A: That’s difficult for me to answer because philosophically they were much different. Their approach was much different. The second game, they were just content to play very conservative, very basic football, and really depended on just being physical, and imposing their will on us, and were successful doing that. We hit them with some big plays versus some pressure. They blitzed us once in the second game and we hit Victor (Cruz) for 47 yards. That was the only blitz we got the entire second game. In the first game, it was a little more traditional, a more typical pattern, where they had a 30-33% blitz and we hit them again with a couple of big plays. Victor hit them with a big one and Brandon (Jacobs) up the sideline for a big one. We had some big plays and great catches, but we didn’t make enough big plays. Bottom line, it came down to the end, we were driving down and they were able to sack us and cause a fumble and that was the difference in the game. It’s amazing the difference in approach that they had. It was as different as you’d get. The success they had you’d anticipate that would be their general feeling going into it.
Q: With their new personnel on defense, how has that improved or changed their defense from what you saw from them last year?
A: They’re good players. They had good players, so I don’t know if there’s a dramatic discernible difference when you look at them. They’ve upgraded some people, but they’ve lost their Patterson’s and Bunkley’s of the world, both whom have been great players for them through the years. Bottom line is they have a great rotation up front, their defensive line is outstanding, they play hard, they’re relentless, and if you’re not ready to match their intensity, it can be a long day. We’re going to need to be at our very best. Certainly the secondary is a little bit different in the fact that the guy that’s been a thorn in our side for years, Asante Samuel, is gone, but Rodgers-Cromartie looks like he’s playing great football. You’ve got two terrific corners to go along with that great front and now they have linebackers that fly all over the field. It’s a tremendous defense. There’s a reason they’re ranked as high as they are defensively.
Q: In the beginning of the year, it looked like you were going with Bradshaw and Wilson as your 1-2 combo, but given Brown’s success, has he become a major contributor?
A: Oh yeah, no question. He’s really played well. He got an opportunity that probably would not have occurred if it wasn’t for the injury to Ahmad (Bradshaw), but he did just what you pray as a coach that a guy will do when a chance presents itself. He went out and made some plays. He’s really changed the dynamic of our run game. He’s run the ball very, very well both games. He’s definitely earned the right to get into the mix and he’ll play some, it’s just a matter of trying to get a feel for what plays certain guys run a little more effectively than others and you’re always hoping that someone gets hot and you feed the hot hand.
A: I don’t think you can. You either can play or you can’t play. As you guys know, he’s as physically tough and courageous as there is. If he’s going to play, he’ll play. There will be some substitution for him, Andre has quite frankly earned the right to get on the field, so he’ll get on the field, and hopefully both will be very effective running the ball.