* *"The positives yesterday included us dealing with their offense and how they go about it, with the arounds, the ghosts, and the jets. We knew leverage was going to be important. We got out of leverage twice and it cost us. I was pleased throughout the ballgame with our effort and energy running to the ball. Sometimes it became an open-field game, and tackling is at a premium, and running to the ball. We have to continue to be consistent with that. There were a lot of good snaps. We want to continue that, chasing the ball and making plays that way.
"Offensively, we want to continue to be more consistent in the running game. We had some good runs, and we had some runs that we weren't quite happy with. I think the same thing goes with the screens. We just need to make it more consistent throughout the ballgame. We have some work to do with that, because it can be a big part of any pass offense to offset sometimes, and keep defenses sound.
"Special teams wise, we knew with the returner they had, and some of the things schematically they do, that our guys had to be very alert and on point. I was pleased with that part. Just being able to make sure we reduce the field. I think Kevin (Huber) did a really good job of that and gave us an opportunity to cover the ball. It was pleasing day on that end. Then we have to get better to get our returner going.."
How good has Cedric Peerman been on punt coverage? You've played teams who have great returners …
"Knock on wood, we have to keep it going. We face them each and every week. Cedric has been outstanding as a cover guy all year. He's the leader of the entire special teams unit, he and Vinny Rey, although Vinny's role has been somewhat reduced early in the season. Vinny's been given some of that back now, and I think those two guys have been outstanding leaders, and Cedric in his play week in and week out."
The offensive line and defensive line have had good games this year. Is this the best game that they have both put together collectively?
* *"I think an important part of the game is to walk away feeling good about the line of scrimmage on both sides, which I think we did. There are always areas to clean up and do better, but all in all, it was a good job yesterday."
Paul (Guenther) told us earlier that he sees Vontaze (Burfict) having flashes of being in shape and looking like the guy you'd expect to see. What have you seen out of him?
* *"Well, we've extended his play each and every week. He continues to feel good and he makes a difference. He runs around and does a good job in getting in the right stops. If he's ever off a bit, he's so easy to correct. That's such a key for him. But, understanding the ins and outs of everything, he's excellent in that way. If we had to we would, but we're blessed to not have to put him out there all the time at this point while he makes his way back."
You've coached a lot of dominant defensive players over your career. Does Geno Atkins change and affect the game as much as any of them?
"Geno's been doing an excellent job. He obviously was a huge factor yesterday. The run game and the pass game. I think a lot of things, even a year ago, go unnoticed on what he does in the run game. But, he's done such a great job with his pad level, his hands, and his extension. His ability to get off blocks and affect things that are going on."
You guys said earlier in the offseason, that you expect this type of play from Geno. What was it that you saw that convinced you he was going to be playing how he is?
"Well, we thought he played pretty well last year. I did, anyway. Obviously, people around the league must have felt that way, because they voted him in the Pro Bowl. But I just think his drive and his desire to help the football team is pretty clear. Geno, as you guys seem to know, is a man of very few words. But, when he says things he means it. He's very convicted to those things. I think you can trust what he's going to give you."
When he does say something, do everyone's ears perk up?
"They do, every time Geno talks. We have a few guys like that, which is good. We certainly have a few of the others (laughs). I think because he's not an outwardly loud person, it's like that. His knowledge of the game and knowledge of what needs to get done is incredible. His ability to share it with the guys up front, and his ability to tell you what's going on in the game, is really good."
Is he as quiet a player as you've ever been around?
"Quietest defensive player I've ever been around. It makes you rethink, sometimes, what you are looking for."
Speaking of the other types of guys a little bit, does having Adam (Jones) out there bring an energy defensively? Did you notice that this week?
"You notice it all week in practice. You notice it throughout the football game. He was disappointed with his play yesterday, and as I watched the tape this morning, I got to the point where I texted him and said, 'You know, you played pretty well, don't be so hard on yourself.'
"He got to a point where he got away from himself a little bit, but all in all I thought he played really well. He sucked it up and went out there and played. His foot is a little sore, as we knew it would be. But, he went out there for his teammates, and himself. It says a lot about his maturity and everything he's done. Winning is so important to Adam. His willingness to go out and do his part was incredible yesterday."
Sometimes numbers can be deceiving. Geno had only one sack but (Nick) Foles was off his spot all day and it affected him. The pressure was pretty consistent wasn't it?
"Well, the guys did a good job. They did a good job of getting one on one pressure. We had some games, nice execution on those. We had good movement to get him off his spot. We had the one taken away by the penalty. It wasn't likely it was a penalty, but that's the way it goes."
Speaking of penalties, they were down in number for you. Were you pleased with that?
"We just have to keep cleaning it up. We have to keep cleaning up our hands and body position, and obviously we want to avoid the two personal fouls. They were both pretty 'bang-bang', but we can do better."