Posted: 2:20 p.m.
After not having so much to report on the injury front for so many weeks, we have a little bit to report here today. We lost two guys yesterday. Eric Ghiaciuc with a foot sprain, and DeDe Dorsey with a high ankle sprain. Both of those guys will be out this week. Other than that, the guys who were dinged up in the game should be fine for Miami. We will evaluate the guys who missed the last game this week, Dexter Jackson and Rudi Johnson. Willie Anderson came out ok. Just a little tired and sore.
After looking at tape, special teams was a big challenge. We had an opportunity to limit one of their returns, but we missed a tackle, and they had their biggest return of the day. Overall, I think we understood the plan and the Browns' tendencies and were in the right spots. Offensively, we were able to run the football productively at times. Other things, we just need to be in a little better sync and get initial movement, and allow the back to go. All in all, we had some production. In the passing game, with the conditions, we had a couple of balls that shouldn't have been thrown.
The first interception probably wasn't the throw to make, particularly in the wind like that because it blew the ball back into the DB's hands. We missed some chances, and we just need to be a little bit better coordinated and stay disciplined in our routes and give the quarterback an opportunity, because we're still improvising at times. Defensively, other than the one or two plays in the running game, we played well. We tackled. We just needed to get to the right spots a couple of times. We overflowed on a couple of runs when they hit the ball back against the grain. In the passing game, we have to execute. All in all, the young guys did a good job in the secondary. We had good pressure on the quarterback for most of the day.
Q: Why didn't you run the ball instead of passing on Carson's second INT, when T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) fell down?
A big reason that we were running well is that we were mixing the run and the pass. If you come out every series, and run the ball the first play of every series, you're going to play a defense designed to play the run. We expect our guys to make one-on-one plays. We have a quarterback who can make one- on- one plays, and receivers who can make one-on-one plays.
Q: Did they have eight-in-the-box on that play?
Yes. Man coverage. Pitch and catch.
Q: If it was completed, no one says anything:
That's right. We still had a lot of time. We have to move the football offensively. You can't go into a shell at that point in the game. We know we're going to be punting into the wind, and you don't want to do that. You want to get the ball back to midfield, where you can change field position. You don't want to just hand it off, hand it off, hand it off, punt it in that situation.
Q: When Chad (Johnson) ran out of bounds on the reverse play, just a brain cramp?
As I said yesterday, Chad doesn't run the ball that much, so he may not have the usual awareness of the overall situation. He makes a big play like that and he runs out of bounds. If he stays in bounds, that's a good thing, but if he stays in bounds, gets hit, and fumbles, that's not a good thing. He had a big play which changed field position. Hopefully next time, if ever again, he'll have the presence to stay in bounds if he can. But the running out of bounds didn't have a big effect on the game.
Q: In terms of evaluation of the offseason, does the way you finish figure in to the re-signings for next year?
Every time you go out, it's the body of work that you evaluate. Not the emotional ups and downs.
Q: Does a strong finish carry over to the next year?
Every year is a clean slate, but when you're successful, there are reasons for that, and in this case, there have been some young players who have had opportunities to do good things. They've gotten their feet wet and they've experienced the expectations and the disappointment, as well as the positives.
I think as they regroup, recharge, retool for their next opportunities, they're better served to do what it takes to get to that next level again. They understand the feelings, and the strain physically and mentally. This group continues to prepare very hard. It keeps you from getting stale when you have guys getting new opportunities to play.