Thread: Tice Press
Tice: Well the one thing you get tired of saying when you lose is, "Oh, we'll be all right. We'll be all right. We'll be all right," or, "My bad, my bad, my bad," and you get to a point where it gets late enough in the season that you run out of time to hear the comments from people that are not executing, "My bad." And you run out of time to say, "Everything's going to be all right. We control our own destiny." The fact of the matter is that is a very disappointing loss, and the fact that we made two mistakes in the fourth quarter on offense, and we have to figure out a way to start better on defense because certainly we're playing much better in the second half on defense, so we've proven that we, in fact, can play that way. We've only given up 26 points in the last five games in the second half, but where is that in the first half? That's the thing we have to continue to work our way through as coaches and players. Offensively, where we've been able to score on everybody and anybody, we've scored three points in the second half of the last two games. Those two things for me are the most critical things to get fixed by Sunday in Detroit, so we can in fact win a game because we're at the point of the season right now (if) you win a game, everything that looks so glum today looks so much better tomorrow. So we have to make sure that we look at those two particular areas because those are the two areas that are hurting us and get that cleaned up. Kevin Williams lead all NFC, NFL defensive tackles with 10 sacks. We have, I believe, two guys on our team that have 10 sacks with Lance Johnstone, so we have some guys that are playing at an extremely high level. The injury report looks decent. Nate Burleson broke his nose, and Mike Nattiel hurt his trap up in his neck, and he should be okay. We'll evaluate Antoine (Winfield) as the week progresses and see if he can have any type of role, and of course Matt Birk is right on time to be active for the Green Bay game, or right on schedule I should say. I think it's important that we understand that some things have not gone our way. When you have goals, you want all your goals to come out exactly as you planned it. When you have visions, you want all your visions to be exactly how you envisioned them, but the reality of the situation, and not many times does it come out exactly the way you dreamed about or the way you envisioned or the way you've worked towards, so you have to continue to plug along. You have to continue to work at achieving those goals, and we're fortunate enough to be in a position right now that if we win a game this week, everything looks cheerier, and the fact if we win a couple games, everything looks a lot cheerier. Right now things don't look very cheerful, and right now things aren't cheerful in many of our homes, but we can fix that by winning the game.
Q: Do you feel like somebody is watching over you guys with the tie-breaker situation?
A: I've done more praying this year. I don't know if it's helping any, but I just think that we've set two mighty high goals for our football team. I think any time that you have three games to go and you still have an opportunity to achieve those goals you're pretty lucky, pretty fortunate, pretty blessed, however you want to say it. That's how I feel today. I'm not happy. There are some things we have to get quickly fixed, but we've been working towards that end for weeks and weeks and weeks. But that's the part of football that's confusing. That's the part of football that's intriguing. That's the part of football that's exciting, and certainly that's the part of the challenge of coaching that gives you the passion to come to work every day, and that's fixing stuff. Because there's never a week where you fix something and something else doesn't break. There's never a week where you fix something and something that looked so mighty good three weeks ago doesn't all of a sudden soil your carpet. We have this thing with not scoring in the second half on offense. Where did that come from? I didn't see that one coming. That one hit me in the back of the head, but now we have to figure that one out. Special teams looks to be consistent over the course of say the last four or five weeks. The kickers kicked the snot out of the ball yesterday and now we have to score in the second half on offense, but that's the part of the job you love, at least that's the part of the job I love. It never gets boring.
Q: Is it realistic to think Antoine Winfield can help you this week?
A: Yeah, I think it is. I think it's realistic to think Antoine would be available in some type of role, whether that's just to start in nickel as an outside corner or maybe even play corner. I don't know that nickel back, which is a little more stressful to change directions, would be the best scenario for him off the injury, but I think there's a good chance he could play this week. I really do.
Q: Is one of the things you want to fix your third down conversion rate?
A: I don't know that that's a good comment. We were the number one team in the league going into the game in third down conversion. In fact, we were the only team in the league that had 50% or more. That's again what's so intriguing about this game is this is a one week type of game here. If we win this week, we're 8-6, and, "Boy we're looking great for the playoffs," and "Boy they've got it turned around and figured out." We're at 52.5% or whatever we were in third down conversions going into the game. We were 30% in the last game, and now, "Boy you have to get that third down conversion fixed," but that's what's exciting about the game. Of course we're going to look at why we didn't do as well as we had been doing, but we set the bar on third down conversions in the league. We've set the bar because we were number one by a good margin, not a good margin but three percentage points or so, which is a good margin after 12 weeks of football.
Q: Any further thoughts on the Randy Moss pass play?
A: Yeah, I think I could join the list of guys that wish that we'd probably called a different call, but what happens in that situation, the last thing I thought of was that we were going to turn the football over. I thought we had three options in it - score a touchdown, and right away when I heard the call my thought was, "Okay, if we score too quick, do we go through that same damn thing we went through in Green Bay and Indianapolis?" My thought was, "No, our kick coverage has been pretty stellar today, and our defense is playing really good football right now," so my concern was winning the game. We had to score a touchdown to win the game, so that kind of blocked out of mind the score too quick thing. Then I thought, "Well what else can happen? He can throw a touchdown. He's going to run it out of bounds, or he's going to whip it out of the back of the end zone." Randy, I believe, has thrown three touchdowns on the same exact play for us before. We have called that play over the course of time a number of times, and it's been a big play in some games, in some critical times. I go back to the Giants game in the Meadowlands a number of years ago. It was a critical play in the game. He threw a touchdown to Cris Carter. Could I sit here now that it was not an effective play and second guess and say, "God, I wish he would have ran the ball there?" Yeah, I can join the list like everybody else, but at the same time we've done astonishing things with our offense, and Scotty's (Linehan) called a lot of great plays, and I find that if I start second-guessing his calls, he loses rhythm and now you take your coach that has a tremendous amount of confidence - I think we'd all agree with that - and he starts to second-guess what he's calling. (If) you sleep on it and you have a lot of time, I think we all want to jump on the second-guess bandwagon, but I'm not going to allow myself to do that because I need my coordinator to be confident. I understand he's a man of character. I work with him; I hired him, and I don't think anyone's going to beat him up more than he is. I saw him after the game. I know how he was feeling. He feels like he probably let the guys down, so I don't know that me second-guessing him or berating him or saying, "Why the heck did you call that call," is going to help out. What we need right now is a coaching staff with great confidence so we can figure out how to score more points in the second half. I don't need a guy starting to second-guess himself, so that's where I'm at with it. Were there safer calls? There probably were safer calls, but we were trying to win a football game. We hadn't scored in the second half except for a field goal, and that was after we gained a whopping one yard after an interception by Brian Russell.
