I think that there certainly were some outstanding individual plays and guys that did make strong contributions but again Iím not going to change my tune from being disappointed in terms of the overall outcome of the game, the way the game was played because remember, going into the game I was very interested in upgrading our execution and in instances, yes, but overall I did not see the kind of execution that I was anticipating and therefore I was disappointed.
Q: What about effort? Last night you seemed to be a little down on the energy level.
A: I expected more. I did. And I can give you page after page about effort but what Iím going to say is that thereís effort and then there is the kind of intensity that a guy brings to the table when youíre playing the game to solidify your team and your circumstance in all of the individual position. Yeah, there was effort. Iím not going to challenge or say there wasnít that. There were a lot of young guys that had the opportunity of a lifetime. I mean, you look at that secondary last night and the chances that those kids had to play, especially those corners, those guys playing up front there, the nickel and the two corners, so you know there was an awful lot of importance attached to the game for a lot of our guys. Iím not going to say that it wasnít there, I am going to say that it can be better. I hope that thereís an experience of learning here and those who are well aware of the difference between what happens in a regular season game and a preseason game and why there is so much significance attached to the third game, trying to equate it as best you can to regular season. I hope that theyíre able to share their feelings with their teammates.
Q: You say that you hope they share their feelings with their teammates? How much can a coach really do in terms of that?
A: A coach can certainly stimulate that. The idea of playing and performing and competing is the presentation that the coach presents to the players. All the different reasons for the importance of it, what the significance of this game is, or any games and the situation, the circumstances, the opportunities, the setting, the scene, the whys, the hows, the works, the off-season work, the training camp work to get to the point where youíre getting very very close to the decisions that have to be made for your team, your 53, those are the things that obviously the presentation on the part of the coach are. Now, the individual going onto the field, heís responsible for the effort that he gives to bring the best out of his ability. Thereís no challenge or any doubt about that. However, the setting the scene and the responsibility, and donít let the other guys down and how important it is that you play well so that the guy next to you can play well. All those things are very very real and very much thought to be said to the players by the coaches.
Q: Some of the players said last night that they think they need to be doing more of that. Has anyone come to you to day and asked for the floor?
A: No, but I do agree that when you do start to enter into that category youíre talking about leadership and youíre talking about the ability of the players to demand a level of performance from one another that equates to the game or the importance of being in the National Football League. I think that that certainly has to happen. If youíre going to have the kind of team that you want to have then the type of individual who feels ownership and is not afraid to express the fact that there is an acceptable level of performance and effort, I think that a big part of it.
Q: Do you have any idea whether the starters will play on Thursday?
A: Theyíll play but for how longÖ Usually I donít play them for too long but I do play them.
Q: Does last nightís performance influence how much theyíll play?
A: No. Thatís the other question that was brought up and at that point in time Iím not sure what my answer was but that will be one of the considerations, but it will not be the only consideration.
Q: It looks like Justin Tuck has a bit more of a burst back this year.
A: Iím seeing that. Iím seeing power, Iím seeing strength. I saw him get to the edge and win on the edge and then I saw him finish and he delivered a nice blow when he did finish. Very legal, very clean hit, but nevertheless a very forceful one and I was pleased to see that and Iím hoping that the guys in the room when they see that on film, that they talk amongst each other about pressuring the quarterback and getting there, defending the run and that type of thing. Iím hoping that they all share in with what was accomplished last night with Rocky Bernard and with Justin Tuck and with Linval Joseph and with the other guys that were able to put pressure on. Pressure and hits on the quarterback are cumulative and thatís obviously what weíre trying to accomplish here at three different levels and we did get some things done last night.
Q: Are you tempted to sit your starters (in the preseason finale)?
A: Was I tempted to? No Iíve never been tempted to. I think that the way that we have our final game scheduled for a Thursday and then the opportunity for the players to have some rest and for us to come back the following week with a couple of days off and a chance to refresh our thoughts about the end of the preseason, the beginning of the regular season. I donít think that thereís anything wrong with playing your starters for a quarter or for at least some length of time just to make sure that theyíve had that speed work, that live work Ė not to overdo it, not to put them in any kind of situation other than the fact that itís a chance to do something with that speed and that physical play and then to have a few days Ė a ten day period Ė before the start of the regular season. So Iíve never thought of that as something that was detrimental.
