to decide which is the best way to go.

Q: Is FB Corey McIntyre lobbying for that? 

A: No. I had not heard him lobby for that.

Q: Now that you have had 24 hours, do you think that RB C.J. Spiller should have got the ball more yesterday?

A: You would always like for players to get it more and it just ended up not working out that way. We are going to get the opportunity here in the next few weeks for him to get it a lot. We will not have what I term two great backs. I think Tashard (Choice) is a very good back, but to me, he is not in Fred (Jackson)'s category. There will not be a lot of sharing of duties. C.J. will have to take a big part of the load now.

Q: What is your take on your future here? There are people out there that think you should be fired.

A: When you do not win, all of that stuff comes up. We know that. I still have a great deal of confidence in what I do and what we are trying to get done and where I think we can go. I have a great deal of confidence in that. I believe in our players and I believe in the direction that we are headed.

Q: I know you concentrate on a week-to-week basis, but do you ever think of what might happen after the season?

A: No, but I mean do I plan for next year? Yeah, I do. Sure I do. I think about players, who will be here and what we need to do to get better. I think about that all the time. Sure.

Q: Do you appreciate the frustration outside because this team seems to be spinning its wheels in some ways?

A: I do.

Q: Do you think the team is though?

A: We are. We have not gotten over the hump. That is where we are. We have not gotten over the hump. We are close. I told the players today, we are three, four or five plays from this record being flipped to 8-5. To me, we are a better football team than we were three years ago when we got here. Now, we do not have as many wins to show for it at this point, but I believe we can get there and I believe we will get there. I have a great deal of confidence in the direction we are headed.

Q: Have you received any assurances that you will be back?

A: No.

Q: It seems like a lot of games you guys have to make a play and you cannot get that play from somebody.

A: That is where we are right now. The thing about it is I told the players today "There is normally six, seven or eight plays that have a big impact on the game and not necessarily in the fourth quarter. You can do some things if we do not grab the guy on the interception. If we make a couple of third downs that we should have made or could have made in the fourth quarter. If we do not fumble. All of those little things play into it. If we get one block on one of our returns we may take it all of the way on a punt return. It is one play here or there and we are not making those plays. We have to get those plays made in order to flip this thing around and become a winning franchise."

Q: Is Spiller in the shape that you want him to be in?

A: Yeah. He is in great shape. I think a lot has been made about him tapping out, but we send him on a lot of deep routes and he has some long runs. We allow everybody, we allow receivers, we allow everybody to tap out if they get tired. He is back in there when he is rested and gets ready to go.

Q: He said he only asked out once yesterday. So if that was the only time, why was he not on the field for long stretches?

A: It was the way the rotation went. That is the way it was. It was the rotation situation. We try to keep them fresh and play them both. They are both great players. Neither one of them is going to get them as much as they want, except now C.J. will get it as much as he wants.

Q: It is almost a moot point with Jackson hurt, but when you look back on it should the rotation have been different?

A: Hindsight is always 20-20. That is always the case. You look at it and say 'There was a couple plays I wish he was in there on.' There is a couple plays I wish Fred was in there on to be perfectly honest. There is hindsight both ways.

Q: You have been asked about it before, so it is not exactly hindsight.

A: When you win, nobody asked me about the rotation and when you lose everybody makes a big deal about the rotation. That is the nature of the beast.

Q: Can you walk us through the sequence at the end of the first half?

A: Yeah. Protection had been a little bit of an issue. (Ryan Fitzpatrick) had been getting hit a few times. We got down there to the 22, 23 or whatever it was. We tried to run because we had our timeouts. We tried to run and we did not make anything. We tried a screen pass to try get down there. We thought we would make a big play on a screen pass we had not shown all year. It was one of those we had not shown. We did not make that and we are sitting there at third-and-nine or something like that. There were nine seconds on the clock when I called timeout. I did not know they were going to put two second back on, but you have to throw it in the end zone. It does not do any good to make four yards. You have to throw it in the end zone and we just felt like our protection was not where it was. If we tried to throw it and we got tackled in bounds or we got a sack--that is not smart football. So we went ahead and kicked the football.

Q: Why call the timeout at 11 or nine and not call it at three to not let it be the last play of the half?

A: Because I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to talk about it and see what was going on. I wanted to get a feel from Fitz. We talked about it on the sideline and I decided to kick it.

Q: Is there any confusion as to what you are trying to accomplish offensively at the end of halves?

A: I do not think so. I think we are trying to get down there and score points however it is. You would love to get a touchdown, but you will take points however you can get them. You try to be smart. It is a big picture thing. It is not just 'Hey, let's heave it to the end zone every time.' You have got to be smart. What is your protection like that game? Where are you on the field? Those kinds of things.

Q: Did the fumble by TE Scott Chandler at the end of the first half in San Francisco influence you at all?

A: No, not at all.

Q: Right now, are you disappointed in the results of what you guys have accomplished offensively?

