Head Coach Chan Gailey**
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Q: Will DE Mark Anderson or CB Aaron Williams get a chance to practice this week?
A: Aaron (Williams) is going to get a chance to practice. Mark (Anderson) has not come along as quickly as we hoped. Aaron is going to be able to get on the field a little bit, I think, this week.
Q: Will Williams practice today?
Q: With Anderson and DE Chris Kelsay hurt, it is kind of amazing the pass rush might be at its strongest it has been all season and DE Mario Williams has really come on.
A: Yeah, (Mario Williams) is extremely productive at this point in time. We had to play a couple of weeks ago with a three man rotation at end and did alright. Our ace in the hole, fortunately, is Spencer Johnson that can go out there and play if we need him to. He has that ability to play inside or outside.
Q: Would you say this is what you envisioned out of Mario?
A: Yeah. I think that is what we had all seen before he got here. He is obviously playing extremely well right now versus run and pass.
Q: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said he discussed with you the need to show progress these last five weeks. Your thoughts on that and things have obviously not gone the way you envisioned.
A: No, they have not. When you lose, nothing goes the way you want it to. I just told him to keep working and keep doing the things that he had been successful at in times past the last couple of years. Just keep getting better. That is our only choice. That is what you are trying to do, go out there and find ways to get better. Hopefully I can help him be more productive as a quarterback.
Q: Could his stature as the franchise quarterback be in jeopardy going forward if things do not turnaround?
A: We have always said that we are looking to develop a quarterback for the future. I do not think it is the near future. I think we are talking about Fitz being the guy for us and as we continue to get better, I think he is going to be the guy. So I see us being able to be very productive as an offense with Fitz at quarterback. I have always said that and I believe that.
Q: Is it frustrating to see the mistakes you are seeing on film now that it is Week 12?
A: You do not want to see it, no, but what happens is it is little things here or there that make the difference in a ball game. It is one pass here, it is a batted pass here or a drop there. It is all those little things and you do not want those. You cannot win unless you make those plays happen. It is frustrating at times, but it is what it is. You have to keep working with the guys you have got. You keep going and you keep trying to get those guys better, more productive and more consistent. That is where we are.
Q: To fans and the media, Fitzpatrick seems limited in a number of areas. What gives you confidence in him moving forward?
A: I have seen him play extremely well. When you have seen a guy do it then you have confidence in him. If you had never seen him do it, then you probably would have made a change somewhere else down the line already. We all saw what he can do when everything is hitting on all cylinders. That is why I have confidence. I have seen him do it.
Q: We have talked a lot about red zone. What can you say you have to do there?
A: We have to avoid the negative plays. We get down there and we get a negative run, we get a missed assignment on a run or we do not get the ball up in there. We are trying to be more balanced down there and not just be pass happy. We have been throwing the ball quite a bit and we are trying to become more balanced down there because we see some eight (man) drop quite a bit. We are not able to execute some runs so we are getting negative plays or we get sacks. In Houston we got sacked a couple of times in the red zone—that really hurt us. There are several things, it is not just one thing, it is several things that are keeping us from being as productive as we need to be in the red zone.
Q: Do you think moving forward you have enough solutions to stop teams from stopping your screen game the way the Colts did?
A: You have to decide are you going to slow their pass rush down enough because they are scared of the screen game. Is that worth it? Just the threat of the screen being there. They slowed us down because they grabbed us and would not let us out of there. That is a credit to them, but we have to be able to still execute the screen game even if they are doing that. We have to figure some other ways to get it done and we think we have got those ways.
Q: In the summer you talked of a perfect storm and all three phases of the game coming together. Is there anything you can pinpoint as to why that has not happened?
A: No. I wish I would pinpoint that but we seem to not hit on all cylinders. I think we did on Kansas City and that is about it to be honest with you. I do not have that answer.
Q: You talk about the great fans here, but there are a lot of unsold tickets. Do you worry about this being bad for business?
A: Yeah and that is our responsibility—win to keep the fans excited about the football team. That is our responsibility. The fans are great. They are extremely loyal and they want a winner just like anybody else. I totally understand that.
Q: Can you talk about how reliable OG Andy Levitre has been? He seems to have been a rock for you guys.
A: Yeah. That is one of the amazing things because Andy (Levitre) is not the biggest guy out there. For him to take the pounding, to play and show up week in and week out, that has been very, very impressive. He is not 100-percent I can promise you. He is out there battling every week and trying to get better. He has been, as you said, solid as a rock for us since we have been here.
Q: How has he overcome the lack of size and still be been successful?
A: Great technique and he is a ferocious football player. He really is. He really plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. He has great technique and great leverage. He understands and he studies the defenders. He knows what he needs to do to be able to block them in certain looks. He gets to the right spot and that is a credit to him.
Q: I know you have said that QB Tarvaris Jackson is not going to happen this year, but if you were to have a situation you needed him could you get him ready to play?
A: We would have to get him a lot of reps to get him ready to play if something were to happen to Fitz, Tyler (Thigpen) was playing and Tarvaris was the next guy to go in. We would have to give him a lot of reps during the course of a week where we would feel comfortable. Or at least limit the package enough to where he could execute what he knows to this point.
Q: Do you think Jackson is where he needs to be at least knowledge-wise?
A: I think so, but I do not know that. Until you do it, you do not know. He can spout out the answers, but going and doing it all in about 12 seconds is a big difference.
Q: Just like facing Tennessee, you have to face a veteran instead of a struggling second-year quarterback. Is it almost like you wish the veteran did not show up here?
A: They are playing extremely well. They put up I do not know how many yards passing the last couple of weeks. Last week, what he got sacked seven times and still came out smoking so he is playing extremely well. When we played Tennessee their veteran quarterback played extremely well. You have to give those guys credit for being prepared and being ready.
Q: With everything that came about with WR Stevie Johnson's comments, did it cause you guys to rethink things? A: No.