**B:** Otis (Smith) had his foot stepped on yesterday so definitely I don't think he will be able to practice today and the other questionable guys Brandon Mitchell they have him in another cast or some splint or something so he is limited. It is a brace or something they change it every day. So (Dave) Nugent is getting a lot more work in there and actually I think he is making a little progress. Chad (Eaton) did a little more yesterday but we will see how he is today.
Q: Thursday practices are starting to get a little dangerous that's two weeks in a row?
B: I don't know. Otis was just running covering a guy and the guy stepped on his foot. Chad barely got hit he just got bumped and tweaked it.
Q: How did Antwan Harris do last week it seemed like Kato (Serwanga) was out on a lot of those situations and Harris was in?
B: Antwan actually played more against the Colts there weren't a lot of third down passing situations in the game. When Antwan was in we were in a different group or whatever. He was all right, he was okay I think he has gotten better particularly the last month.
Q: If Otis is out then that moves everybody up right?
B: Relative to last week?
B: Because (Antonio) Langham missed the first Indy game, but I am sure he will play. We are pretty much where we are in the first game.
Q: How would you assess the play of your linebackers so far this season?
B: I think it has been all right. At times we have done a good job in the running game. Last week wasn't one of them, but it has been okay. I don't think it has been a huge hole on our team, but we can be more productive in that group today.
Q: On more of an individual level Andy Katzenmoyer last year was a first round pick and started while Ted (Johnson) was out injured and this year he is playing more in passing situations is that simply because he is behind (Ted) Johnson and (Ted) Johnson or does he need to improve any part of his game?
B: Yes I mean right now Bruschi and Johnson are ahead of him. Andy plays in different situational defenses and we have played some 3-4 with all four of them in the game (Chris) Slade, Bruschi, Katzenmoyer and Johnson so depending on what package we are in or what we are playing he figures in those packages.
Q: What about Slade the Jets seemed to go at him and get some yardage on his side?
B: It wasn't one particular thing. Chris was involved in some of the plays, but there were other people there involved in them too we just didn't do a good job on the outside plays. Sometimes, depending on what defense we are in, sometimes the backers are the fourth player, sometimes the safeties are, sometimes the corners it is not always the same. When it is a safety or a corner then the linebacker plays inside and when it is a backer then he plays outside and they play inside. We had a little trouble there in a couple of spots.
Q: You were here in 1996 when (Bill) Parcells made him more of a situational player, do you feel that he is more than that now, obviously you do, but back then did you feel he was more of a situational player?
B: In 1996 somewhere around the middle of the year, I forget exactly where it was, Dwayne Saab played on regular and Chris played in sub situations and now Chris is playing almost all the time on regular and then on some sub situations, not all of them, but a lot of them. So it is kind of a little bit of a different break up from what it was in 1996. No I don't think he is a situational player at all. I think he can play. It is like a lot of other players though, it is a question of how effective a guy can be playing every single snap of the game. Whether if you have other players like Greg Spires as an example, Katzenmoyer is another example, guys that are also good players and you can't play thirteen out there at once. You can only put eleven out there, but sometimes you can breakup the job, not with the idea of letting everybody get there letter sweater, but the idea of you have certain things that you do, you have certain things that you do and let's try to do those better so that our overall production increases. We have a little bit of that at linebacker. We have some depth there and guys have some different things that they can kind of specialize in.
Q: What was the thought in 1996 was that your call?
B: No you would have to ask the higher authorities on that one.
Q: When you saw (Edgerrin) James play last week what did he do differently?
B: He didn't have a lot of long runs last week. He had one early where he ran a draw play and Seattle had him in the backfield and he bounced it out for about 25 yards and a touchdown, but most of his runs seemed like they were the five, six, seven, eight yard types and there were a lot of those. As I was watching the film I knew he had a big game and I was kind of waiting, you know usually when a guy has 200 yards he has a 60 yard run, a forty yard run, you know he would get about 100 on two plays and then the rest of it is just a good game, but this was he just pounded away. Like I said a lot of six, seven, eight yard gains and the Colts blocked pretty well and he ran hard and he got some extra yards on his own, but he just didn't have the real long plays that you usually get when you have that kind of yardage. It was just five, six yards every time he hit the ball.
Q: So which is the norm for him does he usually break out with one long gain or does he get the five, six seven yarders?
