Q: How important is it to control the ball?
A: No different with this week compared to any other week. You always try to be as balanced as you can and whatever it takes to win, whether it is running the ball or throwing the ball. Like I said many times, we tried to run the ball last week and we didn't do it very well and we are going to try to do it again this week. I think we are going to get better at it as we go and as the cohesiveness and the offensive line improves. The familiarity with each other, I just think we are going to get better at it. Q: Have you seen something to say you can turn it around this week in the running game?
A: What I see is a terrific defensive front, as good of a defensive front as there is in football. It looks like teams have broken a couple big ones when they have had a lapse in terms of their run responsibility. What I see on a down in and down out basis is two terrific defensive ends and some very, very powerful tackles. We are going to have our hands full.
Q: Do you have to limit the playbook in any way?
A: You try not to but it is something you have to be conscious of. You have to know what your guys can do and to ask them to do and I think beyond that is inviting or courting disaster. You try to be intelligent about who can do what and you do that anyway. Whether it is physical limitations or physical abilities or mismatches that are favorable to the defense. It is just one more consideration that goes into the play call.
Q: Who needs to step up if Mario can't go?
A: Everybody has to step up because we will have a role for each of them. None of them can do all the things Mario does but each of them can do some of the things he does. We will ask things of those individuals to do what they are capable of doing.
Q: What did you see from Cruz?
A: It was good for him to make a good play. That was important for him just for his confidence and the confidence of the quarterback to see that he would do the right thing. It was terrific that he did it because we needed to handle their blitzes and the very, very high percentage of plays they did. The opportunity was going to be there and Jake Ballard made a nice play on it and he made a nice play on it. The more that happens, the less you get blitzed and the more opportunities you get to beat more conventional coverages.
Q: How much can you expand on Stokley's role?
A: We will keep trying little by little. We are hoping to increase and broaden what we ask him to do but we have only had one day of practice because we lost yesterday. We will see today and tomorrow and Saturday we will make an assessment and ask of him the things that he can do. Certainly we will expand his role a little.
Q: How can Beckum do?
A: We hope that he will play. He has been away for a few weeks and he is one of those guys that needs to do it on the field. Yesterday was just a jog through so today was really the first real day of practice. It was good to have him back. We will ask him to do a couple things and hopefully he will give us some plays on the inside because of the way they play, that is one of the areas you like to go after.
Q: Why have they been able to beat you so much lately?
A: I think they are just a good football team. Last year we were on the field and had the game and weren't able to seal the deal. The year before here, it was the exact some thing. It has been two high scoring affairs and the two times down there it has been the opposite. I just think, they have been very close battles that could have gone either way but unfortunately they have been able to make the plays at the end and we haven't.