Nov. 2, 2008
Q. Charlie, I know it's their day off, but how does it look injury wise with some of the offensive line?
Trevor (Robinson) is fine. As a matter of fact, I think that's the only offensive lineman that they thought missed time. But he could be a while if it turns out he needs to be scoped.
Q. (Eric) Olsen is okay?
Q. Brian emailed us a little bit and said our viewing time is going to be different; there might be a difference in practice schedule. What do you do different this week?
So I came up with a schedule for this week, which really more than anything else more affects Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday it starts to settle back in again. But we're doing things different for the next couple days because I think that if I just let them go into their normal routine, I could set it up for them taking a little bit longer to get out of the tank.
As I told you yesterday, my biggest concern was working on the psyche. So tomorrow morning what we'll do is I'll meet with them early at 6:00. The first thing they're going to do is go in and lift and run. Usually that's the area where the camaraderie comes out the best, when they're all pumping iron and running. It kind of gets things out of their system and gets them moving forward.
To do that, to compensate for that, then I had to pull back in the afternoon, because you only get four hours in the day. So we use an hour and a half in the morning. I had to pull back in the afternoon physically and make the afternoon more mentally.
What we haven't done is spend a lot of time on first and second down of our opponent on Mondays. It's been just scouting report and special teams. But tomorrow we will do first and second down. We will do all the meetings for first and second down for Boston College tomorrow afternoon. Therefore, I don't need as much meeting time on Tuesday when they come in at 2:30. I need some time for them to get ready for the special teams, but other than that it allows us on Tuesday to get out there earlier and get on the field earlier and get going earlier.
So what I'm really trying to do more than anything else is shock their system, you know, get them out of a rut. I had to come up with a plan to make sure that it wasn't just business as usual.
Q. What is still out there for this team? As a head coach, what could their ceiling be as far as what they can accomplish this season?
I think you can't even worry about Navy and Syracuse and USC. You can't even worry about those guys until after you've worried about Boston College.
My biggest job is really the next 48 hours more than it is the next four weeks because the mode for this week is going to be set on Monday and Tuesday. I can't be worrying about the whole rest of the year right now.
Q. I'm sure a lot of people are concerned about Brandon's (Walker) psyche. But what about Jimmy (Clausen)? He's a guy that would seem like he's really hard on himself, a perfectionist. How do you deal with him?
Then shortly thereafter, when they start going into offensive meeting, Ron (Powlus) gets him. Then Ron gets to be the good cop and show him all the good things that happened in the game.
I think it's important to point out both of them. It's always better to end with the good stuff rather than start with the good stuff so that you have a good taste in your mouth.
Q. Obviously you've given a lot of attention to the whole psyche thing. Obviously they were disappointed after the game last night. I mean, did you sense from them that that was something that you had to immediately address? Is that because it's a relatively young football team and you're concerned about which way it can go?
There's 50 plays in a game (where) you could say, `If he would have done this, if he would have done this, if we would have done that, it's the difference between winning and losing, one play.' So I felt it was important to do that.
I think that changing the schedule, to just piggyback on that, is important, too. I didn't allow them just to come in and be in a rut. I think that was important.
Secondly, with the high volume of relatively young players, especially first and second year guys, I think you can't let them sit there and take the blame. You have to make them accountable now, okay? They're essential going to be held accountable. At the same time you don't want any one person feeling that they're solely responsible for the outcome of the game because it's a collective effort.
Q. The inability to close games out, it's happened twice. I know you're not calling plays, but you and Mike, do you have to become more aggressive and keep the foot on the pedal a little bit more to make sure you do close it out?
So when you start off the first two plays with an advantageous look, the guy missing a sight adjust, that's just not good football. That's not play calling. Hey, we made plenty of play calls that you'd like to have back in the game just not those. There's one play that they got us on, which was the next drive, the first play after the turnover in plus territory where we're running a stretch play to the left hand side, and they blitz the Sam linebacker. Because we had the outside guy in motion, couldn't move the inside guy in motion to go ahead and pick that up. Other than that, what ended up happening is the first two drives the second half, you start with a negative run on the first play, which puts it in a disadvantageous situation.
You have to remember now, the game gets to 17 17 after a couple drives. They proceeded to go on a 75 yard drive, going right down the field to go ahead and take the lead with five minutes and change in the game. So I think that they regained their composure and got back on top.
Probably the most disappointing thing after that wasn't the very end of the game; it was not scoring a touchdown in overtime. That's the most disappointing.
Q. How do you teach killer instinct? For example, how did the Patriots learn a killer instinct?
I do not believe our guys are expecting something bad to happen because these guys are fighting till the end of the game now. You saw both teams going after it right to the very end of the game. They ended up being happy and we ended up not being happy.
