WR Sterling Shepard -- November 9, 2018
Q: The red zone has obviously been a struggle. Is there a sense of urgency to turn those explosive plays into touchdowns and how do you do that? Eliminate the middle man and get right to the end zone.
A: That’s tough to say because explosive plays are always good themselves, but if you can take them all the way, then that obviously is better for the team. You just take them as they come and some of them will pop, some of them won’t, but an explosive play all around is good for the team.
Q: Do you like the changes? Do you recognize the changes that were made during the bye, if any?
A: Yeah. Just more of an emphasis on the red zone because we realize that’s where we struggled a little bit and we got to get that corrected if we want to win games, so putting more stuff in there and trying to figure out what the problem was.
Q: Why do you think the red zone’s been a struggle?
A: Just not being assignment sound. I feel like one guy is always off or two guys off when we get into the red zone and that can kill your chances of scoring.
Q: This season, do you – I mean, you know where the red zone is from the 18 or 20 or whatever. When you get the first down or something at the 18 or 19 or something, do you think differently?
A: Yeah, I feel differently whenever we get there. You want to be the person to make the play. I feel like if everybody has that mentality, then we’ll get in, but it all comes back down to being fundamentally sound because like I said, if you have one guy messing up missing an assignment, it kills your chances.
Q: Is that one of the reasons, because everything is so condensed? It’s a smaller area.
A: It is, but that’s the reason why you put plays in for the red zone. You use what you use in the field.
Q: It’s not like you use the same plays from your 20 at their 20.
A: Yeah. You wouldn’t run a deep post.
Q: Is it even possible that sometimes guys press once you guys get inside the red zone because there is such an urgency that we’re so close to getting the touchdown?
A: I feel like that can play a factor in sometimes. Guys get anxious to get into the end zone and maybe might blow an assignment, so that’s what I say. You got to be fundamentally sound, especially when we get down there and you get more energized.
Q: If you’re not fundamentally sound, there’s a mistake. There’s a holding penalty or a procedure penalty, there’s a little bit of a setback. Some teams can overcome that. You don’t want to, but you overcome that. Do you see some guys kind of dragging once there’s a mistake, like, ‘oh boy’?
A: I wouldn’t say I see anybody drag or show any signs, but we just know as unit that kills us, that’s hurts us a lot, so we got to eliminate those and that’s the bottom line.