HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, JAN. 1, 2009**
(On what he hopes to accomplish going full pads)
Well, you actually play in your pads on Sundays so I thought it would be good. We talked about it earlier in the week, the pads. We'll probably put them back on again next week. It's all about maintaining your tempo and your timing and keeping your pad level down. We practice very well without them but with the week off and the extra time it made sense to use them today.
(On if the players were excited to wear pads at practice)
I doubt it (laughter). If they're not upset at something then you're not doing the right things. No, they're fine. They understood why we did it and they're fine.
(On if there are any differences approaching this bye week compared to the one during the season)
Well, what we're trying to create is just competition on the field in the drills and different scenarios and situations and that's what we've done thus far. You do that and try to keep your edge and at the same time they're taking care of themselves inside and getting the extra lifts and taking advantage of the extra time.
(On any differences in the mentality of the team heading into the playoffs compared to previous postseasons)
Well, certainly they've had a lot more time to think about it. Obviously, when you clinch a playoff berth a couple weeks before the season's over it's different than clinching a playoff berth at 4:00 on a Sunday in Week 17 so they've had more time to think about it. But their mindset's going to change. It will change very quickly Sunday afternoon as soon as we know who our opponent is.
(On how much last year's playoff game in San Diego will help the younger players)
Well, they'll be able to reflect back and they understand. They witnessed firsthand the difference in intensity level from the regular season to the playoffs. Again, we have a lot of guys that have been deep in the playoffs and played in a lot of playoff games. The experience is worthwhile; you think you could benefit from it.
(On having veterans like Kerry Collins and Kevin Mawae leading the offense)
It's a benefit to have players on your team with playoff experience. Not that anyone needs to be reminded about doing the right things but they clearly set the way.