HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, MONDAY, NOV. 17, 2008**
(On any schedule adjusting with playing three games in 12 days)
Well, we've been addressing that for the last several weeks, the importance of taking care of themselves and rest and doing the right things and extra treatments. Thus far, it's gone pretty well. There's not much we can do from this point forward other than we're going to stay with a normal routine and maybe back down a little bit on Wednesday. And then of course next week becomes a real challenge. But the caveat is that, not to look ahead, once we get through [the next two games] there will be a number of days to rest and recover as we get back on a normal schedule.
(On the Brandon Jones celebration and ensuing penalty)
The rules are very specific. You can't go to the ground and celebrate, period. That [rule] in particular has probably been in for two or three years. They're specific and that's the way it is. You can be excited about a big play, provided it's a scoring play and provided you don't do anything orchestrated with an opponent, period. I think Brandon was not clear about the specifics from the standpoint that you can't go to the ground. Now, there's an exception. You can go to the ground to take a knee to give thanks and pray but you can't go to the ground for any other reason.
(On if he'll talk to Brandon Jones about it)
It will be addressed, yes.
(On the injury to Eric King)
At this point, we're not going to jump to conclusions and make a decision. We haven't ruled Eric out [for the season]. We're going to evaluate the situation over the next couple days and we'll see what we do with it. There's a chance that Eric could return. We just don't know and are waiting on several other opinions.
(On who would have been next on the depth chart after Cortland Finnegan and Chris Carr)
Marcus Robertson and then Chuck Cecil. (laughter)
(On if Eric King needs surgery)
I think surgery will be required to correct this but we're going to get several opinions.
(On the overall performance of reserve players in the last few weeks)
No, it's kind of an expectation that we have. We saw it in training camp, we saw the development and the staff has done a great job developing the younger players. We expected to see it happen. It's not a surprise to us that Jacob Ford and David Ball, and obviously the rookies, but those two in particular are playing well and filling in. The same thing with Stephen [Tulloch] and Ryan [Fowler] and we have a good foursome from that standpoint. Again, as I said after the game, that was an exceptional effort by Chris [Carr]. The load that we continued to place on him throughout the game. It's one thing to play corner in the National Football League but it's another to continue with your special teams duties and responsibilities and that was an exceptional effort.
(On making adjustments during a game)
Well, I think they're in tune with what we're doing, they're in tune with the plan. The staff does a great job of preparing them during the week for what we're going to do and if there's a change mid-stream, they do a great job explaining to them what they're going to do and why. That's particularly the reason for the success in the second half. Defensively, to hold them to 84 yards and one conversion on third down and the sacks and everything was a great job based on some adjustments. Same thing offensively. We didn't do as well as we would have liked, as I said in the first half, but we made adjustments in the second half and we made plays.
(On what coming back to win on the road does for the team's confidence level)
Well, I don't think there's ever been a lack of confidence as far as the club is concerned. The players understand that every week you're going to play an opponent that has a chance to make plays and things happen. Balls bounce and you give up plays but they believed that as long as you keep playing, you have a chance to win. So there was no sense of panic whatsoever. Now, three or four years ago there may have been a sense of panic in that locker room. But yesterday at halftime there was no sense of panic. It was attention to detail, it was the staff making the adjustments and them going out and making some plays.
(On if he's optimistic about Kyle Vanden Bosch returning to the lineup this week)
Yeah, I think we have a chance to get Nick [Harper], Jason [Jones], Justin [McCareins] and Kyle back. They'll all be day-to-day. The only person we've ruled out, as you know, is Eric King.
(On converting only one of 12 third-down opportunities)
We had some drops, some missed opportunities. We had one of them right before the half where we got penetration and got knocked down, which was the beginning of a negative chain of events right before half. You don't want to see that happen. If you're going to win it you better be doing some good things on first and second down offensively and that's what we did. It's nice to start the game off on a 47-yard completion, it kind of set the tone there.
(On tight ends not catching as many balls as usual)
I think it has to do with the number of pass attempts, I think we had 23 attempts. We just didn't put it in the air as much. We did, for the most part, go down the field to the receivers. But [the tight ends] are still there, their presence was there. Sometimes, I think you look at it as, well, "If the guy makes a catch, he's playing well." But a lot of times the tight ends are clearing things out for the receivers, for the check-downs and as long as they're running the right routes then they have a chance. The two throws to the tight ends, I think, were [Kerry Collins'] best throws of the day, the throw to Bo [Scaife] and the throw to Alge [Crumpler].
