Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips** FS Ed Reed
Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips
(opening statement) "Injury front, we've got two guys out, Arian (Foster) and (Mike) Mohamed. So those two guys are out for the ballgame. The rest of our guys are listed are probably and we expect all of them to be available for the ball game. Had a cool practice today; I thought we concentrated well. Our team has a really good attitude and I like that about them. We're expecting our best this weekend."
(on if RB Arian Foster went to see a specialist) "Yeah, I think he's gone to more than one. He's had two or three opinions."
(on if RB Arian Foster went to see specialists locally and elsewhere) "Yes."
(on what he's been told about RB Arian Foster's injury) "I don't know. You have to talk to the athletic trainers. They haven't told me anything about it. Still evaluating is what they've told me."
(on if RB Arian Foster's injury is his back) "Yeah. He got it about a week back."
(on FS Ed Reed saying he's like the sixth-man and what went into that decision) "He's been doing that, basically. That's what we did last game. He's playing on our pass coverage, basically our dime pass coverage stuff more than our run downs."
(on what he likes about FS Shiloh Keo) "Shiloh's a strong tackler. He's played pretty well. Of course, like I said, he had a big interception the last ball game. We're one-point behind in the fourth quarter and that gave us an opportunity to win the game. He's done some good things, as has Ed. You can say what you want to, but we're still way ahead of everybody in pass defense in the National Football League. You look at it in one game and you say, 'Wow, well, Ed gave up this play or that play.' Overall, we're playing pretty good pass defense."
(on if he's made a decision about who will be the third-down running back) "Not until game time. But we're leaning towards (Deji) Karim right now."
(on how the third-down running back will impact the return game) "Well, he's a kickoff return guy. He's available for that if we utilize him. With Arian (Foster) down and (Ben) Tate being hurt, the third running back will play some, too."
(on if he's involved in the return game personnel decisions) "I'm involved in everything that the head coach would be involved in."
(on if he and ST Coordinator Joe Marciano will determine who will make returns) "Yes. We'll make a decision."
(on what the last two weeks have been like for him) "I don't know how to describe it all. You don't replace a parent, so that was the first thing obviously. And then, like I said before, I told players and I believe this, there are tougher things than losing some games. People can come back from that. That's what my dad or anybody would expect me to do. That's what I'm trying to do."
(on never missing any time at work when his father was ill and how hard that is on him sleep-wise) "I don't know. You do what you have to do. You do what's important and I'm glad I did what I did because I got to see him his last night."
(on if he's used to being an interim head coach) "Sixth's time the charm they say (joking). I've got the world's record. I don't know that anybody's been a head coach, I think I already had the record. I've gone past that now. It is a privilege, kind of, to be named a head coach of a team even though it's one-game, to be six times in the NFL, a lot of people say they got rid of you all of those. I'll throw my record out there. Some people they throw it and they say, 'Well, he's only 82-61.' You check out where that is in the National Football League of people who have coached 100 games, and you're going to find out something different than what you think."
(on if he still would like to be head coach full-time) "Right situation, I guess that would be the case. I didn't think I'd ever be one again. I still think age is a factor and perception is another factor that he hasn't done it. He's never done it. Never done good enough, that kind of thing."
(on if it's the same feeling now being a head coach even though it's on an interim basis) "Oh yeah. I think you have all of the problems of a head coach. I know that. There are a lot of things that have come up this week that nobody will know about. Those things are involved that you wouldn't be involved as a coordinator and making those kinds of decisions as to who is returning, who's doing this. Even offensively, when we're going to go for it, a lot of different things. Those kinds of things that head coaches make. That's where I am with that."
(on his strengths as a head coach) "I don't know. We won a lot of close games I thought. I don't really judge myself there. I think the players will play, play really hard and really well in a lot of situations. I think I'm good at game strategy, but a lot of people say different I'm sure."
(on how bad the team needs a win this week) "I think it's obvious we need to win. We need to change things. We need to change the atmosphere that's been going on. We say we've played really well and we are one play, I think. I told them today, we're one play or one penalty from winning, too. We've emphasized this week cutting down on penalties. We're one turnover from winning, either giving it up or getting one. And we're really one play a lot of times from having a lot better record. I think team is very close, but you have to make that baby step forward."
