DAILY INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS
Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
On how rare it is to face a left-footed punter: "I don't have the numbers. It's not that rare, actually. There's quite a few, even in our division. [Daniel] Sepulveda was in our division, obviously, and [Dave] Zastudil was previously in our division. [Kevin] Huber was in our division. The three punters in our division were all lefties at the start of the season, so we practiced a lot of it in the offseason, as much as we could."
On not being much of a deal to face a lefty: "It's a deal in that [if] you don't have one on your team, you need to practice it. But, it's something that's not that unusual, no."
On how a hard, grass field affects fielding punts in cold weather: "We've had good practice on a hard, frozen field. I don't really know if it affects fielding punts. I think the thing that you look at is just traction for all players. It's no different for a punt returner than it is for a wide receiver or a defensive back changing directions. Both teams have to deal with the conditions. That's the temperature, the wind, the field conditions, and then you take all the equipment you need to try to address those conditions and go play."
On how drastic the changes are when playing at a cold weather site: "I don't think it's drastic. I think that it might affect… As you watch warm-ups, you're watching how the other team is reacting to it. Those are the kind of things that you do tactically to try to gain an advantage, to see how their kickers and punters are reacting to the cold weather and the wind. And every special teams coach in the league does the same thing."
On how KOR David Reed looks in practice: "Good. He had a good practice today. He got some balls in his hand, and looks like he's growing more comfortable with his device he has on his arm, so we'll see how it plays out."
On how much he likes having Reed back for the playoff game: "I don't know if he'll know it's a playoff game, other than all the work-up. It's just a football game for the guys that are out there. I suspect that David is excited to be out there. He's a guy that really likes football. When the game starts, I don't think people necessarily look at it [like], 'Well, this is a playoff game, I should play differently.' I think they just look at it [like], 'This is a football game, and we need to win. I'm going to do the very best I can in all of the games.'"
On whether he has reminded Reed that Sunday is a playoff game: "No, I haven't reminded him of it. I hope that I don't have to. (laughter) I think that they all understand where we're at. There's been a lot of big games leading up to this, and this is the next one."
Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
On whether the remedy for pre-snap penalties is as simple as telling the guys to do a better job watching the snap count:"Absolutely. And two weeks ago, we had none and we thought we were… *(Reporter interjects: "And that was on the road, too, right?") *Yeah. So, it creeped back in there last week, but the bottom line is we worked it this week and we're going into an environment where a lot of teams have had issues with that. So, it'll take a lot of discipline on our guys' part, and bottom line, at this point, you've got to get it done."
On whether Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest stadiums he's ever been in:"It can be. It really can. And obviously, I was in that division for several years, so it can be loud. But it was loud down there in Houston and it's been loud a lot of places we've been, so we're anticipating it being typical, loud, road playoff noise."
On John Harbaugh expressing confidence that the offense was close to being in sync:"What we need to do is eliminate mistakes and just perform the way we practice. And I'm confident our guys will. And as we all know, the great thing about the playoffs, it is a new season and it's been proven year after year that teams can elevate their play, and then some teams don't elevate their play. What better time for us to play the way you've seen us play in spurts throughout the entire season and in various games? So, we're confident our guys will get that done, and I think anytime you've got to go in the playoffs with a young, experienced, talented quarterback, that gives us all tremendous hope that we'll get that done."
On how good the Chiefs' defense is:"Hey, they're a top-10 defense, and at home they're really stingy. The Raider game [last Sunday] was the first game that got away from them at home, and really, I thought Oakland did a nice job. So, it's a good defense. It's a talented defense. I mean, they've got impact players, and a young secondary that's very, very aggressive, very talented. So, we've got our work cut out for us."
On whether he can take away anything from what he saw out of Oakland on tape:"They ran a version of some things we did here a couple years ago – went big on them and brought in all their offensive linemen and ran the ball downhill on them. But, you're always looking, stealing a little bit here, a little bit there. But the bottom line is doing what you think you do best this time of year. It's an important thing."
