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Transcript: Coach Schiano

Posted Sep 23, 2013

HEAD COACH GREG SCHIANO

(On the reports of a family emergency)

“During the game, my dad became ill and I felt it was necessary to stay back with him until some other family members could get up to Boston. I traveled in the middle of the night last night to get back and take care of business here. He’s still in Boston.”

(On his father’s current state of health)

“They’re doing tests.”

(On injury updates from Sunday’s game)

“[Wide receiver] Vincent [Jackson] has a rib [injury] and [defensive tackle] Gerald [McCoy] has an ankle [injury]. [It’s] too early to tell what that will mean for next Sunday.”

(On wide receiver Mike Williams)

“He’s got an upper leg injury, not sure exactly what it is yet.”

(On the play of guard Carl Nicks)

“Good. He looked like a guy who practiced for a week, as far as all the little details, but he’s just so big and strong that you can feel his physical presence in there. I just look forward to him getting more practice and fine-tuning his game.”

(On whether he has had a chance to evaluate Sunday’s game)

“I did. I looked at everything on the plane ride back last night and this morning.”

(On what he believes is causing problems with the offense)

“Yeah, details. There are schematic issues [where] we have to be more precise. We left way too much on the table there. If we just do our jobs, we’ll score a lot of points.”

(On where he believes the offensive issues stem)

“Just in general; offensive details.”

(On the quarterback position)

“Josh [Freeman] is our starter.”

(On what it would take for him to consider a change at quarterback)

“Josh is our starter. That’s where we are.”

(On Freeman’s play)

“He’s done some good things and he’s done some things that he’d like to change and we’d like to. But it’s the whole offensive unit – we need to be more precise. We need to coach more precisely; it’s everybody involved.”

(On the kicker position)

“Rian [Lindell] is our kicker.”

(On whether the team will be trying out new kickers)

“I’m not going to get into that. We’ve never got into who we’re bringing in. That comes out on the wire.”

(On whether he is surprised by the slow start with the offense)

“Nothing surprises me in this game, ever. Disappointed? Yes. Not discouraged. We’ll get it.”

(On his confidence in offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan)

“I have utmost confidence in Mike and the offensive staff. We all need to do better, but [I have] the utmost confidence.”

(On dropped balls amongst the receivers)

“It’s a part of it. Everybody drops balls in the National Football League. We’ve dropped more than we should, though. “

(On potential roster moves)

“We’ve got about an hour and twenty minutes on that one and it’s in the works, so we’re going to need all that time. We have a very fluid roster right now with some injuries. Obviously, [tight end] Luke Stocker, as you noticed wasn’t with us on Sunday. We’re working through all of those injuries right now and trying to figure out how we’ll put together 53 for this week.”

(On whether tight end Tom Crabtree might play in Week 4)

“There’s a chance. Yeah.”

(On the run game)

“The run game, although it was not as good as the week before, it very easily could have been. And you don’t live in the world of woulda-coulda-shoulda, but there were opportunities there had we not gotten into a have-to-throw-it game. Had we taken care of business early in the game when we had those opportunities, 14 plays in their territory early in the game, I’m not going to say I’m the eternal optimist and say that should equal 21 points, but it shouldn’t equal three points. Somewhere in between. Then you have a chance to be in a tight football game where you’re running the ball more and then what is a, whatever it was, close to 90-something rushing, now is a buck-thirty [130 yards] because you were given more opportunities. And if you pop [a large run], it’s a buck-eighty. And that’s exactly what they did; they popped one when they were in the position where they could run out the clock and run the ball. We lost that battle, the rushing battle, and that was a critical battle in the keys to victory. We didn’t win that battle.”

(On progress he has seen in the team)

“I thought we were better in our efficiency in the operation, we were better with penalties, we had four total penalties. Those things were points of emphasis and we improved. We hit some balls down the field, we improved in that light. I thought that, other than the sacks – which is like saying other than – we protected fairly well a lot of the time. We just gave up three sacks, though. Pressure continued, we got three sacks, probably came close to a few more. Had we covered a little better, we would’ve had five or six sacks. And then the other times we did cover well – those were only front/back-end sacks. Kicking game, obviously we missed the field goal, but overall we protected well in our punt protection which has been strength. We missed tackles on that coverage; we missed two tackles on that one and that was the one return they had.”

(On Freeman)

“I think he understands what we’re trying to do with our offense. I think when he’s in the pocket and he feels comfortable he’s delivering the ball. It’s when things break down a little bit that it hasn’t been as good as it’s been before, and it will be again. One of his strengths is extending plays. But again, when you have variables, where we’re not sharp enough on the details, [then] it’s hard to be the trigger-man when some things aren’t going the way they’re supposed to. There’s 10 other guys out there, without getting into specifics, and certainly everybody has some of the responsibility for us not scoring points right now, starting with me. But it wouldn’t be right to [blame him], obviously it does happen because he touches the ball 73 times on Sunday, but there’s a whole bunch of us that have got to get our stuff straight.”

(On if whether he feels Freeman is either hurrying plays or taking too long to release the ball)

“I don’t see a common denominator that way. No, it’s not one or the other.”

