MP: Sure, obviously Bess is a great player for them, a very productive receiver and obviously a key part of that offense. They have a lot of good skill players so it’s a great challenge for us to play against them every time we face them. In general like always we have some different schemes and stuff that we played coverage-wise and Kyle Arrington plays inside a little bit in those schemes and did a good job for us handling the assignment he had to do and the job he had to do. It was really a good job by him.
Q: Despite having a number of players unavailable in yesterday’s game against the Dolphins, how was the defense able to apply pressure, particularly with the individual efforts of a guy like
MP: I think every week different guys have to step up in different roles and be able to handle the assignments they are given and perform at the highest level so whoever that is—Trevor had a couple of really nice plays and did a good job for us out there. We had a number of different guys playing in the front and all of them contributed in their own way, particularly some stuff that might not necessarily be seen in the final stats or in the individual statistics. But all the guys were doing their job and doing the things they’re supposed to do to either create some penetration or some pressure themselves or free it up for their teammates. It’s like every week we have guys that are playing and guys that aren’t playing and it’s just part of the process every week. Everyone just has to step up and handle their role or their assignment that week to the best of their ability and obviously Trevor did a great job, but really all those guys up front tried to do that.
Q: The defense has improved as the season has gone on. Have you been confident all along that the unit would continue to improve as the season went on?
MP: As a coach I think we’re always going to sit here and tell you that we’re trying to improve every week and that’s our goal. Hopefully we can do that every week and we’re trying to get better and certainly as the season goes on and people play together longer and are out there with each other longer then hopefully that’s what’s taking place. There are certainly areas that we need to work on and improve on and hopefully get better at, and that’s what we try to do every week when we look at it. It’s just a situation that we know our guys are out there and like I’ve always said, our defensive guys work extremely hard, they prepare very hard every week and they really try to make sure that they can go out and execute to the best of their ability every week. It’s something we understand that is a continuing growing process and that’s what we’re looking for is to try to get better at the things every week that maybe the week before we didn’t do so well at.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in preparing for a balanced offense like the Houston Texans have?
MP: Great question. You’re talking about a very balanced, very well put together offense, exactly like you said between the run and the pass. Then the quarterback is obviously a talented player that is really doing a phenomenal job running the system they run. The biggest thing for us obviously is trying to somehow figure out how to stop this running game, which is a critical part of what they do, along with the passing game ability that they have. Their tight ends are extremely good. They use all of them, very talented players there. Obviously Andre Johnson is a phenomenal player for them outside, but really all of their skill players and wide receivers, [Kevin] Walter, you know, they all have a part in their offense that they play and they do it extremely well. I think it’s a very balanced offense just from the standpoint that the quarterback will get the ball to the appropriate receiver based on coverage or based on read for that particular play so he’s not always targeting one guy. He’s going to try to get the ball to the open receiver and that’s really what makes it difficult in the passing game and then what we talked about with the running game with these two backs that have potential for big plays at any given time if they see any crack in the defense, they really have the ability to hurt you with that. The main point of emphasis is going to do a really good job with the fundamentals here and make sure that we play good, solid team defense and being able to stop the run and the passing game and hopefully handle the guys up front to the best of our ability and try to do a good job there.
MP: In general the statement that he had there is that every play as the game continues on becomes the next biggest play. I think every play is a big play for us in those situations, especially given the point in the game that we’re at. We’re obviously looking to execute everything at the highest level that we can on those particular plays. A couple of our calls have some different built-in adjustments to it or whatever the particular case may be. Jerod just really made a good play on that. All the plays leading up to that were important for us to try to keep them to as minimal points as possible, so it was just a good play.
Q: Would it be accurate to say that the frequency of blitzing has increased over the last few games?
MP: Every game for us is independent of each other. We try to carry a balanced game plan no matter what we do. We have different calls for different situations so it doesn’t really generate a statistic thing, it’s just kind of, each week is its own entity as far as different things we’re trying to do and obviously dictated by the opponent that we’re playing. We just try to keep it as balanced as we can.