Opening comments: ML:
We came out of the San Francisco game relatively healthy. We should enter this week with the guys on the active roster healthy, and all have the opportunity to play. We'll see how we are on Wednesday, but right now, things look positive.
Q: Do you think Rashad Jeanty will be ready to play?ML:
He should be. We just decided to go with the guy who was completely healthy (Corey Mays) last week. He has the opportunity to play this week and was feeling much better yesterday.
Q: How has he (Rashad) played since his return?ML:
He's very physical. It was a while before we put him out there on defense, and it took some time for him to adjust back to the game because he hadn't played a lot of football. He's still a young player as far as the NFL goes. Generally he gets things going pretty well, regarding his responsibilities. He's doing well physically.
Q: As young has he is, he has a lot of experience from playing in the CFL. Have you noticed that in his preparations?ML:
Yes. He's very serious. He knows the NFL is where you want to be, and that you have to work very hard to stay here. He's very appreciative of that opportunity, and makes good on that, day in day out.
Q: Are the Browns' playoff aspirations good motivation to win this weekend for you?ML:
You have to be motivated to win the football game. The things they have going on is their deal. The big thing is just that we want to win the football game.
Q: Can Chris Henry do more in the red zone?ML:
Obviously he hasn't made a difference yet, when he's been out during those red zone snaps. He's got to get himself open. That would be making a difference.
Q: If the red zone running game were to improve, would that make a difference?ML:
We had one run each of those series (at San Francisco), and two passes, and kicked a field goal. One run gained two yards, one gained zero, and then we came back and threw two passes. We ran the draw and got it in there, and had a pass to T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) on one series, The tighter you get to the end-zone, the harder it is to run and pass, due to the amount of field you have.
Q: Are the offensive lineman still having footwork issues?ML:
We had some plays this weekend that weren't as good as we needed. We had some unfortunate things occur. Our offense dropped a couple of balls. The 49ers had some balls bounce in their favor, but that's part of it.
Q: Saturday night you said you were having trouble in the red zone because players were "inventing" things:ML:
I didn't say that specifically toward the red zone.
Q: Is that applicable to everyone?ML:
I think so. We had one errant throw. We had a route that wasn't as good as we needed. We had some protections where our QB felt pressure. It's like that all the time, but when you don't score, it's magnified. It doesn't change. There will always be some things that aren't as good as what you'd like. Sometimes you make plays and come out of it, and feel good about it. In this case, those things kept us from scoring and executing 100 percent and getting touchdowns in those situations.
Q: Would you classify Dexter Jackson's personal foul as a selfish penalty?ML:
It was uncalled for. There was no reason to do it. It put them in position to get an easy field goal. It was first-and-ten on the thirty, and that put them at first-and-ten on the fifteen. You don't want to have that kind of thing. It was the only penalty we had Saturday night. It was way after the play. Those to weren't even on the screen. I didn't have a chance to see it, because it wasn't on the screen, or on the coach's tape.
Q: It must be a challenge dealing with Dexter, Chad, T.J., Blue Adams -- all the lightning-rod personalities?ML:
It's a challenge. All the personalities become a challenge. But you don't want the other ...
Q: You mean passive guys?ML:
Yes. The officials do a great job of separating things when a guy hits a guy late. As for Blue getting into it with somebody on the field Saturday, Blue thought the guy was wrong, and he probably was. But you have to walk away from it, or you'll get a penalty that we don't need. Sometimes the official does miss something that happens way after the play. Blue (Adams) was probably right, but you have to walk away from it. This isn't a barroom brawl, it's a football game. You're not going to hurt anyone with all that equipment on. Just move on to the next play. Block the guy, and that's how he'll remember you.
Q: It seems like the officials really let the guys play. It was a short game with very few penalties:ML:
We didn't stop them on third down, and they ran effectively, so that contributes to a short game. They threw quick throws and were efficient. We weren't able to convert the third down in the third quarter, so they had two possessions which basically ate up the entire third quarter. They had some second-and-longs which we didn't do a very good job defending. They ended up with third-and-ones four times in the game. If you can hold a team to fifty percent on third-and-ones, that's pretty good. But we didn't get that done.
Q: Do the conversions on third-and-eight, third-and-nine, drive you nuts?ML:
We let the QB out of the pocket twice when he should have been down. Those were big.
Q: Are you closer to making any decisions regarding offseason free agency?ML:
Those decisions will be made when the time comes. We have two football games left. We have the Browns this Sunday.
Q: Do you think the loss at Cleveland in Game 2 changed the tone of the season?ML:
There has been a lot of football, so it's hard to put it on one game But we lost the football game up there. We had the opportunity to put them away, and we didn't.
Q: How tough was it to see Matt Toeaina walk away?ML:
It's part of the system. I'm happy for Matt. I've been around these young guys who've been on the practice squad. This is a good opportunity for him to get a vested season. That's what I told him, and he actually decided to stay an extra day. When it came down to it, the opportunity to get the vested year was the smart thing for him to do. It was something he wrestled with for two days.
Q: Jamal Lewis has had some big games against you guys:ML:
He had a good game the last time, but the two or three previous (while playing for Baltimore), not as good.