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Old 09-26-2007, 05:17 PM   Topic Starter
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press conference 9-26 hermy

Q: Did WR Eddie Kennison practice?

EDWARDS: “He was limited in practice. He practiced some, but I don’t know where he is at game-wise. He’s not 100%, but it was good to see him out there.”

Q: Do you believe he could play?

EDWARDS: “He’s limited; I’ll put it that way.”

Q: Did RB Larry Johnson practice today?

EDWARDS: “No, he had a sore hamstring and he didn’t work today. LB Kayaron Fox is out with a hamstring, CB Benny Sapp has an ankle and other than that everybody else is okay.”

Q: Are you concerned about Larry?

EDWARDS: “No, I’m not concerned. He’s just sore. He should be okay. He missed that time, came back and now he’s sore. That’s just part of it.”

Q: Can you pinpoint why the Chargers rushing offense has started off slowly?

EDWARDS: “They’ve fallen into the trap that we have; they’ve gotten a lot of three-and-outs. You generally try to get a plus four-yard mark on first down and they are ranked 31st in the league in reaching their mark. They get into second-and-long and then third-and-long, they don’t convert and then they get off the field. What happens to you too is when you’re running the ball and you’re getting minus yardage and you’re not converting anyway, you throw a pass. So now you’ve gotten away from the run. So it’s a lot of things. Another thing that has hurt them is that they have been behind. They have only scored 14 points in the first half, so they’ve been behind in games. When you don’t break a big run, your average doesn’t look very good either. When you break a 20 or 30-yard run your average obviously looks a lot better. There are a lot of things that make it look like that, but I do know that when you have two good runners, our runner and their runner, it doesn’t last forever.”

Q: It’s only a matter of time before those guys get going.

EDWARDS: “Yeah, you’re walking into that and this team is aware of that. I’m talking about it every day and it’s just a matter of when it all clicks for them. When it all clicks, you had better be ready because it is like an avalanche coming on top of you.”

Q: How do you stop a rushing attack like San Diego’s?

EDWARDS: “The first thing that you have to have is gap control. With eight men in the box, there is generally a guy on the defense that is unaccounted for when you run the ball. Generally he is the guy that is going to have to make the tackle. You have to be willing to hold up outside with your corners. When you do that you have to bet that the quarterback won’t beat you and that’s what you do. One safety is in the middle and the other safety is generally in the box in a linebacker position.”

Q: Why do the Chiefs struggle on the road?

EDWARDS: “Well, I know from the time that I’ve been here that we’ve been behind for the most part and that’s never good on the road. When you get behind you feel like you’re struggling and then you get down by so many scores that you have to throw and that becomes bad on the road. We haven’t done a good job on the road, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve now got another opportunity to play on the road.”

Q: Is some of it a mindset?

EDWARDS: “Some of it is and some of it is getting off to a fast start. We had good road teams in New York. My first year we were 7-1 on the road. We were better on the road then we were at home. You want to start off fast and get some points on the road. When you’re the road team, you can level the playing field if you get up first.”

Q: Are you disappointed that you started off so slow this year in your first two road games?

EDWARDS: “The thing about that was I actually thought we had a shot in both of those, especially Chicago. We had the ball inside the 30-yard line and we don’t score; we turn the ball over twice. We had momentum then and we didn’t do anything offensively. When you squander those opportunities you don’t win.”

Q: Has the offensive struggles overshadowed what your defense has been able to do this year?

EDWARDS: “The defense is improving and they are fourth in the league right now, but there is still a lot of work to be done. They have done a fairly decent job in the last two weeks, but it’s about team. The offense has to help the defense and defense has to help the offense. That’s what I really believe. It’s never one entity, it’s about coming together. At times we’re struggling on offense, but I think the defense is helping us in the fact that they are keeping the score down and when we get going offensively we have a shot. That’s what happened last weekend. It will eventually catch up and that’s what you want. You want a good balance and you never want it to be one side of the ball. People sometimes mix-up what I’m saying and they think that since I’m a defensive coach I want the defense to be the best. I want the team to be the best. The thing I know about defense is that if you can play with a lead you can play better defense, but you’ve got to get a lead. With that being said, I want to score touchdowns. I’m a defensive coach and our first-round pick was a wide receiver because I know how important it is to score points. You want to score points and we’ll get it going. It’s just a matter of scoring and gaining more confidence. Everyone feels better when you do that.”

Q: What are the reasons that you are leaving a day early for San Diego?

EDWARDS: “I found that a key for us when I was in New York. We played the Raiders five times on the west coast and we played San Diego too. We always traveled on Friday because we felt that it was a lot better. I thought our players felt better too. We started doing this last year and I know that they felt better on Sunday when they played. It’s just a much better deal for you. I knew that when I was a player too. When you wake up the next day and you’re two hours behind the normal time, it bothers you. You can say what you want, but I was a player and it was never any fun. Now you get a day under your belt and you feel better. I thought that after listening to these guys that they felt better doing it that way.”

Q: How much do the Chargers miss LB Donnie Edwards on defense?

EDWARDS: “You always miss good players and Donnie is one of the most under-rated linebackers. This guy has 28 interceptions and he’s a linebacker. Who knows what he needs to do to get more recognition. His problem is that he’s played on some pretty good defenses with some outstanding players and he’s not a flashy guy with dances, all he does is play good football. You always miss good players regardless of who you play for.”

Q: You don’t want to be the first defense that RB LaDainian Tomlinson gets going against this year.

EDWARDS: “There is a sense of urgency. He can make big plays and he’s a step away from making big plays. He’s a good player now and these guys are going to be ready to play. We know what we’re walking into. We’re walking into a situation where they were 14-2 last year, they’ve now lost two in a row on the road and they are not very happy. I don’t worry about them. It is how our team reacts, that’s the most important thing. That’s something that I’m really looking forward to watching. You have to be able to handle the surge of energy that they will have early in the football game.”

Q: Are they a different team without Marty Schottenheimer as head coach?

EDWARDS: “Not really, he coaches the way he coaches and Norv Turner coaches the way he coaches. There are a lot of the same players. Their offense is about the same and they run a little different style of defense, but they are good coaches. Players have to get used to it too. It’s just like our players had to figure me out last year.”

Q: Usually coaches inherit a losing team, but what about Norv Turner’s situation where he gets a 14-2 team? Is that a blessing or a curse?

EDWARDS: “It can be both because there is so much pressure on you to be this certain team and every year is different. That’s what makes sports great; you never know what you are going to be the following year. I think sometimes when you change people don’t understand. I followed Bill Parcells and I’m a different type of coach then he is. I’m really good friends with Bill, but when I took over players looked at me like, ‘do we really get to do that?’ They need time to figure you out. I followed Dick Vermeil and Dick is a little different then I am, but that happens.”

Q: So is there a line that you have to tread?

EDWARDS: “Yeah, there is a line; especially if you inherit a veteran football team. There is some good in that and there is some other stuff in that too. You have to walk a certain line as a coach because veterans guys can act a certain way and you have to make sure you approach it correctly.”

Q: Are defenses doing the same thing to San Diego that they are to stop your rushing game?

EDWARDS: “There is no doubt. Like I said, the thing that is really killing them is that they scored 14 points in the first half, so they’ve been behind by two score when the third quarter arrives. That means you don’t have much time to run the ball. If they go up another score you have a big problem.”

Q: So will this game be the tale of two angry running backs?

EDWARDS: “That’s some of it. Its two angry teams, period. So it will be interesting when we go out there and play.”
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