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Chan Gailey: "It's tough to lose a good player"


Head Coach Chan Gailey**

Monday, December 3, 2012

Q: Talk about the disappointment with C Eric Wood finding out he will be out for a little bit of time here.

A: Yeah. It is always tough to lose a good player. He is obviously one of our best players. We have gone through this before. Hopefully we will continue on in the same vein, we will not as well but we will try to as best we can.

Q: Can you afford to wait for him to come back or do you need the roster spot?

A: No, we can afford to wait on him.

Q: What is OT Chris Hairston's status?

A: It is probably going to be tough for him to make it this week, but we do not know. It is a different type of injury. They called it more of a bruise than anything, but it is a deep bruise. How quickly that responds you just do not know. It will be hard for him to make it this week.

Q: What are you thinking at center?

A: The plan today is (Kraig) Urbik at center and (David) Snow at guard like we finished the game the other day, but do not hold me to that. That could change during the course of the week.

Q: What is the update on CB Leodis McKelvin?

A: He was better today. He loosened up a little bit. Hopefully he will be fine by Wednesday and it will all work itself out.

Q: WR Stevie Johnson said his hamstring is something he will have to work though, but he is confident he will play on Sunday.

A: He sounded like he will be able to go, probably not Wednesday, maybe Thursday. Be able to get through it. We will see. We will see how well he is able to move Thursday, Friday and then make a decision.

Q: Do you have enough depth at offensive line to get through a game?

A: Yeah. Sam (Young) will start over there at tackle and Thomas Welch the guy we signed five or six weeks ago has got enough knowledge now where he could step in and play if we needed him to.

Q: Inside and outside for OL Thomas Welch?

A: We will probably have to make some kind of roster move to give us a little more depth on the offensive line.

Q: Do you kind of shake your head when you see another injury happen to Wood? He has had just an unlucky run.

A:  Yeah he has. It has been a tough three years for him since we have been here. Really the year before we got here. Been a tough four years for him.

Q: He really gutted it out coming back from the torn ACL to play almost 100-percent of the snaps.

A: I know. It was amazing. He did a great job of getting ready for the season and he continually got stronger. He was getting stronger, stronger and stronger as the year wore on. He was not going back. He was going forward—which was great. He was playing on probably one and three quarter's legs to start the season and it was getting better each week it seemed like. You hate to see it for a guy who fought so hard to get back, which we have several of those guys.

Q: DT Alex Carrington might have had his best game of the season yesterday.

A: Yeah. It was his most productive game for sure. That comes off of a game that was not very productive the week before. So it was good to have him actively involved—getting tackles for losses, batting passes, sacks and all of that kind of stuff. That is good. The more good players we can have in there, the better our rotation is and the better it makes us on defense. I think they are feeding off each other in there.

Q: Where do you see Carrington now in contrast to where he was when he came in here three years ago?

A: There are two or three things that happen with guys like him. The C.J. (Spiller)'s, all of those guys—the confidence they get from having played, the knowledge they gain from having played and the strength they gain from being here and being able to work full-time off-season, in-season on strength. It is just amazing. So you see jumps like that from time to time from guys if they are willing to work at it. He is willing to work at it.

Q: Have you been frustrated at all by Carrington's progression?

A: No, not at all. Really have not. He played off and on some, but he has never really been able to play a lot on the field for whatever reason. Some he was not ready. So he was banged up and could not play. He has started to play more and more this year and wants it. That is the key he really wants it. I am not frustrated with him. I am just glad to see him continue to progress. You hope you get a guy like Torell Troup back next year. Get him healthy and you see the same kind of progression.

Q: Is DE Chris Kelsay OK?

A: (Chris) Kelsay is still not good right now. He is still not good. I do not know how that is going to work out to be honest with you.

Q: Might he be the guy that lets you make a move on the offensive line?

A: We have got several options. We are going to look at all of them and make the best decision. We are going to have to evaluate everything right now.

Q: They do not know if it is season-ending?

A: Do not know if it is. There is about three or four of them that could be.

Q: How close was CB Aaron Williams to playing yesterday?

A: I am going to say he was in that 75-percent range. Not quite there but fairly close. Hopefully we can get him a lot closer to 100 this week before we put him out there. That is a tough position to play if you are not really close to 100-percent.

