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Steve Spurrier Conf Call Transcript

Spurrier: We got the same record as the Patriots, as you know. It should be a heck of a game, but we think we got a pretty good team.



**Q: This is the first time the Patriots have played you guys in a regular season since '81, and there is a lot of changes made in Washington. How has it been for you in two years? Is it kind of going the way you had hoped it would when you first took over the operation?

SS:** I think we all expect it always to go well and sometimes it doesn't. 7-9 last year, about average, a little below average actually. We thought we would do better, but we didn't. We made quite a few changes, picked up 10 or 12 free agent players that are part of our team now. I think we've got a better team. Most of the time we play like it. We got the same record as the Patriots, as you know. It should be a heck of a game, but we think we got a pretty good team. We are certainly not the smartest team. I think we've got the most penalized team in the league right now, so we are trying to correct a lot of little errors. So if we do that, we'll give ourselves a lot better chance to be successful.

**Q: Certainly you have not only done well in the acquisition of players in the offseason, but [Patrick] Ramsey has really developed. In the early going he has done a lot of pretty impressive things. Tell me about him and how he has developed.

SS:** Patrick, second-year quarterback but he is a good size young man, probably weighs about 215 or so, close to 6'3''. So he can take some hits. Very courageous kid. Stands in the pocket, makes the throws. He can make all the throws, he's got a very strong arm. He's got a chance. If we can give him protection and get guys open, certainly he's got a chance to really be an outstanding quarterback in this league.

**Q: You are facing a Patriots team this week that…I'm assuming you have seen the injury list…it reads like the encyclopedia…does that still make a team dangerous because they've got to raise their level of play when things like that happen?

SS:** Well I've heard that they've got some guys injured, but really as a coach I try to worry more about getting our guys ready to play. I'm sure they are going to have 11 out there who can play extremely hard and play extremely smart. The Patriots have beaten us both preseason games, so we have not had much success at all against them. We know they are a very good team, very good defensive team. Coach [Bill] Belichick, he would plug in new guys to play probably pretty close to where other guys have played. So we are expecting a very difficult game and really the injury thing should not affect our thinking going into the game at all.

**Q: One of the players who is not injured is Richard Seymour. You probably played against him, or actually did play against him when he was at Georgia. What do you recall of him then? And what do you see of him now as he has developed?

SS:** He's definitely an outstanding player, a very good player. I think one year at Georgia, we got in the shotgun and played there most of the time. So we didn't let there defensive line get involved too much in the outcome, we were sort of just catching it and throwing it real quick. But they were always tough to run against when he was playing, and I think Marcus Stroud the other defensive lineman was a first round pick at Jacksonville. They had one of the best defensive lines in the country back then.

**Q: The Patriots have been outstanding against third down conversions the last couple of weeks. You guys are at 37.5%, which is on balance pretty good. Do you have a number of options it seems, whether it is [Ladell] Betts or [Trung] Canidate or your two wideouts? And how do you attack the Patriots? Do you see them as exceptional on third down defense?

SS:** I think we attack the Patriots the best we can. Run the ball when it looks good. Throw the ball when that looks good. Unfortunately they are probably as good a team in the league at disguising what they are doing. So you have to sort of guess what the coverage may be, how many they are blitzing. But certainly their blitz scheme may be as complicated, they may bring in as many people as about anybody, anybody as I've seen anyway thus far. We've got to be careful, but I don't think I should put whatever our game plan is in the papers.

**Q: You've had great success everywhere that you've coached, but could you just talk a little bit about, now that you are in your second year, the differences in what it is like to coach in the NFL versus how you thought it would be when you were still at Florida?

SS:** Of course, I've answered this question every week and I'll answer the same way again. The biggest thing maybe that I've learned or that we've learned is that you can't just open the game and play it all over the place. In college that was sort of the way we approached every game. Let's get a quick early lead and then run the ball, run the clock out and win the game. It is just too difficult. Defenses are too good. Pass rush guys, coverage guys. It is too difficult. You have to have balance. You've got to mix the run in and try to keep the defenses a little bit off stride that way. So that's the biggest thing we've learned in the couple of years.

**Q: Did you figure that your offense was good enough to offset the improvement in the defenses in the people against you?

SS:** Again the offense we have is based on good players; it's not based on any tricky schemes and so forth. We have a scheme to give our players an opportunity to show their talents, but certainly I give them a learner's curve and I give them a bit more speed in the backfield. It's been important to us. Darnerien McCants has come along very well too, to go along with Rod Gardner. And the offensive linemen, we've got two new guards in there. We've got a different offense than we had last year. Players are very similar. We've added a little bit here and there, but if we're successful it means we've got some good athletes out there playing.

**Q: You've been around a lot of good receivers in your time, but what makes [Laveranues] Coles special, if indeed you think he is?

SS:** Well "C" has got about all the qualities that, I guess, the great ones have. He's fast; he's tough; he's courageous; he wants the ball coming to him; he can run with it after he catches it. He's just a very gifted player. He loves to practice, loves to compete. We're very excited he's on our team.

**Q: I know it's early Coach, three games in, but do you have an impression, an early sense of your team, that they make big comebacks in several of the games? Is that a good sign to you? Or a bad sign to you that they have to do that?

SS:** Well we got behind early the last two weeks, which is not a good sign. But it was positive that we came back and overtook Atlanta and hold on. We came back and tied the Giants, but they went the length of the field in overtime. So that was not very good. All of our games have been within three points, so that's where we are. We've won two out of three. In the NFL, there are so many close games. The teams that really have the good seasons are those who win most of their close games; so hopefully we can do that, but who knows. It seems that everyone of them is right down to the wire just about.

**Q: You are noted as an offensive genius; Bill Belichick is a defensive genius. Is this a nice little personal challenge for you?

SS:** I don't really look at it too much like that to tell you the truth. They are a very good defensive team, ain't no question about that. Just try to do whatever I can to help our team win the game and I'm sure he's probably doing the same thing.

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