Q: Are you still perplexed about the last two weeks and not getting the results?
A: I think we all are. We’ve prepared better than what we’ve played. We haven’t made plays. I think if you look at the tape, we’re in position to make plays, and we haven’t made plays.
Q: Your team ranks 30th in the NFL in yards allowed this season; is that frustrating with a lot of the same talent from last year?
A: You know, when you look at it, you can say yes. It’s frustrating for me and for the defense to give up the big play. That’s been our nemesis all year. Have we worked to eliminate the big play? Yes, we have. Have we been able to do that? No, we haven’t. I can’t tell you why, but yeah, that can be a point of frustration?
Q: Where have all the forced turnovers gone?
A: We preach ‘em. We work on ‘em. Again, we’ve been in position, we haven’t made a football play for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been in position to make football plays, but it hasn’t gone our way. They say turnovers come in bunches and sometimes we get them in bunches, and right now, we’re on a dry spell, a two-game dry spell. We’re going to work like the dickens to get turnovers in this football game.
Q: When you switched to the 4-4 defense last game, was that you reaching for a solution?
A: I used that combination earlier during the season. I used something very similar earlier during the season in the San Fran game. Just not with the same exact people, but something very similar to that. It was something that we wanted to bring back in order to be more effective in our run-game.
Q: There wasn’t a lot of
A: He’s been playing in some of the sub-package situations. Obviously he’s been injured and he’s missed some practice time.
Q: What would it take to get the defense playing the way it has in the past?
A: They just have to make up in their minds…I think they’ve been playing hard, but they have to make up in their mind that we have to make some plays. We have to get a spark from somebody. Somebody has to go through and make a football play and get everybody going, either offensively, defensively or special teams. We need somebody to make a big play for us and get us rolling.
Q: Can you tell how much the injuries have affected
A: That’s a hard question for me to answer. Is he as effective as he was at the end of last year right now? No, but I can’t tell. Can I tell? Can’t say I can tell. I watch him every day. Some days he surprises me with what he does and some days it’s Justin. When you say, ‘can you tell,’ what do you mean by that?
Q: Does he look like the same player he was last year?
A: I think all of our guys, not only Justin, I think Justin is trying to play hard, but he’s not making any plays. Just like our guys haven’t made any plays in the last couple weeks, that’s just a function of us not making plays. You have to make plays in the football game to win football games.
Q: Are you disappointed in some of your veterans and leaders that they haven’t been able to produce?
A: I wouldn’t say disappointed. We’re frustrated that we’re not able to do that. We had a caused-fumble in the game Sunday and it went the other way. It seems like every time we had something that we made a play or we had a momentum-changing play, something went wrong for us. That’s just the breaks of the game.
Q: If you’re getting them in a position to make plays and you can see that they’re there on tape, what more can you do as a coach?
A: You just continue to coach and emphasize, ‘Hey, you’re in that spot, you either have the wrong leverage,’ or like we missed a couple tackles and that type of thing, we’re in the right positions. We need to wrap-tackle. You have to emphasize the things that they’re not doing to finish the play because we’re in position to make those plays.
A: And the guy made some outstanding football plays. That’s what I’m saying. They made some plays. He was in position, he challenged the receiver. He challenged the reception point and the other guy went out and made an outstanding play. Reverse of that, we have done that. We have been able to do that, but for the last couple of weeks, we haven’t done that as well.
Q: Is seems like they went right at Corey Webster, even though
A: We thought they would attack both corners, so I can’t say I was surprised they would go one way or the other. We thought they would attack both corners and we had pressures, we had coverages to try to help those guys in both situations.
Q: At this time of year, how much have you guys missed not having
A: Anytime you don’t have a veteran player playing…his presence is always missed because that’s a veteran player that’s a leader, that brings something to the table that’s different. You kind of change your plan or you do something different because he has experience and knowledge that the other player may not have. You might not run the same coverages, etc., so that plays a part of it. It’s always good to have that veteran in there.
Q: Earlier this season, it seems like you were moving Justin Tuck around more, defensive tackle, standing up, etc. Was that an attempt to get him going?
A: That’s part of our package. That’s part of our plan. We think he’s such a versatile athlete that we can do some things like that with him. We also think that we can do some things like that with JPP. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. It just depends on how we study ourselves and what we think the opponent sees and how we can change that up.