Clyde Christensen – December 8, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen

(RB Jay Ajayi is 92 yards away from a 1,000 yard season. I’m just curious of your perspective, is this something you could foresee in the summer? It has surprised a lot of us that he’s had such a big year) – “I think we were hoping. I’m not sure I could say I saw it, but we were hoping. We hadn’t seen him and there wasn’t a whole bunch of evidence out there. You just didn’t have a ton of film when you came in here on Jay Ajayi. We were certainly hoping. It was an up and down ride with him initially, early, and just kind of in the search (for a lead running back). But he’s really been a pleasant surprise. He’s really had a nice year and he looks like a pro running back out there. He’s physical, he comes and he goes hard every week – week after week after week. He’s earned it the hard way. He’s had a couple of big games, but there have also been some games where it hasn’t been easy sledding. He’s been physical. He’s stayed healthy and kept himself in there and kept pounding it up in there. He’s really, really had a nice year – a really nice year.”

(You guys in two of the last three weeks have struggled to score. If it wasn’t for a late rally in Los Angeles, you would have been shut out, and in danger of that again last week. What’s gone wrong those weeks?) – “We’ve just played bad football. We just haven’t taken care of the football side of it. This week, I think we had five snap or pre-snap penalties and snafus with the snap count, et cetera, et cetera. We had major penalties; we had the face mask, we had the holding, we had the personal foul. All of those things that kind of throw you off schedule that we’re not good enough yet, we’re not explosive enough yet to overcome. They’re hard for us to overcome. I just think the negative plays in both of those two games – whether it’s a sack, a penalty, a minus-yard run, a drop, a miss by the quarterback, any of those things – any negative plays we’ve had a hard time overcoming and those two games we haven’t executed very well. I don’t know that it’s been anything other than just bad ball.”

(I know we ask about WR DeVante Parker every week. Two things this week, what did he show you by playing last week with that back injury and what happened on the ball that DB Ladarious Webb took in the end zone?) – “The first part of the question, I’ve never questioned his wanting to play. I don’t think anyone has a question. This game is a hard game. I have a hard time questioning a guy’s heart. I think he wants to play. He plays hard. He goes in there and he throws his body around and I’ve never had any reason to question his heart in this thing, or his desire to play football. I probably question doctors’ diagnosis’ more than I question him. They tend to go up and down and up and down. (laughter) I was a little bit surprised he did play, but I wasn’t surprised that he was going to give everything he could to play. As far as that ball that goes up, same thing. You don’t know how much the injury hurt him, but from a coaching standpoint you’d say, ‘We’ve got to catch that ball or we’ve got to pass interfere or do something to make sure that ball doesn’t get intercepted.’ We certainly coached it and we certainly expected a ball like that – especially a guy like him, who wants alley oops thrown to him, who wants a jump ball thrown to him – but we’ve thrown two that have gotten picked. They can’t be picked. They may not be big plays, you may not catch them all, but they can’t be turnovers. We had the first down one at the Rams was a big one. It was a first-down play after we’re trying to get things going and you take a shot to your big guy and it can’t get picked. It just can’t get picked.”

(Given the pre-snap look, should WR DeVante Parker have felt the safety coming over the top?) – “No. That sucker was humming. (laughter) We’d try to hold it off, but you’d have to be able to tell the future to know that guy was going to make that kind of a play. He made a heck of a play. We did say all week that their Mike linebacker and their free safety, when they got a jump, they sold out and went. You can get them out of position, but some people start working their way that way. These two guys take off and run, so we did know that. But we’ve got to come down with that or we’ve got to break it up and we can help at the quarterback position holding that thing off a little bit with our eyes and just freezing (the safety). But he covered a ton of ground. I don’t think anything pre-snap would have told you don’t mess with that. I think it was more him making a heck of a good play.”

(At this point in the season when you are looking for a spark, what’s your and Head Coach Adam Gase’s philosophy about how much to weave in plays that you haven’t shown teams on tape. We saw one with WR Jarvis Landry out of the backfield but it didn’t work out last week. Is there a philosophy that you’d like to weave in one or two of those a week?) – “We really want to weave in the ones that work. (laughter) The minus-yard plays, weaving those in isn’t exactly what you have in mind. So we’re going to try to weave in a couple of positive ones here in the next couple of weeks. But no, you do. Everybody has a lot of tape on you. We’ll go back into the division where they’ve played you already, so I think it’s two-fold. One, yes you want to give them a little changeup. Same thing I think still with us is you’re still figuring out what different guys can do. You’re still dealing with injuries. What if ‘11’ (DeVante Parker) doesn’t go? Where do our big plays come from? What do we try to … ‘He is going. He feels good. He’s had a good week of practice.’ It’s always kind of fluid. It’s always moving around a little bit. You’re always looking for things like that. You do want to give them a little different formation. Adam does a great job with that, of just giving them different formations and changing that thing up. I probably tend to be more from the … that all great teams have tendencies. I’m probably more on the conservative side, so it’s a good little mix. (Gase) usually wins, but I do think there’s something to doing the same thing over and over and over again and getting good at it. Then it doesn’t matter what they do. You do it better. You do what you do better than they do what they do. It’s a mix in there of those things and it’s always some fun and good and lively conversations with Coach Gase and I, but he does a great job of giving different looks. He’s a creative guy. I’m probably not. I’m probably whatever the opposite of creative is. (laughter) I’m probably boring. ‘Let’s do the same thing over and over and over and over and over again.’ Luckily, he wins a high percentage of those discussions. But yes, it is. One thing I always laugh at, that’s why you love to have good coaches around you. It’s lonely. You’re trying to put that game plan together in Week 14 and you’ve tried everything. You’ve tried every formation. You’re just dying for a new idea. There aren’t that many new ideas. It’s still football, but we do have a creative staff. Of course, Adam is an extremely broad thinker. That really helps this time of year. I would flounder at this time if I was alone, just because you start running out of things and it just feels dry. It is hard to be creative now.”