Q: Did that factor in, that your offense was not moving the ball?
A: Yeah, that was part of his decision. In discussing it with him last night, that was part of his decision.
Q: Have you been able to put your finger on why the offense is struggling in the second half?
A: Well that's what we'll work on diligently over the next two days to make sure when we game plan that we're looking at everything. This whole football now is computer this and Tennessee that and fake them out by using this formation but run this play because you used to run this play in that formation. That's how the league has become, so we're going to make sure we look at everything we're doing and make sure we're not getting too predictable. I'm not saying we are, but maybe we are. Who knows? Maybe we've been so good for so long we just line up and do what we do and say, "Stop us." Maybe at some point people are, so we have to look at that.
Q: Did you blitz enough?
A: Well here's the problem. When you play West Coast offenses, you can look at the stats throughout the league and I'm pretty sure you're going to find that the top five least amount of sack teams in the league are West Coast teams. They're rhythm teams. You're not going to get to the quarterback a lot, so you have to mix in the blitz at the right times to get the right matchups with the right coverages. I'm not going to second guess the amount of times we blitzed. It seems like the times we blitzed, it worked, but that doesn't mean it's going to work every time. What it means is when you do it more, you expose yourself in the back end, and certainly we had to make sure that we protected some players that were in there filling in for others yesterday. I thought the amount of times and when we blitzed were pretty effective. Again that doesn't mean if you blitz more you're going to have more effective plays.
Q: What's the interaction between you and your coaches during the game?
A: (Scott) calls the plays to Gus (Frerotte), and Gus calls the plays in, so there's a process that takes time like every team. Some teams the guy on the sideline calls the plays in directly. We call them from the booth down to Gus into the game, which takes a little more time. If you have a coordinator in the booth and he calls them down to another coach and he calls them in, it's the same type thing.
Q: Do you interact with the coaches?
A: No, what we try to do is shut up when a coach is trying to do his job. We find out over time if there's too much talking going on in the headphones, coaches can't focus on what they're supposed to do. For example, on defense the first one to speak is Jim Panagos, and that's because he's in the booth letting the coordinator know what personnel is coming on the field. So when he's talking, no one else talks, and then once he does that then Teddy (Cottrell) will call the call in, and then if there's any other chatting to be done...it's done after Ted calls the call. What you find out is if there are too many people talking on the headphones, then people can't do their job, including me questioning what happened on the last play. At times I'll ask what happened on the last play, and I understand I just need to back off because guys have to do their jobs. If too many guys are talking, it becomes chaotic.
Q: If Scott makes a call, can you say no to it?
A: I can do whatever I want. I'm the head coach. Close practices, I can do anything.
A: Yeah, there was a screen play that I saw on the first touchdown that I thought if he was in the game, he would have made that play. There were some plays, but other guys have to step up and do the job too. If you have a player that's arguably the second-best player on your defense behind Kevin and you lose him, you're going to lose some plays, but that's to be expected. When you lose those plays, somebody, or multiple players, have to step up and make those plays that he was making.
Q: Is Randy getting close to being 100%?
A: I think he's pretty close to being 100%. He got a little fatigued at the end of the half he indicated. He came out for a couple of plays, but going into the game he felt like he was in the mid to high 90s health-wise. He seemed more bouncy in pre-game warm-up. He seemed to have more spring. He certainly was able to run away from some people yesterday, and I don't see him taking a step back or being any less healthy this particular week. I see him continuing to become more explosive, so that's good news.
Q: Did he ask you or Rusty Tillman to go back and return that punt?
A: Well we had two things going on. Nate broke his nose, so we had some discussion whether we wanted Mewelde (Moore) to go back there, so that was a little bit of it. And the second part is he wanted to make a play because he felt like he needed to make a play after we had a bad play. When they punted down, we were only in a fair catch territory. That basically eliminated the chance of him making a play, but he wanted to make a play.
Q: Is that something you might do in the next three weeks?
A: I don't know. We'll have to look at that.
Q: Were there some things you saw when looking at tape last week that made you guys think that the reverse pass would work during this game?
A: No, we just kind of winged it. Of course it was a play that we felt based on what they were doing it would be there for us. Again, it's not like you're trying to score a field goal to win the game. We had to score a touchdown to win the game. We hadn't done really jack in the second half offensively, so we had a play we had worked on for a number of works, which we always do with our special plays. This is one we've carried for a number of years, and we put it in the game plan this week to use it at the right time, and it didn't turn out the right way. I could give you five or six plays that we put in for this game. Some worked, some didn't, but that's on a weekly basis. It turned out that this turned into a turnover, so it's a critical play in the game obviously.
Q: Any Chris Hovan thoughts after yesterday?
A: He was out there working hard.
12-13-2004, 06:34 PM #2Starter
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