Is there any hope that Sam Madison (broken ankle) could not go on IR,
or is that inevitable at this point?
I don’t think so. I think you are talking about a too-short term here
for recovery and come back. And although that hasn’t been discussed
today, last night after the game it was felt that he would unfortunately
have to be finished; his season would come to an end.
way he kind of helps coach up the young defensive backs you will probably
still want him around, I would imagine?
Oh yeah, any time you have a guy that has been a factor like he has
in terms of his attitude, which has been great, and his ability to offer
advice to a bunch of young guys who are all ears, I just think that
is a great thing.
Do you have a reaction to Eric Mangini being let go?
I’m very saddened …. And I feel very badly for Eric and his family. And
that will be the extent of it.
Is there any potential downside to a bye, just in terms of not having
that game speed?
There can be, I think. It depends on your approach to it. But I certainly
think that we can take advantage of it.
Is it difficult knowing that you have a game in two weeks but not knowing
who you are going to play?
Well, it gives you a chance, I think, to take things one step at a time. As
I said, there are things – being concerned about our team and our
improvement and yes, our health – those things all seem to work hand
in hand. And I think being concerned about our team this week is a natural
stepping stone into discovering who it is we will play and then progressing
on towards zooming in on an opponent.
You are beginning to scout and look ahead to the three possible opponents.
Do you just naturally have to focus more on, I guess, the Falcons because
they are the only one of the three teams you haven’t seen yet?
We have seen the Falcons a couple of times of late here in preparation. And
that has been good. So we will do a little extra study as coaches in
that particular area this week and then try to be up to speed on all
three teams. All of the information that we will need will be in the
computer and ready to go by the end of this week.
it matter at all to you who you play?
I don’t think – you are more or less sitting there saying, ‘Well,
who is it going to be?’ It isn’t a matter of trying to say who you
would rather play, I think it is just – you are playing the waiting
game and there is no sense in doing anything other than that. Speculation
is exactly what it is – speculation. So as I say, we will work on ourselves
and we will try to be as patient as we can as we wait and see through
the weekend who it is we will play.
there any other injuries that came out of yesterday that concern you?
Or is it just natural nicks and bumps, other than Madison?
You saw Michael Johnson come out with his quad contusion. He seems to
be doing better today, Mike Matthews with the sprained ankle that we
will wait and see on that. I know they are going to do an MRI on Mike
and try and get the swelling down and that type of thing. But otherwise
I think it was the normal bumps and bruises that come out of a ball
were your thoughts on the turnover record that you guys now share with
I think that any time you realize how important something is to a team
and how it is drilled over and over and how it is such a huge key to
success for us, and we talk about it, it is always one of two or three
things that are foremost on our minds in terms of keys to victory. And
to have our team exemplify that I think it is a very positive thing
when you look at the record and what has been accomplished, certainly
to large extent by being able to handle the ball and control the ball
and not turn the ball over and not put your defense in bad situations,
not deny yourselves opportunities to score; not take drives off the
table. So I just feel it is a heck of a tribute to our team and the aspects
of special teams, and certainly our offensive team, and even our defense
when they have their hands on the ball, they all participate in the
formulation of what is essential to us – the principals by which we
play. And certainly that is one of them. So to our team – and the credit
goes to the coaches and the players who have been able to go out and
really set this NFL record. We are proud of that.
Within that record, is that pretty amazing
– you had just one fumble lost by your running backs all of the times
you ran the ball?
That is a very good stat for us. I wish it were zero, but that is a
heck of a stat. And we preach that over and over. We did have the one
ball game down in Philly where we put the ball on the ground too many
times. And since that point on I think the tremendous emphasis that has
gone into that and the players have responded well.
about the fact that you became the first team since 1985 to have two
running backs go over 1,000 yards. Is that a credit, not only to the
two running backs, but to your offensive line?
It is credit to everyone; it really is. It is an emphasis. It is a credit
to the coaching staff. It is a credit to the offensive line; certainly
the tight ends, the receivers, the fullback who does an outstanding
job as a lead blocker in front of our ball carrier on so many different
occasions, and then also to our ball carriers. And I think that it is
a great thing. The little that I have been able to pick up on – how
the two running backs – Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward have extended,
kind of deflected, if you will, away from themselves this particular
record and spread it to their offensive line and their tight end and
their fullback. And I think that is a heck of a tribute to the team
and the concept of team in which these players operate.