Coach Tom CoughlinQ: What happened with Corey Webster?**
A: Evidently he has an issue with his hip flexor, in that area somewhere. and he couldn't practice yesterday and couldn't practice today.
Q: Would it be Aaron Ross in that spot if he can't go?
A: We have some guys who can go and Aaron is the guy that would go right away. We have, fortunately, a couple of guys who can play in there.
Q: Do you keep Terrell Thomas in the slot?
Q: What has your team done to help your spirits in this very tough week for you?
A: Let's not go there, please. Everybody's working hard to get to where we want to be.
Q: Was the Webster thing something that lingered from the game, or was that something new that came up?
A: That's not something I'm aware of because he practiced Wednesday.
Q: With Terrell Thomas, do you still see rust at all from the two years missed?
A: Naturally. I've seen progress, too. I thought he played hard last week. It wasn't perfect, but he played hard. He'll tackle, he'll come and hit you. Little by little.
Q: What do you think it is about your defensive coaches that have always been able to adapt the pass rush if an opposing offense adapts to you guys?
A: That's what we'll have to do. That's what our job is, to try to figure out how to get people in positions where they can make the greatest contribution.
Q: How's Allen Bradford been coming along?
A: He's coming. He's had a lot to learn and he's been behind, but little by little.
Q: What was the key to your success against Cam Newton last year?
A: The five turnovers helped.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: As a secondary, you guys have done a real good job of limiting the big play the first two weeks against two quarterbacks who really like to fling it. What's been the key to that?**
A: Just plain technique. Understanding the defense. Understanding where the defense's strong and weak points are and just playing the defense that's been called. Focusing in on our task at hand.
Q: Aaron was a guy who didn't get to play any snaps for you guys defensively last week, and now it looks like he might have to start for you on Sunday. How difficult is that, to not play at all and all of a sudden you're not only playing, but you're starting?
A: I think we've all gone through that at some point in our career. We understand the nature of this business. The way we look at it in our defensive room is that everyone is a starter. You never know what's going to take place. It can be before the game, it can be during the course of a game, the guy has to be ready and step in. Ross has been a starter in this league for a number of years. He's played multiple positions for us, so we're not looking for any kind of letdown, we're looking for Ross to go in there and play ball, as he did going into the game against Dallas.
Q: Last year against Carolina you had an unfriendly confrontation with a camera. You thinking about that at all going back there?
Q: How different is this offense than the one you guys saw last year?
A: How are they different? Different people. They have a lot of the same weapons. They may run their offense a little bit differently, but at the same time, you know who their playmakers are and we understand who they're trying to get the ball to. We're just going to play ball from there.
CB Aaron Ross Q: What's your mindset going into Sunday with Corey Webster being listed as doubtful?**
A: The same as it is every week. I go in preparing like I'm a starter. You never know what's going to happen, like the first week when Prince went down and I had to step in and know the plays, know what was going on, know the formations, know what Romo likes to do. So I prepare like I'm a starter every week, no matter if I play or not.
Q: Is it different being prepared to be the starter as opposed to knowing you most likely will be the starter? It seems like you're going into this game as the starter.
A: Honestly, it's the same. I prepare like I'm going to play every week. If I don't, I'm going to be the biggest cheerleader on the sideline, and if I do, I'm going to be ready to play and ready to help the team win.
Q: Is this the role you signed up for? Last week you played all week at special teams and this week you can be in line to be the starter.
A: Yeah. Coming in, I really didn't know what my role was going to be. We never talked about it, but every week I'm going to prepare like I'm the starter, no matter if I play or not. To me, it's just a joy to be in the league. There are so many guys that wish they could be in my seat, so I'm going to be ready to play. If I play, I play. If I don't, I'll be the biggest cheerleader.
Q: Was last week hard for you?
A: No, it wasn't. Of course, I'm a competitor and I want to play, but Prince and Web are the starters, Terrell is the nickel and when they need me I'm ready.
Q: Manning and Romo both can air it out and yet there haven't been a lot of big plays against the secondary. Why do you think that is?
A: I think we're doing a better job in being on the same page. We do a lot of film study together in the classroom and when we get out of here. I think that was the biggest downfall last year with talking to those guys that there were too many mental busts. Guys weren't on the same page and this year that's something that we don't want to let happen.
Q: How do the study habits compare to when you were here the first time?
A: Actually, we were doing a lot of studying back home. I don't know what happened or what went on when I wasn't here, but when I was here I know we used to go back to either my place or Kenny Phillips' place and get a little extra studying in.
Q: Do you look forward to showing the coaches what you can do?
A: Of course. I love to play. I love to compete. I'm a fierce competitor, so anytime I get a chance to go out there, I'm super excited. You never want to go in the game due to an injury, but that's part of the game now. Injuries happen and I just have to be ready to play when my number is called.
Q: Are you guys doing a lot of studying out of the facility?
A: We are. We meet up at my house at around 8 o'clock on Wednesday or Thursday nights. We meet extra after work in the film room in there, and I think it helps us a lot. It's just one of those things with the league becoming a passing league, so there's so many routes and concepts that you have to learn in three days. You need a lot more studying than the CBA allows you to do.
Safety David Baas
First, you can't turn the ball over. And then if you add in the fact that when we need those crucial plays and we're not executing them, and that's all areas, it hurts. It doesn't help our defense, it doesn't help our team, so that's the biggest thing. There's no reason to panic. We just have to do things better and we will. Obviously a couple of years ago we heard the same song and dance, we were last in the league in rushing, whatever it was, and we won the Super Bowl. Things take time to click but we don't really have that time. This will be a sense of urgency. We need to get it fixed right away because we have to dig ourselves out of this hole that we dug ourselves into.
Q: Yesterday Coughlin said that he felt like the offensive like was improving, that the first couple of weeks there was some shuffling around and that, when things got together, they've sort of been improved.
A: Yeah, that's hard. Injuries happen and obviously you don't want them to, but you have to be able to adjust and the people that come in there have to be able to perform. Obviously it's better when you have the group together and they're practicing all the time but, all across the board, everybody has to do their job better and we will be fine. I feel like the chemistry is definitely there, there are just little things that need to be done better that will clear a lot of this stuff up.
Q: Is there a sense that, when you look at the numbers, this can't continue, that the odds are against it?
A: Yeah, exactly. And that's the thing. But obviously everything helps that. When we're throwing the ball so much, you have a greater chance of throwing a pick or something like that. It's definitely something that you sit there and think that we can all help each other and make this better, even out, and have the type of offense that we want. We know that we can have it. That's the biggest thing is just continuing to work at it and obviously it doesn't help that we dug ourselves in the hole. We know this is a huge game for them, too. Two 0-2 teams that don't want to be there, it's defiantly going to be a challenge but we can't sit here and panic. It's a long season. We just have to keep going and keep improving.
Q: In talking to the guys this week, you guys are sort of all on the same page with one guy missing an assignment on different plays. It could be one guy on one play, a different guy on a different play. What are you guys doing to all get on the same page?
A: The communication has to be absolutely clear. Everybody has to know what they're doing. There can't be any indecision, and when you know what to do, you can play fast. That helps out a lot in terms of, you go back to your basics, your fundamentals and that just comes natural when you can just react. I feel like everybody's helping each other, trying to improve that, get people on the same page. It's just the little things that make a big difference. We're working to address those and get that right and I think everything else will balance out and we will be going the way we want to.