No Carr wreck in Houston
RE: Talk about your ties to the Bay Area. "We were kind of strange for a family in California. We were Raider and Cowboys fans, if you can be both, because my mom's side of the family is from Texas and my dad's side is from Santa Cruz. I don't know how we ended up Raiders fans, but somehow we did." RE: Is this the first time you've played in California? "We've played in San Diego, but we haven't played in San Francisco. Obviously, I've played in San Jose numerous times when I was in college for the Silicon Valley Classic and playing the (San Jose State) Spartans, but I've never played in this stadium (Monster Park)." RE: How much family will you have at the game this weekend? "I think I bought 200 tickets, and they're all gone. Whoever else didn't get any is obviously upset at me, so we've got a lot of people." RE: How has this year been on you personally? "It's been difficult. Anytime you don't win, it's frustrating. As a competitor, you want to go out and win in whatever you do, especially when it's your job. That's probably what's been the most frustrating part about the season, but that being said, I've had a blast. Just like any other year, I'm going to go out and keep enjoying the game and keep doing what I do." RE: Do you feel good about the strides you've made in year four? "I don't know if I feel good because of our record, but if our record was better… Dom (Capers) and I talked the other day about managing the situation that we're in. I feel like I've done a decent job of battling through it and trying to keep these guys motivated to keep them playing. Obviously we can all do better, but I think that we've kept the guys motivated and kept them going, so I don't think this last game will be any different." RE: Are you banged up physically? "Actually I feel pretty good. Dom gave us three days off for Christmas, so I went home and sat in an ice bath with a snorkel, and I felt better after the second day. I feel pretty good right now." RE: How much do you guys want to avoid the draft speculation altogether by winning? "That's the thing: we would love to. Outside of the stadium here, we might be the only people that want us to win this game, and you guys might be in the same situation. It's a very different feeling when people are telling you, ‘Good luck. Go get ‘em, but make sure you don't win.' It's a tough situation, but we want to win the game. We go out every week and try to win. That's what we'll try to do on Sunday." RE: Will it be nice to have the attention focused on another number one pick this Sunday? "I enjoy the attention, which is probably because of my personality. That could be a problem that I have; my wife would definitely say that. Any time you can get a player of whatever caliber and whatever pick we have - Andre Johnson was a high pick and he's worked out well for us. If we can get another player of that caliber, I don't see any reason why that would hurt our team, and I would welcome him with open arms." RE: Why haven't you been more successful this year as a team? "We've just been so inconsistent. The hardest thing to do is keep guys healthy, especially keep offensive linemen healthy. There was a series of three plays in Seattle where I had three different starting centers on consecutive plays. It's been like that all year. We've had guys getting banged up and playing through injuries. It's been tough to keep guys healthy, but I think our guys have hung in there and battled and done what they've had to do. It's been a difficult year." RE: What did you feel was a realistic goal for your team at the beginning of the year? "I don't know if it was realistic, but I would have loved to at least been in the playoff hunt. Playing Jacksonville last week and competing against them – their team's 11-4 – and they get to celebrate going to the playoffs and clinching a spot in their stadium. That's something that I wanted to do this year. Obviously, it's not going to happen this year, but hopefully we can build it up. I definitely thought we had the talent to do that." RE: Is there any doubt that you'll be back next season? "No. Things might change, and nothing is for sure, but I'm a Texan. I believe that the people that matter are the people that make decisions, and they've shown faith in me all year, no matter what we've gone through. I don't know if I'd be shocked if I wasn't here, but it would definitely be a surprise." RE: Do you know Alex Smith at all? "I haven't met Alex, but my coach in college, Andy Ludwig, coached him in college as well. I've heard good things about him. I've seen him on film, watching tape of similar teams we've played against. He looks like he has, in terms of athleticism, he's definitely got the ability, he just has to keep his head on and keep focused on the fact that he hasn't forgotten to play football overnight. He was a good player in high school and college obviously. Whatever he's going through, I've been through the same thing, and there are 30 quarterbacks - 50 quarterbacks - that have gone through the same thing before us, so he's going to be alright." RE: Did you think that you forgot to play football in your rookie year? "It definitely come in your head, just being human. That's what's going to pop into your head. I don't know what he's going through or what his stats or anything are, but I've seen him play. He has great plays, and he has plays that everyone has where you just wish you could do something different. He's going to be just fine. He looks like he's got plenty of talent. If they surround him with players that can play and keep him upright, then he'll be just fine." RE: How long did you go before you threw your first touchdown pass? "I think I threw one on my first drive, actually. I was kind of lucky. I was fortunate enough there, but I didn't throw too many after that my first year. It was fun." RE: What pulled you through those times when you were a young player and you begin to wonder if you do know how to play the game? "My faith, first of all, and then the people around me. You have to surround yourself with people that have seen you play before and your family members, people that aren't going to waver on you and change their opinion about you every day. There's going to be a lot of that. He's going through a lot of that like I have since I've been here. Friends and family that he's known since high school and college that know the kind of person that he is can keep reminding him of that person because it's easy to forget that you can go out there and make plays. He'll be just fine." RE: How did you feel about the change to the West Coast scheme at the beginning of the year? "It was tough at first, because changing in the middle of the year, you can't entirely rewrite the playbook and change the offense. Changing coordinators, it took me and Joe (Pendry) a little while to get used to each other. We haven't been record-breakers for any of the year, but our offense has played better. It took a little while, and you almost wish you had a couple of extra weeks to work through some of that stuff. I like throwing the ball down the field too, so I like anything that helps us put points on the board." RE: Are you throwing the ball downfield more now? "Not when we were with Chris (Palmer) last year. I think we has a more vertical passing game, and then Joe likes to run the ball, use play action and try to establish the ground game first. There are two different styles." RE: How has Dom Capers been and with all the speculation, has he changed his approach? "Not at all. Not for a second. I think that has a lot to do with keeping our guys focused and motivated to keep them involved in the season even though we've only got two wins this late in the year. He's kept guys going, so it's been nice to have someone to look up to that doesn't really change or waver on how he's going to run his ship. It's been nice." RE: If you had any input with the owner, would you make a case for him staying? "I love Dom. He's been my only coach. I haven't known anyone else since I've been in the NFL. If you're looking for a guy that's strong morally, that believes what he does is right, and that he's not going to waver or change, and will stand up for his players, I could go on and on talking about the positives about Coach Capers. It's just unfortunate that we haven't been able to make enough plays for him to get him some wins." RE: Does the Reggie Bush talk seep into the locker room? "Yeah, it would be hard not to. They asked me about it today, not the players, but the media. I'm sure players do hear it. I know if I'm hearing it, all of the other guys are hearing it too." RE: How would he add to your team? "I'd be crazy to think that having a player like that on your team wouldn't help you. It would help any team in the NFL if you had a player like that. As good a player as he is, we're just trying not to concern ourselves about him. We're trying to go out and win a game, but he definitely is a great football player that would help any team he went to." RE: Did you hear that people thought you were tanking those close games you lost in the past few weeks? "I didn't have to listen to talk radio; my brother called me asking, ‘Hey, what are you guys doing? Make it a little less obvious.' When you don't give your fans much to root for towards the end of the season, that's the stuff that's going to happen. Obviously, now they have something to root for. It's a little different or a little off of what I might have wanted them to root for at this time of year, but they have something to root for anyway."
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