Transcript from Haslett press confrence
TRANSCRIPT: Jim Haslett
December 8, 2003
Q: Can you update us on the injuries?
A: "Tebucky Jones has a contusion on his bicep. He should be OK. LeCharles Bentley injured his left knee. He will be questionable and will have an MRI. James Fenderson is doubtful. Cie Grant will probably be doubtful this week. Zachary Hilton will possibly return later in the week. Kendyl Jacox will possibly return later in the week. Fred McAfee is probably out. Donte' Stallworth, I really have no idea. Willie Whitehead is questionable or doubtful."
Q: Are you going to do LeCharles' MRI today?
Q: Comment on the offense this year compared to last year?
A: "Part of it is field position, last year we had better field position for the offense than we do this year mostly because of all the returns we had last year and we scored a lot of points on special teams last year. We haven't scored at all on special teams this year and the field position has not been as good. In red zone efficiency I think we are still third in the league but we haven't gotten in the red zone as much as we did last year"
Q: Have you ever seen anything like yesterday's game where you are so dominating in the first half and have it turn around on you?
A: "No, I have not. It seemed like after Joe (Horn) dropped the ball on the touchdown pass and then the next play Michael Lewis had a chance for a touchdown because he had the corner beat and Aaron just rushed the throw and the ball slipped out his hand. Those scoring points just completely turned around we had a chance to go up 14-0 at halftime and it ended up 14-7 in their favor. "
Q: You controlled the clock and the ball in the first half then in the second it seemed like you lost that rhythm?
A: "We couldn't get anything going. We had missed opportunities like the missed field goal and we had the turnovers. The offense never really got going in the second half. I thought the defense was outstanding all day. They played probably as good as we have been here they played really well holding them with the big fourth down stop and couple turnovers. I felt in the second half after Orlando (Ruff) got the interception that things were going to turn and then it reversed back. After the fourth down stop we thought it turned again and we just could not get over the hump."
Q: Did you ever feel like the defense was not going to be able to stop them?
A: "No, I never felt that way about the defense. We were torn between going for the field goal at that time but we needed two scores so we knew it was a little further than we wanted to go for it. We felt if we miss it the defense is playing well enough to get the ball back. No, I never really felt at the time that the defense was tired or they were struggling. We rotated the guys and I though the coaches did a good job of rotating the defensive lineman in there. At one point we had three rookies and a second year guy in for about ten snaps in a row. On the defensive line we had Howard Green, Kenderick Allen, Melvin Williams, and Charles Grant in at one time for about ten snaps in a row so I thought they were pretty fresh.
Q: Did they do anything different defensively in the second half?
A: "They weren't going to let Deuce run for a hundred yards. They packed it in they ran though gaps and did a nice job. They are a good defense. They are the number one defense in the league. They give up the least amount of points I think they are the fourth ranked defense in the league. They are a good football team with a good defense. The first twenty-eight minutes we were moving the ball throwing it on them we weren't running it real sufficiently because of what they were trying to do but we moved the ball on them. In the second half we just could not get anything going. "
Q: What is the situation with Dale Carter?
A: "Dale is on injured reserve. He has a frayed tendon which is about a month to six week injury so we put him on injured reserve. He has had this since the off-season. He dealt with it and managed it. When he didn't play earlier in the season it was because of this. He re-injured it in practice about two weeks ago"
Q: Will his injury require surgery?
A: "That is one of the reasons we put him on injured reserve. If he would have kept playing he probably would have but they think it will heal on its own."
Q: Can you comment on the play of John Carney?
A: "He is in a little bit of a rut to be honest with you. It's a new turf and he is not comfortable with it yet. There are a number of different reasons but he is not as sharp as he has been earlier in the season. "
Q: Can you tell us you assessment of Aaron Brooks' play?
A: "For twenty-eight minutes he was pretty good. He was thirteen for fifteen at one time threw nice balls and came unglued after the fumble. The four turnovers came down to he rushed on the one we had a double go on. Michael had number 29 beat for a touchdown and Aaron wanted to the ball to him, he rushed and the ball flew out of his hand. That was the first one. The second one he got pressure on both sides stepped up in the pocket and they did a nice job of chopping the ball but he has got to secure it. The third one he did not secure the ball when he took off and ran and Derrick Brooks made a nice play and the ball popped out. He has got to tuck it away. The last one we had Scat protection on with first and goal at the six and with second and goal. We had Scat protection meaning we were sending everybody out he has got to go through his progression look at one, look at two and either run or throw. He waited and waited and thought Joe was coming open and got hit and the ball popped out. It was his fault really they were all his fault. He has got to take care of the football better like any other running back or anybody who carries the ball. He carries the ball every single time we snap the ball unless we have a direct snap to Deuce. He is probably going to touch it 69 out of 70 times so he has to do a better job of managing the football. "
Q: Do you ever think of making a quarterback change?
A: "Yes, we thought about it yesterday. You know I am sitting on the sideline after the second one and I said well it is a little easier when you have an interception. When you have an interception you look at the guy and you say he made a bad decision, he should not have thrown the ball or it was a bad pass but I was sitting there saying what the hell why did the ball come out. To me it is a lot easier if you are going to do something like that to do it if he is making bad decisions with the football or if he is throwing into coverage or if he throws a bad pass. This is ball security, if I would have done that I would have taken Deuce out of the game couple weeks ago against Atlanta when he fumbled. I think there is some point and he needs to address it and I addressed it with him that he needs to take care of the ball or we will have to do something but it is easier when you are throwing bad interceptions. He is number one in league in touchdowns to interceptions. He makes good decisions up to this point throwing the ball. He is number one in the league in attempts per interceptions but is last in fumbles. We have got to correct his problem and we have got to find out a reason why. He has big hands and he is strong so its not that so there has got to be reason. "
Q: Coach Mike Sheppard said he has only seen the ball slip out of his hands once in practice in two years. Is that right?