(You’ve coached on a lot of championship teams. You’ve coached playoff teams. Do those teams play different in December? Do they play faster in December as they see what might be ahead?) – “That’s really a good question. I always wrestle with it because you can’t say both. The sales pitch … One side of the coin says everything has to rise in December and the other side says you still win the games the same way – running the ball, don’t turn it over, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. All of the things that coaches keep saying over and over. So I would conclude, and what I believe, is this: you don’t have to do anything more than you’ve been doing. You still win the games the same way. But (in) December, the good teams are doing what they do really well, because you’ve been doing it that long. We talked to our team Wednesday, yesterday, and said ‘If you’re a lineman, your pass sets should be the best they’ve … because you’ve been doing it for three months. You’ve been working together for three (months). You’ve got the calls for three (months). You’ve worked on your three-step drop for three months.’ It ought to be the sharpest it’s been. The bad teams are worried about their offseason and start making offseason plans, and the good teams are doing what they do extremely sharp, because they’ve been doing it and they focus on it and it’s getting better and better and better. I don’t know that you raise your game as far as trying harder. Hopefully you’ve tried as hard as you can the whole time; but I do think there’s a sharpness that the good teams – that the great ones – are on top of their game in December because they’ve built up to that, because they’ve had a good routine. I do think you should play your sharpest football in December, but I’m careful to say everything has to elevate. Everyone says it all speeds up in the … Well, if it speeds up, I would question how come we didn’t run our fastest in the first and second and third quarter (of the season). I think your margins do get tougher. We talk to the team about that all the time: now you are playing the better teams and there’s so much at stake. You’re not going to slip by someone for the most part when you’re playing the good teams. Arizona has a ton at stake this week. We have a ton at stake this week. Do you still win at the same …? Sure, it’ll still be the team that executes and doesn’t fumble and doesn’t turn the ball over and those things, but they’ll be sharper than they probably were in September. We should, or better be, sharper than we were in September also. Does that kind of answer your question? It’s a little of both on the thing. I always wrestle with, because you do tend to say … I do think your five-star players have to play five-star football in December. That’s what you pay that top 10 percent of guys extra money for, is for these games. They do get important. I do think that. I do think those five-star guys have to play five-star or you’ve got problems.”

(How would you evaluate how T Branden Albert did, particularly in light of the handicap he was playing with?) – “I think he battled. I think he held in there. I think he probably did better than I thought you could do against a quality rusher like he was going against with one hand. I thought he really, really played well, considering (his injury). It wasn’t completely clean, but it was awful good. He stayed between his guy and the quarterback, and that’s a hard position to play against a really good player on the road, where you’re late off the snap count and et cetera. Everything was set for him to have a rough day and he really battled. I thought he really held up well, especially considering (his injury).”

(How eager are you to get your ideal five linemen out there again? Are we going to see them playing at their best? We’re almost at the end of the season) – “I sure hope so. We’re extremely eager. The good news was it did give us a jump start when we did have them together. Again, telling the future isn’t one of my strengths, so all I can do – just like everyone else – is hope. I think I am going to start getting my medicine degree and start signing up for some courses in medicine as this job seems to handle medicine evaluation and rehabilitation. I’m just kidding. (laughter) But the truth of the matter is it is. It’s inexact. That’s what is fun about our job. That’s one thing I like about coaching – every day is different. Every week is different. It’s a different opponent. Your obstacles in this building are different, whether it’s an attitude, whether it’s an injury, whether it’s a surprise fall in the shower. (laughter) It’s just always changing. You get a game plan ready and they don’t play what you hope they played. It’s just one of the fun things about this job. It’s never the same two days in a row. I mean that seriously, that’s one of the things I do enjoy about coaching, that it is a constantly changing deal. I hope we get (Mike) Pouncey back. I hope something miraculous happens tonight and we have him back tomorrow, but you just have these contingency plans and you just go do the best you can and you play the hand you’ve got and it’s all you can do. It can derail people. I’ve seen it derail head coaches. I’ve seen it derail people. That’s part of being good at what we do. That’s part of being a good head coach, that it is the next man up. You don’t flinch. You’ve just got to go. Coach (Tony) Dungy was phenomenal at it. Adam (Gase) has been phenomenal this year, especially in his first year. There are all kinds of stuff that comes across the way and he hasn’t flinched. You just keep going. It hasn’t all gone well, but you just keep swinging. I’m sure these next four weeks will be the most exciting of them all, I think. At least we put ourselves in position that these are going to be an interesting four weeks. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves. We’ll learn a lot about our football team. We’ll have to make some more adjustments and hopefully we get some great news too and pick up a couple of pick-me-ups in these next two weeks. Maybe we get some good news on ‘Pounce’ (Mike Pouncey). Maybe we can head in down the stretch with everyone intact. That would be terrific.”

(What’s the level that TE Dion Sims is playing at right now?) – “I think he’s playing extremely well. We’ve used him inside a lot. It may not be the biggest number, but I think the tight end position has played as consistent as anyone. We’ve said it a lot of times. I’ve said it to you guys, for those guys being a two, three, and a four (string on the initial depth chart), they’ve come in, haven’t missed a beat, and played good solid football. ‘Q,’ (MarQueis Gray) the same thing. For a guy that started the season as a third tight end, and to come in and play at the high level he’s played at. I think it’s been one of the really pleasant surprises of the whole fall, the consistency of that tight end room, especially after losing our top guy. I think those guys have been really good. I think that (Sims has) played at a high level. He’s been consistent. He had that little hiccup with the concussion that he couldn’t help; but he jumped right back in there. He’s a good physical presence. Those guys are hard (to find): the guys who can catch passes, and block, and hold up against defensive ends. He’s a unique combination of all those things. He’s really been an important guy. He always was, but especially … because we lost the top guy, he’s had to take on a bunch. I think he’s really had a great year.”

(The way QB Ryan Tannehill played last week. Do you just flush that? He played obviously at a high level on the six-game winning streak. When a guy has a slip like that, what do you do?) – “I would say this. The whole unit, and probably bigger, but I’ll just speak for the unit. When we got together and compiled grades, no one played well, which is a little bit confusing. It was such a big game and we just laid an egg. We didn’t play well. The only thing you can do is just turn the page and go to the next one, and not let one turn into two. I don’t have an explanation for it. If it was one or two guys, it would be easier to explain. But really, we didn’t have one guy who played at a high … played one of his better games, which you would hope showed up. That was disappointing; I thought it was really disappointing. I thought that was really going to be a good football game. It was a great opponent; it was great training for what’s down the road. We’re going to have two more possible foul weather games on the road in hostile environments, against good football teams. That (game in Baltimore), hopefully is an outlier. We have to make that an outlier. Our theme this week is, ‘Let’s get right back on the track. The same way we won games, let’s get right back to it. We slid out of our lane, hopefully just for a week, a short thing. And now let’s get back to playing good football in the same way we went on the streak, which is not turning it over, running the ball well, being physical, cutting down on the critical errors, and the negative plays, and the mistakes.’”

