|10-25-2005, 05:24 PM|
Join Date: May 2004
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Coach Vermeil Press Conference ***opps Day late Repost***
D. VERMEIL: “Good morning. We’re in the midst of a different routine today for staff and players. The players are operating as if it’s a Tuesday and the coaches are preparing a game plan as if it were a Tuesday. Players will be in tomorrow as if it were a Wednesday. We get our preparation done a little earlier and give them a little more rest time at the end (of the week). The benefit of the change of schedule last week in having to play early gave us a little more time off after the game and a little more time to rest prior to (this) game.
“Routines are only evaluated as being successful routines or good routines if they end up helping to produce a win. Only time will tell. We know the Chargers and you know this — as you know Marty so well and have followed his teams and his career – they are a very good 3-4 football team, having lost the four games by a total of 12 points and some of them in almost impossible to lose situations in the final seconds. You have to be a very good football team and extremely competitive to be that close at the end. They lost to four football teams that all have winning records that are playing very well.
“I know this: knowing Marty as we do, he will have them ready to counter any down segment of their emotional profile. He is great at giving them 24 hours to either celebrate or mourn and come back and get started. The fact that they’ve been so competitive against the great teams they’ve already played on their schedule and on the road and after byes is proof of what I’m saying.
“Last year in San Diego we went out and played what I thought was the worst game we played all year. That still hangs in my memory and I just don’t anticipate our team being in that same frame of mind or play like that again.
“It’s apparent there are more good football teams this year, or at least more teams competitively matched. There’s one division with all four teams 4-2. I think we have 15 teams that are winning – I think it’s something around that. The league has really become competitive and one or two big plays that someone makes or doesn’t make will decide, or the turnover factor will be even more critical statistically this year than maybe in the past. The injury factor – maybe losing a great player in the middle of a third quarter…all these things are going to become contributors to success or failure as we move into the second half of the season. Maintaining a winning edge going through adversity will also be a factor. If you can’t do that you are going to gradually fall out of it. There’s only one undefeated team.
“We’re sitting here at 4-2 and we’d better appreciate everything it took to be 4-2, recognize that we were 2-4 at the same time last year, recognize that we won eight out of our last 11 games which maybe indicates we are a little better football right now than we were at this time last year. It sort of indicates we’re going in the right direction but with our schedule we’re going to have to prove it. If I’m right we’ll go to San Diego and play extremely well and it’ll come down to one play and, hopefully, we’re the team that makes the play.
“As we go into week eight for us because we’ve already had our bye, our defense has shown steady improvement – maybe not in overall ranking – but in some critical areas. Our offense is starting to ascend. I think Friday night’s performance was more indicative to the kind of team that we want to become in the second part of the season. Our quarterback performance is going up, our offensive line performance is ascending. That is coupled with Willie Roaf being back and Will Shields gaining game experience.
“Defensively, I think we’ve been restricting the production of offensive teams to the point where we can beat some pretty good teams. Our field goal kicker is ascending and he had the best game of his career the other day. Our punter is getting much better, even though we gave up a big punt return the other day. It was a great punt and there was no excuse for it and yes, there was blocking in the back and that should never happen, but it did. Still, their return shouldn’t have happened. One play like that can get you beat and there are certain guys on our coverage teams that do that for a living right now.
“San Diego is a team we could play our best game against and not win. It will come down to the team that doesn’t make a mistake: doesn’t turn the ball over, doesn’t give up one big play, doesn’t allow one individual to make one unbelievable play on his own. They have people and we have people. Priest Holmes did it the other day on a 36-yard run.
Q: You talked about how there are more good teams in the league right now. What about in this division?
VERMEIL: “This division has always had good teams in it. Since I’ve been here it’s never been down. We’ve had a Super Bowl team since I’ve been here and they’ve always had good playoff teams.”
Q: Ever since you’ve been here there’s been a runaway winner in the division of two or more games. You see any team running away with it this year?
