November 18, 2013
OPENING STATEMENT: “Alright, as far as injuries go, I don’t have much of an update from last night. The guys are going through the process of the MRIs, so there are no results. That was (Jon) Asamoah with the calf and the shoulder on that also, (Mike) DeVito with the knee sprain, (Eric) Fisher with the shoulder and (Tyson) Jackson with the abdominal strain. Once we get the MRI results and they get through that, we’ll get the information to you. There were some good things and there were some bad things, some things that we need to work on. The first 19 plays of the game offensively, and we did start the game offensively, so the first 19 plays offensively, we had an offsides, we had a drop, we had a turnover and we had a fumbled snap. We were playing against a good football team, and that’s not even adding in the penalties that we had there after that. You can learn from these things. I want to make sure that I get us in the right position to start games. We’re not starting fast enough right now. I’m going to work on that part and make sure that I do a better job of getting the guys an opportunity. But, during those first 19 plays, now those are some things that we need to get corrected. We had a couple of big penalties on the offense here to start with, a couple of big penalties in the game. A huge penalty there in the third quarter, which was followed by a sack and it put us in a position as we’re moving to come out with points. At the end of the first half, we had another situation there. They missed a long field goal; we complete a ball and then we have a sack. You can’t do those things, when you’re moving yourself down the field. Then, we had the penalty after Dexter (McCluster’s) catch fumble, (with) 25 (Jamaal Charles) picking it up and getting a couple of yards. There was that part of it and then the opportunity to kick a long field goal and I chose not to. I didn’t think that was the right thing to do right there. Then, defensively, again then, I thought the guys played their tails off, but there were three opportunities for interceptions. Normally we’re making those, there were a couple of them where you’d have to dive and scoop and make the catch and those are ones that we’ve made. That we’ll work out here and get fixed. Then, there were just a couple of big plays they had, the one touchdown. You eliminate that and you eliminate a couple of those crossing routes where there was a little bit of confusion there; these are all things that we can learn from and get better at. Listen, this is as tough as an environment you’re going to play at, up there. This is a good football team that you’re going to play against. It’s a great experience and the positive part is that you’re going to learn from this and become a better football team than you were going in. We’re going to need to be that, coming up this week. We’re going to see some similar things offensively from San Diego and their defense; they’re going to blitz and bring people from all over the place. We’re going to be challenged in that same way and it’s important that we learn from this right here and bring ourselves back a stronger football team. I had a chance to talk to the guys last night, after the game, and they understand that, which is a plus. This is a tough-minded group and they understand. As coaches, we know we need to put our guys in better positions to utilize all of those strengths and we’re going to do a better job of that. All of us working together, that’s what a team is, all of us working together to become better as a whole unit. Time’s yours.”
Q: At what point are you what you are offensively and just need to play to your strengths, rather than try and make it something you’re not?
REID: “Listen, I think you evaluate those things and you try to do that. We try to play to our strengths. You look at the run-pass ratio and when you’re behind, then you’ve got to throw the ball a little bit more. We’ve been hovering around that 50/50 area and I think that’s probably where we’re the best, right in that area. Where we can still keep defenses off balance; you’ve seen a lot of man coverage. They’re packing the box in. Obviously, they know we’ve got a pretty good runner there. There’s a point where you have to do some things, throwing the ball, and you try and mix and match it the best you possibly can.”
Q: Is there a way to maintain Jamaal Charles’ numbers and still win? Do you need more explosiveness?
REID: “Yeah, I mean I care about points and turnovers. Those are the two primary stats. We didn’t score enough points yesterday to win the game. So, do we need more explosive plays? Yeah, we probably need a few more explosive plays. It needs to happen in both the pass and the run game if we’re going to be successful and win football games. That’s what you do. We’re not trying not to have explosive plays. That’s not what we’re trying to do.”
Q: Why has Jamaal Charles not had the big plays that he did last year? Does it have to do with the run blocking?
REID: “I don’t know about that. It’s an emphasis on being able to throw the football and we’ve learned that in the past. You have to be able to throw the football in this league so we’re working on that. We’re working on getting better at both of those spots.”
