Q: Back to work quickly, so there’s no time to look back and enjoy. You’ve got to focus on the task at hand. How does this team respond?
A: This is the hand we’ve been dealt. So, we’re going to go out there and make the best of it. We’ll be ready to play on Thursday night. It’s a challenge, and we’re always up for challenges.
Q: How much of a challenge is it to go up against Cam Newton?
A: I don’t know. I’ve never gone up against him. I know he’s a talented individual. I think, mostly for us, about what we do. Even then, he’s so talented. On film, you can do everything right, he’ll find a way to make you look bad. It’s another challenge that we have to be up for, and they’re going to present a lot of things we haven’t seen a lot of in person. I think we’re going to have a good scheme prepared for them, and hopefully, we can execute.
Q: They have a couple of running backs who do different things, plus a quarterback who runs.
A: It’s tough. Like I said, our coordinator did a great job of putting together a game plan on a short week. Our plan, if executed, could give them some trouble. I know they’re going to have some things that we’ve never seen before. This is a scheme, it’s not like we’ve played them a lot, so it’s something we haven’t really seen. We just have to make sure that we run to the ball. That can kind of clear up some of the mistakes that we might make.
Q: Justin, what are the biggest challenges in a short week? Mental?
A: There are a lot of physical challenges, too. For us old guys, not getting the chance to get your body back to the way you want it, like you could with a Sunday game. For us, it’s important for us to make sure that we take care of our bodies, so we can be at full strength come Thursday night.
Q: Justin, a week ago, you guys got shut out in terms of quarterback hits against the Cowboys. You got the sack with Jason, but the hits were not there on the stat sheet again. Was it a better pass rush? Are you still ticked, looking at the zeroes?
A: When I go back and look at the film, I have the opportunity to look at a lot. I think our reputation, in some ways, is hurting us. Sully knows us well, and they did their best to nullify what we do up front. It’s still a young season, we’ll figure out ways to get our pass rush going.
Q: Did they add any extra blockers, or things like that?
A: That’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Q: Justin, when you look at the injury report: Nine guys, starting running back, two of your top three receivers, your most versatile offensive lineman, how beat up is this team right now?
A: You don’t even notice it. It’s a daily occurrence with us. We’ve got many guys who are poised and ready to step in.
RE: the final play in the previous game:
A: I’m trying to be political, but I’m just going to go out and say it, I thought it was a classless play. I thought it had no place in the NFL, and that’s how you get guys hurt. I’ve been in the league for eight years, that’s the first time that I’ve ever seen that. There are guys who have been in the league a lot longer than I have, and that’s the first time they’ve seen it. So, if that’s how he wants to play it, he can do that to them, and everybody else. It’s not going to be an issue, until somebody blows their knee out. Or gets some prime guy hurt on national TV. Like I said, it’s not illegal. Not at all. I don’t agree with it. That’s not me being biased because it’s my teammates. That’s me saying if Perry Fewell told me to dive at a guy’s knees when we’re losing, I would say ‘no.’ That’s just a man on man talk.
Q: It sounds like you’ve been thinking about this for a while.
A: Actually, I wasn’t. Ya’ll egged it on. You did a good job of that.