We came out of the game with a couple of ankle injuries. Reggie Kelly, and Landon Johnson, neither seem to be very severe, but they'll be a little sore. Madieu Williams will probably be questionable, we'll see where he is as we go through the week. He made some progress, and we'll see where he is. We'll try to go further with Willie Anderson, and see where he is this week. Other than that, we seem to be in good shape.
Q: How did Marvin White do in his starting role?ML:
Marvin did a good job. He and Chinedum (Ndukwe) shared snaps, and I thought they both came out and handled themselves well.
Q: You said yesterday that there were more Rudi Johnson runs in the game plan. Is that because of the conditions and the opponent, or is it because he's getting healthier?ML:
We put some things back into our running attack that we had eliminated. We had eliminated some things due to changes in the offensive line. But we've looked at some things where we used to make a little hay and gone back to that a little more.
Q: Does the short week make that big of a difference?ML:
It's a big difference because you have to get to work sooner after having just played a game. We'll come back into work tomorrow afternoon (usual players' day off), and we'll have 18 hours less rest. We'll get back on our normal schedule by Wednesday, which will be our normal Thursday schedule, and feel much better. As we lead up to the game, I'd like to get the guys to be on a normal schedule. By Wednesday morning, we'll be on our normal Thursday schedule. Thursday will be like our Friday, and we have a long flight, so guys are able to sleep. If we handle it all correctly, we'll feel good and refreshed going into the game.
Q: How do you trick the body?ML:
By getting on our normal schedule. Our guys get on a certain practice routine through meetings and repetition of practice. By the end of the week, when it's supposed to be Friday, it feels like Friday, even though it will actually be Thursday. We'll wake up on Friday in San Francisco, and be on our Saturday schedule, because it's the day before the game.
Q: Reports have surfaced that you may be going to the University of Michigan, or the Washington Redskins:ML:
Marvin Lewis doesn't know any of those reports. I appreciate the fact that you guys haven't brought those up, until now. Let's beat the San Francisco 49ers.
Q: Those are unfounded?ML:
Q: Rudi Johnson and Dexter Jackson said that in the game, if they knew what was coming, it didn't matter. They were just going to plow ahead and 'do what they do':ML:
That's good. I'm sure it sounded good after the game, but that's not what this is about in our coaching, and certainly not what you do defensively. Yesterday we won the football game. Dexter made some good plays, Rudi made some good plays, and they should feel good about themselves, and beat their chests. But this is a new week. Let's get started on this week.
Q: What do you like about DeDe Dorsey's running style?ML:
DeDe has great quickness. He has very good vision. As he gets the reps against the defense, he shows the ability to have great vision. He showed good balance the other day on the run when he jumped up in there, and seemed to be stopped, and kept going and bounced back out. He still has to do a much better job of taking care of the football. I don't like the fact that the ball squirted out again. Those are things that I witness at times, and I don't like that part. When you're carrying the ball for us as a receiver, running back, quarterback, etcetera, you're carrying us all with you. He has to continue to do a better job of securing the football.
Q: Is his pass blocking improving?ML:
We have to keep going until everyone feels comfortable with him in those roles. He continues to work hard at it, and understanding where his particular players are and his responsibilities and so forth.
Q: Chris Perry has great hands out of the backfield. How are DeDe Dorsey's hands in comparison to other guys you've coached?ML:
DeDe catches the ball well.
Q: Carson has been less-than-Carson standards the past few games. Is it good to know that you can still win games when he's not playing his absolute best?ML:
You have to consider the whole body of work, and he has tremendous ability to manage the football game. He does a good job of handling the things that are put on his shoulders, and the different unconventional things he sees week in and week out. There have been some plays that he would like to have back, that we'd all like to have back, but you don't get them back. It does become part of his knowledge as he goes forward. He takes responsibility for it, and recognizes it and does it better next time. If you look at what he manages and how he does it, there are a lot of good plays.
Q: With Cleveland winning, you guys are officially eliminated:ML:
From what I understand, we could leap-frog the Browns, but then not Buffalo. That's disappointing, but it is what it is, and we'll move forward. We haven't focused much on that. We put ourselves in this situation. It shows how important each and every win is. There are some games that we should have won but didn't, that make a big difference when you get into this kind of situation. This is going to be a great game for us, even if we're eliminated. On Saturday evening in Monster Park, we're going to go and play a better football game than we played this past Sunday.
Q: Do you know Mike Nolan well?ML:
Q: Did he coach under you?ML:
With me. He was the receiver coach (when both were in Baltimore). I've known Mike a long time. We go back a long way. He got started as the Broncos linebackers coach. We've been friends with Mike and his family for a long time.
Q: If the team finishes 8-8, is that a carrot on a stick for a fan?ML:
The fans were great yesterday. Obviously, it was a downpour for most of the first quarter, and a lot of the first half. Fans were there, and had a great time hopefully. Everyone appreciates what they're doing, and their support. You get your feelings hurt when you don't win. You guys in here get your feelings hurt. I certainly do, and I know they do. They hung in there, and we're going to work our tails off to win the next three ballgames. Our guys have been through a lot. We haven't played as well as we should have a number of times. It is what it is. You don't get to go backwards.
When you look at what we have, and go forward, this team still has some good pieces in place. We'll add some pieces to it as we go down the road, and get better. Some of the guys that we've added, that weren't with us when we got started in August, are going to have a chance to blossom into good NFL players. Our draft class, every chance they get they show very well. That, added with some of the guys who are injured and missed time this year, give us an opportunity to come back healthy and lay a stronger foundation.
Q: Is your focus just on the last three weeks, or have you looked ahead?ML:
I've been ahead, but that doesn't matter. The focus is this week, and the next week will take care of itself. This is a big week. It comes on a short week. Our guys will come back and regroup and get ready for the next team. We have to put two good football games back-to-back. We haven't done that in a while. That's got to be a focus, that we can go out and win another game on the road. Get something started and finish it. Sunday, we did a good job in the first quarter, and in the second quarter we weren't as good as we needed to be. We came back and have an okay second half, but let's play four great quarters of football.
Q: There are 11 unrestricted free agents on the squad. Is the club doing anything to secure some of these guys?ML:
I'm not going to talk about that right now. Eleven is less than we've had. That's part of the business, and part of this profession right now. We'd really like to get some of the guys resigned, no question. I don't know if we will or not. We'll see what happens. I don't want that to get in the way of what they have to do. They're trying to put their resume out there for everyone. Us included.
Q: ESPN2 took a shot at the team when Bob Davey said the only team that wasn't represented at a Division II playoff game was the Bengals. Did that hurt?ML:
I heard about it. I don't know how true it is. I hope Bob would have a little more sense unless he's there keeping track. Maybe he has enough time to keep track, because he's not coaching anymore.
Q: That doesn't mean that this club doesn't know about the prospects of the game:ML:
Obviously we do. There's not a guy that you haven't looked at and evaluated.