I think the first thing that's going to happen, especially for a relatively young team, something good has to happen, you have to win a couple of these close games, and I think your momentum grows from there.
Q. In your three losses in the second half, you've been outscored 54 21 in the third and fourth quarter. Are you losing the line of scrimmage or are you getting out schemed in the second half in those instances?
One of the things we already talked about is not necessarily cutting back on what we do but going to things that we do the best and just doing them more and seeing if we can't settle into some things so that mentally we don't make a mistake that costs us on the field.
Q. Two or three players yesterday said they think the team was thinking they had the game won going into halftime. How do you prevent them from thinking that or having that mindset?
Q. Golden was one of them.
Let's just say that I'll have a talk with Golden and he won't be saying that any more. He seems to be the team spokesman for two weeks in a row now, just like Michael Floyd was trying to lateral the ball in the North Carolina game. By the way, I checked with Mike on that. It wasn't the case.
But I think that maybe because he was one of the guys making a mental mistake. Maybe that's where that answer came from. I don't say names but if we go back and review the bidding on the second play, when we're throwing the sight adjust to a guy who's running a go, we're throwing a ball out there, there's just nobody there. So maybe the next question you should ask him when you talk to him is, `Did you see that weak corner coming, the guy who was lined up right over your face?' Maybe that would be a better question (laughter).
Q. But he wasn't the only one. A couple other players said they thought the team may have thought they had it won.
I didn't feel that way. I listened to Tim's question. I understand the same thing you're saying. What's happening in the third quarter? But we didn't ask this question last week when we scored two touchdowns and a field goal.
In the first three drives of the second half last week they came out and executed very well. Sometimes it comes down to play calling. Sometimes it comes down to execution.
Q. I know you talked about trying to get the team out of the tank. That's obviously a big job this week. Without trying to scapegoat, do you ever think about from a personnel standpoint elevating somebody so they can have a spark? Not the quarterback, but the equivalent of a goalie, maybe Barry Gallup?
Q. Is there any status update on John Ryan?
Q. You talked about the fourth and one at the end of regulation yesterday.
Q. Jimmy said he saw that, too. You were out of timeouts. Is that a situation where he doesn't have the ability to audible?
Q. How about the timeout, burning two timeouts?
We were already prepared if there was anything that was a problem. Another problem occurred after that problem. Now you didn't have any left.
Q. R.J. (Robert Blanton) played pretty much the whole overtime. Any reason you saw to put him in there instead of (Terrail) Lambert?
Q. How about Brian Smith, he didn't start the game, but came in early.
Q. Does becoming Bowl eligible affect them at all? Is it something they've been talking about?
Without us spending much time talking about it, because it's sort of like Eric's question before, where could you end up being at the end of the year? Obviously what they want to do is they want to win the rest. They want to be sitting at 9 3. That's where they want to be.
Q. So as a coach, how do you take the pressure off them, keep those types of things out of their mind, keep them focused on the next task at hand?
When we got into the locker room, it was more of that type of thought methodology where everyone, coaches and players, have to own up to things that they could have done better, which might have made a difference.
Q. Is the way the game played out, do you think they took this loss as the toughest of the season?
Q. How much different is the process of getting over this loss as opposed to UNC, where now you have to turn it around quick and get focused on Boston College?
Q. Was there a shocking of the system after UNC?
This time we don't have that time. We don't have time to psychologically rebound. That's why you're forced to do some things a little different so you just don't fall into that rut.
Q. The inability to close out games, did you attribute it to this team being young?
I think "young" is not the word. I think the more experience you have, the easier it comes to be prepared for those situations.
Q. I think most people would look at a team that struggles to close out games, that being an inability to run the ball as well as you would like. How much correlation do you think there is there? Would that potentially be a solution?
But it was three or four stretch plays in a row where Armando went from the 25 down to the four yard line. We were sitting there in pretty decent shape. There were a few nice runs in there, too.
Q. You mentioned in some ways you see a lot of the same things. As a coach, is it more frustrating when the same mistakes keep popping up or is it more frustrating when it's a different thing every week?
Q. We spend a lot of time asking you about the offense, Jimmy, the receivers. Defensively how do you evaluate the way the guys played throughout the course of yesterday?
I can give you a whole list. I know I'm going not in sequence right there, but there's a whole bunch of things you're talking about right there that are good things that happened.
The bottom line is, we gave up too many rushing yards in the second half and probably didn't tackle the best. We had five penalties on offense, we only had one penalty on defense, and it was a relatively critical one.
That's basically the synopsis.
THE MODERATOR: That's all the time we have today. Thank you.
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