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Chan Gailey: "We will continue to get better"


HC Chan Gailey**

Monday, November 12, 2012

Q: What is the update on RB Fred Jackson?

A: It looks like Fred (Jackson) will be out this week. Tests this morning were not as good as we had hoped so he will not play this week.

Q: Is it a concussion?

A: Yes.

Q: I know we have asked this question before, but how does this affect a game plan especially on a short week? Does it make a difference if you have a whole week not knowing if Jackson will be out there?

A: It does make a difference. You have to make certain adjustments in a short week. The good thing is we have not depended on having them both in the game for the majority of our game plan at any one time. We have enough that we can go into a game with without Fred and have enough to be able to keep people off-balance.

Q: You said you wanted to take a look at the last play after the game, after having a chance to do that today can you walk us through what you saw there?

A: They played a form of cover two. We were trying to get a high-low. They were playing cover two and we thought they might play a cover four down there. We were trying to get a high-low on the corner and the safety kind of hung. T.J. (Graham) did not know whether to go in front or behind. It is a gray area for him. (Ryan Fitzpatrick) did not know whether to throw it in front or over. We ended up with an interception. I should have called a different play is what it boiled down to.

Q: Is WR T.J. Graham the first option on that play?

A: No.

Q: How many options does QB Ryan Fitzpatrick have typically on that play?

A: If he is on that side of the field three. If he has got the whole field, obviously if he works to the other side he has got two on the other side.

Q: Four if you count throwing it in the stands?

A: Yeah. Right.

Q: RB C.J. Spiller is going to obviously have more of an opportunity to play. Is this finally a chance where he can get the ball as much as he needs to?

A: Well when Fred (Jackson) was hurt he was getting lots of opportunities. With Fred out this week he will get lots of opportunities this week.  When they were both out (Tashard) Choice got lots of opportunities. We give the tailback lots of opportunities in our offense. He is a dynamic player to say the least. He will get a lot of chances this week for sure.

Q: Do you want to get him more than nine carries this week? Is there a point where you are going to have to run this guy 20 times for the first time in his career?

A: He did it last year. He can do that. That is not an issue. He did it last year. If he needs to run it 20 to 25 times a game for us to win, or 30 times a game for us to win, that is what we will do. We are not afraid to do that. We do not think he is a fragile player or anything like that. We think he is a strong player that can carry it as many times as we need to carry it to win.

Q: This goes beyond your time here, but the struggles this team has had winning in its own division. Discuss the problems, the challenges and how much of a hole that puts you guys in.

A: Every division game counts double almost. It is not only a loss for you if you lose, but it is a win for your division opponent. It is a double whammy. So if you can win one it is a two for you. You put them one back and you gain an edge on that team. You have to win division games. Those are big games. Those are bigger than the other games. They are. They are bigger than the other games.

Q: How discouraging has it been to not have beaten these teams?

A: We want to win the division—that is the goal. I think we are getting closer to being that kind of football team. I have not really worried as much about division as I have about getting good overall, worry about our overall record and beating people we need to beat. We have to become a winning team before we can win the division. So right now the goal is to become a winning team.

Q: What is DE Chris Kelsay's status? How close was he to playing yesterday? And what is his status for Thursday?

A: I do not know if I can give a percentage of how close he was yesterday. It was either yes or no and it was no yesterday. We will have to see this week. It depends on how much he develops and gains confidence as the week progresses. It could be yes and right now, probably 50-50.

Q: How much is that complicated by really just one practice this week?

A: Well it is complicated by that. We are not going to do much hitting at all so it is really how he feels. We will put him through some simulated things without actually practicing on the field.

Q: You mentioned how Spiller and Jackson are not on the field at the same time, you are an offensive guy, why is that? Both are pretty good blockers, both are good receivers and both are good runners. Is there not a way to get them on the field at the same time? Wouldn't you be more dangerous having them both in there at the same time?

A: We do that from time-to-time. We have a few plays from time-to-time that we do that. But I think where we are in the game today, and I used to be let's have one guy and we will run him as many times as it takes. When we had Emmitt (Smith) we did that. When we had Jerome (Bettis) we did that. But when you have two guys that are great players, why not use them both? Then if you design too much with them both in the game… what if we had lost Fred in the first quarter and you have the game plan revolving around having both of them in the game at the same time. You can only have so many plays in a game plan. If you have a bunch of them that are that way then all of a sudden we have lost that package. It does not make sense to do it that way. I think we are better off, I think it is smarter, to keep playing them both and give them their chances to play. They are both great players and we try to become as diverse as we can possibly be to create problems for the defense.

Q: You could not alter, you could not have a 'In case this happens…' You have RB Tashard Choice. There would be no plan B? I mean hey, guys get hurt all of the time and you have to change on the fly.

A: You could do that to a certain degree but it would not be the same. It is never the same. If you can devise things that create problems for the defense without having to expose both of them, that is what you do.

Q: At 3-6, how do you avoid looking at the big picture and focus on the next game?