Ryan Tannehill – December 7, 2016 (Conference Call) Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill Conference Call with Arizona Media

(You guys were on such a nice roll there. Obviously, last week was kind of a hiccup. How do you guys bounce back from that? Do you feel like you still have a lot of momentum from the winning streak, or do you feel like there are a lot of things you have to fix after last week?) – “Well, there are definitely things we have to fix. We didn’t come out and play well at all – I think – on any phase of the game. Offensively, we made too many mistakes and left too many plays out there. When you play a good team on the road, obviously, you can’t have those mistakes. (We) need to get those corrected. That’s what we’ve been working on the past few days. Now, we’re prepping for Arizona. It’s a one-week-at-a-time league. It really doesn’t matter what you did the week before. You have to show up each and every week. We have to learn from the last one, put it behind us and get ready for the next one.”

(The Cardinals have RB David Johnson who has become a bell cow in this offense. How important is it for you to have a guy like RB Jay Ajayi running the ball to open up that offense?) – “It’s huge. Jay has been big for us this year. I think really getting the running game going was crucial to us starting the ball rolling in the right direction. I think the first big game he had – the first couple games that we beat Pittsburgh and (the) New York (Jets) – were huge. That kind of set the momentum – set the tone – for us offensively. Obviously, (he) had those huge games, but (has) just been consistent. He runs hard, physical, tough and gets those tough yards after contact. It has been a big help for us offensively.”

(Last week aside, what else has gone into the offensive improvement before that?) – “I think guys are coming together. I think (it’s a) new offense, new scheme, and it just took a little bit of time for us to gel together and really come together. I think we were on the right track. Things weren’t going well on Sundays for us early in the year, but we were on the right track. We just stayed the course, kept to our process, kept improving our process and getting better each and every week. And then finally, we started to see some success.”

(Is there any one thing when you look at this  Cardinals defense on video that jumps out at you?) – “They have a really good defense. You see a good front, good pass rushers, secondary guys make plays. Obviously, Patrick Peterson is well known and for good reason. He’s a really good player on the outside. But the defense as a whole, they have playmakers all over the place and do a really good job in their scheme.”

(Do you prepare in any specific way for a guy like Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson? He’s been thrown away from a lot this year. Do you approach him any differently than you would an average cornerback?) – “I think you have to. You’re aware of him as a player, just like you’re aware of an elite pass-rusher or an elite linebacker. You’re aware of guys that can have a big impact on the game. Not necessarily that you’re avoiding him throughout the whole game, but you’re aware. You want to make sure that it’s the right matchup, it’s the right shot and the ball is in the right location. If you do leave one behind the receiver or throw one when you shouldn’t, he’s going to get it. Just an awareness of where he’s at in the game is a big part of it.”

(Do you pay attention to where he is on maybe every play? Like do you try to sneak a peak and see where CB Patrick Peterson is lined up?) – “Yes, I think that’s part of it is seeing how they’re going to play it. He’s played a couple of different ways throughout the year whether he’s shadowing a guy or sticking to his side a little more or, like I said, following a guy. We’ll just have to see early in the game how they’re playing us and adjust from there.”

(Did you think you were going to get rid of Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones when he got traded from the Patriots?) – “That’s the thing about the league is you’re always going to come back around and play guys again, no matter where they’re at. The good thing is now I don’t have to see him twice a year. (laughter) But yes, I have a ton of respect for him and his abilities and him rushing the passer.”

(What makes him such a good pass rusher?) – “I think he is really good with his hands. I think he does a great job of using his hands, knocking down the tackle’s hands and being able to hug tight to that edge and get pressure in that way. I think he does a good job of mixing that with a bull rush and just pushing the tackle back. He has a few moves that he’s really good at and that have been really successful for him.”

Ryan Tannehill – December 7, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

(What was the biggest thing that you picked up on after reviewing the film of the last game?) – “We just didn’t come out and execute well. I don’t think, from the start of the game, we didn’t make enough plays. We had too many mistakes, too many plays we left out there. When you play a good team on the road late in the year, you have to bring you’re A-game, and we didn’t do that.”

(How about your performance specifically?) – “It wasn’t good enough. I think, like I said, across the board we weren’t good enough. And that includes me.”

(When you’re actually physically watching game tape like that, how different is it from other ones? Is it kind of something like ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe that happened’ moments? What’s it like?) – “I mean it’s … That’s what we do. There are going to be games where things go well, and you just try to look at them all the same. You look at them whether you won by 20 and had a good game, or you won by one, or you came out a lost. I think you try to look at it the same way, evaluate yourself through a real lens, a true lens and see how well you played, and things you can improve upon. So when you lose, it’s no different. You look at it the same way. Just make the connections you can and move on.”

(What’s the mindset of this team? It’s your first true day back at work following that game. How would you describe the way the team is responding?) – “We’re getting ready for the next one. There is still a lot of football out there in front of us. Our mindset right now is to prepare and do everything we can to get ready for the Arizona Cardinals.”

(When it comes to CB Patrick Peterson or any good DB [defensive back], do you stay aware of him, or do you treat him just like any other player on the field?) – “You have to be aware. I think he has a reputation, and it shows. You watch the game tape, and he shows up every week. It’s not something you can ignore and say that he’s just another guy out there. You have a ton of respect for him, and you’re aware of where he’s at on the field. I like our receivers. I think that we can challenge him, and still have an opportunity to make plays; but I have a lot of respect for him and the plays that he can make. It’s not just going out there and having no regard for where he’s at. You want to keep your eye on ‘21.’”

(Last week, you guys were down 24-0 in the second half. Keeping the run-pass balance is pretty much out the window at that point, right? You kind of have to pass. Does that stress the offense, or what does that do to the offense?) – “It definitely hurts. You don’t want to be in that situation, obviously down three-plus scores, depending on the 2-point conversions. It’s not a situation you want to be in, obviously. It definitely stresses the offense; it stresses the offensive line. It lets their pass rush kind of tee off. It’s obviously a situation you don’t want to be in. (You want to) keep the game close, that way you’re not in that situation.”

