S Michael Thomas -- December 5, 2018
Q: In the safety room, how do you guys replace (Landon Collins)?
A: Obviously everything else he has brought to this team from his leadership, embracing all of us thatís new coming in, trying to make sure weíre all prepared, we know what to do, especially if weíre in like new spots and stuff like that. Itís tough and obviously I donít know everything thatís going on, I pray itís not that serious, but obviously weíre going to miss him, but itís an opportunity for young guys to step up, our new guys to step up. You donít just replace a guy like LC, two-time Pro Bowl player, All-Pro safety. You donít just replace that, so thatís my brother, weíre going to ride for him.
Q: How about old guys stepping up?
A: Oh yeah, you need everybody, but like I said, when injuries happen, itís a chance for guys to get their opportunities that werenít otherwise there.
Q: What has impressed you about Landon, heís been pretty durable until this?
A: Obviously his durability, the best ability in football is your availability, but the fact that heís as humble as he is with all the success he has so young in his career, heís a great teammate, he understands football, he knows where to be on his run fits and stuff are great. He helps other guys, he communicates well, so thatís what Iím really impressed with about him
Q: The way he came back into the game after that and then played out the rest of the game?
A: That just speaks about who he is. I wouldnít want to play with anybody other than him at that position. Heís going to leave it all out there on the field, it sucks. Iíve been through it, a lot of guys have been through it, you got a lot of decisions to make about, Ďoh, do I want to keep going out there, putting on the line for my teammates, but also I got to think about my long-term career as well.í Like I said, Iím praying itís not too serious, but itís tough.
Q: What do you guys in the secondary have to focus on without him out there?
A: Everybody at the same time has to do their job. Do your job. If youíre in for him, you got a new role, you got to just make sure you communicate. Itís not going to be one guy thatís just going to replace LC, everybodyís got to step up and do your job, do whatever (James) Bettch and coach Lou (Anarumo) are asking us to do.
Q: What have you thought of the guy next to you, Sean Chandler, the way heís played?
A: Like I said, I donít know if everybody heard me say it before, but I coached Sean. I had the pleasure of coaching Sean in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game and what was that Ė January, and I saw it from then that heís got it, so Iím impressed. Iím proud of him, but Iím not surprised. Thatís who he is as a player. He works hard, he always makes sure heís where he needs to be, he goes hard every single play, leaves it out there, so Iím happy for him. Iím happy for all his success.
Q: What do you like most about his skillset from what youíve seen so far from back then through camp and now?
A: Somebody who literally has it all. He has enough size to play at the position, but heís very quick, very aggressive style. Heís willing to tackle, he can cover well so he has all the talent, heís just got to keep improving and learning the pro game now compared to what he did in college and once he gets that, Iím excited for his career.
Q: Is it important for some of these young guys on this roster to experience some winning and develop some winning habits?
A: I think itís important for everybody and like you said, each season brings its own challenges, its own entity, but at the same time, to be able to say, Ďhey, regardless of how we started, this is how we finish.í Thatís the mindset of this team going forward, so whoeverís going to be here has to understand thatís our mindset. Every single person thatís finishing these last four games and has been here for the second half of the season, in our eyes, this mindset is like, Ďhey, your name is on this.í This family is going to stay with you forever, so what you do when youíre 1-7, everybodyís going to see.