Q: The players described practice as 'pretty intense' even though they weren't in full pads. What can you do in practice this week?
BB: Just do everything full speed, just no contact, same thing we've been doing all year. You were at all the training camp practices. The ones that weren't in pads were full speed but no contact – same thing.
Q: What does
BB: Whenever a player comes back in there's always an adjustment period; that's true of every player. I don't think it's any different for him than it would be for anybody else. What does he bring? He has two years of experience. He's a physical inside linebacker that's been a productive guy for us. The more players we have that can contribute, the better. He's one of them.
Q: Will Bill O'Brien be at practice today?
BB: He will not be at practice today.
Q: Is there anything else you can say about him?
Q: Who picks up his responsibilities with him absent? Is there a big change?
BB: Collectively we'll do all the things that we need to do.
BB: Great selection. I had the privilege of working for a year with Ed. He was a tremendous guy, real inspiration to all of us at the Colts. I was only there one year, but still. Chad's [O'Shea] father actually worked with him as well. Of course, Marcus has gone through a lot this year. He's certainly had to deal with a lot more than a normal rookie would have to deal with, which is a big transition as it is, just coming into this league. He dealt with a lot very maturely and unselfishly. He did what he had to do, but at the same time he was always there for the team and was always doing what he could to help the team and he's helped the team in a lot of ways. I'm proud that he's on our team and what he's accomplished. He certainly deserves to be recognized for it.
Q: Looking at the college game where the national championship game has the two top defenses facing off and the NFL where the top seeds are the top offenses, are the games so different. Have you notice that they've evolved recently?
BB: I don't know. Last night didn't somebody score 70 points or something like that, whatever it was? I don't know. I think every game is its own game. How those two teams match up... Each game is its own game. Denver-Kansas City was 7-3 last week. I don't know.
Q: How have you seen
BB: Vince had a good year for us and you know, he played a lot of snaps last year compared to other years and he did again this year. He's done a good job for us. He's had a lot of different responsibilities – playing inside, playing outside and his playing time in general has been high. But he's done a good job. He's been very productive for us in the running game, the passing game and all throughout the game – first quarter and fourth quarter. He's done well; he's had a real good year.
Q: Is the fact that
BB: Sure. I mean I think we can find other examples of that. But yeah, absolutely. Guys released from a team, end up another team, get another opportunity and are able to take advantage of it. You just keep working and hope you get another opportunity, hope you take advantage of another one that comes. He certainly did that. He's definitely an example of a guy that was ready and was able to capitalize on his opportunity, sure.
Q: You show players film of older guys and former players. Do you do that for the Xs and Os or to teach them about players of the past? What is the best benefit of showing players film of former players or older players to emulate? Is it important that they have an appreciation for players before them at their position?
BB: I think that part of it, the tradition and the history and all that, I'd say generally for another point in time. Not that it couldn't be part of a current conversation, but I don't think that's the main part of the conversation. It's usually more about instruction or technique or situation or something that you're trying to teach the team. If it includes something that happened in the past and players that involve that or whatever, then that's the way it is. But I don't think right now the most important thing for us is to go down that path; it' to try to address the needs we have as a football team coming into the biggest game of the season next Saturday night. That's really the top priority. I think there are other times in the year when you can over the Hall of Fame or talk about somebody that played here or did something that was certainly worthy of talking about. I don't think that's the main focus right now, although it could be a residual of something else that's going on.
Q: How valuable can it be watching this weekend's games on live television as opposed to coaches' film?
BB: Well there's a lot more for us on the coaches' film. I don't want to say there's no value, but it's a lot higher on the coaches' film than TV scouting.
Q: Are there any positions that you can look at off live television that you can judge?
BB: Maybe a play or two, I don't know. You're at the mercy of whatever they show you. If they show you something and you can learn something from it then great. We really have to get a lot of information off the coaches' copy where you can see all 22 players and see exactly what the schemes and the relationships are. Sometimes you get a close-up shot and you can see a little more when it's just two guys in the picture instead of 22. I mean, I'm not saying there isn't any value to that because there is and we use that all the time because of the closeness of the shot and how much more detailed it can be relative to a technique or hand placement, little things like that. But as far as actually scouting the team, no.
Q: Is there ever any value of seeing a game unfold real time to see the momentum that occurs in a game?
BB: There probably is some, yeah.
Q: Is it true that when you just watch tape you lose the feel of the game?
BB: Right, yeah, especially if you just watch one side of the ball. There is a little bit of a disconnect from the tempo of the game. That can play into it; there's no question that can play into it. Although we do, as I'm sure every team does, we do break those things down – like what a team does after they get a turnover, as an example, that type of thing. It's not just another play; it's a specific situation that we look at. Yeah, there's definitely a flow of the game that you don't get off of the coaches' copy.
Q: When do you get the coaches' copy? Immediately?
BB: Pretty close, yeah. Certainly by the next morning, sometimes that night, like it's a one o'clock game you might even have it by real late at night, 11, 12 o'clock but certainly by first thing the following morning.
Q: I assume that's digitally?
BB: You're asking the wrong guy about that, but all I know is that it's here.
Q: You're not waiting on a FedEx truck.
BB: No, that's right. No, there's no picking up the film at the airport and waiting for the FedEx. There's nobody delivering it. It's all, I don't know, wire-optics or some other term that I don't even know what I'm talking about.
Q: Do you have your plan set for through the weekend and into next week?
BB: I think our plan depend on the results of the game. Obviously if Cincinnati wins then we know what we're doing. If it goes to Sunday's game then it goes to Sunday's game. I think our schedule is certainly impacted by what happens Saturday.
Q: Would an extra day if Cincinnati won on Saturday be beneficial?
BB: We don't have any control. Everybody has the same amount of time. We have no control over those things so I don't sit there and worry about it. Whatever happens, happens and we'll take the hand that we're dealt and do the best we can playing with it, that's all.
Q: Is there any language in the new CBA about days off for players during the playoff bye?
BB: Yeah. We looked at them, whatever they are, we'll comply with them. It's not quite like it was in the [regular season] bye week, but yeah, there's still some. They've got a rule for everything. They have new playoff rules, new overtime rules. There's no shortage of rules.
Q: You can practice in pads during the bye week, right?
BB: One time.
Q: I assume you'll take advantage of it.
BB: We'll do what we feel is best for our team, whatever that is, yeah.
Q: With the CBA cutting down padded practices this year, I'm sure it's a tough decision whether to rest during the bye week but you've had so few padded practices this year.
BB: Again, I would say at this time of year the number of practices that are really heavy contact practices in late November, December, January, that isn't a real high number anyway – this year, last year, the year before. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I think the numbers of those are pretty, I'd say low probably league-wide. I'd say even the ones that are, the quality of them probably isn't quite what it is earlier in the year in training camp, understandably. I really don't think it's that big of a deal. I think the much bigger issue is trying to get your team ready in training camp with what we did there, that was a big difference from what it's been in the past. I'd say what we're doing now isn't too much different from what we've normally done at this time of year.
Q: How were you able to work
BB: He's a guy that we've kind of had our eye on here for a couple of years, just haven't really had an opportunity to have him on our team, but we did this year. He's a bigger corner that can run that's been productive in the kicking game. He's had some production on defense. He definitely has some things you like to work with. In the opportunities he's had, he's done well with. There are still things he can improve on, but he works hard and he's been out there every day, he's a dependable guy, he's healthy, he's on the field every day, so he's getting better and those are all good things.