What’s your frame of mind this week based on what’s happened the last two weeks?
“Optimistic that we’re going to get this thing back on track very quickly. Obviously (we’re) disappointed by the 0-2 start, but there’s nothing we can do about it now except learn from our mistakes and continue to focus on the process and preparation. We know we have the right people in the building, coaches and players and now it’s’ just a matter of pulling it all together and finding our rhythm so to speak. I think that we actually improved in a lot of ways from week one to week two. Now unfortunately that doesn’t result in a win, but we can go back and look at the tape. (There are) plenty of things. I said it right after the game where there’s probably at least six or seven plays offensively that you go back and say if we just made two of those, we win that game. I know defensively from talking to those guys, they feel the same way on that end. So, its’ not drastic. It’s not (that) each side has to make a ton more plays. It’s just a few things here and there. We just have to get a little bit better, but we did take a big step forward from week one to week two.”
Given that you’re 0-2, how much does that weigh on everybody in the locker room and on the mindset of everybody in the locker room? Is it too early in the season? How do you do it?
“We view it the only way we can view it and that is that it’s’ not the start that we wanted. All we can worry is about what’s ahead of us. The most important thing is this week. As much as we’d want to go out and try to win 14 games in one week, we can’t. We can only win one game and obviously it’s a long season and a lot can happen through the course of the season. A lot does happen through the course of the season. You have your ups and downs and times. You know you’re going to face adversity at some point. We faced it a little bit sooner than maybe most, but in the end, I feel like this is going to make us better. It’s going to make us a better team. It’s going to bring us together, but we do need a win and we want it to be this week.”
With all of what went on this offseason, it seems like there is a feeling with some that as long as Drew is around, it all works out. What is your perception of that in the context of the first two games? Is it weighing on you at all?
“You can just say you haven’t played very well, so what’s the deal?”
But the offense is actually ranked third in the NFL in net yardage?
“Yes, here’s the thing. I’m always going to look at the thing with a very critical eye and first of all I take great responsibility in the fact that people feel that way about it. I’m humbled by that, but I take my job seriously. I feel like every time I step on the field, we can find a way to win and that obviously I’m a part of that. I have looked at so many things over these last two games and say I could have been better here. We could have been better here. And like I said, I’ve seen improvement, but we’re nowhere near where we’re going to be and because of the fact that our mistakes have resulted in losses, at times it’s nice when you can step away from a game having won and said we have to clean up these things here, but we won. Well, we’re in a situation here where we put ourselves behind the eight ball a little bit. There’s nothing we can do about it other than just win this week. We can’t make up for that. We can’t go back in time. For me, I know the things I need to work on. I know the things I need to improve on. Certainly my productivity at the quarterback position, but also as a leader and someone guys look to for guidance and leadership, respect and I certainly embrace that role.”
Are you going to be more careful with the ball and with your play moving forward after some of the early turnovers?
“I can say that two of the interceptions happened, one on a Hail Mary at the end of the Washington and then one last week with 30 seconds left and we’re trying to get down the field, so desperation situations. The two that really bug me are where i was just being overly aggressive and getting it a little high to Lance (Moore) against Washington on a drive when we could go and tie the game. Last week, just the risk-reward to Dave (Thomas) of throwing it in the flat and the guy made a great play. He came over the top of him and snatched the ball, but you just give them seven easy points and the momentum shift that creates too is just disappointing, because in your mind that’s fluky. That’s a ball that you very easily throw away and move onto the next play with. The thing is, they’re all fixable. I’m not going to change my mentality, my aggressiveness, my approach, my preparation, but I do understand how important it is to take care of the football and I understand that my mistake with that interception return for a touchdown, even though it was in the first quarter last week is a critical mistake and I can’t do that.”
“Yes, all three of them played great and each one of them has a unique role. Their skill sets are pretty impressive and you just watch. (Mark) Ingram comes in and he gets rolling. All of a sudden it’s Pierre (Thomas) and then it’s (Darren) Sproles. The combination of the three of them. I can only imagine what it’s like for a defense to plan for each guy and how we use them and just the fact that at times we have two or three of them in the game at the same time. I just think that’s certainly something for us where it provides some weapons and (helps) our ability to be pretty creative with what we do.”
How does it help to have Devery Henderson back at practice?
“That’s big because Devery plays all the receiver positions. He’s been in the system for a long time. He knows it very well. He can do everything. He can do the downfield stuff, the intermediate stuff, the short stuff. He’s’ a great blocker in the run game. He can stretch the field. He’s obviously involved in a lot of our game plan, so it’s great to have him back.”