VERMEIL: “I think it’s hard to say that right now. As it appears right now I’d say it’s very competitive. This is our last division game on the road. We’re one and one and hopefully the poorest game we’ve played so far on the road is behind us. Now the NFC East is back. The Redskins have been down, Joe (Gibbs) has them back up and competitive. The Giants were down and Tom (Coughlin) has them back up and competitive. Dallas was down last year and with Bill (Parcell) they’re back up and competitive. As I said, it’ll come down to the turnovers and the injury factor, the good fortune and bad fortune. Like Denver’s game and the Eagles’ game yesterday, it’s unbelievable NFL football.”
Q; How did you evaluate Eric Warfield’s performance in his first game back and will he start this week?
VERMEIL: “I think Eric will start and I think overall he did a good job. He didn’t get challenged a lot. Our pass pressure in that ballgame was outstanding, even though we didn’t sack him that many times. It took a little heat off the secondary. We had eight quarterback hits, 18 quarterback pressures and one sack. That’s a lot of times the quarterback was back there with somebody making him move, duck under or getting hit.”
Q: Do you think hurrying up and cutting practice short like you had to do last week may be good because, as you said, it didn’t give coaches too much time to screw it up? Was that a factor last week leading to the win?
VERMEIL: “We did everything that we would have done in the week but we didn’t do it physically as intense. For example, Thursday’s practice normally takes about two and a half hours and is in full pads. We did the same exact practice but at a walk-through tempo and then played the next day.”
Q: Was the game plan as extensive?
VERMEIL: “Oh yeah, we didn’t change anything. That is the benefit of the organization; nobody does it better; the numbers verify that and add credibility to it. In fact, had I known we were going to play Friday night we wouldn’t have worked as hard on Wednesday. We had a two and half practice in shells.
“Our quarterback is unbelievable the volume of offense he can handle mentally and execute. Our offensive line is experienced and we only have one inexperienced offensive lineman in Jordan Black.”
Q: Given the circumstances was that about as satisfying a win that you’ve ever had with the Chiefs?
VERMEIL: “For me, it was a tremendous reflection on the kind of people we have representing Lamar Hunt and Kansas City Chiefs. There’s no fun playing Friday night if you don’t win. The Friday night lights thing we sort of had fun with but there’s no good time to play a football game and lose. But anytime you play and win is a great time.”
Q: Could you believe your good fortune that Denver and San Diego lost given their leads?
VERMEIL: “You’ve heard me say this: you lose more games you should have won than win games you should have lost. Just remember that. That’s just how it is; it’s how I’ve always approached it. I realized that more when I became a broadcaster and was looking down on two football teams. I watched a team lose that had no business losing. As you go through the years we as coaches don’t talk too much about that because it looks like we’re making excuses. I can’t prove it but it’s just a strong feeling that I have.”
Q: What did you do as those games were winding down?
VERMEIL: “I had it on behind me because my computer and my video are in front of me. I had it on low behind me and when something real exciting happened I turned around and took a look at it. On that last drive when (San Diego) got the ball and moved it down I thought, what a great job they’re doing. I know the offensive coordinator at San Diego since he was the quarterback coach at Michigan. They were moving the ball and doing a great job and then…. It’s amazing.”
Q: Do you think there’s an opportunity now with these other team losing and do you try to get that across to your team?
VERMEIL: “The only thing we have control of is what we do and how we do it, number one, how we prepare on and off the field and in the meeting room and at home at night. You know, part of preparation is proper rest and proper conduct out of this building in the evenings. It’s all part of preparation. That’s all we really have total control of is getting ourselves ready to play. Then Sunday when you go play you’ve got somebody else trying to dictate.”
Q: Were you amazed the way the Eagles controlled LaDanian Tomlinson?
VERMEIL: “Yeah, but I don’t know how many of you guys remembered it when the Eagles came here I made a statement that I thought the Eagles were the most complete package that was coming here to play since I’ve been here. When you see what they’re physically capable of doing, well…they did it yesterday. Now, they were humiliated in Dallas and they had a week’s bye and I saw where Andy Reid made a statement where he gave them a week off so they could go downtown and let the fans chew them out. They came back and played fresh and intense against a team doing the same thing.
“I told Carl (about Tomlinson) to go look at the Raider game and watch a couple of things he did. He did things that are impossible for anyone to do. Holy…how did he do that? I think he’s playing better right now than I’ve ever seen him play.”