A: "Yeah, a couple of times. You don't see it in practice. "
Q: What do you contribute it too?
A: "I don't know, I thought the one yesterday happened when Michael came open he wanted to get the ball to him in such a hurry that he flipped the ball back and it just came out. If he would have just dropped back went through his reads, stepped and threw we probably would have had a touchdown because Michael had his guy beat by five or six yards. "
Q: Over the years have seen any other quarterbacks do that type of thing?
A: " I saw it in Dave Krieg and they always said it was the size of his hands. I think he leads the NFL all-time in fumbles. Brett Favre is going through it right now. Brett Favre has a bunch of them this year. I won't talk to Mike Sherman right now but after the season I will ask the Green Bay coaches if there is any reason but I really don't know. I have never seen it before. I have seen it pop out on Terry Bradshaw a couple of times when he was playing and through the years you will see it but this is too many times."
Q: Did he do this in 2000 when he took over for Jeff Blake?
A: "No, not at all. He never really fumbled he never had a fumbling problem. Here is the problem it is going to get worse from this standpoint teams know that he fumbles so when they come around the corner they going to go chopping for the arm and trying to get the ball out. Aaron has to be even better at it these next three games at securing the football. If you are an opposing team like Mike Strahan and Keith Hamilton what do you think they are going to come for. When they come around the corner they are going to look for the football. They are going to look to chop the arm and get the ball out. We told Aaron that today it is even more important that you focus on it. I will say this when we go to practice when Deuce touches the ball everybody tries to strip the ball out or rip the ball out. The defense is trying to get turnovers you don't do that to quarterbacks. It has got to be a mind set he has got to know that. We put a red jersey on the quarterback; we don't hit the quarterback in practice. I don't think anybody in the league hits the quarterback in practice.
Q: Have you lost confidence in him?
A: "No, I have not lost confidence in him. In the first quarter he was nine for nine. I thought the kid was on fire. I'm thinking we are throwing the ball on Tampa Bay we are doing a good job; we are going down the field. At one point I want to say he was 13 for 15 and Joe had that one drop. The guy was smoking he was on fire he's running and taking the ball down the field. Then all of a sudden the ball pops out. I'm not making excuses for it because it is inexcusable. It can't happen. It can't go on anymore. He needs to take care of the football."
Q: Do you worry about a player's confidence if you pull them out of a game?
A: "I have pulled players before. I haven't pulled the quarterback yet but we have pulled players. We have taken guys out. If it does happen and I hope it doesn't but if it does at some point he has to realize why it happened. Everybody has got to be accountable for their actions. If a guy misses tackles you make a change. If a guy doesn't cover well you make a change. We have done it before we did it this year at linebacker.
Q: Do think Todd Bouman can do the job?
A: "Yeah I think Todd can do the job he would do fine. Todd's a good quarterback there is a reason why we signed him back. I like Todd he is big in stature he's got a big arm. He is not as mobile as Aaron and probably doesn't know the offense as well as Aaron but he is a good quarterback. "
Q: Is Aaron's knee bothering him?
A: "A little bit but that is not the reason he is putting the ball on the ground. A couple of weeks ago probably but not now he has been feeling good lately."
Q: Do you worry about Aaron's confidence?
A: "He better have thick skin he is a quarterback. In this business the quarterback has got to handle it because no body else put the ball on the ground first of all he did it. He's got to deal with it and he understands that. We had a good talk about it today and he understands that is part of it"
Q: You have said all along if you protect the ball you will win is that what happened yesterday?
A: "Most definitely, if we would have protected the ball yesterday we would have won the game. You can say that about four or five of our other games also. We are minus six in the turnover category. In order to win in this league you have got to be in the plus five to plus ten range and if you are above that you see some teams that are plus eighteen and that is why they are 11-1 or 12-1 or 12-2 that is why they have those type of records. We are minus six and it's a reflection of why you are 6-7. We are playing good enough football on both sides of the ball to win games besides the turnovers.
Q: Are you more frustrated this year than you were at this time last year?
A: "No, not really. You take it game by game. I am disappointed in the fact that we address on area and think we have it fixed and something else flares up. I am proud of our quarterback for only throwing eight interceptions this year. If he goes the whole year throwing eight to ten interceptions that is pretty good. In turn he has put the ball on the ground ten times so you package them all together and he has eighteen turnovers which are way too many. He is not the only one that has fumbled but he leads the team in fumbles. I am disappointed from that standpoint. If we take care of the football we have a chance. The three teams we played last year at this time Minnesota, Cincinnati and Carolina two of the three are leading their division and the other is a playoff team. They were all minus ten or twelve in turnover category last year at this time. I think Minnesota is plus eleven right now and Cincinnati is plus two and Carolina is still in the minus but there is a reason why they are winning. I kept saying last year these teams are not bad they just keep turning the ball over. They have just turned it around and are taking care of the ball."
Q: Do you worry about fans booing Aaron?
A: "I hope not. Sometimes I don't understand even like yesterday we are down by seven and hanging in there needing a break and sometimes you wonder as a coach why but I hope not. Let the game play out and see what happens."
Q: How do you feel?
A: "I am fine. I am just coming up with ways to help our team win"
Transcript from Haslett press confrence
Well it even seems as if Haslett is tired of AB doing the old \"fumbleroosky\" on a consistent basis. He seems pretty confident that Bouman can do the job. Let\'s see if he does anything about it now. I\'d be one in the stands chanting \"BOUMAN! BOUMAN! BOUMAN!
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