Capers quotes (10/4)


(Opening statements) "Prior to the game yesterday, I told the team that I knew two things: I knew that we would play hard because we always go out and play hard; and that we'd play physical. The most important thing going into the game yesterday was that we had to play smart. The things we were trying to get done, offensively, we wanted to make sure we took care of the football. With our game plan being what it was, it talked about being patient and taking what the Raiders gave us. I thought that we did a good job with that. David Carr did a lot at the line of scrimmage. He did a good job with me sending in plays.

"Defensively, we talk about going out and trying to be aggressive, trying to be disruptive, trying to take the ball away. In doing that, there's always a tradeoff when you're playing against a team like the Raideers. You don't want to, in turn, give up big plays. Their biggest pass play of the day was really an earned play. The ball was thrown up field on Dunta (Robinson), a 33-yarder. The coverage was tight but it was an excellent throw and catch. I thought for what we got done, in terms of pressuring the quarterback and being disruptive, coming up with five takeaways. Our defensive staff had a good plan.

"On special teams, as always, we wanted to play hard and physical, and create as much field position as we possibly could. As I look back, and after reviewing the tape today, we had the fewest mental errors to this point in the season. We had the fewest penalties to this point in the season. We had the one giveaway but had five takeaways, so we were plus-four. I think it was a real positive step for our football team. As we go through the first quarter of this football season, we've seen both sides of things. We started off the first two games and outgained our opponents in both games. We were minus-four and minus-three in the takeaway/giveaway. We finished the first two games minus-six in the takeaway/giveaways. The past two games we've gone out, and we're plus-four. That's really the biggest difference in the way we've played. Some of the things we've done on offense were after some first downs and gains, which is something we haven't done before through four games. We've done a lot better job of taking care of the ball the last two games and the results have been tremendous.

"Looking at our special teams, yesterday I thought that we did a good job with our punt return game. J.J. averaged 13.7 on three punt returns. We didn't have any special teams penalties, which is always big. There are a lot of hidden yards on special teams. We outscored the Raiders 12-5 on special teams. Once again, Kris Brown continues to kick well for us. He had the three field goals, two of them over forty yards. I thought Chad Stanley punted the ball well. They only had two punt returns and averaged less than six yards on the two punt returns. Buchanon is a very explosive guy and you didn't want him to have the ball in his hands to have the chance to make big plays.  

"A couple of things we have to improve on: They did a pretty good job on their kickoff return. We didn't really have any big plays in that area. They did have a kickoff returned out to the 50-yard line."

"Offensively, I liked our approach. We ran the ball 40 times of 162 yards, the best ever in that area. I think it showed up when we took the drive after Faggins' interception and ran seven and-a-half minutes off the clock, went down and got a field goal when we were backed up. We did a nice job of bringing that ball out. When you get into the game when you're trying to run time off the clock, your run game becomes extremely critical. We hit four big pass plays. I think we continue to have the ability to make big plays in the pass game. The encouraging thing there is that all of our plays over 25 yards were spread around to four different receivers. We hit Andre Johnson, we hit Jabar Gaffney, we hit Billy Miller and Jonathan Wells. All of those plays were for over 25 yards. David Carr did a good job pulling the ball down and running with it. He had coverage and had a 16-year run and I think that if you have the ability to run the football and make big plays with your passing game, it's a good combination.

"Things we have to do a better job of, is obviously the one fumble in the red zone, when we had the opportunity on fourth and one, where we decided to go for it, they hit us for minus-one yard. That was a big swing in the game, at that point and time, in the first half because they came right back and make a big run for the touchdown. We did have four penalties on offense. We had two false starts and had a critical holding call, which cost us a touchdown. Then we had one delay of game. Those are things we have to get cleaned up.

"Defensively, I thought our defense was the most disruptive yesterday it has been. Any time you can force five takeaways, or five turnovers, that's hard to beat. Two weeks in a row we've scored a defensive touchdown. We'll take that every week. We did a good job in their pass scheme, allowing  5.7 yards per pass play against a team as explosive as the Raiders. Yesterday was our best day on third down. When we had them third and six or more, we won seven out of 10 times. We have to do better in the run game and our short-yardage goal line situation.

"The most important thing, I told our team yesterday, is where we are right now. We just finished the first quarter of the season. We've seen both ends of things here the first quarter of the season. We were disappointed the first two weeks in the way things have started. I think, in the last two weeks, our team has shown what they are all about. We've come back and I think we understand more now is what it takes to win. Every week and every game is different, but there are certain constants you have to do to win football games in this league. I think its part of maturing as a team and I think we've done a much better job of that over the last two weeks.

"Where we are right now, with the number of young players contributing will give us a chance to improve. It's young guys every week, we see them get better in certain areas. We're starting three defensive rookies. The left side of our offensive line is improving. We've had to depend on a number of players to step up and accept a role because of injuries.  Jonathan Wells stepped up and accepted the role he had with 100 yards. I thought he really competed. He played a physical game. Corey Bradford was down and we had only three receivers. Domanick Davis was down and we had Tony Hollings come back. Tony contributed. We've had a lot of different people contribute. To me, that's a sign of a good team. You need your offense, your defense, your special teams to step up. We've done that the last two weeks.

"We have a very big challenge with the Minnesota Vikings coming in here next week. We're going to have to go back to work. The main thing is to focus in on each and every week. We've done that the last two weeks."

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