Tice: Good afternoon. Well you have to be proud of the way the team battled and didn't succumb to the early crowd noise, the great intensity of the game, the 14-0 deficit. They battled back, made plays, got back in the game and gave us an opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter. We didn't make enough plays defensively in the fourth quarter to get them off the field. In looking through the tape, we're not quite finished with the defensive tape yet, looking through the tape to this point, with about nine minutes left to go in the game there were, I'll tell you, excellent calls by the defensive staff that put the players in the position to make some plays and take away some things at certain times when there were some tendencies that we were able to identify over the course of the week. There were a number of times that we didn't come up and make those plays. That's disappointing. It's taking us a little longer to get through that tape because I want to make sure I understand as a coach exactly what we were asking the players to do, exactly what we were thinking and what we were trying to take away at certain points of the game, and there are a number of them. There are a number of them that we didn't make the play. We missed an opportunity to have an interception that would have stopped the drive when it was 14-14. We would have been able to break serve at that point. We started to get a rhythm offensively. I felt like we had a good tempo going offensively. We were running the ball pretty successfully. Daunte (Culpepper) was in a groove, making some plays, but we couldn't break serve. I thought to date it was our best special teams effort of the season. I talked to (Paul Allen) in the pre-game show that we were very close last week on a couple returns. I thought we were one block away last week on two returns, and I think this week we happened to make a couple of those blocks, and we were able to make that play. It all starts with guys that want to return the ball. We have two guys right now that want to return the ball in Kelly Campbell and Nate Burleson. I think they went out and proved that. We're 5-3, on top halfway through the regular season. We want to be on top; we don't want to be 5-3, but I think we showed that we had enough character to succeed when we have our backs against the wall. I think that's one of the positive things to take out of the game. Injury-wise we came out of it pretty good. Aaron's (Elling) done; he broke his right ankle. E.J. (Henderson) sprained that knee and it looks good. He came back in. Randy (Moss) did a great job with his rehab over the weekend. We'll continue to evaluate his progress. I'm sure he'll be listed probably as doubtful. Chris Claiborne continues to improve, and we'll see what his status is. He could be back this week. Raonall Smith should be back this week, which will help, and it looks like Mewelde (Moore) will be back. So we're getting a little bit healthier.
Q: Is this one that got away from you?
A: Well all the ones you lose get away from you. This is one that we put ourselves in a position to win. We didn't make enough plays in the fourth quarter to break serve and give ourselves a chance to take the lead or even to go into overtime. I'm sure a lot of people don't want to look at it this way, but we do in the profession. The good part was coming back from a 14-0 deficit on the road in a hostile environment. The bad part is we had an opportunity to make some plays, i.e. the dropped interception, the loss of contain. There were a number of them, not carrying a receiver. It's not really funny. We were backed up and we knew they were going to run a play-action. We knew the exact route; we had the perfect call on it, the perfect call, and at best case scenario it should have been a batted down ball by a linebacker, but the linebacker takes an absolutely horrendous drop. It was an absolutely great call by the coaches. I was very proud of the call. At the point of the game I questioned if we were in the right call, but when we looked at the tape we were in a (darn) good call. There were a number of occasions like that, a number of occasions that we were in the right call and we didn't execute it properly. For what reason? Some of it's youth, some of it is some guy is trying to make a play, dipping in, taking an inside pass rush when we talk about you have to 100% maintain cage or contain to the quarterback's right side or our left side because that's the only place he escapes to. All (of that was) identified throughout the course of the week. I know I talked to a number of beat writers about certain things that we knew were certain, a number of things that we knew were certain. Why in the course of the game do players decide not to do what they're coached? That's what you go to your grave as a coach questioning. We're young in some areas, especially at linebacker. We had a problem trying to find a Will linebacker that would go out and operate the defenses the way we want them done. We started with (Dontarrious) Thomas; we put in (Mike) Nattiel, and we ended up with (Willie) Offord. But we kept battling, and the coaches kept making adjustments. Some of my initial comments after the game did not hold true when I looked at the tape, where I thought maybe we were in a couple calls that we shouldn't have been in. Actually, we have nine minutes left to go in the game and I haven't seen that. I haven't seen that, so I'm very pleased with that. I thought the coaches had a great plan in, and I even think more right now that they did.
Q: How much during this short week do you allow yourself to evaluate this game?
