Last year this team was as resilient as there was in the league, but this year doesn’t seem to be the same. Why do you think that is?
“I don’t know. It has been obviously a rough year. [We] haven’t played up to our potential. Whether it is turnovers, penalties you know…really the same stuff goes back to when you have to clean up your game. Then really on Sundays go out and execute better.”
Have you sensed that some bad plays or even bad games just linger with this team more than a year ago?
“Speaking for myself, I haven’t really felt that. Every week prepare the same way and go out and expect to play well and expect to go out and compete.”
Talk about the third down issues and the three-and-outs, and does LeGarrette Blount not having success on first and second down put additional pressure on you?
“It really depends. If he is getting it on third and short it makes it a lot easier. Obviously if you are sitting on like a third and twelve [or] third and ten [and] that’s your first throw of the game it is obviously not a high percentage situation anyway.”
Talk about the success you have had in the no huddle this year and as you look forward do you see more of that because it is a passing league?
“You know I do. We have had success in that and I think it’s because we all have a lot of confidence going into those situations. When we get in a three wide receiver side [then] we can go out there and spread it around [and] shoot the ball to different guys. Really get the ball in our playmakers' hands. I think our receivers feel really confident when we get in those passing situations and I also feel really confident.”
Do you hope or want to see more of that and do you see your guys before end of year trying to do different things?
“Yes, I can see that happening. Trying to really get something good going early. We are playing a good team this weekend in the Panthers. Their offense has been playing extremely well. So it is going to be a game where we are going to have to score some points.”
Is one the things you are looking to do these last two games just to get back to executing something like an 80-yard drive?
“Obviously yes. We are going to try to go out and finish this thing out on a high note. Like you were saying with the drives, you want to go out and you want to consistently sustain long scoring drives. That is what we are out to do.”
Are there a lot of learning moments in a season like this?
“Yes, of course. When you are going through a rough year like this you really can see what guys are made of. We have no playoff hopes anymore, but just coming in [on] days like today. With the enthusiasm and going about your job and taking some pride in what you do. You learn a lot about a lot of different guys on the team. I can tell you we have a lot of guys who haven’t by any means thrown in the towel. We are still fighting [and] still preparing. Hoping to go out and get a win this Saturday.”
What is the confidence level like at this point?
“On the offense side of the ball, we just want to get back out there. We want to go out there and finish off the year on a high note. Go out and play well to finish this thing off.”
When you only have 16 plays through the third quarter I think that was what that like is as a quarterback?
“It definitely is frustrating. You want to go out and have an impact on the game, but what did we have four passes in the first half? You kind of feel like it is limited in that situation. Part of that is moving the chains. [You] move the chains [and] you get more opportunities, but yes it is definitely frustrating in that sense not really being on the field [and] not really having the chance to change the game.”
Do you feel like running the ball yourself is something you should do a bit more of if the opportunity is there?
“Yes, when I run it is all instinct. It is not a play where it is like oh I am going to run this play. It’s [my] stepping in the pocket seeing things open up and then taking off. Really this year [I] haven’t had a whole lot of opportunities to be honest. If I do get a chance and I have an opportunity to run [and] get a first down [and] get some yardage you know I am going to do it.”
Have you been waiting more for the pass to open up as opposed to deciding if it is not there I am going to run it?
“Yes, part of that is developing as a quarterback. Going about your progressions and getting all the way through down to the check down.”
How much confidence do you have in Mike Williams going forward?
“I have a lot of confidence in Mike. Mike is a tremendously talented player [and] a hard worker. A guy that I have a lot of faith in. In big moments in the game if there is an opportunity to get him the ball I am going to try and get it to him.”
Do you think you can handle more on this offense if they allow you to do it? Do you want to do more?
“Yes, obviously as a quarterback you want to do as much as you possibly can. I just want to do whatever it takes to win. Regardless of what that is being the quarterback you want to go out and you want to be able to be in a position to make the plays to win the game.”