Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
From your perspective, what happened on the blocked field goal on Monday? (Ed Lee) "Give them credit; they did a really good job of execution. They timed it perfectly. The guy made a legal jump. It was a legal play that blocked the kick. That's what I saw."
What changes are you implementing to make sure that doesn't happen again? (Ed Lee) "It's not a matter of change. We have a mechanism to handle that. We didn't have it necessarily engaged, and we didn't do it as well. We need to coach it better. It's not like when it happens, it's going to work. That's not the case. That's not the case with us. That's not the case with most teams. They did it at the exact right time. They did it well, and I give them credit."
Do you feel like it should be a legal play going forward?* (Jerry Coleman)*"That's not my judgment. I don't think there should be any contact going over the top, which there wasn't. It was a legal play. I think that should be refined and defined. What happened in our game, in my view, was not illegal. If they make it illegal, then we won't see it anymore. The way the rules are right now, it is what it is."
How much of it do you think is that it was really well executed versus you have to have such a great athlete to be able to not use their hands, make that leap, clear it and get the timing right? Does it just take a special person to be able to do that? (Pete Gilbert) "There are a lot of special athletes in this league. I mean that sincerely; I'm not being sarcastic. There are a lot of guys in this league that have that ability, and he executed it very well. "
**Jerry, do you think a blocked kick should count as a missed field goal? *(Ryan Mink) *"That's not within my realm. That's where it is. It counts as a missed kicked, because he didn't make it, regardless of how he didn't make it. Now, you have to figure out if they just blocked it a little bit or if they didn't give him enough time, then it becomes subjective. Again, the facts are it was blocked. It was not good. It counts as no good."
WR/RS Michael Campanaro is getting another shot to be the return guy. How impressed have you been with how he's looked?* (Joe Platania)*"As you know, Michael has been with us. He's not a new arrival. He's been with us before. He continues to have the good work ethic he's always had. He's out here catching punts early before practice, and has been for some time. Now, he gets an opportunity. We'll see what happens this weekend. If it's his job, then he needs to make the most of it, and I'm sure he will."
I know you talked a lot about your respect for WR/RS Devin Hester Sr. and that he taught you things. How disappointing was it not to be more productive as a unit? (Luke Jones) "It was a rough day. I had a very good talk with Devin. He's such a fine man. I take responsibility for this happening. I take it very personally. It's my fault that he didn't have better opportunities to return and really show what he can do. We didn't block well enough for him. We didn't coach well enough for him. When I talked to Devin, as you might expect, his response was this: 'It's a team thing.' He took full responsibility, and he understands that we all have to do this together. It was telling on his character that that's the kind of man he is. I told you all this many times: That's a great player. Devin Hester is a great football player. I understand it. I don't like it, because I think I let him down. I hold that responsibility on my shoulders, and that's the way it works. This is a rough business. As I tell our guys all the time, we're all evaluated on everything, every day, for as long as we're playing and coaching in this league. It's just a part of the business."
The Eagles lead the league in kickoff return average. What's your impression of them? (Ed Lee) "They're very good. They lead the league in a lot of different categories. They're leading the league in four different categories in kickoff and kickoff return. It's remarkable. You don't see it very often where a team is that good in both phases. We have a big challenge in front of us. They're a very good team and well coached. It's going to be one of those kinds of games we have to be at our best in all areas to have any success against this team. We need to be sharp."
**The Eagles went through several long snappers on Sunday. Who is the back up for you guys? *(Ed Lee) *"We hope not to see him."
*WR Chris Moore is always around the ball. How much is that a skill versus good fortune? (Pete Gilbert) *"We nicknamed him 'Scoop and Score Moore' early on. This one was a muff, so he didn't have the chance to scoop and score, but he's demonstrated that on three different occasions on special teams. That's quite rare. Whether you call it a coincidence or not, it keeps happening, so there has to be something to it, right? He's a very skilled athlete. He plays hard and fast, and good things happen to those that do that."