A: Yes. I was not disappointed about halfway through the year, but since about the last four or five games we have not played like I think we are capable of playing. We have not and I want us to do better. I expect us to do better and I plan for us to do better in these next three ball games starting with this one.

Q: What has changed offensively?

A: There is a lot of different things that you can point to. You can make excuses for a lot of things, but they become excuses. If you start talking about them, I do not want to make excuses. We are not getting the job done and I am responsible.

Q: How confident are you then that you can take those steps forward over the last couple of games?

A: Have we done it before? We have. So I am confident we can get that done.

Q: Through your career, you have always had one running back as a work horse. At what point did things change for you and what went into going back-and-forth instead of just picking a guy and going with it?

A: Last year when C.J. got a chance to play and showed how explosive he was. We came into the season saying 'We have got two great backs. Let's use them both. Let's let them both get carries.' That way we may not wear one down and we may keep them for the whole year—which did not work out. That was the plan.

Q: Did that decision feel awkward because of your track record?

A: Yeah. It felt awkward.

Q: Did you have a discussion with the staff about that?

A: No. I did not have a discussion with the staff. We made the decision, it seemed like the best decision at the time. I still believe it is the best decision we could have made considering our situation with two great players. I would do it again if I had it to do over. We did not discuss it. It was the best decision and you go with the best decision. There are a lot of things that have happened that I did not do 10-15 years ago the same.

Q: How would you evaluate that moving into 2013?

A: To me, we are going to evaluate that at the end of the year. I am not going to speculate where that would be next year.

Q: When teams load the box and bring eight or nine guys down, don't you at some point just have to run it anyway?

A: Yeah and we do. That is how we got in two tights and two backs yesterday to be able to just line up and run the football no matter what. Sometimes you can get in some formations that say 'Hey, we do not care. We are going to run the football.' We do that from time to time, but we have been a more productive offense spreading people out and taking what they give us than we have lining up and trying to play smash mouth for the entire ball game.

Q: How much has the run defense improved in the last month and what has been the key there?

A: I am going to answer that question the same way I answered it last week. I think there is a great trust factor amongst our defensive players that everybody has their gap. They stay in their gap and they are very disciplined about attacking the line of scrimmage in their gap. We are not giving very many creases. I think the longest run we had yesterday against us was maybe 12 yards, nine yards—something like that. I know it was not much. The run defense, you really predicate your defense on your run defense and it has been outstanding.

Q: You have gone against different style running games too.

A: Yeah and our guys have handled it extremely well.

Q: TE Lee Smith have to work on his touchdown move?

A: I do not know. I heard something about that, but I do not know anything about that.

Q: Do you have to start thinking about giving S Da'Norris Searcy maybe more time?

A: (George Wilson and him) are splitting time. He is doing well and George is doing really good things too. You would have liked for him to catch one of those two yesterday and that would have helped us win a ball game, but he is in the right place and doing a lot of good things. So it is not like you are sitting there saying 'This guy is really good and this guy is not really good. Why are we not playing the guy that is really good?' They are both playing well and it got a little bit out of whack because George was in there for the entire last drive which was a lot of plays. They are splitting time in there otherwise.

Q: Have CB Leodis McKelvin and DE Kyle Moore earned the right to stay in there if CB Aaron Williams and DE Mark Anderson come back this week?

A: Let us decide where that is when we get later in the week. I am not ready to make that call yet.

Q: DT Marcell Dareus, I think he is OK. What is your view of that hit though?

A: You do not like to see that and it is tough. I would rather him not do that, but it happens in games. Kyle had one against him a couple of weeks ago. So those kinds of things are not good. You would like for your guys not to get hurt on those plays for sure.

Q: The DE Kyle Moore play on the interception return. Did you get a chance to take a look at it and did you think it was a penalty?

A: I thought it was a penalty.

Q: And the momentum shift that was there?

A: I do not know if it made a difference. It probably did. I do not know if that guy would have caught Stephon (Gilmore) or not even if he had not have touched him.

Q: With the playoffs a long-shot, is this season a failure if the playoffs do not happen?

A: The goal is always to win a championship. So if you do not win a championship, you have not accomplished your goal. To get to the championship you have to make the playoffs. So yeah, it is a disappointing season if you do not make the playoffs. That is where we still have a chance, it is mathematical, but we still have a chance. This morning I thought we were out of it but I understand that a couple of people lost. I did not know who won and who lost yesterday. So I guess mathematically we are still in it. So hey, go take advantage of your opportunity. It is here. I would be sick as a dog if we said it is over and we found if we had won the last three that would have gotten us in and we did not take advantage of that. So here it is. We get an opportunity still. We are still alive.

Q: Rex Ryan declared himself out of it in 2010 and went to the AFC championship game.

A: Yep. I am not ready to declare ourselves out of it, but if that is what it takes to get there. I will do it.

Q: How does the fact that you are still alive effect Fred's time table and whether to put him on IR or not?

A: I think it is closer to four to five than it is two to three. I think you would go ahead and make that move because to get him 100-percent would be very difficult.

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