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Andy Reid: "I don't see any flinch in these guys"

Posted Dec 2, 2013

Coach Reid provides an injury update and an assessment of Sunday's game

OPENING STATEMENT:Branden Albert has a hyperextended knee, a day-to-day situation; we’ll just see how he does moving forward here. Anthony Fasano is going through the concussion protocol. He is doing well in that area, but he did have a concussion. He also had a bit of a knee strain, so he’s working on that. Then, Justin Houston has the elbow that’s subluxed and he is making progress there, most of the swelling is out and he’s doing well. Tough game yesterday, obviously. The obvious parts are that they came up with the victory, and they’re a good football team. I believe we’re a good football team too and so, it’s important now, which we do, that we have the players in here today, that they come in and they learn from the things that we did yesterday. There is plenty of stuff to learn from there, there were some good things, but there’s plenty of stuff to learn from and that we come out of this as a better football team. Once we’re through today, our primary focus is on the Washington Redskins and that’s how we’re going to approach today and approach the week and we’ll go from there.”

Q: Is there a magic fix for these dropped passes or is it just different people?

REID: “Well, I’m always going to try to make sure we get the guys in the right position; the guys when they’re in that position, I mentioned that before, they have to make the play. If drops are part of that, then you go back and you just focus, make sure you’re looking at the ball all the way in. You go back to fundamentals. When things aren’t going your way as a player or as a coach, you go back to focusing in on the small things and the fundamentals of it.”

Q: Is it a product of the size of the game, since not too many guys on the team have been in big games?

REID: “I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s the size of the game, that’s not what I felt. If that was the case, you’d probably see that at the beginning of the game. I’d just say as the game goes on, we deal with a lot of man-to-man coverage, a lot of tight coverage, particularly in that second half, you just have to increase your focus. You know, you go through the game and you run some routes and get a little tired, you’re man-to-man, you’re working it and okay, now the focus is even greater. You take care of that.”

Q: Is it reasonable to think that Justin Houston could play on Sunday?

REID: “He’s going to shoot for that. We’ll just see how he does. I don’t know if that’s real or not real, but that’s his mindset. We’ve got to see how he does here. I mean he’s in a day-to-day situation here. He’s made some strides, but I think that would be quite a feat if he were to make it to that.”

Q: When you start a rookie cornerback, do you assume teams are going to pick on him? What separates the guys that persevere from that?

REID: “Well, that’s the one thing you love about (Marcus) Coop(er); Coop is going to keep battling you. They’ve got some good players, so at times you’re going to try to double guys and you’re going to be in a man situation and at times you’re going to have help on your side; that’s the name of the game. That’s the way it is, when you play in the secondary. It doesn’t matter the team or whatever, so you have to have a short memory. You have to learn from whatever mistake was made and then you get right back on the horse and you challenge them again. He did that and he’ll continue to do that.”

Q: Is there concern with a decrease in confidence of rookies, if you decrease their playing time, based on their performance?

REID: “I mean, you’re aware of it, especially at that position, you’re aware of it. They have to be wired right. He’s blessed to have a couple of good coaches that have some experience playing that position and I think they handle him very well.”

Q: Is Dunta Robinson an option for your third corner on Sunday?

REID: “We’ll see. Dunta (Robinson) played a little bit in the game. We’ll just see how things go. Bob (Sutton) will go through all of that and work with him.”

Q: On the tight end position with Anthony Fasano dinged up.

REID: “I’ve got to see how he is here, the next couple of days. I mean you see all different kinds of these things. I’m not here to rate him, I’m not a doctor; I’m just going off of the symptoms he presented to us. He was feeling pretty good today. We’ll see. That’s something (John) Dorsey and I will get on after this, after we have our meetings.”

Q: What about the young guys on the practice squad in that position? Are they options?

REID: “That’s an option. Yeah, either one is an option.”

Q: What about the discipline and mentality of getting back on the road?

REID: “You have to go through your preparation. After today, after you get through the tape and you’re real with the tape and you learn from it, then we’ll start the process of getting ready for the Redskins. A good football team and a hostile environment and we’ll get ourselves ready to go.”