Q: Did Kyle Williams play on offense at all yesterday?
REID: “No, he wasn’t here long enough and you don’t want to put him in a bad position. He’s a guy that we’ll start working in and giving him an opportunity to do some things.”
Q: What realistic role do you see him playing?
REID: “We’ll see how it works out this week as we get into the game plan part of that. He’s been a productive player, so we’ll see how that works into the game plan.”
Q: Are you getting concerned that your pass rush is being figured out?
REID: “I don’t think so. I think he (Peyton Manning) did a great job of getting the ball out fast. To get to the quarterback in this league, it’s not only having good people to rush the quarterback, it’s a joint effort. You have to make sure you make life rough on them as far as covering the receivers. He was able to get us a couple of times. His third down production wasn’t very good, his quarterback rating was well below what he normally played at. We gave our offense a great opportunity to start the second half with; three in-and-outs, right in a row, bang, bang, bang. We didn’t take advantage of that offensively. We lost the field position battle there, but we were right in the position to take care of business and we didn’t take care of business. I think he made the adjustment to get the ball out as fast as he could. It wasn’t his best day. To answer your question, going back on the turnovers, yeah, we want turnovers. We had three chances, legitimate chances to catch the football and there was pressure on the quarterback. He had to make adjustments to get the football out fast and we were there to make the interceptions. They were just low scoops that you have to make. Those are the tough ones, but we’re very capable of doing that.”
Q: How do you perceive the collective response from the players and coaches heading into this week with San Diego?
REID: “The guys, they understand. It’s tough to go undefeated in the National Football League. That’s a tough thing. What’s real is that you are 9-1 and you have an opportunity to play a good football team coming in here. That’s real. That’s what it is. You get yourself right and you go back to the things I mention every week. No matter what people write or say, you go back and respect that opponent that’s coming in. You study that opponent, then you get yourself right and ready to play them. It’s no more complicated than that, of getting yourself ready to play. It’s not going to take you long, you turn on the tape and it’s right there, you’re playing a good football team, coming up. These guys understand that. They’ve worked very hard to put themselves in this position. It’s a tough-minded group; they’ll respond here.”
Q: What was the mood like on the trip back? How disappointed were they?
REID: “Well, you better be a little disappointed. You put a lot of time and effort each week preparing for that team, so you better feel a little bit. You better also figure out the answer of why; why does this happen? Then, you learn from it. That’s what you do. Then you talk and they get it. They were out there, they’re the ones playing, they understand. The coaches, there are calls that you want back, that you made, we’ve got it. We’ll fix it and get it right.”
Q: Can you talk about being aggressive and going for it on fourth down, like we saw a few times last night?
REID: “I thought field position was important and we had our time outs. We were good with our time outs. I thought we had a little something that we had going there that would have been an opportunity. I believe it was a 14-point game right there, and we were within striking distance and that’s not a bad position to be in right there, with them backed up. That’s why I went with it. I felt it was the right thing to do right there and I’ve gone back and reviewed it and feel the same way.”
Q: What was your thinking behind the long field goal that you guys decided not to go for, before half?
REID: “I’ve had a couple of experiences and normally the kicker is going to drive it a little bit low, especially when he is going to set an NFL record. It ends up being a low drive. The other thing is I know DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) and they had him back there in return position. People don’t know that because he doesn’t do that anymore, but he’s a heck of a returner. So the combination, two negatives, that’s a decision that I have to make and I just didn’t think it was right. I know (we had) the high altitude and a good kicker, but it wasn’t the time and place for that.”
Q: If they hadn’t sent the returner out, would you have done it?
REID: “No, I’ve had two of them blocked right there, just before half in that same situation. You start driving the ball, low trajectory and you get those things blocked. It just wasn’t the time and place. We were right there, with that score and time. I didn’t think that was the smart thing to do.”
Q: Did you learn anything from your team after this game that you didn’t know before?
REID: “I know they’ll compete; I knew that going in. That’s a tough place to play; I’ve got it. (We’re) a young football team and we have to get better; I know that too. There are no excuses, zero. We’ll get it right.”