Q: Does that mean he’ll be listed as questionable or do you not want to get into that?
HALEY: “That’s what he’ll be listed, questionable. Limited practice, questionable (game status).”
Q: Does this Friday feel different, do you feel the end of the season coming and the importance of these games?
HALEY: “Yeah, any time you’re in December and you’re in the mix they’re big games. Like I’ve said, we keep them in the present tense as best we can. This is the fourth quarter of the season, each quarter we’re trying to get to 3-1 but the difference is there’s no quarter after this. There’s no fudge room so we’re trying to get to three wins. If you’re going to do that in one of these quarters, ideally the fourth quarter is one you’d like to for sure get your three wins.”
Q: In making the decision on QB
HALEY: “Yeah, absolutely. Without getting into details, that’s been ongoing because this isn’t your run-of-the-mill injury that a lot of us have a lot of experience with so we do have to lean to the doctors a bunch in making sure that the right thing’s being done.”
Q: So if a doctor says that he would advise against it, that’s the decision you’d go with?
HALEY: “Absolutely. Player safety is number one in any situation, but obviously in this one that we have less experience on than other things.”
Q: Is it a team doctor or his personal doctor?
HALEY: “No, we have multiple team doctors but we always have a couple with us on each trip.”
Q: Is stopping the run the number one priority?
HALEY: “Always, always. Last week we struggled stopping the run. The week before we struggled against Denver stopping the run. It’s one of those things that you see sometimes with protections, whether it’s pass protection, field goal protection, punt protection, this is a copycat league and when you put on tape of some of those games, you’re going to get attacked and you’re going to have to prove that you can stop the run. This is an efficient running team, they’re a very well-balanced attack, they have one of the best backs in the league so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Q: Have you designated a ‘get back’ coach yet after the league sent out its bench memo?
HALEY: “We always have two, coach (Mike) Clark and coach (Brent) Salazar are always on it. I take great pride in our sideline. They get mad at me, Brent and Mike, because I don’t let them watch the game much and I keep after them because that’s always a chore – keeping everybody back – but as the head coach I take great pride in our sideline.”
Q: Did you watch the San Diego/San Francisco game last night?
HALEY: “Some of it.”
Q: Is there a difference for the guys or your approach to this weekend?
HALEY: “No. Our focus is on one thing and that’s trying to get to 1-1. I think the guys understand that if we take care of our business as we’ve been doing throughout the year, we’ve gotten to our goal twice, in two quarters and one we didn’t – we were 2-2 in the second quarter – so our focus is on trying to reach that goal. We put ourselves behind the eight-ball a little bit by losing the first one because now you don’t have a lot of margin for error.”
Q: Two weeks ago WR
HALEY: “Well, I think I saw what everybody else saw, I saw our entire offense struggle, it was the entire offense. It was 11 guys plus coaches; we were all responsible for that on both sides of the ball and on special teams. The key is that everybody’s accountable and that we bounce back and Dwayne’s in that group because there isn’t anybody that can pat themselves on the back after a game like that and the guy’s got it, he understands it; he’s working hard to try to help us get to our goal.”
Q: Do you think he was pressing at all?
HALEY: “I don’t want to speak for Dwayne. I think the whole team, we did not play our best football and we’ve had a couple of those this year and fortunately we’ve been able to bounce back from those games and we need to bounce back this week.”
Q: This is your 20th week of the season and you had all 61 guys practicing all three days. How does that happen?
HALEY: “I think there’s some luck involved, obviously. We work really hard; I think the off-season comes into play with keeping your guys healthy; I think in-season keeping a strong, strong focus and emphasis on making our guys get into the cold tub and hydrate and take care of their bodies – eating, drinking – all the things that they’re supposed to do. I think the way they practice comes into play because you’ve got to consider that we’re in pads a bunch this year; I would have to believe it’s as much or more than anybody else so you’ve got some rough practices that you’ve got to practice the right way which means keeping guys off the ground and doing the little things. It’s just an overall focus that you try to keep with your team and helps you a little bit in that area. Again, there’s some good fortune, too.”
Q: Confidence-wise, would you like to see your guys play with a little swagger this weekend after they kind of lost their way a little bit last week?
HALEY: “Yeah, I don’t think anybody came out of that game with a lot of confidence. That’s the key, that’s one of the keys to bouncing back, to understand what allows you to play good football, what allows you to win games and get back to doing those things. I thought the week of practice built up as it went on. I think early on in the week, I think guys were feeling a little sorry for themselves, no different than some of the other tough losses that we’ve had to endure or survive or overcome. Some of it’s mental and you’ve got to understand that we’ve bounced back before and we understand how and why we were able to. That’s the key.”