Coach's Corner - Josh McDaniels 10/12/10

Baltimore is a good football team — very well coached. They really beat us in all three phases — coaching, playing (and) really everywhere we looked. When you watched the film, we didn't execute well enough. They certainly controlled the tempo of the game.

Opening comments
"As I said yesterday, give them credit — Baltimore is a good football team — very well coached. They really beat us in all three phases — coaching, playing (and) really everywhere we looked. When you watched the film, we didn't execute well enough. They certainly controlled the tempo of the game. We fell behind early, which is something we wanted to stay away from on the road in a difficult place to play, and (we) didn't play nearly well enough in the second half when we had a couple opportunities there cut their lead from 17-7 — we didn't do enough with our opportunities. Offensively, (we) didn't stay out in the field long enough. Defensively, (we) were out there all day and certainly hurt ourselves with a number of penalties during the course of the game that disrupted any rhythm that we would have possibly gotten into offensively. We're going to have to learn from this and make the corrections today and move onto the Jets who are another very good football team that we're going to get ready for this weekend. On the injury front, I'm not going to talk about types and what it is and how long and all that stuff, but there are quite a few players that will be out this week and I'll go ahead and mention those now: (S Darcel) McBath will be out this week, (LB Wesley) Woodyard will be out this week, (CB André) Goodman will be out this week, (S Brian) Dawkins will be out this week and (LB Robert) Ayers will be out this week. That's what I know right now — as far as length of time and all that, (I) don't have an answer."

On overcoming adversity
"It's a long season and there are a lot of ways to look at this. You can look at it and say, ‘We've lost then won, then lost, then won and we're kind of up and down,' (or) you can look at it and say, ‘We have two straight home games and still haven't played a game in the division yet; we're not even halfway through the year.' It usually takes one victory to make you feel better about the direction that you're headed in and how you've played. I think that has to be our mindset at this point — we're one game away from being 3-3. I think everybody in our division is 2-3 except the Chiefs. So, on the positive (side), you look at it and say, ‘We have a long way to go, we have a lot of improving to do,' and if we can do it, you never know how you're going to finish or how you're going to be playing in a month or two from now. The injuries don't make it easy, but we've been dealing with that for a long time now and I think the next guy has to step up and play well. We have to give them a good game plan — we might have to be creative with a few things that we do — but that's part of everybody's season. Every team has to go through roster decisions and make their minds up on how to make up for players that can't play and that's where we're at right now. This is a long-term thing and we have to look at it that way and we have to continue to work hard and try to go out there and win a game this Sunday."

On the team's mental toughness against Baltimore
"On the road you're always going to face some adversity and I think you can't let adversity affect the way you play on the next series or the next quarter. I think that has a tendency to come into play and you have to make a decision, mentally, how well you're going to respond to some of those situations when they're presented to you on the road. Yesterday, I just think we could have responded better. The way we played when we were behind — we didn't execute nearly as well. We started trying to make plays instead of just doing our jobs and usually when you try to make a play, you give up a play or when you try to do something that's out of context of the entire scheme of the play, you give up problems. I think that's what started happening with us yesterday and we were kind of trying to search for that one big play — whether it be on offense, defense (or) in the kicking game instead of just 11 guys going out there and working together and keeping your composure and your poise and trying to coach that way and play that way is very critical on the road — particularly when you're behind in that kind of an environment."

On how he can improve the team's response to adversity
"I just think we show them the opportunities that you have. Each game you come in, you look at the film, you say ‘Here's the situation: it's 17-7 in the third quarter. Take a look at what happened here. If we do one thing or a couple of things differently on this play or two it may be a rather big swing in the game.' I think they learn better from that than they do just saying, ‘Hey, we have to be mentally tough.' That doesn't really work. You have to look at it and say, ‘Why are we out of our comfort zone here, why did we choose to make a decision here when we shouldn't have really done that?' I think that players usually learn better from watching some of the opportunities that we had and maybe didn't make then they do from just talking about it."

