“With the story that broke yesterday in reference to Eric Wright per the league guidelines I really cannot discuss it and neither can Eric (Wright). I am not trying to be evasive at all, but that’s what comes down from the league and that’s where I am going to be. So start off with that and then anything else I can help you with.”
You may not be able to discuss specifics about that, but the disappointments that you feel about this and do you think that hopefully this is the last issue of it?
“Again, I am not going to comment on the situation. It is just not appropriate. It is not what I am supposed to do. I am going to stay clear of that, but [will] gladly talk about the football team. The game with Oakland [or] whatever else we want to talk about.”
The fact that he was at practice today is that an indication that he could be in the game Sunday?
“Again, he was on the bike. He has an Achilles coming out of the game that is a little bit of a concern. Didn’t know about it after the game. Really didn’t know about it until recently, but I think he will be okay. I cannot predict.”
Can you just talk about your feelings on it?
“No, I would rather not. I don’t think that’s the way to go right now. I will gladly talk about the team though.”
How are you preparing without him for that spot? Are you preparing for someone else to play in his position at this point?
“Well, we always have depth at corner. That is one of the key positions we try to always have depth there. I was really pleased with the job Leonard Johnson did Thursday night. I think he stepped up and played as I mentioned after the game. So that is important. He is getting a lot of repetitions out there today. Myron Lewis got repetitions out there today. We have the depth and we practice. Everybody practices the same just a matter of if they are doing it on the show team or the actual defensive look. We all do individual together. So these guys they prepare as if they are going to be the guy. If they get the chance they are hopefully ready. It is the age old definition when preparation meets opportunity. Hopefully that’s what is occurring if in fact that has to be the case.”
Just to clarify even if Eric Wright is on your roster that Achilles could impact if he plays Sunday?
“Well, it is like any other injury. Yes, exactly right. It is Monday so it is early. They still get their day off then they come back and it is Wednesday so I am hoping that he is going to be fine with the injury. I cannot tell you the future.”
In the event you have to play without both starting corners would you use Ronde Barber more in a slot type situation on passing downs?
“Well, any option those guys are flexible to play anywhere. I am not concerned as much. I think we will have the guys to go do it. I am going to hold serve here until we know what the situation is. Certainly we have continuance plans, but not just because of the things that are swirling now with everything that is going on, [but] just always. We always say okay what is our emergency plan at the nickel? What is our emergency plan here? We always tell guys [to] keep an eye on this [and] keep an eye on that so hopefully all that preparation if needed will serve us well.”
What did you like about Leonard Johnson’s play in particular?
“I think he competed. The stage doesn’t get a lot bigger in the season than on national television game against a team that is doing well offensively. It wasn’t too big for him. I guess that’s the best thing. He competed and made some plays. He had an interception. That other one take a look at it. It is up for discussion too. So two really big time plays and then other ones that go unnoticed; the ones that he does his job. At cornerback position we have talked about many times you do your job the whole night and no one notices. It is only when you are involved in the ball. You the receiver and the ball is where you earn your keep. I thought he did well in those competitive situations.”
Did you get a little bit more out of your pass rush and how did you feel about that part of your game?
“I do think we did. We probably had our worst effort in our pass rush and when I say effort I just mean the result and then one of the better ones this week. All along I have been talking to you guys about consistency and that’s what good teams do. They come out and they consistently perform. Sometimes they peak it a little bit, but they don’t have the valleys. That’s what we are working to and working toward.”
The numbers you have given up against the pass part of that because you are not getting enough pressure from the front four and you have to blitz and use some of the front seven to get in there?
“I don’t feel that. I don’t feel that way. That is why it is frustrating. I think we have made without looking back too much, but every week we look at cumulative just so you always remember what is hurting us. What is hurting us you know? So we watch that as a defensive staff and you just get angry because you know we know better. We do some things that just—we got to eliminate it. Regardless of why that has happened we have to eliminate it because to be a really good defense you cannot give up those chunk plays.”
When you look at Da’Quan Bower’s performance Thursday what did you see on tape and how did he come out of it physically?
“I think it was a really good start for him. I thought it was the best way to start to get him acclimated back into the game. He did a lot of stuff with our strength coach and with our trainers and then he came out and practiced some for what amounted to like 10 days, but it is different playing. He just did third down. Now today he did a little more. He got in there on first and second down a little bit because that’s all we did today was first and second down. He went for some three play sequences which is good. Right? Even in the game if you noticed when we went for two minute drill we didn’t put him out there because then he would have to play repetitive plays. We just wanted to go with third down and off. Now we are taking the next step. That’s playing back to back to back plays. See how he goes today and then if everything is good on Wednesday then we go to four plays. Just try to get him back into this thing slowly. He does have a positive pop to him that is good to have back.”
Can you talk about what has happened since you hired Butch Davis and what his role has been since then?
“He has been a big help. We come from the same background so it is good. He and I have been apart for awhile. So he has different feelings. It is good. From an overall program standpoint he and I talk scheduling [and] those kind of things. Then I think he has been a big help to our defensive staff as well. He has gotten ahead of some things. [He] has watched tape beforehand. Kind of talks to Bill (Sheridan) and the staff about some stuff. Then just having him around in the staff meetings when we talk about issues. Different things come up right? You know Thursday night game, traveling to the west coast—all these different things that come up. It is just another experienced opinion in that room. Same thing with Jimmy Raye forty years of experience in this game. He has been through a lot and that helps me. Especially coming back to this league. I have never been a head coach in this league and certainly a help to have those kinds of guys. At the end of the day I am going to make the decision, but the more information that I can have and the more experience I can have around me hopefully we can avoid some mistakes.”
Is there a concern with you that this team has an issue with Adderall?