Opening statement: “Turk McBride didn’t practice, he’ll be out. (David) Hawthorne didn’t practice, he’ll be out. Jonathan Casillas didn’t practice, so he’ll be out. Those three are out for the game. (We had) good prep today in the red zone and short-yardage and goal line.”
With those linebackers out for the game, how difficult will it be only having five healthy linebackers?
“Health at linebacker always is a factor because those guys do so many things. Not only are they linebackers but they are special teams players so it wears thin. We’ve had this throughout the year in the last three games and, obviously, we dress six at times. We dressed five the first week. We just have to deal with it, we just have to overcome it.”
When you only used five in the first week, did that put any extra strain on the guys?
“Definitely. Any time you’re down a man it’s going to put strain on somewhere. As the game goes on, it’s harder and harder on those guys.”
Are you confident Will Herring can get the job done?
“Definitely. He wouldn’t be here if he couldn’t get the job done. Will can do it.”
Do you feel better about since you’ve had time to plan around the injuries instead of something popping up in the game?
“Exactly. They’ve had plenty of time all week to prep and plan and be ready. They also have plans for if we do lose one during the game. Those are just preparations you make each time. Obviously, you have to have a heightened awareness of it when you’re down a guy.”
Could you talk about the communication at that position because Hawthorne and Casillas are out and there will be somebody out of their normal position?
“It’s definitely a factor. I would say that they know the defense in those positions but when you haven’t practiced that positions you’re not as comfortable so you can’t play as fast. It’s definitely a factor when a guy gets hurt and you have to bump to another spot.”
How much of a challenge is it to play at a different linebacker position even if you know the defense?
“It’s definitely a challenge. There is a reason we practice and those guys practiced in the positions they plan on being in. When they don’t get that, and they have to move to another spot, it’s the first time they are seeing it that week. When you have to fit a gap, you have to know which gap you have to fit. As far as that goes, it shouldn’t be any thinking. As far as experience at the spot and working on it, it’s definitely different.”