(The effects of running the ball … Does it go as far as imposing your will on the other team? Does it work on the other team mentally? Does it boost you guys mentally?) – “I think it helps. I think it helps us with the rhythm of the game. It helps with the pass rush, it helps with the offensive line settling into the rhythm of the game. You get those guys moving upfront and it really juices those guys up. You break off a long run and you can feel the energy upfront with our offensive line feeling the energy and the momentum builds. It’s definitely a big part of what we want to do.”

(This team has been pretty good in the fourth quarter of games. Do you think it will be a good fourth quarter of the season?) – “Yes, of course. I think we have a lot of football left and right now we’re just focused on the Arizona Cardinals. You want to be in a situation where you’re playing meaningful games in December, and we’re here. We didn’t put ourselves in the best position, but we’re in a good position. We still have meaningful games so we want to go out and take advantage of our opportunities.

(You throw the ball into small openings all the time. Is there a sense that the window is narrowing a little bit? The margin for error is decreasing as you get down to the wire?) – “Usually teams play their best football in December. That’s just the way it is. I talk about it all the time: You want to improve everyday every week and other teams are doing that as well. The best football should be played in December, so everyone has to raise their game just a little bit.”

(I feel like a while ago in 2013, you guys had a shot at the end of the season to get into the playoffs and you obviously fell short. What did you learn from that?)  – “You just have to take it one game at a time. You can’t look at the end and think about all the scenarios. Control what you can control, play one game at a time and if you do that, you have nothing to look back and say, ‘I wish I would’ve done this; I wish I would’ve done that.’ You leave it all out there every single week and you can live with that.”

(Why do you have confidence that it’ll be different this time around?) – “I have belief in this team. I think we have all the pieces that we need. It’s just a matter of going out and playing well, starting this Sunday.”

(What was your view on T Branden Albert and G Laremy Tunsil playing through injury and pain?) – “A ton of respect for those guys. I think it’s a tough sport, tough game, and guys have the opportunities to either play tough and play through pain or try to sit out an extra week until they’re healthy. Both those guys really stepped up big, especially ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert) coming off a surgery. He wanted to be out there so bad. Talking with him, it was really important for him to be out there. (I have a) ton of a respect (for him) and I’m glad he was with us.”

(How are you feeling as Week 13’s go?) – “I feel good. Obviously, it’s Week 13, so you’re not fresh. But, I feel good.”

(What have you come to appreciate on how you and Head Coach Adam Gase work together through a game that doesn’t go the way you want it to? Whether it’s after the fact or even on the sideline during a game?) – “You just appreciate his mindset of just keep fighting and keep trying to plug away and find a way to get into the game. I think we came out in the second half and we were moving the ball there, and had the opportunity to get ourselves back in the game. I turned the ball over and obviously it came to an end; but we had things going in the right way. It starts with him – that mindset he sets in the locker room of halftime and how he comes out and calls the game on the first drive.”

(What about during the week then when you guys move on and kind of digest or process some the issues but then kind of spin it forward? How does he sort of set the tone or what do you appreciate about the way he kind of leads you through that?)  – “Yes, he does a great job of taking a real look at what happened. What did we not do well? What can we correct? And then you have to move on. You have to get ready for the next one. It doesn’t matter what you did last week. It’s a one week league – a one week at a time league. And it’s all about preparing for the next one.”

(Overall, about Head Coach Adam Gase’s teaching ability, what stands out to you?) – “Just his ability to teach play by play, route by route. He really communicates what he’s trying to do with a play. I think it helps guys understand not just their job in the play, but the overall concept. When you have guys understanding the concept, understanding football, it really helps us work as a unit.”

(Is there anything he did in particular to earn your trust at the beginning of your guys’ working relationship together, like either when he first met you or through OTAs? Anything in specific stand out to you?) – “Yes, his work ethic. I think that’s one thing that stood out for me. It’s just the way he came in and worked from Day 1. You kind of lead by example in that way and earn respect in that way, that he’s going to come in and work hard and try to put us in the best position to win. So that was the thing that I think got me.”

Adam Gase – December 7, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(What makes Cardinals RB David Johnson so good in depth?) – “Big guy. Fast. Good vision. He can do multiple things. He’s got all three phases of that position. When you have a guy that’s a threat both running the ball and catching the ball, it makes it very tough.”

(I saw he had 11 receptions of 20 yards or more, which is not usual for that position. How are they getting him down field so effectively?) – “Well, they have a variety of things they do. Sometimes it’s even just catching underneath and him being an explosive player. When he came out of college, that was the one thing that you noticed was he had so many explosive plays. Like, we’re talking like 50-plus yard plays. Some guys you can see when you see them in person, but when you can see a guy (and) how fast he is on tape, he has the skill set that you want for a back, for sure.”

(How often have you had to game plan for CB Patrick Peterson?) – “The last two years. If he’s not the best one, there’s probably two guys that (when you’re) going against (them), you have to be careful. And he’s one of them.”

(The others are N.Y. Jets CB Darrelle Revis and?) – “Richard Sherman is always a nightmare for me. With his skill set, his knowledge of the defense and then his knowledge of other teams’ offenses is something that, as somebody calling plays, you have to be aware of, because he’ll set you up. He’ll set quarterbacks up to make you think you have a guy open and then next thing you know, he’s getting his hands on the ball, which with him is a scary thing because he’ll catch it. He’ll do damage that way.”

(How have they’ve used CB Patrick Peterson against you or is it just a one side, one player? How has it been?) – “Two years ago they matched. They went with him on Emmanuel (Sanders) and (Antonio) Cromartie on ‘D.T.’ (Demaryius Thomas). And then last year, there was nobody for him to really match. I think there were a couple of situations that he traveled some, but he was a guy that we had to be very cautious with what we did towards him, with our game planning. Once Jay (Cutler) went out, I think after the third series – he pulled his hamstring – he had a pretty easy day against us.”

(With Cardinals RB David Johnson, how much of this is going to be a challenge for your linebacking unit?)  — “It’s going to be tough. It’s got to be a group effort. This is going to be the toughest challenge we’ve had. This group is good because of their ability to push the ball down the field when they want to. The way that ‘Fitz’ (Larry Fitzgerald) is playing inside, that’s another issue. You start getting into some of that play-action game and he can really … He can hurt you. Now you start handing him the ball, you start throwing the ball, there are a lot of weapons in place there for them to use.”