Q: How much credit for the growth of the defense can go to CB Stephon Gilmore's role at the cornerback spot?

A: That is all a part of it. Him being able to go out there and take a guy like (Justin) Blackmon and do a great job on him is a real credit to him but it helps our defense. Now you can do some things to help some other areas and create tight coverage in another area. That helps your pass rush because now they are holding the ball a count longer. All of that works together. You cannot say one thing does it, but when we started playing tighter coverages, our sacks started going up. All of that works together.

Q: With a team that plays in a dome coming in, how do you turn the weather here into something your team views as an advantage?

A: Well I talked to our team after the game and today I told them. I said 'We won in our weather. That is our weather. It is hard for teams to come in here sometimes and play.' That other coach is sitting over there in their meeting talking about how weather is not an issue and let's just go play our game. If I was sitting in his locker room, that is what I would be saying.

Q: Can you describe what the difference has been for the run defense?

A: I think there is a lot of trust amongst our defensive players now. I thought that early in the year, guys felt like if I do not make this play nobody will. So you get out of your gap to go to another gap. Now everybody is holding their own gap. Instead of a backside linebacker running over the top to make the play he is sitting waiting for the cutback. The three-technique, defensive tackle not trying to play too far across the face trusting the guys on the other side will make the play. He has got the cutback in the B gap on the backside. That is how it all plays together. That there is a trust factor amongst your defense that if everybody just does their job, they will be just fine defensively. That is where we have gotten to at this point and it has made a huge difference.

Q: Is that something once you have consistency amongst those guys you can start counting on?

A: Yeah. To me once you develop that, you develop that trust, you develop that consistency and they see it works then they continue to do it. I think you do nothing but build on it from there.

Q: Your thoughts on DE Mario Williams' continued improvement?

A: Seems to make a play or two every week right now. That is huge for our defense. I tell our guys and you all have heard the statement before—there are five or six plays that make the difference in a game. I do not know if that was one of them but if could have been that made the difference in the game. It allowed us to go up by seven rather than by four at half. That was a huge play.

Q: You practiced outdoors last week, do you think you will again this week?

A: Probably so. Yeah.

Q: Do you think that helps the team get ready for the weather?

A: Yeah. It should and I think it does. I should not do it if I did not think it did. Sometimes they do not like it. To be honest with you sometimes I do not like it. It is cold. So what? That is the way the game is. You have to go play. Get ready for it.

Q: Was there a situational difference that played into your thinking for sending out K Rian Lindell for the 50-yard field goal?

A: We had a two touchdown lead with it two or three minutes left in the third quarter. If you go up by more than two scores that is a big difference. Our defense was playing great at that point. To me the risk reward factor, the reward was bigger than the risk at that time.

Q: Was it good you at least get to send him out there to make one?

A: Yeah. I am sure it helps him. They are all competitors. They think they can do it. They believe in themselves. He should not be kicking if he did not believe in himself. So yeah, he wants to and I was glad the opportunity presented itself so that he does not think I do not have confidence in him. I do.

Q: Just one catch for TE Scott Chandler, but it went for a touchdown. Seems like all of his catches either go for a first down or a touchdown.

A: He is making a lot of big plays for us. We need his consistency to keep our offense moving. We need that. He has made plays for the last two years as a matter of fact. I would like to keep incorporating him even more. We had a couple of situations yesterday where we were trying to get him the ball a few more times. It just did not work out via protection, blitz or whatever it was. He is a big part of what we are trying to do.

Q: How big do you think the relationship with TE coach Pete Metzelaars has been for him?

A: I think good, but you need to ask him. Probably I am not the guy to ask on that, but I think good.

Q: What is WR Donald Jones' outlook for this week?

A: Better. He is going to practice Wednesday. And unless something major comes up I see no reason I do not think he would be able to play this week.

Q: Is DE Mark Anderson one of those guys that may be a struggle to get back?

A: Yeah. He may be one that is a struggle to get back this week. I think he will get back before the end of the season, but I do not know if he will make it this week. We will see.

Q: Do you have any thoughts you would like to share on the horrible situation in Kansas City?

A: I really do not. I think everybody's heart breaks for the situation that went on there. I do not have any real comments about it. It is bad for everybody. It is not a good situation.

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