Conference Call: Colts DE Dwight Freeney

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DE DWIGHT FREENEY**

(on what are some of the reasons that the Colts are still looking at a likely playoff berth despite all the injuries they've had this year)

It really shows resilience as a team.  We haven't gotten there yet, obviously you have to take care of business this coming weekend but yeah, we've been through a little rough spot with injuries, but a lot of teams have been injured so it's no excuse.  For us, we don't use it like that, that's why you have 53 guys on your roster and that's why depth is important because when guys go down I don't care if you're a third-string guy, you have to be ready to play.

(on the difference between this year and previous years with having to fight for a playoff spot)

Obviously there is a difference; it could be a positive thing.  Obviously you have positives and you have negatives for both, but I think for this year building that momentum it's a good thing and that's the way we're going to look at it.  We're not going to look at it like we were banged up, banged up, banged up we had no time to get some rest—sometimes you don't have that.  Most teams don't have those weeks to rest.  It is what it is, it's just what it is this year.

(on how much he formulates a plan of attack when he watches film and studies an opposing offensive lineman like Michael Roos)

It's very much study and attack.  Pretty much you study all week and you find certain things that guys do, and you try to come up with a game plan to attacking them.  It may not always go as planned, sometimes you might have to throw your game plan out the window and get back to whatever it is that you normally do, but the week's preparation is very important.

(on if he looks at film of offensive linemen and says if I do this repeatedly it will set him up for this countermove)

Well yeah, you watch a guy's history—what he's done against other guys, how he reacts to them, how he's reacted to me in the past when I do certain things.  Based on that I can come out and formulate a game plan where I can rush and attack him against the run and the pass.  That's what you do during the week, so when you study a guy you know what your strengths are and you see what things he has problems with and you come up with a game plan.

(on what he thinks about Michael Roos as an offensive lineman)

Roos is a good player.  He's been good definitely these last three years.  He's come into his own; I think he's an underrated tackle.  I don't think he gets enough credit for what he does on that side.  It's going to be a challenge; it's going to be a tough matchup.

(on if he thinks Vince Young might be the quarterback of the Titans in the future and if he has the ability to be an elite quarterback in the NFL)

I definitely think he has the tools to do so.  I don't know exactly what's going on over there in Tennessee as far as his situation and why he isn't playing, if he's hurt or whatever, but I do know he has a lot of talent like a lot of guys in this league.  I think if he gets into the right situation or gets whatever tools he needs to work on and gets that together he can be a dominant quarterback.

(on what he thinks Vince Young needs to improve on the most based on watching film of him over the years)

I think anybody can get better at every position.  To start off, every position, every guy has things you can work on—I don't care who it is, if it's Peyton Manning to whomever.  I think for Vince obviously his strength is he moves around the pocket with his feet and I think maybe from a passing standpoint, accuracy—he could get a little more accurate with his throws, reading coverages and understanding what to do against them.  I think that's for any quarterback, for that position you can get better at that.  I don't think there is any ceiling on that, the sky's the limit.

(on what defenses have done to limit the number of long runs Chris Johnson has had this year)

Nothing really other than we understand he's a dangerous back man, and he can break it at any time.  You have to really start to focus a little bit more on him because of the fact that we're going to have to really get after him—11 guys—he's capable of breaking a run at any time.

(on what he thinks about Jeff Fisher and his tenure as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans)

Not really, it'd be a little tough (to picture someone else as the head coach of the Titans).  Fisher has done a great job over there for years.  He's a great guy and he knows how to work with the talent that he has, he's been successful for a lot of years.  It hasn't translated into Super Bowls, which is obviously why you're out there, but he's still a great coach and he's definitely hard to play against.

(on if the effort isn't there on the field on game days if the coaches or the players are more at fault)

I think it can be a little bit of both.  I don't think there is one person you can put blame on in the game of football.  It's the guys who are playing, it's the coaches, it's everything, it's a collective effort—there is no finger pointing.  You have to look in the mirror first and then everybody has a little piece of the puzzle.  Everybody has to take some blame.  Maybe it's the coach that didn't get the players motivated; maybe it's the player who didn't motivate himself or didn't listen to the coaches, or whatever.  It's a little bit of both.

(on if it's the coach's responsibility to motivate the players at the NFL level)

Well I think at this level the coach has to do whatever it takes to win.  In that job they make decisions based on who should be out there, who shouldn't be and if this guy is not motivated then we have to find someone else or maybe find some ways to motivate the team.  It's a player's responsibility to be self-motivated you know from a player's perspective it shouldn't take a coach to motivate him, he should be motivated himself.  But it's both, if one side isn't working, the other side should be.  It goes hand in hand, I think it's a collective issue; it's not necessarily just one guy.

(on if it is too early to say whether or not Jerry Hughes will be a good NFL player)

This is a growing process, and unfortunately and fortunately he is behind two Pro Bowl guys (Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis).  He can learn a lot from us, when I got in here my situation was completely different.  That Indy team was completely different.  They didn't have any speed guys; I was the one speed guy.  So I got the opportunity to play a little bit more, and that's what they wanted to change the scheme into being more of a fast defense.  So I got the opportunity to play early.  Obviously, Jerry is behind two guys who are established and playing well right now, so it's hard for him to find that time to really grow and get better on the field during games.  But he's doing a good job man, he's getting there, he's building and we're talking to him.

(on if he still talks to Keith Bulluck)

Yeah I talk to Keith man.  He definitely misses—at heart he's a Titan.  Obviously, he's back in New York, that's where he's from.  There is a little bit of love there too.  If he had to be anywhere he'd be in New York if it wasn't in Tennessee.

(on if he thinks Keith Bulluck still has some connection to the Titans organization)

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.  You can't play nine or 10 years in an organization and just completely forget that you played there and erase all ties or cut all ties.  Keith did what he had to do and the organization had to do what they had to do, but Keith is definitely a Titan at heart.

(on if it was weird playing the Titans and not seeing Keith Bulluck on the Titans sideline)

Absolutely, it was very weird.  I'm used to always seeing him before the game, I give him a hug and after the game make sure he's alright.  It's always been that way.

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