|10-28-2004, 10:42 PM|
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Q&A QB Trent Green Oct 28, 2004
Q&A QB Trent Green
Oct 28, 2004, 4:36:57 PM
Q: Has (Walpole, MA-native) Todd Collins been in your ear much today (about the Red Sox beating the Cardinals)?
GREEN: “Not too much. He and (FB) Omar Easy and (DBs coach) Peter Guinta are all feeling good about themselves right now. It’s a long time that curse has been in place so the Bostonians are very happy today.”
Q: Do you have the same kind of game plan to attack Indianapolis’ sixth-ranked rush defense?
GREEN: “Actually last week if you look at the game plan, we came out and we ran the ball early but the numbers get a little distorted in the second half because of the lead we had. We only had two pass attempts in the fourth quarter, sometimes the numbers are a little distorted. If you look at the success we had in the first half, yeah we did have the five rushing touchdowns but what has always been successful for us in the past couple of years has been the nice mix of the run and the pass. Where we’ve had success these past couple of weeks is being able to keep that mix. Instead of focusing on just one phase of the game, being able to keep defenses off balance. That’ll continue to be the case, its just when you look at the final numbers from the Atlanta game it leans heavily to the run, but I’m not telling anything that the Colts don’t know. They can see that from the film.”
Q: Is it an effort you will have to duplicate to beat Indianapolis?
GREEN: “A lot of it just comes down to what we do well as an offense and we do run the ball well. That’s what our offensive line does well, obviously we have Priest and T-Rich (FB Tony Richardson) and our tight ends are good run blockers. We almost had 300 yards passing last week, that’s what people forget because we lean on the run so much, which is fine with us. If we find ways to win, I’ve said all along, if it takes passing 10 times a game or 40 times a game, I’m fine with it. You know it does get warped a little bit when you look at the numbers, but if that’s what it takes we’re content with that.”
Q: Do you see some opportunities against their pass defense?
GREEN: “Well I think that’s where teams end up focusing just on that one point. And they have had some injuries on the defensive side, they have had some different faces than we faced in the playoff game a year ago. We’re not going to change based on what the defense does. If you look at Atlanta, everybody said, ‘Well you’re not going to run against them, you’re going to have to pass against them because their the number one rush defense.’ We went out to run the ball because that’s what we do well, so we’re not all of a sudden going to come out in a four, five wide receiver set and throw the ball around a lot, but it is the problem area for them and I’m sure its something that Tony (Dungy) has addressed and will continue to address. Based on who they are as a defense, we’re going to stay who we are as an offense and not change because of what they are.”
Q: Coach said you may be better offensively this year than against the Colt last January?
GREEN: “Well, based off of last week’s game, based off of the second half of Jacksonville I can see why he said it. Ten weeks from now will you be able to say it? I hope so. Based on our last six quarters of football as an offensive unit, we have played better. In order to do it you have to do it over back-to-back weeks, over the course of a season. Over the last two years we’ve been able to do some great things as an offense and put up some pretty staggering numbers so I’ll hold out on that comment for another 10 to 12 weeks.”
Q: Is last week the best you’ve seen the offensive line play?
GREEN: “You know its hard to pinpoint a game without sitting here with a schedule to go back over the last three or four seasons to find out what type of numbers and what type of production we had from a statistical standpoint. But from a point-production standpoint it was our best, from a run touchdown production (standpoint) it was the best. In terms of me getting hit, I was only hit twice last week. So yeah, from that standpoint, without going back and looking over everything, that was the best.”
Q: Do the Colts say anything to you about the playoff game when you’ve seen them in the offseason?
GREEN: “It came up. We had the Colts staff as our staff at the Pro Bowl and they obviously were feeling pretty good about themselves because of what they were able to do, but they also mentioned our offense did very well against them and at times they felt off-balance from a defensive standpoint. It was a shootout, that’s what it was. The one thing they did say was that they really enjoyed playing here at Arrowhead – just the great atmosphere it is, the fans, the support. Obviously they felt that way because they got the win, but from an atmosphere standpoint there aren’t many places throughout the league that have the type of game day atmosphere we have here. That was the one thing they continued to say over and over again.”
Q: Any psychological issue that might come up playing this team and not having much recent success against them?
GREEN: “Coach addressed that, just the fact they’ve won five straight here at Arrowhead. We take a lot of pride here at home field, obviously last year we went undefeated. This year we started out with two losses, then to play the way we did against Atlanta, hopefully we can get that momentum back for the type of home field advantage we feel we need to have to have success that we’re capable of having here. There’s a big advantage to playing at home and they understand what its like to come here, they’ve had success here and will come well-equipped to have success.”
Q: If they have early success might there be a tendency to start pressing given the recent history?
GREEN: “I don’t think so. You can talk about the 56 points the offense had last week, but if you look at what our defense did – the first drive Michael (Vick) has those scrambles, gets down there, they have first-and-goal and we stop them and hold them to a field goal, then all of a sudden we fumble on the first play – that would be the case, but it didn’t happen. The defense came back on, stopped them and we went down and scored. I think because of that experience we won’t be as quick to fall into that mindset. If it does happen this week against Indianapolis, ‘Hey you know we went through this a week ago against Atlanta, believe in what we’re doing, stick with it and get it done.’ I think because of that experience that’s only going to help us, not only this week, but throughout the season.”
Q: Is the defense going to come out with something to prove in this game just because of what happened last January?
GREEN: “Yeah, I’m sure of it, just based on the conversations I’ve had around here. Not only with the media, but in the locker room. Our defense feels bad about the way things went last year and I know they feel they have something to go out and prove. The defense, our defense, their mindset is to go out there and play well and try and stop the offense of Indianapolis which has proven year in and year out the type of success they can have. But I’m sure in Indianapolis they’re doing the same thing. Their defensive guys are saying, ‘You know what? Yeah, we were able to stop them a few times’ – one being a turnover, but the other was a missed field goal – but I’m sure there’s some motivation on their side of the ball as well.”