What level of comfort do you have knowing that LS Morgan Cox has been dependable, reliable and hasn't missed a game recently? (Ed Lee) "He has missed games, just not this season. We hope to keep it that way. Like everything, we have a contingency plan, but we have no intention of using it. For all players, everybody has a backup. It's not different with our situation."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement:"A little review of the last ballgame: Man alive! We have some work to do. We have a host of things that we need to get better at to go out there and beat a team like that. We certainly have addressed it [and] practiced it, because we have to get better in a whole host of situations. I was proud of the men. That was a pretty good comeback. We didn't quite get it done, and the next time, we certainly expect to get it done. Moving on to Philadelphia – a great opportunity here for us. [Philadelphia has] a very good defense as of just a few weeks back, and it is the same players. They have a front that is very good, both with the run and the pass rush. They are a very aggressive team, so we have a great opportunity here and a great challenge. [They are] a fine football team, a fine defensive football team just recently."
As far as late in the game, the tempo is something you guys have been frustrated with. Is that you and QB Joe Flacco's timing? How do you look at it? (Pete Gilbert)"I'll tell you what: We can get into a whole host of reasons. No, that is not right. We do not care how much we get beat by – seven, three, 10 [points], whatever. We want to win the game. In our two-minute [offense], our actual two-minute [offense] has been very good. Then, jeez, it felt slow during the game, so I had the guys … Man, we were slow. Shoot, we could have huddled and done that, just about. We were in two-minute [offense] there. That has been addressed. We have practiced it. In fact, we practiced it today – that exact situation. We have practiced it before. There was a whole host of reasons why that thing slowed down just a little bit, but there is no excuse. We have to play fast. We need two scores, period, to win the game. That is what we are doing, we are trying to win the game in that situation. It certainly has been addressed, and I expect to be better. I hope we are not in that situation, but if we are, we are going to be better the next time that happens."
Just to follow up on that, John [Harbaugh] said that he has not been pleased with the pace a lot of times in those two-minute situations going back over the last year-and-a-half. I know you have not been the coordinator for that long, but he said that he has not been pleased with the pace a lot of times in those situations. Why is that something that has been a continuing trend? (Luke Jones)"Well, our two-minute situations have been … I have the fellas work it up, and as far as … Our normal two-minute [situations], a minute-and-a-half, I believe we have been very good in that way, as far as the timing of it. There are a lot of reasons for that. But it can't happen, you see? It can't happen. When you are two scores down on the road, all of those things, that is typically when it tends to happen. It can't happen. We have got to operate much, much faster than that. It is just that simple."
Do you guys have to run the ball more? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Yes. Jeez! I came out of that game, and we had a plan early, and jeez, it went the other way. Then, we are playing catch-up. Again, I was proud of the fellas for most of that time and the catch-up. That is my responsibility. [We were] unable to use the running game as much as I thought we would going into that game. That is my responsibility. Certainly knowing the outcome, I would have done that a little differently, earlier."
Going forward, does it have to be a little more balanced, do you think? Especially with the weather getting colder? (Jeff Zrebeic)"Well, the weather does play a factor. But every game is its own individual game. After the season, I like to be a certain way. But within the whole season, every game is going to be individual specific that way, as far as how much you throw and how much you run."
We were talking with Dean [Pees] about last week, and we all want redo's in life. He was regretting some of the plays that he called. When you go back and look at the play call with the safety in the end zone, was that one of the worst ever you have been a part of? (Jerry Coleman)"Well, I was trying to remember … I'm not sure that has ever happened, and I'm sure it has, but I can't remember one. Yes, there were several [play calls] that knowing the outcome, you would do a little bit differently. But that is a basic play for us, and we utilize that play backed up on occasion."
Do you believe that this offense has to pass to set up the run? The way it played out against Miami, it had success, but it seems that you are very pass-heavy early in the game. (Luke Jones)"Every game is so different, and the plan going in will be so different every game. It will be different every game. I don't believe that [the pass has to set up the run]. I believe both the run and the pass are both very, very important to our football team."
The NFL is a copycat league, and other teams saw what the Patriots did defensively with zone and two-deep [safeties]. You probably are going to see a lot more of that. What is the key to getting teams out of that or making teams pay for it? (Jeff Zrebiec)"We have seen it a lot. We had some opportunities early in the game, so that is my responsibility. Why didn't we make the play? Well, you have to know yourself, you have to know what you are good at. Within that, [you have to know] what is good against that team and then putting the guys in the right spot and getting the guys in the right position to have success. That is my responsibility. We will get that done."
