Coach Parcells had his regular Monday press conference and talked on a wide range of subjects, everything from the gameplan to what happened on Billy Cundiff's pooch punt. Coach talked at length today, gave some pretty good answers, and wasn't as evasive as normal. He also got on better with the press than he did last week. Take the time to read it, it's interesting stuff.
Click the link below to read the recap.
Kick coverage didn't start off well. The first two were not great, but after that we did a pretty good job. He's a very, very dangerous player and most teams don't kick to him at all, but with their offense so prolific we didn't want to give them any field position if we could help it. Now, as it turns out they got it anyway, but but it got better later in the game,
Kevin Burnett played 7 plays on defense. Made 2 tackles and 1 on special teams. I'm getting a little more trust for him on defense. He's still up and down on special teams. He doesn't have a good feel for everything yet there. He overreacts to things.
We've been close in most of these games, so our players are kind of used to playing in them To be down 3 different times and come back, that's good. I think we knew it was going to be that kind of game. I thought the game was going to be pretty up-tempo for both teams. I think that they seem to compete good overall, but when you look at that one the morning after its not as asthetically pleasing as you would like. I'm happy that we won, but it could have gone either way easily.
Didn't play well. We made them punt a few times, but we played 17 or 18 defensive players and 8 or 9 didn't play well at all. Only a couple played really well. We did get one turnover that was critical and made them punt a few times. Especially that first possession when they had such good field position. I was particularly upset when we had them pinned back 3rd and 12 late in the game and we called the exact defense for what they were going to do and we missed the tackle that gave them the 1st down. That swung field position. There were a lot of things that weren't good. Fortunately, we did enough to get it done. That last offensive drive was really good.
Who played well on defense?
I thought Fujita and Marcus Spears played well. We could have done a lot of things better, but those are the kind of things that rookie and young defensive players have problems with. Because they get confused easily, because they get so caught up in the window dressing and shifting. Young players don't get a fix on the final formation.
What do you mean when you say you like this team?
I'm not running a boys camp here, but we got good kids here on the tam. I don't have discipline problems. I have minimal fines handed out. They come to work and do what you ask them to do. I'm not distracted by the squeaky wheels. That hasn't been the case since I've been here. Really the opposite. We're a little less than perfect, but I think the young guys are coming along and making contributions that are important. I think we have a good group of veterans with their attitude who understand where we are. I don't know how this is going ot turn out. No coach in this division does. A lot of the games in the division were like ours yesterday. I just know I'm going to get a good effort and work out of the players most of the time. That's important.
Do you approach the Redskins different from last time?
For the majority we played well on defense, but their offense has opened up since then. Their defense has been pretty good and consistent for most of the year. They gave us problems in that first game. We had our opportunities, but we didn't take advantage of them. It will be another tough game, and they're still in the race so I expect it to be a good battle.
Twice you've said you knew you had to open the offense this season, and both times you scored 30 points. So why don't I do it all the time?
It's a fair question that is difficult to explain. We didn't turn the ball over yesterday, but taking that approach usually lends yourself that. We had a ball striped where we got lucky that our guy just managed to fall on it. But if you take that gunslinger attitude every game, it will cost you. I don't think that's percentage football. As a coach, you try to decide what gives your team the best chance to win. Then you hope they execute that plan. Yesterday, I felt that if we don't get them on their heels that they will make enough plays on offense that we can't maintain pace with them. I told the team exactly what we were going to do on Wednesday and there will be risk involved in this, and it can fail just as easily as it will succeed. Then we got those two holding penalties, and it looked we were on the wrong path. But late in the game, the execution... it wasn't just one or two plays, but a number of plays ... there was never any point in time that we had to guess what we were doing on the coaching staff.
How do you define a gunslinger attitude?
If you put your team at risk, however you do it, I think that's a gunslinger attitude. I think if you put your team at risk too much and playing low percentage football it will cost you. And I know there are nice little phrases like "no risk, no reward", and all the crap ...but its proven time and time again that if you turnover the ball you lose 80% of the time. If you don't take care of the ball, you'll lose.
Does the amount of weapons you have on offense change that?
Its not just your weapons, but can whether w can block them. Can we protect the QB? You can have all the weapons in the world but its useless if you don't have time to get the ball to them. That's putting the team at risk. There's risk and calculated risk. Yesterday we calculated that we were going to need points.
What about the phrase "If I'm going to go down, I'll go down swinging"?
It's a nice phrase for people not interested in coaching for a long period of time. Its like the boxer who goes into the ring throwing haymakers. They usually end up getting knocked out early, because its usually not the best way to fight a fight. And there's a lot of that in sports. There are a lot of people who want to pervey a certain attitude ... that want people to think that they are they are aggressive and confidant, but at the end of the day its because they don't believe they can win any other way.