Q: Some say New England showed a blueprint for beating the Colts in the AFC Championship Game last year, but Tony Dungy says he hasn’t seen it much this year with the new rules, have you seen that affect the game this season?
GREEN: “I think it was more evident in the preseason. I really haven’t seen too many of those calls in the regular season, at least in the games we’ve been involved in. You maybe see one or two a game. Like you said, there was a blueprint, but because of the rules – they wanted to change that. I think not only are you seeing that (interference) call, I think defenses are more aware of it. They know they’re not going to get away with that kind of bump and run coverage. So not only is it not getting called but defenses aren’t running that coverage.”
Q: Are you taking advantage of that on offense?
GREEN: “We’re trying to. There’s really not a lot you do differently. You just hope there’s better separation. You don’t run a different route because the guy is not banging you like he did before, you just hope there’s separation and with the lack of your receivers can get better separation to give you a better lane.”
Q: Might you think of throwing the ball up on third down and looking for a penalty?
GREEN: “There has been some of that. I think game management dictates that. There are some times when you need to throw it up. If you look at what happened to us in the Jacksonville game, in the Houston game late in drives, there were times when the quarterbacks just threw it up. (CB Eric) Warfield has that one holding where the guy was scrambling around and it ended up getting intercepted (at Baltimore, 10/4)… Dexter (McCleon) had the pass interference. Really game management dictates when to throw it up and take the chance of interception, touchdown or penalty. Early in the game you don’t want to do that, but there are certain points of the game where you can be more risky with that.”
Q: How do Peyton Manning’s audibles at the line affect the defense?
GREEN: “Just based on the offense they run, that’s really what they do. They make a lot of run/pass checks. He’ll either call a run in the huddle and one pass, or two passes and check to a run. They give him a lot of freedom with that offense to check to something based on what the defense gives them. Whereas there’s another offense where you don’t do a lot of checking and it’s built into the play where you’re going to go with the ball based on what the defense does. It’s just a difference in philosophy and one that he’s very comfortable in and has had a lot of success with.”
Q: Being in more of that second kind of system, do you ever wish you had that freedom Peyton has?
GREEN: “Sometimes there is. Where I get my freedom to do that is in the two-minute drill and in the no-huddle drill. (Offensive coordinator) Al (Saunders) feels pretty comfortable letting me do that. We’ll go in with a set game plan and a number of plays for me to pick from based on what I’m feeling from my receivers or the coverages they’re giving. We haven’t gotten to that much this year just because of the way the games flow of the game is going. Sometimes you like that freedom, but I also know I’ve been in this offense a long time and I have a pretty good feeling and understanding of where to go with the ball. Once again it’s just a difference in philosophy.”
Q: How much of Peyton’s calls at the line don’t mean anything?
GREEN: “A lot of it is – I was talking to him at the Pro Bowl – and you have to. I know talking to Todd Collins and he was in Buffalo with Jim Kelley and they did all their stuff at the line of scrimmage, no-huddle, calling plays at the line, a lot of that stuff was dummy calls. If that’s the type of offense you’re going to run, then you really have to do that otherwise it will come back and catch you. If you look at what happened in the playoff game with Green Bay and Seattle, when (Matt) Hasselback checked off to that pass, it was something where Green Bay knew the signal because it was a similar offense. They knew, the guy jumped it and they beat them. Because of free agency, guys move around the league, the amount that coaches move around the league, a lot of the terminology gets the same, signals get the same, so you have to change it up or it will catch up to you.”
Q: Not to talk about must-win, but is there a little more riding on this game with a chance to climb back to .500 by midseason?
GREEN: “I think its every week. I said the same thing going into Atlanta. I’m not much of a person for ‘must wins’ but there definitely is more of a sense of urgency when you’ve dug the hole that we’ve dug. In order to get out of it, every week now is important. We don’t have enough games and enough weeks left to blow off a week and it’s not important. From here on out, because of the hole we’ve put ourselves in, every week carries the same weight. If we start looking (forward) – I know after this last weekend every wanted to know if the momentum was back, the playoffs and all that – but we’re 2-4, we’re just trying to get another win. If anybody’s looking at it any differently than they need to wake up and realize what kind of hole we’ve put ourselves in. In order to get momentum you need to win more than one in a row and start putting some together. Just try to put two together and get on some sort of a streak and you can’t do that unless you win this weekend.”
Q: Given the situation now does that add to the game this week because of what happened last season as well or does the 2-4 start take precedence?
GREEN: “I think it carries weight. Just because there’s still a bad taste in our mouth because of what happened in the playoffs and they’re the one that ultimately ended our season last year. It definitely is still an issue. The fact that we’re 2-4, from week to week I don’t think it matters who we play as long as we recognize there is a sense of urgency every week and that we’ve got to play at a high level in all three phases (of the game) every week no matter who the opponent is because of the situation we’ve put ourselves in by starting the season 0-3.”
Q: Does Priest Holmes seem to you to be bouncing back like he always does in practice?
GREEN: “Yeah, what the coaching staff and medical staff has done a great job with is monitoring the number of reps he gets. Not only in training camp and preseason, during the week of practice, monitoring the number of touches he gets. We put a lot of faith in him and trust in him that he’s going to be ready to go on Sunday and that he’s going to do what he needs to get himself physically and mentally ready. Because of that they really watch what he does during the week so he doesn’t take too many hits or too many reps, because when you touch the ball as many times as he does, in goal line situations in short yardage situations, you’re going to take hits and we need him for the long haul.”