(How different is it to see a guy with Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald’s size playing at slot receiver?) – “It’s rare. You usually don’t have guys that size inside because most of your nickel players are small. You have to account for … He understands leverage. He understands football. He’s played long enough and seen enough things to where, him moving inside, he knows how to beat almost everything. He knows how to get open on the route that they have called for him. He’s almost going to use what you call against you. And that’s what makes him different than probably a lot of other slot players.”

(Can you give an update on LB Kiko Alonso?) – “Right now, we’re taking it slow. The thumb is what it is, as far as playing with a cast. Really, the bigger concern is seeing how fast his hamstring … See how good he feels coming off of that. That’s the one part that’s a little up in the air for us right now. We just want to make sure that he is as close to – he’s not going to be 100 percent – but as close to being as healthy as he can be by game time.”

(How much would you say playing with the hand wrapped or in a cast affect his tackling? That would be a factor wouldn’t it?) – “It does. The good thing is he’s (Kiko Alonso) not in a club, so he can at least kind of grab. Jelani (Jenkins) was … The whole hand was covered up. That makes it very difficult. With him having fingers exposed, at least he has a chance to – when he tackles – he can grab cloth. It still is difficult, because you don’t have the use of your thumb. It’s probably not an ideal thing for somebody that has to tackle. A lot of his game too is he has made a lot of plays on the ball, and he has to use his hands to do that.”

(Would LB Mike Hull be the contingency plan or would you move guys around?) – “Mike would be our guy. He was last week, and he did a great job. He showed up, for sure. That was something that was very obvious, probably to anybody that was watching the game. His instincts are off the charts. You see how quickly he reacts compared to everybody else. For whatever reason, he has that ability to … Everybody is going one way, he’s going the other way, and he’s usually right. You just watch him play, it’s very impressive.”

(With the offensive line, obviously not playing with C Mike Pouncey is a challenge, but are you comfortable with what you’re getting from C Anthony Steen?) – “He has done a good job, for the most part. We’ve had a couple issues. It seems like he gets thrown in there a lot of times when we’re on the road, which is … It’s harder to manage everything when you’re going silent count. And that’s no secret – that’s around the league. You’ll always see how the defensive line, they get a jump a lot of times, and we have to a great job as far as mixing up the cadence. Sometimes, there are so many things going on, and we start getting all these exotic looks, and you’re trying to get everything set up for the quarterback and the rest of the guys on the line. Sometimes you forget about, ‘Maybe we need to go on the second head bob,’ or, ‘We have to change something up as far as the cadence.’ That’s where we all have to do a great job as far as helping him, putting him in good position. I have to make sure I call in enough times and say, ‘It’s a different cadence.’ That’s why, on the road, you need the full group to be on it, because when you have those slight mistakes, all of a sudden you’re backing up 5 (yards), because you tried to go on two, and we’re not all on the same page.”

(CB Xavien Howard, how’d he look today?) – “For what we did, he moved around well. The fact that he actually went on the turf and did some things is encouraging. The last couple weeks, he hadn’t really wanted to do anything on the turf. For him to get out there and do some things, that was a good sign.”

(What do you need to see from CB Xavien Howard before he plays?) – “It’s more on him. It’s how he feels. We want to make sure that we’re doing … We need him to feel good about when it’s time for him to come up, not vice versa. Really, the way that we’re going about this is its 100 percent when he feels like he’s able to compete at a high level, that’s when he’ll be out there.”

(Will DE Jason Jones have the same role give or take? It has been a few weeks or a couple weeks.) – “He came back; he looks good, and he’s moving around good. He feels better, because he was banged up just like a lot of those guys are. The fact that he had the last two weeks to recover probably wasn’t terrible for him, just for being an older guy playing that position. We’ll see how his role fits in this week with the rest of that group.”

Ndamukong Suh – December 7, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh

(What’s the biggest challenge this Arizona Cardinals team brings?) – “They have some great running backs. Obviously, a seasoned veteran at quarterback. We’re going to have a challenge obviously making sure we shut them down. They have a lot of run game, getting sideline to sideline with their offensive linemen, and then obviously, the running back coming downhill. Screens, as well, are going to be a big piece, so we have a lot on our plate. But I played against them many times, obviously being in the NFC, so hopefully they continue to stay to that same mantra of offense they like to run.”

(Why won’t it be a challenge to throw last week behind you?) – “We’ve addressed it; (we) dealt with that earlier this week. Primarily for me, Sunday night on the plane and Monday I re-hashed it a little bit more; but, it’s over and done with. It’s something we can’t take back. We have to learn from it. I think we did, and we have to move on to next week.”

(Is this the type of team that can move on from that be successful the rest of the way in December?) – “No question. I definitely think so. I think we’ve proved that in weeks past and find ways to win the game. We understand what’s at stake.”

(What’s the challenge playing without LB Kiko Alonso considering he’s been sort of the play caller all season?) – “We’ve already experienced it. We dealt with it last week. Mike Hull stepped in and we always have a motto, thanks to our head coach, that it’s ‘Next Man Up.’ At the end of the day, we’d love to have Kiko out there; but if he’s not … I don’t what his status is or anything of that nature. You guys probably know more than me. Mike Hull has done a great job and did a great job last week.”

(Do you scratch your head a little bit when you see Arizona’s record? Because they look really good.) – “Yes, you always do. I think I fell asleep and woke up and watched a little bit of their Seattle game. Obviously, I’ve got friends on that team – players I’ve grown close to. So watching them, seeing them play, it’s definitely interesting to see what their record is; but, at the end of the day, this is the NFL. Things don’t always go your particular way. You’ve got elite players on all sides of the ball. So we have to go out there and give them a challenge no matter what.”

Adam Gase – December 7, 2016 (Conference Call) Download PDF version

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase Conference Call with Arizona Media

(How do you rally? You guys won six in a row. Obviously, it didn’t go the way you wanted last week. How do you rally back from a game like that?) – “The first thing we had to do earlier this week was correct a lot of the mistakes that we made in that last game. We had some uncharacteristic mistakes, at least compared to what we were doing the six previous games. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. Guys were flying around trying to make plays. We probably pressed a little too hard, guys trying too hard to make plays. We have to reel it back in, get back to the details of what we were doing – everybody doing their job – instead of guys trying to go outside of the box and do too much.”