Where does yesterday's gameplan rate on the risk scale?
Well, for the year we're about at a 50/50 run to pass ratio. Yesterday was about the same. It was calculated risk. We wanted to keep them off balance .. which is exactly what they do. I'm telling you, its no big deal.
TNew at WR?
Todd Haley had a brainstorm .. and it has some reason behind it. So we practiced it a few times. Maybe you'll see it some more. We were going to do it again in the game, but we changed our minds at the last minute.
Has he shown enough to you that you feel comfortable with him at WR?
No, but he is a threat with the ball in his hands.
Terry is a really good player, I thought that since the first day I put my eyes on him. He's not a big guy, but he's a good weapon. Teams are aware of him. They don't just let him run loose. KC wasn't letting him run loose. He had to make some really good moves and work really hard to get those receptions.
Can defenses take him out of the game?
You can take anyone out, it just a matter of what it will cost you to do it. The problem is when they have diverse group of weapons, they make you pay for it.
Last drive ... what stands out for you that wouldn't be obvious to a bystander?
We had a long yardage situation where we checked it down to Barber early in the drive that got us a 1st down. And right there on the 1 on the play that we scored, a lot of the coaches wanted to call time out, but I told them to save the time out. We called the play action pass rather than use the timeout because either it was going to be a TD or an incompletion and the clock would stop in either case.
Gibbs interviewed at A&M.
I know he spoke to them, but I don't know if they gave him the job. He'll keep us posted, but he said he would be here the remainder of this season no matter what.
We are going to have some problems, and we did. They competed better than the week before. It wasn't without problems, but ... they competed better. We didn't help them hardly at all. That's what you have to do if you want to be aggressive in the passing game, and they would have to hold up or we were going to get beat.
Trying harder at what we asked them to do.
Barber earn more carries?
I don't know how the next game will unfold, but I plan on using him. I don't think he'll start. I didn't know who had what as far as the most carries after the game. I thought Barber got a little tired at the end, and left some yards out there on the final drive. So he wasn't perfect. He's doing a little better protecting the ball, and he knows going into the game that he'll be involved. I'm happy with his progress. He's got a ways to go. After last week, I felt we needed to use him a little more. About the 3rd series we had scheduled to use him. I'm not sure that is what happened.
Witten playing as well last year without the stats?
Yes, he's more experienced. I have high expectations for him, so I'm on his case more than what's fair. I nitpick on him, because my expectations for him are high. I know he's everybody's All American blue eyed wonder. There are a lot of things he needs to work on.
What happened on the pooch kick that looked so strange?
My bilingual snapper with a masters degree forgot to get the call. He's supposed to snap it directly to Cundiff. Lucky Romo was heads up back there.
Last pass to Dante Hall?
One of the problems you have with a 3 man rush is a QB can step up in the pocket to get more time. We didn't reroute him the way we should have. No excuse for that.
How much do you hear the players wanting you to change your gameplan?
If they are doing it, they are doing it in the closet because I don't hear much of it. Drew will say a few things, but that's about it. I don't mind getting a player's input, but there are corollaries on that ... if they want to talk, then I get to talk back and they don't like to hear what I have to say a lot of times. Drew came onto the sidelines and said "Let's do this" and we did it and he hit Jason for the TD. That's a good thing.
There's a perception that this has been going on all year.
If the players want the whistle they can have it. I've offered it to them all year, and no one has taken it.
With all of these close games, do you ever think you are getting too old for this?
Vermeil and I were talking about that. I enjoy the competition, I really do. I've enjoyed it. There doesn't look like there is any end to this for the foreseeable future. It keeps you alert and you usually have a pretty bad headache when the game is over, and that's the truth.
What does the team need to get into the playoffs for these final 3 games? Do you like your chances?
We'll need to play better on defense. We could see some weather this weekend. The field could not be in great shape. You better be ready to deal with it. I don't know whether I like our chances or not, but I like our opportunity. I think we'll be in it until the end. There are several teams who won't be.
How many teams do you think in the NFL feel like their kickers are a sure thing from 42 yards?
I wouldn't say there are a lot of sure things in the NFL. KC got their snapper hurt a few weeks ago, and their snapper didn't get the most mechanical snap off and changed things. But I was already thinking about OT. You have to be.
Did okay. Missed a couple of blocks in space that I wish he would have made. But he did okay at the point of attack. A lot of the big runs we ran were 1 back sets, so I wouldn't attribute using a FB to a better running game this week.