FS Ed Reed
(on if he's ever been a part of a season like this with a lot of different things) "Yeah, man. I've been through seasons similar to this with a lot going on, turmoil so to say, and just tough games. Even last year, we went through a lot. Torrey (Smith) lost his brother. Years ago when I lost my brother going through the season. There's always going to be life issues because we're human beings. We are put on a pedestal so to say and in the limelight, but we still have every day trial and tribulations like everybody else. What happens here, being in the locker room, being around guys, it helps to get through those tough times because it's like your second family."
(on if he's surprised to see his play-count so low against Indianapolis) "No, not at all. I was on a dime package. Ready for all other packages, like me and Coach talked about. For how the game was going and just the whole rotation of everything, that's what my role was to be against Indy because we wanted to do some things as far as the run game and all of that. Not surprised at all. I'm OK with it. I've played a lot of football in my career. I've been around the NFL long enough to know every guy in this locker room has to prepare for himself to be a starter. I'm good with everything."
(on if he's accepted the idea that he's not starting) "I wouldn't say that I'm not starting. Like I said, I've been around a lot of football to know that every man has to be ready. You never know what packages are going to be in there. I know you want me to be playing every down, every package. It is what it is. Coach made the decision. We talked about it. As a competitor, the player that I am, yeah, that was some frustration for there a second. At the same time, there's an understanding where I'm at and what are we trying to accomplish? At the end of the day, it's a team sport. I'm the ultimate team player. If that's what we're to do to win, so as long as we're winning, I honestly don't care."
(on the last time he was healthy and didn't start) "The last time I was healthy and I didn't start was, it was sophomore year in college. We played against East Carolina."
(on why he didn't start the game against East Carolina) "There were a lot of things going on at the time. Coach had sat me down and wanted me to do, he basically didn't want to start me because I wasn't having my eyes on the tight end, if I remember it correctly. As a player, I understood it a little bit more, knowing that a lot of my teammates at the time were making mistakes, too. But it was to set an example. None of us are bigger than the team, not even your superstars so to say. If we can humble ourselves as all stars, Pro Bowl players, whatever, other guys will see that and understand having more of an appreciation for the game."
(on if he expects his role to be in dime packages going forward) "I'm prepared for whatever. I know I didn't have the luxury of training camp to get the reps that you need as a football player, as an athlete, to better your craft. That's one thing about this game is that, regardless of your age, regardless of the years you've been in this, you have to get repetition to be great, to be effective at what you're doing. If you don't have those reps, you will see it will look rusty. Some guys will look rusty or even old. If they don't get the repetition, the thousands of reps that we talk about that you need to better your craft. It's in anything you do, you're not just going to come in here and be a reporter, you're going to ask questions, constantly ask questions and get comfortable with what you're doing."
(on a lot of guys maybe not being to accept his role of his status and yet he is accepting it with class and what that says about him) "That's like anything. I'm human. I have trial and tribulations like anybody else. Did I accept it well? No, I didn't because I look at the tape as well. I'm grading, not just myself, but us a whole. At the same time, like I said, I understand this game. I understand where I'm at. I understand communication with my Coach and what he's trying to accomplish, what we're trying to accomplish. At the end of the day, that's for the betterment of the team. I also know that I didn't have the reps to show that I can still do what I do even if I'm on the field. I see the blogs, the stuff that is being written and all of that, 'Ed is old. He's not doing this. He's only had one pass defended.' I had no pass defended at the time until last week. Let's look at the tape. I'll look at the tape with anybody who wants to look at it with me. Played six games, missed three-and-a-half-four tackles, mental error here and there, nothing major. But they haven't thrown my way, not anywhere close. I think the ball has come close to me twice. Am I not doing my job or am I not being tested? If you want to watch the tape and you want to grade me, however you want to look at it, so be it. I know when I'm on the football field, outside of two or three tackles I've missed, that you can point out none of them have been touchdowns. I've missed tackles before in my past, so it's nothing to worry about. I know what I can do. At the same time, team player, role player, Robert Horry, Brian Russell, some of the best sixth-men to ever play."