A: Well we have to really dissect the film and put together a tape of things that, mostly when you put together a tape you don't show a guy missing a tackle. That's a physical thing. You show a guy doing exactly what I'm saying right here, not playing the call the way the call was designed to be played and show the team so they buy into it. "Guys, if you keep contain here, if you carry this seam, if you drop on a 45 to the hash like you're told, this play is a no play." And you can show them five or six plays when it's the same call, and it's executed perfectly, and we're batting down the ball. We're chasing the quarterback around the pocket because he has to hold the ball. And that's what you have to continue to do and teach these players because they have to understand that there's a reason we call certain things, and there's a reason they have to be executed to the T. There's a reason why you have to understand the detail of your assignment, small details of your assignment. If you're told to drop on the hash, you drop on the hash. You don't drop in the middle of the field. There's a reason why you're supposed to drop on the hash, and those are the things we have to continue to improve on. The character of the football team, those things I'm pleased with. The way they played, how hard they played, I'm pleased with those things. How good our quarterback played, I'm pleased with those things. The continued great play of Dave Dixon, I'm pleased with those things. Having Onterrio (Smith) back (was) absolutely excellent. Jermaine Wiggins showing us that he has a great feel for the passing game, all of those things. Antoine Winfield, he's not a good player; he's close to being a great player. All of those things are good. We're 5-3 at the halfway point of the regular season, those things are good, so we have to come back on a short week, get that all corrected and make sure they continue to buy into it. Do the same thing probably defensively. I just left the staff and said, "We have to do the same thing defensively that we did last week offensively when it was clear we weren't going to have Randy. List up your playmakers and let's make sure they're on the field, and let's make sure the guys who aren't making the plays or playing it the way it's called have very minimal roles. Don't allow them to be the one. The one what? The one that allows the offense to make first downs when they shouldn't be at certain times." We'll continue to work on that, and that's what it's all about. Each week there's something we have to fix and something we have to get better at. If we think we're there then we're in big trouble. Obviously we're not there yet. I was very pleased that we made great strides special teams-wise. It seemed like the last couple weeks they were really focused in and it was coming and you could see it coming, so now we have to get that way defensively. We just have to play with more consistency, more consistency. But I'll tell you that #26, he's a great player. We're really lucky to have him. That's a "Good things come in small packages." I think it's evident with him.
Q: Do you enjoy this matchup ahead?
A: Yeah, yeah. Yes, this is a good one to have right now, a very good one to have right now. We won't need any rest this week.
Q: Will Onterrio be the starter this week?
A: Probably, I would say that he would. I think he's earned that right to be the starter. We're going to have a role for everybody. Michael (Bennett) played well, Onterrio played super. Moe played super. All three of our backs made plays for us. I didn't see their grades, but I'm guessing they were all graded extremely well, so that's encouraging.
Q: How does Elling's injury impact the team?
A: That hurts because Aaron was really kicking the ball well. That was part of the reason our coverage team was getting better. They had a 10-yard return on one of the (darn) kicks. We're just going to bring a whole bunch of guys in. I mean a lot of guys, and we'll bring in obviously the favorite for the job, (Travis) Dorsch. He's one of our guys. We had something to do with developing him a little bit the last five or six months. We're going to bring in a number of guys, and you can get those guys from Jeff Robinson in our personnel department. But Travis is obviously the guy. We'll bring back Omar Jenkins to the practice squad as a wide receiver for a couple of weeks, and we'll bring Anthony Herrerra up to the varsity because of the fact that Carolina is trying to sign him. We don't want to lose that young talent. We'll probably lose Oliver Celestin to the Jets. I don't have any room to bring Oliver up; we really like Oliver a lot. In fact we cut a draft pick to keep Oliver. I don't have any room on the roster right now to bring him up, so that's a shame. It's a tribute to our personnel department that they're swiping off of our practice squad, but you can only make so many moves, and there's some young guys we have some time invested in that might not be where they're going to be a year from now, but we have to maintain, we have to understand with these young guys we still have to maintain patience with some of them to a certain point because not everybody plays really well their first eight games into their career. But if they show enough juice and enough ability, then we just have to get that ability to come out on a more consistent basis. So right now we'll probably lose Oliver, and that's tough because we like Oliver.
Q: Can you talk about the challenge of a short week, especially going on the road again?
A: It's tough, but it's good that the short week comes with us playing the Packers. It really is, and that's a great thing. I wouldn't want to play another team besides the Packers on a short week because once we get through these corrections and share the corrections with the players tomorrow, get some things honed in, more consistency on the defensive side, we move on to the Packers, and it's full steam ahead, and that's all that we can think about. So that would be good. That would be a good thing, a really good thing.
Q: Mentally how was your team after the game?
A: Well I don't think it's the type of loss that you can't gain any confidence come. People will say, "How can you gain confidence in a lost?" Well for the reasons I named and the reasons you named - battling back from 14-0 down in a hostile environment against a football team without your best player or one of your best players, some guys stepping up and making plays, ur special teams coming on. We can bounce back from that because we have the Packers; we have a short week. We have to hone right back in. It's not a game where you go out like, say last year we go on the road to San Diego and Oakland and we look like crap. It's a different type of a team is what I've been trying to say all week. This is not the same type of team. I think this team has more character.