Q: How concerned are you about
A: I still believe that Eli will bounce back and will play the way that he has played (before) at a championship level. I certainly don’t quite understand where we are and why — there certainly are contributing factors in terms of what we’re doing. We’ve had some miscommunication in the last couple of games — not so much today — between our ‘back and receivers. We had very few plays that were down the field, and when we did go down the field, we had an opportunity to score there and it didn’t happen. I think it’s a combination of things and it’s certainly, we need to play better at all those positions (on offense).
Q: Tom, is there anything physically wrong with Eli?
Q: It was suggested on TV this morning that he may have a ‘tired arm’ ...
A: I certainly would ask him about that, but I’ve asked him about that over the last couple of weeks. I’ve asked him how he feels, and he responds he feels good.
Q: What was the thought behind deferring the opening kickoff?
A: There were a number of reasons. I really wanted the ball in the second half. To start (with) the ball in the second half, as there’s quite a differential between the number of points we had scored in the second half and the number of points they had scored in the second half. I also wanted the wind — I thought we’d kick the ball out (of the back of the end zone), which we didn’t do. I thought that if you looked at the numbers with the exception of the (Denver) Broncos game, they hadn’t really been much of a second half team scoring-wise. So I thought that would be an advantage for us.
Q: Does what happened today affect your schedule for this week (heading into your team’s bye)?
A: No. I mean, I’ll stick with what I have planned. I’ve always done it that way. Hopefully, they’ll get some rest and they’ll be a little bit more fresh when they get back.
Q: How concerned are you with the past couple of weeks and the second half of the schedule?
A: No, I wouldn’t even reference that. Obviously, I fully expected to win today, be 7-3 and have a much better approach to the bye week. It didn’t happen, so you have to be man enough to understand that hey, there’s nobody to blame but ourselves. I’m concerned with the way that we’ve played. It’s not the second half of the schedule or anything of that nature; it’s how we’ve played in the last particular couple weeks. Going forward, that’s something we’re going to have to change if we have any chance (of making the playoffs).
By winning today, I thought we’d be able to put ourselves in a better position … In terms of we have the bye and other people in our division would be playing. It didn’t happen, so we have to deal with it when we get back.”
Q: You talked about the unbelievable nature of some of the turnovers — the two Eli interceptions, he was obviously under duress ...
A: He was under duress a lot today. I think he got — what, (they had) four sacks and another seven or eight hits on the quarterback today. The protection was not what you would want; it’s a combination. Again, there were times when perhaps the protection was good and we were holding the ball a little bit longer (than usual) due to people not being open or whatever. I’m not going to speculate now until I see the tape. For whatever reason, it’s a lot like the situation that took place with the punt.
We punt well and have the ball out of bounds and then we have a guilty party (with a penalty of) a false start, bring the ball back, punt the ball (again) down the middle of the field and he brings it back to what, the 12 yard line. That was the way in which our game started. We had a mistake in the coverage, they got an easy touchdown. That’s not the first time they got an easy touchdown — they got an easy touchdown starting off against (the) Washington (Redskins) for example. We figured we’d battle back, then the punt return put us in a bad spot so we were climbing uphill most of the day.
I honestly thought if we could get that thing to 17-10 we would have an excellent shot and we ended up kicking a field goal there instead of being able to score a touchdown there.”
Q: The fact that Eli made those throws, though, he’s gotten away from that — getting blown up, throwing the ball away and/or taking the sack. Is that a sign he’s pressing to get something going?
A: Sure he is, there’s no question. I’m sure he’s trying to do everything in his power to right things. If you listen to him in terms of how he talks to his teammates, he talks exactly that way. We have a good team. We’ve done things very, very well here. We’ve got to snap out of whatever’s going on and back to playing the way we’re capable of playing. You hear him talk like that and you’re sure he figures it’s on his shoulders to spearhead that move but it just didn’t happen.
I give them credit, too. There’s a team that’s lost four games in a row but got some momentum early based on the way we played, and you couldn’t be in a better situation if you’re trying to find confidence than the way the game started for them.
You’ve had quite a few emotional games in a row, divisional games and the game against Pittsburgh last week. Do you think this team is a little bit, I wouldn’t say spent, but emotionally gassed?
I wouldn’t, I can’t go there. They will benefit from the bye, I will go that far.