Q: Can you talk about how some of the injuries to the secondary and linebacker corps might have affected your defense on Sunday?
A: It looked like a MASH unit over there on the sidelines. We learn right before we're leaving that (Scott) Fujita's not going to go and then (Jo-Lonn) Dunbar pulls (a hamstring). I looked at my son, the high schooler on sidelins asking if he could go in and put something on in a hurry and go out there and could he play corner or linebacker. It's just part of the game. That's something that really, from a veteran staff, I've said this before that Sean (Payton) has a really good staff here, that I inherited when I came in here. We were able to improvise through several things that we do and there's a few things that came up in the ballgame that on a real short turnaround that Mike (McKenzie) and Chris (McAlister) and some other new guys hadn't been through with us before. As coaches you try to be as thorough as you can, but if it doesn't come up, it doesn't come up. We had to do some things on the sideline in that ballgame. We did very well in those things. Those guys responded well. It was nice to see us get the takeaway thing going at the end. You can't measure a guy's wills down deep and our guys never once on the sideline did we ever talk about or worry about not winning the football game, it was how do we get Drew Brees the ball one more time. We said that fellas we got a real good quarterback, just get him the ball another time and the guys did a very good job with that. It was a Mash unit, going on over there of trying to get guys healthy and trying to get guys back on the field.
A: Some is communication. It was fatigue. Some of it was just poor plays. I have to do coaching too. I have to help them with an easier plan in some situations also. One of those deep passes wasn't one of those new guys. It happened to be one of those old guys that I had to chit chat with on the sideline. They're pretty hard on him this week. That's something you might want to talk with him about in the locker room. They've not been wanting to take me out to dinner much this week.
Q: Did Malcolm Jenkins struggle?
A: Malcolm had a couple things. He had a couple plays and there's going to be learning experiences, but he really played well in some other areas, but they took advantage of a couple things.
Q: Were you troubled by some of the big plays given up in the Redskins game or the yardage given up?
A: You can never ignore anything that comes up in the ballgame and we've had to do that throughout, not only that game, lot's of games this year, positive things. We always try to look at the positive light first. We found a way to take the ball away at the end. We got to correct problems or correct mistakes at any point in time of the season and each week is a race to improve, every single week. We saw Atlanta on film last week, they saw us on film this week. How do you improve? Between those two teams, who improves the most this week on what we've seen on film and it goes that way for the entire season too.
Q: How do you prepare when you see Michael Turner and Matt Ryan a little banged up?
A: Look at how it's been all year long for us. There's been a player here and there when they're in, we've had to understand their strength. We go against the offense. We're going against Mike Mularkey's offense. We understand his system and now can we capitalize on a couple matchups? Can he capitalize on a couple matchups? We're going against the system and it doesn't make any difference who you have to plug in. They're probably looking at the same thing with us. We're a little bit different in the people we're going to have to play as we go over there and do that. I think the mark of a good staff is finding a good plan, what's good for our guys, what's best for his guys. We're not going to pigeonhole the guys we have this week playing into and ram something down their throats. I kind of have to see what that guy does best and gives us the best chance and change our plan a little bit too. We do that week to week, series to series, play to play and last week it was going on a bunch.
Q: How important will the run defense be this week?
A: Every week we say that. We say that we can't to make them one dimensional. There have been a couple of times this year where we popped, a run popped, we played very physical in the vast majority of those runs. This week it will be even more critical. That's the way they're going to try to ease the pain of a new quarterback, so we have to play solid in the run front. We have to do that in order to make them get the ball up and have to convert it or have to throw on third down. We got to play solid in the run front.
Q: As the win totals increase, how do you guard against your team tightening up?
A: That's one of my specialties, that every single day is a competition. It doesn't make any difference. We don't think about won-loss records, whatever and we're intense and after their tails every single day, so we talk about the most important plays are the ones we're. The most important game is the one we're in. we don't think about the game before. We don't think about the games later on. That's not something that you all of a sudden show up in week 12 or week 13 and start doing. We did that on the very first practice, the very first walk through that I stepped in here, that every single day you step in the white lines, there's a certain way you have to be. Outside the white lines and we have to do it the other way too. Sometimes they're wondering about me when I get outside the white lines, but inside the white lines, we play a certain way and we really, really don't ever worry about those kinds of things. Our guys have done a very good job with that. We have fun playing our way. At this time of the year, you try to get rested. You try to get an injured guy back. We played on a short week last week. I see a lot more pep in their step this week because they have some more recovery time. (It was a) real emotional game on Monday night, a real short week, long travel day. Sean's (Payton) done a great job I think of giving them a couple days extra rest this week. Our practices have been outstanding.
Q: What went into the decisions to switch out Chris McAlister for Marcus McCauley?
A: Every single week, what we do and this has been one of the best situations I've ever been in how we work the personnel department here. We take a look at special teams. Greg McMahon's got to have bodies in that area. We take a look at our matchups too. Chris has played well and that's not to say that he won't be back. He's been here. Now he'll know something more when he comes back here. I liked McCauley when we worked him out the other time and this matchup right here, maybe we can use him a little bit more in a couple of situations we couldn't with Chris. The other thing is how does it help the overall team depth? When you're looking at us over in the sideline with injuries and that stuff, you never focus on the special teams coach because he's over there having a heart attack. It affects him even more than the offensive and defensive coordinator. That was a big thing.