Can you talk about the challenges of having to play a game on Thursday after playing on Sunday?
“Well I think the key is that you have to make sure that your guys are physically able to perform. You sit there and you can say well that’s the same. It is not exactly the same because we have to travel, but that’s life. We will have a Thursday game here in the future where the other team has got to travel. The reality is none of that matters. We have to be ready to play and wish I could quote what time the game starts. I don’t even know, but whatever time that is we need to be ready at that time and be able to play our best. That is the goal we have thought it through. We have a detailed plan [on] how we are going to get it accomplished. Now we got to go execute it.”
Monday and Tuesday are usually your game planning days and does that remain the same this week?
“Well, you have to do some work in advance. That’s the only way you can get it done and then the guys went right to work. Something to eat and then get to work on the game, last night. So it is definitely sandwiched in, but that’s the way it goes.”
Have you had a chance to go back and look at those goal line plays was it blocked up any of them and what was not happening allow?
“Combination. It is never just one thing as always, right? Sometimes we had it of the three. Sometimes we had it blocked. Sometimes we didn’t. One time was a scheme issue I think. So one, one, and one probably if you can, but it is usually never just one. It is a mix.”
You said you wanted to show a lot of variety of looks at Drew Brees and was there one particular formation that he kind of exploited?
“No, I mean give Drew (Brees) credit. He is one of the all time greats at that position. We made too many critical errors that we have not made. You may whoop us one on one and that is fine. That is part of the game. We made errors where we turned some guys loose and you can’t do that at this level and especially with a quarterback like Drew. He is not going to miss the open man.”
At the same time you didn’t make Brees uncomfortable?
“Well, I wish we would have done that more. No doubt that the pass rush and the pass coverage go hand in hand. [It] was not our best day in getting him off the spot for sure, but some of those were mental too that we have to get straightened out. Who knows maybe it was [a] combination of what they were doing and what we were doing. Maybe it took off on us a little bit. I don’t know. We got to get it cured quickly because you can’t make mistakes like that in critical situations. We have to coach it better as I said last night and then we have to execute it better.”
Your team has not had a sack in a couple of weeks and is Da’Quan Bowers a solution there and any chance he plays this week?
“Well (Da’Quan) Bowers as it has been all along is totally a medical issue. When he is medically cleared to play then it becomes a football issue. Until that point, I can’t really tell you. I wouldn’t rule anything out. We just have to wait and see how he feels as we move forward in that kind of step by step progression.”
These four losses have been close and do you take any satisfaction from that or is it that much more frustrating?
“Look, at the end of the day it is a win or loss, but certainly I look at the production within the win or the loss. We are improving in certain areas by leaps and bounds. That is great. We have to cut down on some of the mistakes. There are a lot of things we are doing well. Defensively you look at some of the categories where we are really doing well. Those are critical categories. TFLs, getting our hands on the football with interceptions, and rushing defense. Our Achilles has been the deep pass. Sometimes like I said getting whooped one on one and sometimes we made errors which exposed a situation unfortunately. The good with the bad offensively I think some things have really improved. I think Josh (Freeman) is playing at a high level [and] the receivers. We are running the ball, not quite as well as I would like to, but the last two weeks we are getting better. You just kind of got to put it all together. The kicking game probably we didn’t do nearly what we wanted to in the kicking game yesterday. We need to raise that level a little bit. Some of that is the obvious. We missed a field goal and that kind of stuff. Some of the hidden stuff isn’t there either that we need to get better at.”
Did you feel that was going to be a work in progress or did you expect those things to be already corrected?
“I didn’t look at it anyway, because as you know, when we started this thing I had no idea how this group of guys would react once we got under the fire of a game. I see where we are now. I like this team. I like the guys, they’re trying their guts out. As a coaching staff we have to get better and as a team we have to get better, so for me to sit here and say I thought we’d be here, here or here, I’d be making that up.”
The coverage bust, are they understandable for you or are they just not justifiable?
“They’re not justifiable, but it’s not just the player or the coach. It’s all of us. It’s us. So it’s not justifiable. There’s not just a reason for that to happen. But it’s not where some would say the player is making a mistake or the coach is, it’s in between and we have to do better together. That’s the kind of group that we have here. I’m not worried about it. Together we’re going to get this and get it right and we’re going to win but you can’t have those plays.”
Have you seen progress in that regard?
“I don’t think it’s been like a - when you get whooped one on one you get whooped. That happens. They’re under contract and they’re professional players. The ones that are unacceptable are the ones, where, when you get whooped you either make a decision to keep coaching and get them better or you go get somebody else to do it. When you make a bust, then you’ve got to look at it, and it’s first here, the coach, then the players and we all together have to get it fixed. So it’s totally different to me when I evaluate a contest. Those are inexcusable. Getting whopped, that happens, that’s why it’s a game.”
A lot of fans are confused on what happened on that field goal and the penalty so can you explain what happened there?
“You can add me to the list. Quite frankly, it’s a legal play. We’ve done it before; we did it in the Washington game, right before the half. Exact same thing. One time we went left to right the other time we went right to left, but other than that it’s the exact same thing. So I’m not quite sure. But like I said, I know what we do and I feel very comfortable with it. Now, the fact of the matter is it got called Sunday, so I don’t know if you should be looking for that anymore because that would be downright stubborn, right, But as far as I’m concerned it was a legal play.”
Did you wind up with a guy over center even on that play that got pushed backwards?
“It’s close. When you look at field goal rushes and punt rushes, they’re always very close. Is a piece of my shoulder blade, I don’t know. I’m not right in there when the guy has got a better view. But if we did, if we even make it close that’s our fault. We have to make sure that it’s not even close, that we’re in a legal alignment.”
What have you seen of your evaluation of LeGarrette Blount that would leave you to believe he is the best option at the goal line?
“Well, again, previous years, I’ve watched some of the tapes, but I’m not going to sit here and say that I book that as what I think a player can do here, because there are all different circumstances that go behind. Scheme, where their mind is, all those things. But for us, you go back to the preseason and the Miami game when we pounded it away and the Washington game and he pounds it in there and puts it in the end zone. And I think it’s after the preseason, we made that, we kind of felt that way, and then we kept going with it. But all these decisions, whether it’s who’s playing receiver, who’s playing running back, kick returner, front line, doesn’t matter, everything is always being constantly evaluated and we’ll continue to do that. As you have a larger body of results to make a decision off of, I hope that we make the best decisions with more information.”