(You have a good back there. What are your thoughts on the Cardinals RB David Johnson?) – “He’s one of the best backs in the league. The ability to run his style of running and how physical he is with his speed, plus him being involved in the passing game and having as many catches as he has and being available for the quarterback, you have a guy that’s a dual threat and causes a lot of problems for the defense. We obviously have to account for him a lot. Our defense has to make sure we don’t let him take complete control of this game.”

(How do you do that with him as a receiver? Obviously, everybody sort of knows what’s coming and how they’re going to use him. How do you account for that?) – “It’s very tough. I just know that our defensive staff, we have our hands full putting a plan together. And then our guys have to do a great job as far as when we finalize what we’re doing throughout the week and look at things, making sure that we’re on the details, because the slightest miscue is when you have … whether it be an explosive play or one of those games where you’re letting Carson (Palmer) get in a rhythm throwing it, and he’s feeling good about how they’re running the ball and then the play-action game gets involved. It all starts with the running back and goes off that. If we let him get going, that’s a recipe for disaster for us.”

(You mentioned not letting Cardinals QB Carson Palmer get in a rhythm, and the Cardinals offensive line is a little bit patched together right now, and you guys have a pretty good defensive line. Do you feel like that’s one of the big keys defensively for your team – getting pressure consistently?) – “That’s usually where it starts for us. That’s where the majority of our better players are, is in that front. Those are our top-tier guys. When you’ve got a guy like (Ndamukong) Suh who’s probably one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league, probably arguably the best one. The way that Cam (Wake) and (Andre) Branch, (Jordan) Phillips and Earl (Mitchell) have been playing, there’s a lot of chaos that can be caused up there. When you’re going against a veteran quarterback … Carson knows how to make sure the ball is coming out. And then when you have a guy like Bruce (Arians) calling the plays, that’s what you need to have when you’re trying to get the o-line together. When you’ve got a play caller and a quarterback that both understand the situation and know what they’re going against, they’re going to find ways to get the ball out, get them in a rhythm and go from there. They’ll make their adjustments during the game. That’s the thing that we have to be prepared for as far as understanding what they’re doing early and being able to adjust throughout the game. We need to try to stay one step ahead, which is always hard when you’re on defense because it’s so reactionary sometimes.”

(When you’re dissecting the Cardinals defense, what’s the first thing that strikes you?) – “This is the third year in a row that I’ve gone against these guys. They’re very aggressive. Obviously in the secondary, they’re very strong. Having Patrick (Peterson) out there A) makes it very difficult, because he’s such a good player, and he does such a good job (for) whoever he’s covering of making it a long day. The rest of that crew plays off of him, and all those guys do a great job. That front is about as nasty as they come. You know what’s coming. You know five guys are coming more times than not, and they’re going to put pressure on your offensive line to hang in there. When you’ve got a like Calais (Campbell), who’s disruptive as he is, and now add in Chandler Jones. When you’re in this (AFC East) division (and) he gets traded away (from New England) you’re thinking, ‘Alright, we don’t have to deal with him anymore,’ and here he comes again. It’s just that whole group. Now you look at the linebackers, and it’s a lot of team speed, a lot of aggressive players and then you have a great scheme that goes behind it to where they’re not afraid to play aggressive. That’s what makes that defense so tough to go against.”

(Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald – 33, putting up big numbers again. Are you surprised [he has] been able to put these kind of numbers up from the slot position?) – “No, because his intelligence of the game, that’s really what the slot position is. It’s, ‘What’s the defense doing? What’s their leverage? What’s my route, and how do I take advantage of it?’ When you have a guy that has played as well as he has – and at as high a level as he has over time – outside and now he slides in the slot – he knows the why of everything a defense is doing, and he takes advantage of it. That’s the key to playing slot. When your slot receiver understands why the defense is doing something, he knows how to beat it. He’s such a tough guy to take away, because you can double him and he still finds a way to get open. He finds a way to catch the ball in traffic. Those things just haven’t changed. It’s such a tough matchup because of his size. You don’t have a lot of slot players that are as big as he is.”

(Were you hoping that Cardinals T Ulrick John would stick around on the practice squad so you guys could keep him and develop him?) – “Anytime that we bring a guy or have a guy on our practice squad, we’re trying to develop a program to where we can promote from within instead of going to get guys on the street. That’s really what we’ve been trying to lean on since when we started the season. Them grabbing him, that was a tough pill for us to swallow, because they’re hard guys to find. Sometimes you don’t have enough roster spots and you’re trying to develop a guy and help him get better through the practice squad. But those guys, they don’t exist around the league. The way that injuries have been going, it’s hard to keep your practice squad together. They did their research on him and felt like they had a guy they could bring onto their roster that they could develop and put him in this position if they needed him.”

(What did you like about T Ulrick John that lead you guys to think that he could develop into a player?) – “We felt like he moved well. He really fit into … As far as what our scheme was, he really had a great grasp of it. He was one of those guys you just trusted, because you knew he was going to do the right thing. He was trying to get the right techniques as far as what we were coaching him to do, and he was a competitor. He did such a good job as far as he was in that final conversation for us to keep him on our roster. At the end of the day, we didn’t have enough spots. We had some unusual situations. Our center was out, but he was going to be on the roster. We had to keep an extra interior guy, which really, we lost a spot … You’d love to keep as many tackles as you can because if you lose one of those guys, that’s where things get kind of nasty for you. So, putting him on the practice squad, we were lucky that he stayed with us for a little bit, but it was a smart move by them to grab him when they did. Now it’s paying off, because you have enough injuries and all of a sudden he’s playing, and they probably feel comfortable about it.”

DeVante Parker – December 5, 2016 Download PDF version

Monday, December 5, 2016

Wide Receiver DeVante Parker

(Head Coach Adam Gase said that no matter what, you told him at the beginning of the week you were playing. Obviously, you had to feel something right?) – “I just felt kind of bad through the week, just letting it rest a little bit.”

(And how do you feel today?) – “I’m feeling fine today.”

(How did it respond yesterday while you played?) – “It felt good. Just had to keep fighting.”

(Did it limit you at all or did you go 100 percent?) – “No. I went 100 percent.”

(So what happened on the play in the end zone where you had the ball and then…) – “I didn’t really have the ball.”

(Did you think you were going to be able to come up with it when it was in the air or was it 50/50 in your eyes or what?) – “I don’t know. I just didn’t come up with it.”

