OPENING STATEMENT: Today, we’re going to focus on third down a little bit in our preparation for the game. On the injury list, [Kevin] Boss, he’s doubtful, [Devon] Wylie is not going to be able to do much, so he’s doubtful, yesterday, [Jacques] Reeves had a hamstring, so he’s doubtful, [Jake] O’Connell, he’s going to try to do a little bit today. We’ll see if he can do anything. [Ryan] Lilja will try to do a little bit today, [Kendrick] Lewis and [Anthony] Toribio have been doing a little bit, [Jalil] Brown did pretty decent yesterday, [Dexter] McCluster didn’t do bad yesterday, [Jamaal] Charles made it through yesterday. So, we’ll go out today and continue our work and see what we can get done. Attitudes are decent. They’re still working, trying to improve, and that’s what we need to do.”
ADAM TEICHER (KANSAS CITY STAR): You called Boss and Reeves doubtful. Do you mean doubtful for the game or practice today?
TEICHER: What about [Steve] Breaston? How did he do yesterday?
CRENNEL: “He did okay yesterday. He should be okay today.”
TEICHER: If Lilja can’t go Sunday, you’ve got another young guy,
CRENNEL: “Against this particular team, it’s probably not the best because of the varying pressures that they bring, but he’s a smart young man and has gotten good work yesterday and [will get] good work today and tomorrow, and we’ll have him prepared the best we can.”
TEICHER: What did you like about him when he was coming out of Illinois?
CRENNEL: “He’s a big guy who played tackle. He has guard/tackle versatility, and we thought that by moving him inside that that would help us. He’s taken to the position pretty nicely.”
T.J. CARPENTER (SPORTS RADIO 810): Do you think the results the last two games are indicative of how competitive the games have been in the league?
CRENNEL: “In this league, one play can make a difference in a game. It can turn momentum and then you don’t know what happens after the momentum turns. We haven’t been able to turn the momentum. If we get to the point where we can make one of those plays and see how it impacts us, then I will be able to answer that question a little better. Every game, there are one or two plays you can say, ‘Well, if we had made this play, then it could have been different,’ but we didn’t make the play and it is what it is.”
T.J. CARPENTER (SPORTS RADIO 810): What can you do to improve the communication between the players on the field?
CRENNEL: “Just try to put them in those situations so they have to communicate with each other, and we try to do that, been doing it all camp as a matter of fact. All the away games we have crowd noise and all those things, so we put the emphasis on communication and getting better at the things we need to get done.”
CARPENTER: Has the injured players being out made it difficult to get better on defense?
CRENNEL: “Yes. Anytime you have a guy who is out and then you have to put a new guy in, it’s a little different. They’re not at the same level of communication, same trust level so to speak.”
CARPENTER: Are there similarities on the offensive side?
CRENNEL: “Sure. Yes. When you work with a guy, the guy sitting next to you, you get used to him and get to know and anticipate what he’s going to do, his thought process, his movement pattern, and all that, so you can depend on that. You put somebody new there and now you have to feel it out and see what’s going to happen a little bit.”
BOB GRETZ (BOB GRETZ.COM): Is communication one of the things that give coaches gray hairs?
CRENNEL: “When you don’t communicate, it’s hard to be on the same page, and that’s what we preach to them all the time, even simple stuff. I tell them all the time, ‘the simple things, communicate the simple things, and that will help get everybody on the same page.’ When a guy is rushing, I want him to tell the guy next to him that he is rushing. Even though he knows he is rushing, the guy next to him should know he’s rushing, but if we communicate it, then there is no chance for error. I mean, boom. Sometimes when you communicate, you may jog the memory of the guy next to you because he’s thinking about a lot of things himself. Then when the guy says, ‘Well, I’m rushing,’ boom, he’s into him, his rush lane, and some other things can happen.”
RANDY COVITZ (KC STAR): Does that also play into leadership? Shouldn’t there be some leaders on this field that facilitate that communication?
CRENNEL: “Well, you can only remind so many guys. If you tell one guy to remind the ten other guys what they’re supposed to do, then remember what he’s supposed to do, sometimes you might not have enough time to get all that done. Everybody has to do their job, and that’s part of it. Part of my job is to communicate to the guy next to me, then if I just do that, then to two of us will be on the same page. Then if the guy behind us would just talk to us and talk to the guy next to him, then we’ve got more guys on the same page. Ultimately, that’s what we try to get. We try to get all 11 on the same page.”
COVITZ: It seemed like last year you had guys that did communicate in Casey Wiegmann, Thomas Jones, Jon McGraw, Le’Ron McClain. Seems like those are the types of guys who did communicate?
CRENNEL: “Casey didn’t say a whole lot now.”
COVITZ: On the line he did though.
CRENNEL: “Well, in the game yeah. Part of his job is in the game – but that’s part of his job. He does his job and that allows the guys next to him to do their jobs also. That’s why you harp on it, the simple things – ‘Do this,’ ‘I’m doing this,’ ‘I’m doing that’ – so that now we can get everybody on the same page.”
COVITZ: Are you practicing in pads today?
TEICHER: You get one padded practice a week, that’s how it works now right?
CRENNEL: “Correct. One a week, first 11.”
TOM CHRISTIANSEN (KSHB): When you’re looking at the film, are you looking at what the Saints have been doing wrong or what their opponents have been doing right? Is it a combination of both?
CRENNEL: “It’s a combination, because what you want to do is, you want to try to look at teams who are similar to what you are and what you’re doing to see how they’re going to attack that system. But then if you notice some things that they’re doing wrong, then you can try to take advantage of that.”
CHRISTIANSEN: So if you see something you like from the other team you might borrow it?
CRENNEL: “Not necessarily. Just depends on whether you have it in your system or not. If you’ve got it in your system and that play works, if we’ve got it in our system, let’s use it.”
ALAN SHOPE (KCTV5): Where is
CRENNEL: “He’s made good progress since he’s come on board. I think he’s our leading receiver after two games and has been productive. So I expect him to continue to improve and get better as he goes along.”