(On offensive production when the ball is inside the opponent’s 40-yard line)

“That’s a very good question, and I don’t just say that. It is a good question because we are working like crazy to figure that out. You know, in the tight red I actually feel good. But again, in that zone, the extended red, the fringe of the red, we had plenty of opportunities, [but] we made some mistakes. And you have to give credit to New England, they defended. So when you make a mistake and they defend, then it’s a double whammy.”

(On where the issues stem from in the offense)

“I think it’s spread all around. We have some new guys and we have some returning guys and everybody’s making their share [of mistakes]. I go back to that we have to do a better job of communicating exactly what we want and then we need to hold people accountable. [Those are] the tenets of this program, it’s the foundation of what we do. We’re not doing a good enough job of it, starting with me, so we have to do better.”

(On how the play of the defense)

“We’ve played better than we did yesterday on defense, that’s not our best effort. We need to play better than we did. We made too many mistakes. It’s not a lack of effort, but we made too many mistakes. We have to be precise, because we can and because we have. A great player [New England quarterback], Tom Brady, I’m all over that, I understand it, but that wasn’t our best [defensive effort].”

(On defensive end Da’Quan Bowers starting on Sunday)

“He’s getting better, Da’Quan getting better. He started yesterday because we started in sub-defense because they started in four-wide [receivers]. Sometimes who starts depends on what they start in – it’s a personnel match up game. Da’Quan’s getting better he just needs to keep getting better and he will.”

SAFETY MARK BARRON

(On his interception of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady)

“It’s something we had worked on. We knew they liked that route down in the red zone, so I just had to be aware of it, and I was. He tried it and I just picked it off.”

(On starting off the season 0-3)

“It’s most definitely difficult. I hate losing. I hate it. It really bothers me. So, to be 0-3, it bothers me a little bit, but I’m fine. We’ll bounce back as a team. But it most definitely hurts; I’ve never been 0-3 in my life. It’s a new feeling for me, but I don’t plan on getting used to it.”

(On the team’s confidence level)

“I don’t think we have a problem with confidence. We know what type of players we have on this team. We’re still a confident team. We just have to put it all together. As long as we come out and execute and everybody’s on the same page, then we have the players to make whatever play needs to be made. We believe in the scheme, so we’ve just got to come out and execute.”

(On why the defense has been successful in the red zone)

“I think it’s just us taking a lot of pride in what we’re doing. As a defense, we want to be known as a strong defense in every aspect of the game. I think that just comes down to pride and being willing to bow up down in the red zone.”

(On the challenges with his position)

“It’s most definitely hard when you’re covering [New Orleans Saints running back] Darren Sproles in space, one-on-one – that’s one of the hardest things for any defensive player in the league. I most definitely love the challenge. If he’s known as the best and I go out and cover him, hopefully that [reflects] back to me.”

DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY

(On his health)

“I’m alright, man. I’m good.”

(On starting off the season 0-3)

“It’s tough. The NFL has a lot of ups and downs, but starting off 0-3 is not one of the downs you want to get caught in. It’s definitely difficult, but we have 100 percent confidence that we can bounce back from this. We just watched the tape, and it’s over, it’s past us. That’s behind us, and we’re moving on.”

(On if he’s worried about losses being contagious)

“Not really. Anything can flip. I just talked to the coaches, and [pass rush specialist] Coach Bryan Cox, when he was on the Patriots, and [defensive line] Coach Randy Melvin, when he was coaching, said they started that season 1-4 and won the Super Bowl, so anything can happen. It’s the pros.”

(On what has been the key for getting defensive pressure/sacks)

“I don’t think there’s a secret more than just getting after it. I think everybody’s working together. [There’s been] too much individualism in the past, everybody trying to get ‘theirs.’ This year, it’s more of guys trying to do what they’re supposed to do. The plays just come when everybody does their job.”

(On being privileged to play in the NFL)

“There’s a lot of other things I could be doing. It’s a privilege and a gift to be able to play this game, to be able to come in – we were sitting in the lunch room earlier, sitting there just eating food that somebody else cooked for us, and you just go up there, just eat it, sit down, watch film, and go home. We can complain, but it’s really a privilege, and I think until it’s taken from you, you don’t realize how much of a privilege it is.”

GUARD CARL NICKS

(On how his foot felt during his first game back)

"It felt good. I didn't really have too much pain. I was more fatigued than anything but it felt good to be out there with my teammates."

(On if he can help the team pull out of its current struggles)

"I'm going to try my hardest. We need something, and whatever I can do to help this team, I'll do it."

(On Head Coach Greg Schiano saying the offense's problems are in the details)

"I agree with that 100 percent. I don't know if you can emphasize that enough – it's the details, the little things that we're not doing. I don't want to get into specifics, but we really need to fine-tune our craft and make sure that everybody's doing what they're supposed to do, me included."

(On if he sensed offensive problems during the preseason)

"We have flashes and sparks of greatness, but we've just got to be more consistent. We'll make a play and everybody will be like, 'Wow,' then the next play will be a minus play. We've just got to be more consistent."

(On how confident the team is in Josh Freeman)

"Josh is our guy. We're going to ride-or-die with Josh. He's the starter, he's always been the starter. We support him 110 percent."

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