Q: There seemed to be a lot of room for their receivers to get underneath there on defense. Why was that?
A: We game planned. We game planned. There were some occasions where youíre right. There were some fundamental routes that we all learned but that didnít seem to get covered very well. We did play quite a bit of man coverage, which part of the reason for that was that there was a lot at stake for some of our corners and our people in the secondary. There was a lot at stake in regard to that. We needed to clarify and to put them in positions where there was no question about their responsibility and just to see how that would turn out. Sure, there were some gaps underneath, some of that was when we did play some zone coverage. Thatís what you saw last night. They certainly came into the game with their plan Ė to throw the ball that many times, et cetera, et cetera. We were kind of thinking that they would try to run and we would have a pretty good mix there between the run and the pass but it didnít quite turn out that way.
Q: Do you expect Jim Sorgi back this week?
A: Heís not going to practice tomorrow.
Q: Can you run down the other injuries with us? Adrian Tracy?
A: Heís got a dislocated elbow and heís having an MRI but thereís a possibility he could be out 2-3. Gerris Wilkinson did have a groin strain last night and theyíre conducting examinations on Gerris as well.
Q: Shaun OíHara and Aaron Ross are definitely out next week?
A: As of tomorrow, yes.
Q: How about Chris Canty and Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: Theyíre going to get some limited work. Yes. They were improved.
Q: How did Keith Bulluck and Kenny Phillips look and how did they come out of the game physically?
A: They came out of the game well. They both played a little bit more. They were rusty and theyíre starting to get a little bit more in the groove. Physically, they came out fine.
Q: How is Sinorice Moss?
A: Heís going to have a second opinion on that and I believe that thatís tomorrow.
Q: What is the indication from the first opinion?
A: Weíll see what the doctors say. Itís the groin, pelvic area and the soreness has continued so theyíre going to continue to test and see if there is anything different there.
Q: Are there any indications that itís a long-term thing?
A: I really donít know. I wouldnít be able to tell you until Sinorice returns with this opinion.
Q: You did not get much from the kick return or the punt return game. Are you concerned? What is the plan for that?
A: Well, there is concern. We are looking for improvement there on a constant basis. We did have a couple of opportunities last night now. Tim Brown had a chance on kickoff return on two different returns to get out to at least the safety and who knows what beyond that. One, a guy Ė a defender Ė slipped off a block right at the last minute and tackled him and on another one he kind of tripped himself up as he was entering the hole, so there was some progress made there. Tim also had a couple of punt returns, which, I donít know that they created any kind of significance for anyone else but they were 13 and 14 yards so thatís certainly better than weíve been having but weíre continuing to try to resolve that issue, try lots of people and keep an open mind about whatís going on in the league and who is available and what have you.
Q: How much did Matt Dodge help himself last night?
A: Well I think he got more consistent. They werenít all great punts but certainly he continues to get the work and the work is really helping him tremendously I think. He did boom one off of the minus one again last night Ė a tremendous change the field kind of a punt Ė and he did do some other things that looked good. Itís just a shame that we werenít able to down that Aussie kick but the more he plays, the more consistent he gets and youíve just got to work those one or two poorly punted balls out of the routine.
Q: Do you expect Jim Sorgi back? Should he be worried about his place on the roster?
A: Well, I know heís not coming back tomorrow and thatís really all I can say. A lot was made of the fact that this week Ė someone asked me last week if Jim was going to be able to appear this weekend Ė I really didnít have any inclination or any reason to think that, but I was asked the question so I tried to respond properly and my response is the same, he will not practice tomorrow. My medical sheet says no.
Q: Are you considering going in another direction or are you committed to keeping him until heís healthy?
A: Well, weíre going to go by whatever the medical circumstance is. Of course, the closer we get weíre going to have to make some calls but letís get some response this week from a medical standpoint.
Q: Are you disappointed in the leadership on the team so far?
A: Well we are constantly looking for people to emerge and of course the best example is by example itself but thatís always something that is a very interesting part of the dynamic of the locker room, that positive leadership comes forth and I think weíre still in a position where that is evolving.
Q: Are you making any roster moves tomorrow or waiting until Tuesday?
A: Well, weíll see. That has not been discussed. Weíre going to discuss that tonight, but we have until Tuesday.