On whether he's talked to Raiders' offensive coordinator and former Ravens assistant Hue Jackson this week:"You know, this time of year you talk to anybody that you know. (Reporter interjects: "So you have talked to him?") *Yes. *(laughter) I've talked to him several times throughout the course of this year."
On Jackson being rumored for some head coaching jobs and what he thinks about his chances and how he would be as a head coach:"Tremendous football coach, great friend. I've thought a lot of Hue for several years, before I'd ever worked with him, and then worked with him the last two years here, and [he] really helped us do a lot of things that we were able to do. He had a tremendous amount of input here, and however it works out for him, I think we'd all be thrilled for him."
On how much of a benefit it has been for QB Joe Flacco to have already played in five playoff games, and on top of that, all of them having been on the road:"Well, it helps, especially if you've played well. And he's played well on the road. And all these experiences for guys in their first, second, third, probably even in some cases into their fourth year – these experiences just add up to really help. It's still difficult; it doesn't make anything easy. It just gives you an opportunity to maybe grow. And we'd like to see him do that this year, and I'm confident he will, because he's done a lot of good things in the playoffs the last two years."
On whether Flacco's ready now to handle certain things in the playoffs than he was in his first couple of seasons:"Yeah, I think… Mentally he handles a lot anyway. But the one thing is he is healthy this year. Last year, he wasn't, but still found a way to play well. So, we'll see."
On what it means to him that his offense is entering the playoffs, statistically, in the middle of the pack, which many wouldn't have anticipated prior to the season beginning:"Yeah, you know – you've heard guys say it – the old, 'Stats are for losers.' But here are the stats we're going to look at: No. 1, our No. 1 stat is about winning. Play-calling and executing on offense is about giving yourself a chance to win, but really, you'd like to look good doing it. But winning ugly [isn't] all bad. I think we've proven we can win games in the teens, we can win games in the 20s, and we've proven we can win games in the 30s. So, we know we'd all like to do it scoring over 30 points. I know that. So, that's the first thing. Second thing: We're going to take care of the football. That's old-fashioned, that's old-school; I'm old-school from that perspective. I think even one of the top-seeded teams has proven ball security can be done, no matter what offense you run. So, we've excelled in those two things. We didn't score as many points as we would have liked; that's the third thing. And then all those other stats, total yards – which supposedly is the No. 1 measuring stick – is not a measuring stick for success in this league. [It] hasn't been for 25 years. However, it's the one they brought up so, and we'd take the top ranking in that, but there's no correlation. There's a bunch of those top teams that aren't in the playoffs, and the good news is, all the stats, you can throw them all out the window at this point. It's the stats that go from here, through February, that matter. So obviously, that's where my focus is."
On whether he feels confident that his offense is good enough to advance far in the playoffs: "It ain't about a deep run in the playoffs. It really isn't. It's about this game. It really is, and you know that. I appreciate… I hear what you're saying. But for us, it's about playing well in this game against Kansas City. You still have an opportunity – if you have the right kind of people – to get better. You get better throughout this game and find a way to play well, and then you've got to keep growing through the playoffs, and then it all plays itself out."
On whether the offense will have to use a silent count Sunday and how good they are in that area: "We're solid, and it'll be important. It's always important on the road, and I think what better guys than Matt Birk, and obviously Joe [Flacco's] experience, as you mentioned. And then everybody else collectively, [you've] just got to be sharp, you've just got to be on-point."
On Chiefs LB Tamba Hali having a big year: "Big year, and he's impressive."
On how much emphasis he will be put on slowing down Hali: "Collectively, they do a lot good scheme things to create pressure. They've got linebackers that can rush, and he's not the only guy. But, he does an outstanding job. He's an impact player. You don't get that many sacks by accident. We'll have to zero in on him. You obviously double him, but you can't double a guy like that all the time, as many of the things they do. So, when you're single-blocked on him, block him. That's a big challenge for us."
Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison
On whether he marvels on what S Ed Reed does on the field:"Every day. Every time I watch him on the game tapes afterwards, you just say, 'Wow. You're fortunate to be around a guy like this.' Some of the plays he makes and where he is when big plays happen, that's a special person. That's something that will probably come around once in a lifetime – guys like that."
On whether Reed gets on a hot streak with interceptions:"I don't know if it's hot streaks or if it's every week. You're right, they've come in twos, so let's get the first one in this game right here, and then we can start adding the next ones. But, I don't know. I don't think it's any different on how he approaches [the game]. I don't think it's any different. Maybe some quarterbacks say, 'We're just not going to throw to his side.' And other guys say, 'We're going to throw where we're supposed to throw,' and that's where Ed is."
On why the number of sacks has decreased over the course of the season:"I think with us, the big thing that happens is I think quarterbacks are getting it out quicker. If you noticed in some of the games – like the Cleveland game, for example – that ball was out right away. I think they know that we are going to pressure, and I think they respect some of the guys that are coming, and so the ball is out quick. Yeah, we would like to have more sack numbers, but the biggest thing is what leads to third downs and what leads to third-down percentages. Even though you're never where you want to be on that, I think that percentage is in the ballpark, and that's what the sacks give you. They give you the ability to get your third downs or be positive on third downs."
On whether any of the new rules have dissuaded players from going after the QB:"No, I don't think so. I know one thing: Terrell Suggs and 'Double J' [Jarret Johnson] and our guys are coming; they're not pulling off. They're not in any way doing that. In fact, I've been really proud of our guys for continuing to go as hard as they're supposed to go through [the throw]. I think if you look last week, Lardarius Webb hit [Bengals QB Carson] Palmer right when he threw it, and it was a great hit. If he was thinking about pulling off, he would have never hit him. I think we had a couple of those."
On what Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe does so well:"I think the biggest thing that happens with him is he's got really good hands. He's a really big target; he's a good target. But, a lot of it is the running game. The teams, when you're playing them, you know how good they are on the run, and so you find ways to kind of load up, whether it's loading up with zone or loading up with man. In a lot of those situations, he gets single-covered. They've got a very good scheme. They have the ability to attack both the open side with their toss and be able to run to the close side – the tight end's side – and throw it over there. So, a lot of his success has come because they run the ball so well."
On whether the defense should play "jam" against a big receiver like Bowe:"Yeah, I think that's one thing. When you're a bigger receiver and you're a thicker receiver, it's always the best way to go about it because you can stop his momentum and you can get him off stride that way. The hardest thing about that is if you aren't a real big corner trying to do that, you can sometimes get thrown out of the way, and now it's a little bit negative for you. But yeah, you definitely want to mix jamming him and getting up in his face and then sometimes playing off."
On whether there is concern over DT Haloti Ngata and Reed not participating in practice:"They're boycotting. They don't like the cold weather. *(laughter) *No, it's not a concern. They'll both be fine. It's us knowing where we are in the season, knowing we've had a lot of football games, and those two guys have played so well and they understand the defense so well, that if they do have a little bump or bruise or something like that, it's best to get them 100-percent rather than [have them] running around."
On whether he can put a perspective on how much Reed is hurting:"I'll tell you this: Ed Reed is a tremendously tough individual –mentally tough and physically tough. If you look back at the Cleveland game, [Peyton] Hillis didn't finish the game, and that was Ed Reed. So, Ed Reed's not just an interceptor. When he goes to make contact, he is going to go with everything he has. When you're a defensive back doing that, and you're around the ball and hitting as much as he is, you're going to get bumps and bruises; you're going to be sore. Is Ed 100 percent, feeling as fresh as he can be? I don't think one player on our team would say they are right now. We've been in a lot of weeks. It just tells you about Ed, [for him] to come out there and do what he does and not be always as fresh as can be."