A: I do not think that is hard. I think you focus on the next game—I think that is the way you have to do it. You cannot win two in a row unless you win one in a row. You cannot win three in a row unless you win the first one. That is your goal to get on some kind of streak here to give ourselves some kind of chance to get where we want to be.

Q: What changes today as far as what the coaches and players are doing? Usually you are going over the New England game. Is everything different today?

A: Yeah, everything is different. We will not even look at the New England game with the players. We will go straight to Miami. At five o'clock we will have a team meeting and we will do a walk-through tonight with some stuff on Miami. Tomorrow will be somewhat of a practice, not really a normal practice. It will be the same periods and stuff like that, but it will be as close to a normal day as you get on a Sunday-Thursday week. Then Wednesday will be another walk-through day like a Saturday.

Q: Does your time in Dallas help with the short week?

A: It does. I remember a little bit about what we did there. We had some notes from there. I called a couple of teams to see what they are doing today. That was a long time ago. I was seeing what the difference is. People might be doing something different that might be better. This is not exactly like we did it in Dallas. There are some changes.

Q: Thirty-one points and 481 yards of offense. What can you take from that going forward? What did you see that bodes well?

A: I have not even watched the whole tape. I watched part of it. We have been working on Miami so hard. I have not had a chance to do that. There were a lot of positives that you could take from that. I thought our line did a very good job. Of course both backs ran hard. We were able to execute some passes that we were able to get some chunks for us—which was big. There were a lot of positives out of that, but bottom line is you cannot turn it over three times. We have to knock that out or we are going to be in trouble the rest of the year.

Q: How is WR Donald Jones?

A: He is fine.

Q: You talked last week about the possibility of DE Mark Anderson needing another procedure. Did he?

A: Yes. He did

Q: So that is two to three weeks from now?

A: That is two to three from last week.

Q: What is your general opinion on Thursday night games with the turnaround? Everything from safety to just getting your guys healed up. The whole idea of just having to play in four days.

A: I am not a big fan. I do not like it. I think it is tough on the players. We have quite a few players that sometimes do not even get back on the practice field Thursday. I think this is a tough turnaround for a football team and the players in general. I am not a big fan but it is here and it is what it is so you deal with it.

Q: In the general sense and I am not talking about your team, does that take away from the product?

A: That is opinion. I have no idea about that one.

Q: I am looking for your opinion.

A: I know. I guess I am saying I do not have an opinion. I do not have an opinion about quality of product. I have more of an opinion about player safety and stuff like that than I do quality of product.

Q: It seems like forever since you guys have been home. You had the week in Arizona. How weird has the schedule been?

A: It has been an unusual year to say the least. For as many games as we have had on the road and just how many teams have had bye weeks in front of us or  off for 10 days to get ready for us. Things like that. We will have the opportunity to have 10 days for (Indianapolis). It has been an unusual year.

Q: What about having teams playing these Thursday night games coming out of their bye? Have you given it that much thought?

A: No. I have no say. Zero. So I am not going to waste brain cells thinking about it.

Q: WR Stevie Johnson, DE Mario Williams and DT Kyle Williams—three guys that have played through known injuries. I would imagine that those three might be a little bit of a concern this week? How did they come through the game yesterday and are there concerns there with any of those guys?

A: All three came through extremely well to be honest with you. It may be tough at practice tomorrow doing some things, but I think for Thursday night we will be OK.

Q: What about this team makes you believe going down this stretch you can reel off three, four or five wins?

A: I look back at the last two games. To me, we have played probably the two best teams in the AFC the last two weeks and we have played with them. We moved the ball on Houston. We did not score touchdowns. That was the killer there; we did not score touchdowns. I thought the second half of last week we played a lot better defensively. We moved the football. I think that our football team has played fairly well. We did not win, but we played fairly well against two of the best teams in the AFC. So I think if we will continue to get better… if we do not then it will not matter that we played good against those two teams—or played better against those two teams. We did not play good. If you play good you should win. We played better against those two teams and I think if we will continue to get better that will help us with the future and the rest of our schedule.

Q: How concerned are you nine weeks in T.J. Graham—he admitted after the game it was a rookie mistake and he made the wrong decision. How discouraged are you that more than halfway through the season those issues are still coming up?

A: He took the shot on that and it is admirable that he stood up like that. I watched the ball and there are veterans that would have not gone across the face of the safety there on that one. That was a gray area. It was a gray area. As I have said it 100 times if I have said it once, he is still learning the game and I am not discouraged by him. I am encouraged that he would say something like that and step up and do that. He will get it. It is just a matter of time. He has some talent. It is just a matter of time. He will get it.

Q: Looking back on the New England game, were there times you would have liked to have used Spiller more?

A: No. I think we had a good balance between the two guys and they both did a good job while they were in there. I think we have got a good one-two punch there. Ask New England, what do they think? We moved the ball on them and scored points on them. That is the key.    *     *

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