(Did you feel the safety coming over the top there?) – “I didn’t see the safety coming. I was just focusing on the ball.”

(Obviously there’s never a good time to lose or get punched in the mouth but how do you guys handle this adversity and bounce back from this?) – “Just get better throughout the week in practice and fix things that we didn’t do correctly in the game. Just fix it.”

(Do you feel like you’ve taken any steps back as far as healing from the back injury or do you feel like you’ll be ready to go next week as well?)  – “I feel like … I guess I can see what happens this week but I’m going to focus on playing.”

(Back to that throw in the end zone. Was there anything you could’ve done differently on that play?)  – “I don’t think so.”

(It was just a great play in your mind by the defensive back?)  – “I guess.”

(Head Coach Adam Gase was saying that WR Jarvis Landry and WR Kenny Stills were doing a good job trying to encourage you to make it back in time for the game. What sort of things were they telling you?)  – “I just wanted to be out there with them. Really I just wanted to be out there for them, to help them out and be out there for the team. That’s the only thing.”

(I know losses like that aren’t easy but how tough is it to flush that one, especially after the six-game winning streak you guys have just put together?) – “It’s very tough. You come out, you go out there and you hope that you can play hard and come up with the W and things end up that way.”

Adam Gase – December 5, 2016 Download PDF version

Monday, December 5, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(Are you in the school that some losses are easier to flush than others?) – “I don’t know if any loss is easy to get over. It takes a couple days, and you’ve got to move on quickly. If you hang on to it, one becomes two, and then two becomes three. It becomes a bad cycle. The good thing is in the NFL, no matter how many you win by, how many you lose by, it’s one win, one loss. It’s not like college where it matters who you played and all those type of things. We’ve got to make the corrections we need to make and get to Wednesday and start over again.”

(How did LB Kiko Alonso come out of yesterday’s game?) – “Not good. (He) broke his thumb. (He) had surgery. Right now, we’ll see where he’s at for next week. There is a chance that he can play. It’s just going to be really how everything went. I’ll have a better idea, really, probably tomorrow.”

(Was LB Kiko Alonso hampered by the hamstring at all as well?) – “He’s banged up, probably more than that. He’s one of those guys that doesn’t complain a whole bunch.”

(What’s the outlook for C Mike Pouncey this week?) – “I’ll know more tomorrow night. We’re going to take a look at where he’s at, and we’ll move on from there. But I don’t have a definite answer for you right now.”

(Do you have confidence C Mike Pouncey will play again this year?) – “I hope so. Everything that I’ve heard is there’s a great chance he could come back. It’s going to be what they tell us. Obviously, if we didn’t think he was going to come back, he wouldn’t be on the (53-man) roster; he’d be on IR. We feel like we have a chance. Knowing Mike, he’s one of those guys that – like he always says – ‘I’m a quick healer.’ We’ll see what happens.”

(Do you want to see how the team responds after a loss like that, getting punched in the mouth?) – “I expect us to. That’s this game; that’s this profession. It isn’t the first time we’ve got smacked around a little bit. It has been a while though.”

(On the plays, like the first one of the game for Baltimore – in that case it was LB Kiko Alonso and LB Spencer Paysinger – space between them, too much space, which seemed to happen on a handful of those. What happened on those or what should’ve happened on those plays?) – “It’s zone coverage. You just have to be as tight as you can. When you play a guy like Joe (Flacco) and he gets hot, it makes it tough. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve seemed to be the rebound game for him most of the time. I’ve been through that about three different times, going into Baltimore, and everybody is complaining about the way their offense plays, and he catches fire. I’m tired of being the bounce-back game for him.”

(Among everything that went wrong for you yesterday, were there two or three things that you thought really did, whether it’s falling behind early or whatever?) – “I think we just missed our opportunities. When you play a team like that in that environment in this part of the season, you can’t miss on the chances you have. We crossed the 50- (yard line) three times. One time, we were second-and-3 and all of a sudden we’re third-and-12. You can’t waste opportunities. When you waste opportunities, it’s going to avalanche on you quick, especially at that place. That’s historically what happens. You miss your chances against them, they’re going to make you pay.”

(The playoff situation, not a lot of margin for error at this point is it?) – “I’m not even going to worry about it, because you hear that every year, and really everybody is usually wrong. That’s what it is. You play until somebody tells you don’t, you can’t play anymore. If you try to figure out all the scenarios … We were 1-4, everybody said our season was over. I’m pretty sure if everybody went to Vegas, put money on that, they’d be broke.”

(How tough a call was it to determine – as a play caller – how much to run the ball with when you’re down virtually the entire game? RB Jay Ajayi got 12 carries.) – “I think we called six more runs. It ended up the ball goes outside, because they give us the look we needed, as far as their called runs. You’re down the way we were, we’re trying (to) at least keep them somewhat honest, but it’s hard. When you get down like that, you’re in a bad spot. That’s the last thing we want to do is make this a drop-back game. We’ve got guys out there that are fighting to … That aren’t really necessarily 100 percent healthy. They’re fighting to try to protect Ryan (Tannehill), but you don’t want to back it a drop-back game. You’d like to make it a play-action, run the ball, grind it out type of game. We got down, and we missed our chances when it was at least like 14-0. We have to find a way to get into the end zone, and we couldn’t do it.”

(What happened on the K Andrew Franks missed field goal, and will that affect your thinking going forward?) – “He missed it. That happens. As a field goal kicker, we would love for him to hit that. I decided to kick the field goal. I felt like, ‘Let’s get some points here.’ Those guys had that drive. I felt like ‘V.J.’ (Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph) and those guys would get everything straightened out on the other side, get some points and reload here. He left it down the hash.”

(Wanted to confirm DE Jason Jones back with the team and what his return possibly means.) – “Yes. Any time you get a guy with experience – that’s a veteran – that has been a key guy for us as far as what he brings to the defense, that’s a good thing for us.”

(You’ve battled injuries all season at the linebacker unit. Now LB Kiko Alonso – the leading tackler of your team – is kind of iffy. How do you compensate or mask for all of the substitutions that are in the unit?) – “We’re going to have to look at who we have, who’s available, what do we want to lean on as far as coverage, blitz. We have to take a hard look at all of this (and) who’s going to be where. That’s going to be our first step. It’s early in the process for us, because you come in, we evaluate this last game, we correct it with the players, and now this afternoon we’ll be able to go back through and say, ‘Okay, here’s who we have. What do we need to do?’ then ‘What do they do with Arizona, and what do we want to look like as a defense?’ We’re beyond the early stages it feels like. We’re starting from scratch right now as far as what we actually want to do for this week.”