(On Justin Gage's touchdown receptions)
It was really pretty simple, he ran right by the corner. Just ran right by the corner and Kerry [Collins] put the ball up. He's been doing what we've asked of him each week and this time the timing was there and he made the plays.
(On if he thinks Justin Gage has fully healed up from his knee injury)
It's difficult, especially when you're coming off an MCL sprain to the extent of which his was, and you've got his stature. The MCL is a difficult injury to overcome specifically I think for the taller guys. He just didn't have the stability even with coming back for a couple weeks. But it's there now and we see it on the practice field, he's free of the brace, he's running well and his concentration's back. He made the plays he needed to make.
(On if he's concerned about the past two slow starts in the first half)
No, we have to get some things corrected. Defensively, we had eight missed tackles. We had a couple opportunities to knock the quarterback down and we didn't. We had our hands on a couple balls. Those kinds of things that we need to improve on. Same thing offensively. We had some breakdowns and a few communication issues but we're satisfied with the win. We're going to continue to try and get better and we have to get better, obviously, with this week's opponent.
(On the roughing the passer penalty on Tony Brown)
You know, it's hard to see whether or not he makes contact with the helmet. But Walt [Coleman] said he wouldn't have called it had he not made contact with the helmet-to-helmet. Again, as I talk about these things, oftentimes they're going to give the quarterback the benefit of the doubt and I think that's what Walt did yesterday.
(On Justin Gage beating the cornerbacks on his touchdowns)
The first one was a double move on a well-designed, schemed play that we figured was going to give us a chance and he did what he was asked to do. The second one, he simply ran by the cornerback. There was a variation of man-free coverage and he ran by the cornerback and Kerry [Collins] made a good throw.
(On if Mike Heimerdinger's game plans have been what he's expected)
Well, what we're doing offensively is, we're doing two things. We're expanding on the things that we've been doing and taking advantage of some things. We are breaking tendencies, I guess that's to say three things, and then we are able to put into the game plan things that we think we'll take advantage of our defensive opponent. The players, for the most part, are grasping those concepts and we're carrying over from the practice field to the game.
(On his early impressions of the Jets)
Well, they're knocking the quarterback down, they're stopping the run and Brett [Favre] has thrown 18 touchdown passes. Their running back is exceptional and they have one of the better returners in the game. They're playing good in all three phases and they've beat some quality opponents and you can never afford to take a deep breath as long as Brett Favre is on the opposite sideline, that's just how he is. You can get up by 45 and he'll come back and beat you by seven, that's just the way Brett's been throughout his career. Not that I'm saying we're going to get up by 45. (laughter)
(On if the Jets will benefit from having a few extra days to prepare after they playing Thursday)
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know how much more the benefit is going to be when we come off the Thursday game and come back and play Sunday. The priority is going to be rest and I'm sure that's where their priority lies. Rest and get ready. It gives the staff a little more time so you may have to take that approach where you have to prepare for the unexpected because they've had a few extra days.
(On taking what the opposing defense gives you and if that's related to Kerry Collins' passing numbers the past few weeks)
We've had good game plans since day one that give us the ability to run the football and complement it with play-action passing and drop backs on third downs. When any game is said and done, you're probably drawing on anywhere between 30 and 40 percent of what's in a game plan. So you're able to carry things over. When something's not working, Mike [Heimerdinger] can turn the page on the call sheet and find something that is and that's what he's been doing a good job of.
(On why Hall of Fame-caliber players like Brett Favre try to stay in one place for so long)
Well, I think the reasons for that are obvious. Guys who start a career hope to finish it in the same place. Now, with free agency it's a little more difficult. There's always going to be a unique situation and in this situation was clearly unique to the Packers. We won't really know what happened other than the fact that they drafted a quarterback several years ago and there was a commitment to retirement and then Brett [Favre] decided to change his mind and the rest is all the Packers information. It's obvious right now the way Packers are playing and the way the Jets are playing that both teams have benefitted from it.
(On if we'll ever see another situation like the one between the Packers and Brett Favre)
I don't think any club wants to lose a Hall of Fame player. I don't think there's anything good about that. In the event that it happens, you can wish the parting player well and hope you can move on. Whether we see it again, history is only going to show.
(On addressing the 10-0 talk with the team)
There will be some discussions regarding a variety of subjects when the players come back but I can assure you that the main topic of discussion will be the Jets because that's the approach we've taken all year.
(On if there is any extra incentive for the team about clinching a playoff spot soon)
You know, the Jets are playing real good right now and we're going to have our hands full. Despite the fact that we've played them the last couple years, they've different. They have a different quarterback under center that makes them special so we're going to direct all of our attention to the New York Jets this Sunday at home.