QB Joe Flacco checked down a lot. Were you pleased with his decision-making? There were some plays that were missed. (Luke Jones)"Those are decision-making, those are quarterback decision-making [plays] that he makes every game. Some of them were very, very good. There were others where he was up and felt a little pressure and got it out quick. I do not want to get into too many details, but there were reasons for all of those. Every one of them was just a little different. That was a … We did do it quite a little bit – we checked it down a little bit more than we have in the past. But there were reasons for all of them, and I think we can get better at that."
With where QB Joe Flacco and Eagles QB Carson Wentz went to school, people talk a lot about the jumping competition from I-AA schools. But there have been a lot of quarterbacks from there have had some success and some immediate success like Joe and Carson. What is your take on it? You have evaluated a lot of quarterbacks. At that level, is it more if you have the talent, arm strength and the maturity, then you can make that jump? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Well, there a few questions within that question there. But I think I know where you are going. Some guys … I do know this: Some guys kind of seamlessly transition a little quicker than others. Some, it takes several years, and in some cases, even more than that to get at their peak performance. Both ways have worked to where the quarterbacks have come out and have been great, great quarterbacks. Much of it is the way that they are built. I am talking the whole package. The next thing would be, what type of team are they on and the players around them and the defense and the special teams? All of those things come in to play to be able to play at a high level at that quarterback spot. Some guys have played in front of 80,000 and 100,000 [fans] their whole [college] career, and then it takes them longer. Some guys tend to seamlessly transition a little bit better, a little bit quicker, I should say."
Are you pleased with what you are seeing from RB Kenneth Dixon as his role continues to grow in this offense? (Luke Jones)"Yes, he has done a fine job. Both of our backs have done a good job. Terrance [West] is doing as well as can be expected as well. Both of them are doing a fine job, both in the run game and in the protection and in the pass game."
What needs to happen to get more efficiency? I'm looking at the yards per attempt. What needs to get done to make that happen? (Jamison Hensley)"Yards per attempt, that is a good point. Yards per attempt is a big correlation into winning; it is just that simple. That is one of the first stats I look at when I am on the bus going to the airplane. That is a high correlation to winning. That yards per attempt is important to us."
What can you do to improve that? (Jamison Hensley)"You saw the game. Jeez, there were some plays there that, you know … To beat a team like that on the road, we need to create some plays, we need to scheme some plays where the yards per attempt is up. That is a good point."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
Can you talk about facing a rookie quarterback? In recent years, you guys have had a lot of success against rookie quarterbacks, especially when it comes to pressure. How critical is it to get a consistent pass rush against a rookie quarterback? (Ed Lee)"There isn't any doubt you have to be able to get a pass rush, whether we do it by pressuring or whether we do it by four-man rush, however we do it. That's true of every quarterback, but especially a rookie quarterback. You have to have a good rush. We have to do a great job. We have to make him execute, and then we have to execute."
Was there anything you saw in Monday's game that led you guys not being successful, in terms of pressure? (Ed Lee)"Tom [Brady] is a different thing. It's a different offense. It's just a different scheme. It's always hard to compare one to the other. We hit Tom a few times. We didn't always sack him, but we did hit him a few times. We had decent pressure at times, but not as much as we would have liked. I really don't look at the Monday night game as a pressure problem as much as in coverage, [where] we gave up a couple plays in coverage that we just hadn't done. We just had not done that in the last six weeks, and for whatever reason, we did. Against a team like that, they're going to take big-time advantage of you, and they did."
Dean, going back to the big play with Patriots WR Chris Hogan, we know that S Eric Weddle took responsibility. What was your perspective? (Jerry Coleman) "I'm never going to talk about whether a … [If] he took responsibility, that's up to Eric. I'm never going to talk about a player and what he did or what he didn't do. It happened. It happens to all of us. I had a call in there that I would like to have back where I put C.J. [Mosley] on a running back, and I should have given him more help. I'm responsible for that. I'm not happy with myself for what I did there. I should have had a check when they went to empty and not put him in that position, and I did. We all had our [bad] plays in that game, everybody – not only Eric, me and other guys, too. We gave up a couple other pass plays. Two of their scores Tom threw good balls. The tight end catch, Zach Orr is all over it. Both of them had it. That's pro football. On the one on Tavon [Young], Tom threw it in a small window. He just barely got it in there. It was a good throw on the slant on third down. The other two touchdowns were our responsibility, and we gave up big plays. That's something we hadn't done in the last six or seven weeks. We have to get back to our style of football."