(With LB Mike Hull when he was in there, how did he perform?) – “I thought he did a good job. He’s so instinctive. It’s interesting to watch, because you see him move and guys are always not as quick as him to see things. He’s one of those guys that has that ability to see things happen before they happen. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play, because you see a guy that absolutely just sells out. You see him flying around, making some of those tackles. He gives you everything he has.”

(How did G/T Laremy Tunsil and T Branden Albert play with their health issues?) – “I thought ‘B.A.’ (Branden Albert) did a good job. It couldn’t have been an easy job there going against No. 55 (Terrell Suggs) and you got one hand. He battled. Same thing with Tunsil – he battled. I know it wasn’t as clean a day as he wanted. It’s that group. It’s a tough group to go against, and when we become one dimensional, we have nothing to really keep them off balance, and those guys start pass rushing. The guys fought (and) tried to do everything they could to keep them off of Ryan (Tannehill). It wasn’t always what we wanted, but the fact that those two guys were out there makes a difference for us. I know their teammates were thinking (about) the fact that they fought to get back. They wanted to be out there. They wanted to try to help us win.”

(For WR DeVante Parker to go out there and give the effort that he did in that game, what does that say about his maturation and where he is right now?) – “I was impressed. I was impressed. But he told us on Monday. Myself and (Wide Receivers Coach) Shawn Jefferson were asking him, ‘What are you thinking this week?’ And he really couldn’t even … He wasn’t walking real well. He’s like, ‘I’m playing.’ Shawn was great as far as encouragement all week. I thought Jarvis (Landry) and Kenny (Stills) did a great job as far as encouraging him to keep doing everything he could to try to get ready for this game. When I saw him on Friday and Saturday moving around, and then when we went out there to work out on Sunday he was … I asked him, I was like what do you want to do? He goes, ‘I’m going.’ It was impressive that he went out there. I know he couldn’t have been completely pain free.”

(Any setback now?) – “I don’t think so. I talked to him last night. He felt pretty good and this morning he looks … I know he’s not feeling great; but, that’s what this league is right now. You’re in a car crash once a week.”

(Baltimore had a lot of short passes. How many sack opportunities did you guys have and how did you do with them?) – “Not a lot. The ball was coming out quick. That’s the tough part. You play that offense, you’ve got to squeeze on them quick and close the windows as fast as possible and try to make him get to the second, third … if they have a fourth progression. It was coming out so quick there was no chance for our line to even do anything. They’re taking one or two steps and the ball’s out. I thought Joe (Flacco) did a great job as far as just taking what we were giving him and we’ve just got to make those windows tighter. We have to take away his first progression. That’s the first part of it, and if we get to the point where it’s take away number two, now we’ve got a chance with our pass rushing.”

(You guys were bringing some of the linebackers and then dropping some of the defensive linemen at times. What was the idea? Was that kind of closing the windows based on his passing lanes?) – “Yes, when you’re playing zone defense, you add one more guy to their passing game. It makes it tough. It makes them hold on the ball. When you have a three-man rush, they’re holding onto the ball longer but a lot of times you’re not thinking that’s going to happen when you zone pressure and you’re trying to basically try to free a guy up and you lose an end sometimes. It’s kind of all that cat and mouse game that you’ve got to play with the other side of the ball.”

(Back to WR DeVante Parker. What did you see on that first interception? Is there anything he could have done?) – “I thought he had it actually. I thought it was a good ball. It was where it was supposed … Everything was where it was supposed to be. It’s just one of those ones where we’re going to one of our guys that we think can make plays. When I was standing on sideline, I thought (Parker) had it, and then I just saw the ball come out with the defender.”

(Why were the windows so open?) – “When you play a team that’s a spacing-type team, and he starts his body in one direction and you start taking away, everybody’s got to be almost tight on a string and working together. If you have the slightest guy off, it creates enough of a window to where he can put it in there. He made some good throws to where there were some tight windows and it’s just as the game goes on, it feels worse and worse when a guy is really … He did make some really good throws. He made some good decisions and we have to figure out a way to tighten him up even more than what we were. I know earlier it was loose and I know we tried to tighten him up, but it wasn’t going our way. We just did not get on the same page fast enough.”

(You had a couple of your guys that had some pointed comments about the condition on the field yesterday. What were your thoughts?) – “For me, I always feel like we can control it. It’s really about body positioning, getting your cleats in the ground. If there was any kind of issue as far as too slick or their cleats weren’t right, then that should have been dealt with long before we started the game. That’s a hard one for me to even acknowledge because if we weren’t ready for that, then that’s just bad ball.”

(Not to try to make any excuses or anything with dealing with the cleats. Yesterday, they had that My Cleats, My Cause thing going on and was that in any way a factor in terms of say, players getting new cleats they weren’t use to and they had to adjust in that regard?) – “That’s hard for me to answer. You saw some guys falling from their team. I can’t say these players were wearing different cleats over somebody else. We had a couple of guys go down on routes where we were correcting more footwork things than worrying about what their cleats were. We’re leaning back on a route and then we fall down. I don’t know if that really has anything to do with cleats. That’s hard for me to answer. You can go through and tally that one up.”

(Are Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco similar players and do you expect to see the same type of offensive strategy this week in light of the success the Ravens had?) – “I don’t know what ‘B.A.’ (Bruce Arians) is exactly going to kind of do in that area. I think they’re completely two different offenses. ‘B.A.’ has been very successful pushing the ball down the field, obviously when you have Larry (Fitzgerald). He’s been doing a great job being an underneath guy but still being able to push the ball down the field when they want to do it with, working the slot, things like that. But they have some guys that can run and they like throwing it down the field. They’ll look at our tape and try to figure out what’s best for them for that week. That’s one of the things that ‘B.A.’ does a great job of. We have to play what we’re calling better and we’re probably going to have to make some adjustments. That’s what football is. You’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s best for this week.”

(Do you think this might be the week for CB Xavien Howard?) – “I’m not sure. I’ll see how he feels tomorrow and then we’ll make a decision on Wednesday how much we want to practice him. We’ll figure it out by Sunday.”

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