Q: How do you get them to play like that on a weekly basis?
A: We’ll see. We’ll see. They’re excited. It started out a six-game schedule, now it’s five. Every game is critical, every game is important. This week, when we get started, our preparation will be for a divisional game, a Monday night game. Every game is of the utmost importance. I think the players will respond.
Q: What made you decide to the use the designated-to-return tag on Andre Brown?
A: I think it’s realistic. I think it’s going to provide Andre with great incentive and we want that experience for him. He was very disappointed last night, let’s put it that way, frustrated. He’s had some seasons end in this way before and I think this is a way to, perhaps, motivate, inspire him, give him great purpose and hopefully that will help.
Q: Will you need a third running back now? Only two backs…
A: That would be about as thin as you could make it. We’ll have to look at that for the next couple days.
Q: Will Brown need surgery?
A: There is an option there. I think it’s something that is being discussed, let’s put it that way.
Q: Would that make it season-ending?
A: Depends on what you call ‘surgery.’ That probably confused the heck out of you.
A: Well, let’s put it this way, he had 11 plays last night. If I was going into the game and wanted to sort it out, and find out what he could and couldn’t do and give him a chance, it probably would’ve been close to that number in the game. It’s his time. The timing as far as where he’s coming from couldn’t be any better, I don’t think. If he’s been very vigilant, and paid attention to the way that people have been corrected in front of him, then he’s going to give himself the best opportunity. It is a great opportunity for him and I think for our team as well, in terms of what could develop here in this stage of the season for David. It would’ve been a real plus for us to have all three of the backs, Andre included, going down the stretch here, because the contribution of Andre last night was very strong as well. I thought two of his runs were very close to going. He was probably one swipe away on a draw and even on the play he was hurt on, it was a very good and impressive play. That having been said, David steps up and he’s got to do it.
Q: Did this performance match that of the game against San Francisco?
A: I think each one of these things is of its own right…I wouldn’t compare them, but it was a good football game, it was a good contribution. We did get the two turnovers, we didn’t turn the ball over, and we created some opportunities, field position, etc. for ourselves. It was a good game. Was the timing good? You bet it was. Coming off the previous two performances, which were well below par, we felt this was very important and I complimented the players, commended them if you will, when they came back last week, they definitely were serious about understanding the six-game stretch and wanting to do something about it. The game itself, I think, in particular the way we played it, the passion, the effort is a good thing for us to take from that, knowing that is has to be there all the time and that we do have a lot of room for improvement.
Q: Having Antrel back in the nickel spot with the three safeties, what does that add?
A: Outstanding football player. Savvy. He’s been there before. He’s a pressure player as well; you can bring him in the pressure. I thought he reacted very well last night to that spot, made some key tackles in there. Was in very good shape on a lot of the parts of the throwing game. Seemed to not miss a beat in terms of the time that he has been away from that spot. He did a good job with that last night.
A: I don’t know what to expect right now.
Q: Does he have a new injury?
Q: So he just came out of the game as a precautionary measure?
A: I wouldn’t say that. He came out of the game because he felt something, but it’s not anything new. Hopefully, he can deal with it and it’s not going to be anything major, but I can’t speak to that just yet because he’s going to have to go through a couple of days of examination.
Q: Did he re-aggravate the knee?
A: He aggravated it, yeah. That’s a pretty good word.
Q: How did you feel about your red zone effectiveness and ability to convert third-downs?
A: Well, when we challenged our team, we said we needed a breakout game in that area because we hadn’t been very good. Of course, we got one. On the other side of it, they were 67% in the green zone (coming in) and they were 0-2 (last night). We defended well and we also did a good job of getting it in the end zone when we were there. That had always been, for the entire season, an objective to try to improve in that area along with our third-down offensive production, (it) was at 50%, which we’ve been lacking there as well. That was an improvement. In those two areas, of particular challenge, part of the research we had done in that week we were off, etc. It was good to see us respond.
Q: What happened with the timeout at the end of the half?
A: That was me, it was foolish. What we wanted to do, obviously, was create a situation where we were going to block a punt or return one and when the ball carrier went into the crowd I was worried the clock was going to run out so I took my eye off him, ran to the official. The official gave me the timeout. The official should’ve looked at me and said, “You sure you still want it?” No, I don’t want it. It’s a first down, but that was all me.
Q: Why did you go for the touchdown on fourth and goal?
A: What’s wrong with that?
Q: What was the thinking there?
Q: Is Kiwanuka back to being a defensive lineman?
A: Well, according to plan. It depends on what the plan will be. The plan last week was to use him accordingly and he did a nice job in that capacity.
Q: Did you happen to watch RGIII on Thanksgiving?
A: I got home to see probably part of the last quarter. I did see that part of it.
Q: How has he progressed since you played him the first time?
A: I want to wait and see. That’s exactly what I want to do, go back to our game and go through all of those games in between there. Obviously they’re playing well. They’ve caught a little fire and they’ve managed to score on pretty much every situation except for maybe the Pittsburgh game. I’ll be interested in that study. Obviously he’s played well. The one thing that I did see again was the zone-keep, where he came off the left side and made a nice first down. There was literally nobody at home. That phase of the game is still being utilized in a very productive manner.
Q: You’re the first team to play him twice, is that an advantage?
A: It better be.
Q: It’s hard to visualize on film how fast he is:
A: We won’t have any trouble with that one. Fastest guy on the field when we played before.
Q: Is David Diehl’s burner an issue going forward?
A: I hope not. I’m not going to play down these things, these very painful, if you will, type of injuries, but I hope he can play through it.
Q: You have back-to-back games against teams that will have played on the Thursday before…
A: No, it’s all well thought out. It’s to give them extra time.
Q: Is that your theory?
A: It is. It’s a theory. It’s an absolute theory. You’re right on it. Start writing about it.
Q: Does that give them any advantage?
A: I think any time you get a couple extra days rest at this time of the year, it certainly doesn’t hurt you. The coaches aren’t resting.
Q: Thoughts on Eli and his 200th touchdown pass:
A: It means he’s a very, very good quarterback who’s won two Super Bowls and continues in his very young career to do well and the future is bright.