B: He doesn't lose yardage very often and he breaks a lot of tackles. He is probably, I would say of the backs that I have seen this year that we have faced, he breaks more tackles than anybody and he has got speed and power. Now he has had some long runs and you can see his speed in the open field, but every game he breaks tackles. He avoids people. You know there are two ways of breaking tackles you can run over guys or you can wiggle and have them miss you and he does both. So he is elusive and he also has a lot of power. That's a tough combination because he brings both.
Q: In the game against you what did he not do that he usually does, how did you stop him?
B: One of the main factors in the game was the score and just like we saw last week in our game. In the first Colt game the Colts were behind in the fourth quarter, he hardly ever got to carry the ball and they were throwing because they were behind. So normally when a back would get eight, ten carries in the fourth quarter like he got against Seattle, he probably got more than that he probably got fifteen carries in the fourth quarter, whatever it was had they been behind by ten points or whatever he might have only got a couple of carries. So that is another eight, ten carries. That is a lot of opportunities that a running back gets at the end of the game due to the score and the situation that he doesn't get at the end of the game if the tables are turned. I think that is in part the answer to the question where sometimes the numbers are misleading depending on the situation of the game. He ran hard against us. He broke some tackles. We had some trouble with him, but again kind of the way the game fell they had a long drive, kind of a two-minute drive at the end of the first half which wasn't really a running situation because there was about five minutes to go when they got the ball and they basically threw it down the field for the most part. Then they had a lot of passing in the third and fourth quarter because of the score.
Q: Have you set your schedule for next week and if you haven't can that be used as a carrot for this game, " If you do the things that I like you may get some more days off?"
B: I really haven't given it too much thought. I know that Monday we will be on pretty much a normal schedule here and then I will kind of take a look at that when we get to that point.
Q: Then again some coaches, I mean Mike Martz gave his team the whole week off…
B: Yes I think depending on where your team is and what you think your team needs. Sometimes that is good sometimes it isn't, but I think in the end what I try to do is evaluate where are team is and what they need and then try to play into that hand. If you need to work on things to get better than you probably better work on them. If you are going pretty good and need to get healthy then maybe…
**Q: But you are not psychologically or philosophically opposed to (Bill) Parcells' rule no three days off in a row rule?**
B: I don't think I would close the door on anything. I think there could be a situation where if it what your team needs and if it is the best thing at that time then there is probably a reason to do it. Whether it is more time off or less time off or a change in schedule one way or the other. If you feel like there is a certain problem that needs to be addressed and that is the way to address it then I don't think I could sit here and say that I definitely wouldn't do it, I would do whatever I think would help our team win and play better.
Q: Is it hard to have constructive practices during the bye week in your experience?
B: The players that I am looking for and their commitment and the importance of football and their desire to perform well and play well I wouldn't expect that would be a problem. Maybe if I have misjudged the players then maybe that is something I would have to correct, but at this point I don't see that, but we'll see. I don't know how it is going to go. Most of the teams that I have been around, certainly the good teams, football has been important to the players. The players want to win. The players want to do what it takes to win and I think as a coach if you explain to them what is necessary and what needs to be done generally they will try to do it. If they don't want to do it then I think you have got a problem. You need a new coach or you need a new player or you need something because that formula is usually not going to work if the coach asks a player to do something and the player doesn't do something then in the end I think it is going to be hard to get to where you want to go for whatever the reasons are. Like I said my experience has been 99 percent of the time when I have asked players to do something they have tried to do it, they have responded to it. If they don't then I think you have got to take a look and see what the problem is, why they are not responding or maybe you didn't make it clear to them. Maybe I or the coach didn't do a good job of explaining exactly what you want, but if they know exactly what you want and then that performance isn't there then that is a problem. There is no way around it.
Q: How do you think you are doing with the whole package with everything that has been thrown at you?
B: I don't think our record is what we want it to be so I don't think anybody at this point can be too satisfied with our record and that is the bottom line.
Q: What is the first stat you look at as soon as the game is over to tell you if you won or lost?
B: I mean it is obviously the score.
Q: I mean besides that?
B: But I mean I think that you can't lose sight if that really it's points and if they have gotten more points than you have then the first question you have got to ask is how did they get them? Turnovers, special teams, poor defense in the red area, couldn't stop the run, what caused you to give up the number of points that you gave up and if you don't have enough points then you have got to look at that same question. What caused you not to score more points and then there are different criteria that can come with that. It can be turnovers, it could be interceptions, it could be sacks, it could be poor field position, there are a lot of things that could contribute to that, but the bottom line is points and if you can't get them then you have got to find a way of how you can create them and if you are giving up too many then you have got try to figure out what the reason is that they are getting more than you want them to get.
