Recap of yesterday's game:
I pretty much said everything I need to say about yesterday's game, postgame. I was very pleased, of course, with the fact that we came off of a game in which we turned the ball over and really allowed the Seattle team to take full advantage of us to a game where we did not turn it over. We were actually plus-two and the two turnovers that we got were very instrumental in the course of the ballgame. With the exception of giving up the two long plays, I would note that we did have a nice third-and-one stop. We did have an interception late in the game, around the four-minute mark, on a Buffalo team that was driving at that point in time. They were two exceptional plays by our defensive team. Offensively, we were consistent throughout most of the day. We did have a nice mix of run and pass. Because of that, we did have the play action pass going. I was pleased with that. We were able to get the ball into the end zone. Was disappointed, obviously, with the inability to score on the long post ball. To have the field goal blocked. That was disappointing to me as well, to have it tipped. We thought we could line up and kick that field goal with the wind the way it was and the way Lawrence [Tynes] has been pounding the ball. I was disappointed in that. But the late drive, using a lot of time and getting down into position, certainly we would have wanted the touchdown. The simple fact of the matter that on second [down] they made the big play to get minus yardage. We came back and were incomplete with the next ball and kicked a field goal. Our defense then came on and with really what amounts to a lot of time, they were able to take the Buffalo team in four plays and get them out. That was a nice way for us to end the game. It was an outstanding game for us to win against a very good team, a team that had been playing very well with a win over New England and a win over Oakland, a win over the Eagles the week before. We were pleased to be at home. Our fans did an outstanding job for us yesterday, even to the point in recognizing the goal-to-go situations and tried to control the noise in the end zone at that time. I thought the fans were outstanding and I thought that they really shared in the emotion of the day and in the enjoyment of the win.
Q: Any injuries coming out of the game?
A: Just nicks. Just the normal nicks. All of the players finished the ballgame.
Q: How much does this win mean going into the bye week?
A: Well, I don't know that it's any more or any less. I've seen it both ways. It's obvious that it's great to go into a bye week with a win, especially against the quality football team that Buffalo is. There certainly is a sense of having had a goal, of working hard to get to it – It wasn't perfect, obviously – going on the field and finishing the game. We finished the ballgame again. This time we finished it with our defensive team going ahead and creating a four-and-out. There's confidence in that, but I think when the players see the tape there's always an awful lot of room for improvement. But what I'm really interested in is that the enthusiasm and the spirit and the idea of preparation and the hunger for bigger and better things would continue as a strong attitude and it would be contagious as we go forward.
Q: With your general routine, how do you check out what's going on in the rest of the division?
A: If it's a home game and it's a one o'clock game and I get home at six or 6:15, whatever the time is, then Judy and I have the television on. We see the highlights. We watch the red zone stuff. We get caught up that way. I'm aware of, to a certain extent, all the events of the day.
Q: Do you see a big high-low differential in the division?
A: I don't think so. First of all, it's early. There are a lot of games to be played. We're going to go through an awful lot here as we move into the various months. All you can say is that it's very, very, very competitive and everyone looks to be very close.
Q: How is that something you can use for your team?
A: Because every game is critical and so important. What we try to base everything on is the strength of the opponent and we know that our division is highly competitive.
Q: Do you expect guys like Prince and Barden to practice next week?
A: I don't know. Those decisions are being made on a daily basis by all of us, but I'm not ready to tell you exactly where that stands. We'll just continue to monitor the progress here in the next week and see where it is.
Q: in general terms, do you expect a boost from getting some of your injured players back since so much of the preseason and early season was about the players you were losing?
A: That's true, but you didn't ask me about that. The question was about somebody that is a PUP player and the other guy has been injured for quite some time. We are very much aware, as I said yesterday, and very optimistic that we are going to get some players back. I think it will be a nice boost in the arm. I don't know exactly when the individuals will be cleared, but hopefully we'll be in a position where they are ready to go when we're talking game week and we get closer to our next opponent.
Q: What do you want to accomplish in the bye week?
A: We have a number of things, as we analyze ourselves, that we will put together in terms of cutups of our team, of our situation – offense, defense, special teams. There are areas in each that we'll try to focus and concentrate on. The third down stuff with the offensive team, obviously. Just the ability to recognize that we have more and more work to do with our defense in terms of stopping the run, stopping the big play. We'll continue to work on that. We're going to grind it out with our field goal protection and try to do a better job there as we go forward here. In each category – offense, defense, special teams – there's three or four things that kind of stand out, which have to be enhanced as we go forward. It's all about improvement. It's all about using your time properly and so we'll try to take a good hard look at ourselves and not only just the coaches, but the players as well.
Q: On the blocked field goal, was that too much penetration or did Tynes not get the ball high enough?
A: I think we had penetration and we had hands in the air. You worry on a long field goal about the thought of trajectory of the kick, if there's any kind of adjustment that the kicker would make because of the distance factor. I don't think that was the case here. I think there was some penetration and someone got their hand up in the line of flight and tipped the ball.
Q: Have you been surprised with how effective you've been with the guys who have had to step up for the injured players?
A: No, because I think the process of the coaching, the preparation, the practices. I think that's where it all starts. Some people have had opportunities that have come their way because of the circumstance that we were in and a lot of people are taking advantage of it. I look at it from that standpoint.
Q: How is Kenny Phillips?
A: As far as I know, he's fine. He did have a little strain in the rib area, but it didn't prove to be anything.
Q: What about cleaning the defense up so that these long runs are 10-yard runs instead of 80-yard runs or passes?
A: How about two-yard runs and incompletions. That's what I'd like to see. I think each play has a unique aspect to it and that particular play, on the run, we did have an alignment issue, we did have a defender who was out of position and you did have a very skilled back that found a gap that was supposed to be covered that wasn't. And then because of the coverage we were in, found himself literally free in the secondary, running pretty free and easy relatively quickly. And the angles that our people had weren't great and he was fast enough to take advantage of it. But it all started, you're right, at the line of scrimmage with an error. A gap responsibility was not fulfilled. There could have been a case where someone was blocked off from visually seeing it as it developed, just for a split second, and then didn't get into position. That's basically the way I saw it.
Q: What do you need to do to get the running game going? Better blocking?
A: Better blocking. Better running. Better assignment work. I think the combination just as we tore it down, took it apart last week, started to improve a little bit this past week. I think that first goal line touchdown run, you don't see the back enter the end zone without being touched very often and that was pretty well blocked. I just use that as an example.
Q: How important was it to the morale of the group to have that big run late in the game?
A: It was a tremendous boost. That particular play also was very well blocked and we got a big block from Mario Manningham from the receiver position.
Q: Schedule for rest of the week?
A: We're meeting in the morning, we'll be here tomorrow. We're going to meet and get going, get some work done tomorrow.