QB Ryan Fitzpatrick**
Monday, December 10, 2012
Q: A lot of 22 personnel yesterday. Obviously you went in thinking you could muscle up and maybe push those guys off the ball?
A: Yeah. That was part of the game plan going in. Being able to ground and pound a little bit, that was something that other teams had done a little bit, but something that would allow us to get the ball to Fred (Jackson) and C.J. (Spiller) to give them some touches in the run game. We thought we could be physical in the run game with a couple of new guys in the lineup up front. Just getting them comfortable. I think that was a lot of what went into it.
Q: I take it that it did not work as well as you had hoped?
A: They did a good job. Definitely a physical team up front. We had some that worked, some that did not. Unfortunately, we were not as productive there as we thought we would be.
Q: Do you think RB C.J. Spiller got enough touches yesterday?
A: No. I do not and it is tough when we had under 60 plays. There were some run plays called where I ended up throwing the quick pass to Stevie (Johnson) or throwing the quick pass to T.J. (Graham) on the other side where we got some nice gains. I do not know if you can ever get him enough touches just by the way he runs with the ball and even the run after the catch stuff. The screen he had on third-and-12 or 13 and what he did there. We just have to continue to find ways to get him the ball.
Q: What do you think this is a repeating theme with Spiller?
A: Part of it is who is in the backfield with him. Part of it, and was not the case yesterday, you fall behind and you do not get as many touches. I think yesterday was just one of those days, unfortunately, that we definitely did not give him the ball enough. I will say that, C.J. obviously and Chan (Gailey) will say that. We need to get him the ball more. Sometimes it just does not work that way.
Q: Did you audible out of run plays there on the two throws that you mentioned?
A: They are not really audibles out of them, they were kind of built in. There was more too. Probably three or four that we did like that.
Q: HC Chan Gailey is taking immense heat right now. Do you think he should be the coach beyond this season?
A: Yeah. Absolutely I do.
A: Because unfortunately our record is not where we want it to be but I think we have made progress since he has been here. I really do. We have to find a way to win these close games. We have had a bunch of them this year, at least three that I can think of in the fourth quarter that we just have not been able to seal the deal. I think we have made progress. I think there is a belief in this locker room. He is a guy that, I know I am and a lot of guys in this locker room are going to be tremendously loyal to him for giving us a chance.
Q: Statistically offensively I would not say you have made progress if you look at the last two years. Do you believe offensively you have?
A: I absolutely do. I think this year has been a little bit different in terms of what we have been doing. If you look at the run game and where we are at right now in terms of yards per game, yards per carry. I think point total is an important thing to look at. I think we have made strides. I think continuity is such an important thing in football that gets overlooked all the time.
Q: How has there been progress in the passing game?
A: I think the things that you look at, and I do not know where the points per game are this season compared to last. I am not sure, but I think our philosophy has changed a little bit this year just in terms of how dynamic the guys in the backfield are. Trying to get them the ball. I think the numbers with the passing game are down in terms of yardage. I do not know about completion percentage, efficiency or any of that stuff. If you want to get into all of that and look at statistics, I think the yardage is definitely down but I do not know about the numbers.
Q: Where do you see the progress?
A: I see plenty of progress. The Tennessee game, unfortunate—could have gone either way. Unfortunately did not go our way. That is an issue. We need to find a way to do that. Yesterday's game was the same way. It was not the ending we wanted, but it was a close game. It was a game we fought in and I think the New England game kind of the same thing in terms of us as a team believing in each other and continuing to fight, whether it is offensively, defensively or together. We have been in some tough situations. We have had some tough losses. There is still belief in this locker room. I know that you do not believe. Which is fine, but there is still belief in this locker room and in each other.
Q: Does the offense lack identity?
A: I think we want to be a team that, obviously we want to feature the guys in the backfield. We want to get them the ball. I think this year has been a little bit different in terms of trying to gain our identity. I think the last few years we have been a little bit different. There has been a change this year. Some more play action. We have been trying to move a little bit more towards that because of how we have been in the ground game this year. The four wide receiver sets, that kind of used to be our M.O., but with David (Nelson) going down moving more towards having Scott (Chandler) in there with the three receiver sets. There has definitely been some changes this year.
Q: Can you put your finger on why there always seems to be confusion late in halves as to what you guys want to get done?
A: No, I cannot think of every game off the top of my head but you think about yesterday's situation and we ended up with points. I think that is something we wanted to come away with there, but obviously seven or being able to get a little bit close there to take a shot at the end zone. That kind of thing would have been more to our advantage. I think coming away with the points there, with the way our defense was playing, was important before the end of the half.
Q: Do you have the freedom to call timeout there as the quarterback?
A: I can call a timeout whenever I want. There is a lot of things, a lot of freedom that a quarterback has. A lot of these situations, and I said this yesterday, a lot of these situations are things we go over all the time in our meetings. Whether it is watching other teams do it and kind of sitting down and talking about 'OK, what if we had two time outs. What would we do?' Chan (Gailey) and I are on the same page with a lot of that stuff just because of all the time we spend together and the way that we review those situations.
Q: What are some tangible indications that things are getting better?
A: I think it is a tough answer because really the one thing that matters at the end of the day is wins and losses. I think we all know that. I think, me especially and I know Chan, as a quarterback the only thing that I am measured with is wins and losses. Not being where we want to be right now, a lot of that falls on me and I am 100-percent fine with that. I think I have not played as well as I wanted to play this year. Unfortunately, our win-loss record is where it is and a lot of that falls on me. If you look at who we have, the nucleus of guys we continue to put together and build on that says a lot for where we are headed. Like I mentioned earlier, the continuity deal in the NFL is such a huge thing and something that I think is necessary in order to be a productive team.