Q: How about falling behind early, how important is that to this team?
B: Well I don't think it is good with this team, I really don't. I don't think it is good. I think we are a much better team when we can be a balanced team and play from a competitive position. I don't know that that's true for every team. I mean I can't speak for every team, but I think in our case we are better off when we are in a competitive position rather than trying to catch up by ten or fourteen points and I think that is true of our whole team. Honestly I think that is a little bit true of all of the teams I have been with because of the style of play we have on defense, particularly this team the style that we have on offense. I don't think it does us a lot of good to get behind significantly in the game. My first year in the league when I was with the Baltimore Colts offensively we had Bert Jones, Roger Carr, Lydell Mitchell, Ray Chester, Glenn Doughty and those guys were pretty good. I mean I know it was awhile ago, but those guys were pretty good. Defensively we had the front four that was nicknamed the "Sack Pack" with (Joe) Ehrmann, (Mike) Barnes, (John) Dutton, Greg Jones and Mike Curtis. Honestly on that particular team being down fourteen points didn't matter, Bert Jones could score fourteen points in a quarter with the receivers that he had. That defensive front four they could go three and out and sack the quarterback and recover a fumble at any point in the game. I mean it was a dominant front four and that team could score a lot of points starting with the quarterback, but also with the running back and the receivers. I remember one game early in the season we were down 28 to seven in the second quarter against Buffalo and won 42-35 or something like that whatever it was I don't know. It wasn't any big deal. The Jets, we played the Jets with Joe Namath same thing. They couldn't stop us we couldn't stop them it was 31-28 at the half or something like that one of those kind of games. Ten points, seven points fourteen points that was nothing and you know what it didn't matter if we had a fourteen point lead either because if they could get the ball off they could get fourteen points. It was just a question of whether they could get it off or not because with that front four they almost had 60 sacks that year and it was only a fourteen game season, I mean they killed the quarterback. But if they could get the ball off we could give up fourteen points just as quickly as we could score them, but that's just the team that was.
Q: And what about this team when did you get a feel exactly what type of team you had catching up from behind, when did you have a good feel?
B: Well I think we are getting to the halfway point in the season and I think that we have played enough games where we are starting to see the team in enough situations to see how it is going to respond. When you start the year, particularly with a new team, but when you start the year you don't know how your team is going to respond when you are behind. You don't know how your team is going to respond when you are ahead. You don't know how they are going to play on the road. You don't know how they are going to play on the goal line. You kind of try to get a feel for it in preseason, but preseason is not the regular season so you don't really know those things until you are up at the plate and the pitches are getting thrown how well you are going to be able to hit the curve ball or not or the fast ball. Now after you play a certain number of games and you get enough situations then you start to get a feel for what your team can do and what it can't do and you know what everybody else in the league can see that too. I think you look at a team like the Colts they are another good example fourteen points for them is nothing. They get that in three or four minutes, it's nothing and that's their style of play. Now I am not saying they can get it anytime they want because there are times when they don't get it, but there are plenty of times where you can throw in the film and they are down fourteen to three and you turn around they are up seventeen to fourteen five or six plays boom that's the way they are. Jacksonville, whatever is was, three nothing or seven to three and boom it is 21 to 7. They are on the board just like that. St. Louis, I haven't seen St. Louis play too much this year, but I am sure that is the kind of team they are.
Q: Are you going in the bubble today?
B: We are going into the bubble today. That was a good suggestion yesterday.
Q: And? I have written four times this year that you don't pipe in noise and you are not going to use noise.
B: I told you that we didn't need to pipe in noise because of the construction crew out here, but here is the deal, on Fridays when we go out a little bit earlier and they break for lunch it is as quite as a mouse out there. You can whisper across the field so we are going to go inside, we are going to pipe in a little noise, we are going to get on turf and make our first appearance in the bubble this year.
Q: What kind of stuff are you going to pump in, Bon Jovi?
B: You know that would be good, hopefully. You know what that was out of my hands. I didn't specify what type of noise we were looking for I just said let's go inside we'll get a little noise, we'll get on the turf kind of get our timing down for the…
Q: Loudspeakers or fans?
B: Honestly I am not sure. I told one of the coaches to get it taken care of and he worked out the details I am not even sure what they are. I guess if it is too annoying we will have to take a bigger hand in that decision. Maybe I could put that on my resume Practice Noise Director.