Q: You have a 10-4 record at FedEx Field; what do you know about playing there?

REID: “You don’t miss anything; I didn’t know that. I know just what I said, it is hostile territory there. It’s loud, and they have a good football team, well-coached. We just have to take care of business and focus in and get ourselves ready to go.”

Q: Do you have any memories from FedEx Field?

REID: “The fight song. You don’t want to hear that too much.”

Q: You punted on fourth down, when you were in Denver’s territory, as you did in the last game at Denver. Would you do that a third time or would you do it differently?

REID: “Well, I did it the third time. I went for it on fourth and we were down in our territory, actually, and we converted on it.”

Q: More so in the middle of the game, when your back was against the wall, would you punt again on a fourth down?

REID: “I thought that was the right thing to do at that time. I probably wouldn’t change that, no.”

Q: Can you speak about Junior Hemingway?

REID: “Junior is a good blocker, a tough kid. You saw how well he did on special teams, likewise. Then, he also has sure hands. He is a good catcher. We have increased his playtime here as the season has gone on. I think he has done a good job with that.”

Q: What was the reasoning behind Geoff Schwartz and Donald Stephenson starting? Was it due to how they played against San Diego or because of the injuries?

REID: “I would tell you it is a combination of both. They did a nice job against San Diego. The other part of it was that, I didn’t think the guys were able to practice as much, early in the week, as they needed to, along with those guys playing well. So, it was a combination. We have confidence in those two kids.”

Q: Have you learned anything about Alex Smith that you didn’t know prior to this game?

REID: “He’s a gutsy player, but I kind of knew that. I don’t know if I have learned anything. He is a good football player and I guess I’ve said that too. I think he handles this offense well and I think the more he does it, the better he has gotten at it. The more he’s familiar with the receivers, the more they’re able to practice together, the more familiar he is, the more comfortable he is throwing them the ball in tighter spots. I just think he handles the whole situation pretty well.”
 
Q: Alex said the interception he threw was a good decision, but bad execution on his part. Do you agree?

REID: “Well, he was open; you just have to put it in the back of the end zone, up and over. I think that’s probably what he meant by that. You can’t throw back across your body, low like that, not down there. He had him in the back there; you just have to put a little air on it.”  

Q: Do you believe that the offense has more confidence, because of Alex Smith?

REID: “Well yeah, normally your offenses in this league go as your quarterback goes. I think that’s probably fair to say, right? Especially in the passing game part of that, he has handled that very well. He has such a good feel for it. He kind of knows when to pinpoint it and when to stay away from it. He handles it probably as well as anybody in the league. As far as confidence, I feel, since he has walked into this building, the guys have had this confidence in him, on both sides of the ball. I think the other thing you notice with the good quarterbacks in this league is they make everybody around them better, on both sides of the ball. I think he is able to do that. Maybe that is the confidence you’re talking about that he just brings to the team. He’s doing a nice job with things. Does he have room to improve? Yeah, he has room to improve and we all do.”

Q: Have you been more aggressive with your play calling, because of how comfortable you are now with your offense?

REID: “I don’t think so. I don’t think that is necessarily it. That’s kind of a Catch-22 because I feel comfortable with them, so we’re running the offense and trying to stay aggressive. So, am I more aggressive than I have been? I don’t think, necessarily, that is the case.”

Q: Have you learned more from your team after winning three in a row or losing three in a row?

REID: “That’s a fair question. I think you grow with every game that you have a chance to play and be with these guys. You get to look in their eyes and see what it’s all about. You go through these tough losses and on the other hand I saw it with the tough wins, but the great part about it is that I don’t see any flinch in these guys at all. There is a certain toughness about them. That’s why they’re right there in every game, the losses, they’ve stayed within striking distance there, being right there. They’re willing to learn and take coaching, hard coaching at times, and I appreciate that. I think that in the long haul, and this is my feeling as I stand here today, it will pay off for us in a good way.”

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