ILB Zach Orr is fourth in the NFL in tackles right now. Is the defense engineered for him to get a lot of tackles, or is he flying around making plays? (Ryan Mink) "It's a little bit of both. The position he plays a lot of times, he is covered up a little bit. I just think it's also Zach is playing very, very hard. He's playing at a high level. He's playing fast, and I just think he's around the ball a lot."
I know we've asked you a lot, but in the past, without CB Jimmy Smith, the defense has statistically dropped off? What is the key to minimizing that?* (Luke Jones)*"The key is going to be just don't give up big plays. Think of any game that we have played on defense where we didn't give up big plays. How well did we play on defense? It's not rocket science. It's just we have enough coverage. We have enough scheme. We have a lot of stuff, but the key is when we play fundamentally sound with good eyes and those kinds of things, and just don't give up big plays, usually the outcome is how we like it on defense. But if you look at the games like the Jets, we gave up a big pass play in a zone that shouldn't have gone. New York Giants, we gave up a couple big pass plays, and two guys run into each other. If we can just eliminate that … And when we do, like against Miami and those teams …. It's just, look at the outcome. That's the way it was against the Patriots, and the worst thing about the Patriots is if you give up a big play, that's really going to kill you against them. That's the rest of the season. It's every game. Don't have penalties. Don't have big plays. Make teams go the long, hard way, and usually good things will happen to you."
**Going back to ILB Zach Orr. [Some people think] he had kind of a rough night on Monday night. Do you feel like you have to talk to him in any way to maintain his confidence? *(Ed Lee) *"First of all, he was beat up. He was hurt a little bit, so I'll take his defense in that. I just think it's that guys are hard on themselves. Wouldn't you rather have that than a guy who thinks he played well in a loss? You'd rather have a guy be a little critical of himself, just like Eric [Weddle] standing up and being a man and taking responsibility for a play. I'd rather have that, because I know the guy knows what he did, and he knows now he can correct it. It's the guys you have to convince did it wrong and they don't think they did, which we don't have much of that. I admire our guys for that. Nobody is happy about the performance we put out there on Monday night. I'm not happy about my performance on Monday night. I'll tell you this: I probably have not prepared harder for a team than I prepared for those guys. I've never wanted to win more – maybe the Super Bowl – than I wanted to win that game the other night. I think our players were that way, too. It had nothing to do with effort, nothing to do with attitude, nothing to do with preparation. We just didn't play as well as we can play."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On if today was an emotional practice because of Monday's loss:"We're moving forward. You all always make a big deal. You have to understand, we're a little messed up. It is December football. We're all a little itchy, yet we are moving forward. It was an emotional loss. We really wanted that one. We were in the division lead. We controlled our own fate then, and now we have to win out. We're just a little edgy, but I think it's good to be a little edgy in December."
On staying focused on the Eagles game with the Steelers game coming the following week:"You don't want to look past any team. It's still a dangerous team. They have a young peaking quarterback; he has some abilities. They definitely have some weapons on offense and defense. It's a team we definitely have to take seriously. We can't be looking to next week. We have a game this week. We're not really focused on anything but the Philadelphia Eagles."
On adjusting the pass rush against a rookie quarterback:"Our objective doesn't change. When you play a guy like you did last week [Tom Brady], it does a little bit. Our objective doesn't change, and being a rookie quarterback doesn't really mean anything in this league anymore. Where the game is going, they all catch on so fast. They put in work – the good ones put in work, and he's showing to be a good one. The fact that he's a rookie, that doesn't mean anything. I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean anything to them. It doesn't mean anything to us. We have to go out there and win a game. They're going to come in and try to win a game." On the possibility of CB Jimmy Smith being out for extended time: "It's next man up. This is December football. There's no time for excuses. We're going to play football. We've done it all year. We've lost Jimmy a couple times. You hate to lose one of your best corners, but you definitely have to continue to play ball. We have something we're trying to do. We can't let us losing a guy on defense stop us."