Q: You had some sacks early in the Denver game that set the tone. How did that work out for you?
CRENNEL: “That worked out because we were able to make some plays. The first game we didn’t make any plays and this game we were able to make some plays early and that helped our confidence, attitude and carry us through the rest of the game. Every play in any game is important so you have to be ready to play your best on all levels.”
Q: Do you see a higher level of energy from the defense after the team doesn’t convert on fourth down?
CRENNEL: “It is the defense’s job to go play defense wherever the ball is and whatever the situation is and so you know that you are just going to have to go play. I don’t know that there was any extra, I think that we just go and play ball.”
Q: How different is San Diego as a team offensively, especially with the addition of FB Mike Tolbert?
CRENNEL: “Tolbert is a really good player. As you watch him he is a very good blocker, he can catch the ball and he is very tough hearted because he has a low center of gravity. He is built pretty stout and you have to do a good job of tackling him. I think the difference is maybe shiftiness initially, but he is no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. I think that they are able to run their offense whoever the back is in there.”
Q: How about any other differences in their offense?
CRENNEL: “They are a good football team, they have good skill people including their quarterback who is doing a great job. They just slipped up a little bit last week, hopefully they will slip again this week. We know that it is going to be a tough game and I think that we are prepared for it.”
Q: What makes TE Antonio Gates more of a receiver?
CRENNEL: “Because he has great ability, he knows how to find openings in the zone, he knows how to beat man-to-man, he has seen every kind of double coverage known to man and so he knows how to handle those things. To still be able to catch balls with all of that going on says that you have a lot of ability. It says that you have good hands, you have good recognition of what is happening to you on the football field and that makes him good.”
Q: Do you view him as a receiver rather than a tight end?
CRENNEL: “No, I think he is a tight end. We know that they are going to throw him the ball and he is going to catch it. If I had a tight end that was going to catch it every time I threw it to him I would throw it to him too. That is what you have to deal with.”
Q: Where does QB Philip Rivers rank in your books?
CRENNEL: “I think he is rated at the top of the league when you look at the stats and all of that. He is a big, tall quarterback, he has some mobility and he can move and avoid the rush. He can run if he needs to but he would much rather throw it and he has a very strong arm and good people that he can throw to. He basically places it in good spots so all of those things put him at the top. When you look at the stats he is up there at the top.”
CRENNEL: “Carr has made a lot of progress as the year has gone on and I think that we have all seen that. I don’t know that people expected him to make the plays that he made last week but we knew that he had that kind of ability and he stepped up. He was challenged; he accepted the challenge and made the plays. I think that he is a better player as a result of that and I think he has more confidence too as a result of that.”
Q: Did Carr pick your brain more than the other guys when you first came in?
CRENNEL: “Not my brain more than any others, maybe he talked to Emmitt (Thomas) a little bit more which if you have a pro bowler coaching you then you should talk to him. I think all of our guys want to be coached and they want to learn and try to figure out how to win. We have been fortunate that we have been able to win the number that we have. Going into this last month of the season here we need to amp it up so that we can play better and hopefully win the majority of these.”