On the correlation between physical and mental toughness
"In order to be physically tough I think you first have to be mentally tough. We have proven off and on during the course of the last two seasons that we can do that. I think it's not something like a badge you get to wear every week without thinking about it. You have to go out there and make your mind up that that is what we are going to do, and we do that. We practice hard (and) we practice that way. I think part of it is the way we try to prepare for each week. We don't go out there and walk through in shells on Wednesday — we go out there and we practice hard and we try to get better in those physical areas of the game. Then, like I said, the mental toughness — we talked to our team a lot about it. It is the ability to focus on your responsibility when something in the games is not ideal, whether that be the score, the situation, the crowd noise — whatever it could be that's not perfect, we have to maintain our poise and focus and try to do our job. I think that's always tested when you are on the road, always tested more when you are behind on the road; and we just have to learn from that and try to respond better the next time we are in that situation."

On whether he will consider using WR Eddie Royal as the team's primary kickoff returner"
We will see about that, but (WR) Demaryius (Thomas) got hit from two different directions here and I'm not sure that the ball wouldn't have been separated from most returners in the league, but that's part of being back there — you have to be able to hang on to the football at that time. I'm sure he will learn from that, but you are right about that. We try to take a little bit of the pressure off of Eddie. I'm not sure that we are going to have that luxury to do that at this point. If we need him back there on everything, I'm sure he will be up for the task. That's a decision that we will make as we go and when we find out more about Demaryius in practice this week."

On the offensive line's performance against Baltimore
"The game kind of — I don't want to say forced us to get of some semblance of our game plan — but we didn't go in there thinking we wanted to run the ball 13 times. There was some improvement in some of the things we saw in the run game early in the game (and) there were some double teams that were effective. We weren't able to maintain the control of the game — that was the most important thing for us — and then the penalties, and again there were plenty to go around. There were some upfront, some at the receiver position, false starts and the quarterback had a delay of game. Any time you are in second-and-20 or first-and-20, it's going to be hard to sit there and continue to feed the running game and try to get it going for four quarters. So, they faced a wide variety of different looks upfront. Baltimore always challenges your ability to block different things...They blitzed a lot of different people. We weren't perfect, but I think (QB) Kyle (Orton) got the ball off all but once and had a fairly effective game in the passing game. Like I said, we weren't able to stay with the running game long enough to really make it go."

On the differences in the run defense against Tennessee and Baltimore
"I think a huge thing for us is that we were out there on the field a bunch (at Baltimore). This might have been the first game all year that we didn't win the time of possession — we were really close in every other game or we had the advantage. Yesterday we were out there (on defense) a ton and anytime you're able to run the ball 40-some times offensively, you have total control of the game and I think that's a combination of the offense not being out there enough and the defense not getting off the field enough on third down, which allowed Baltimore to maintain a lot of long drives. I think they had five drives over 75 yards and it's tough to overcome that and play good run defense for four quarters if you're out there for 36, 37 minutes. And, we didn't play nearly as well as we did in Tennessee in terms of setting the edge, doing all the little things right. That's what I was kind of talking about — when you start to try to make a play in the running game, usually you give up a play — you get out of a gap, you don't do one of the things you're supposed to. You're counting on 11 guys to play it the same way and as soon as one of them makes a mistake — which happens — that usually hurts the entire foundation of the run defense and they ran it well. Plus, (Baltimore) is a good running game, a good football team, very good up front, really good runners. Like I said, credit goes to (Baltimore), because they're the ones that forced us into that situation and played the game the way they wanted to play it."

On the team's penalties
"I'm concerned. I think our average — we averaged third-and-10 yesterday over the course of the game. Ten yards to go on third down offensively (and we) had eight penalties on offense. Any time you do that — you're lucky if you convert one third-and-10 in a game and to average third-and-10 for an entire game, you're playing uphill. So, we have to address our ability to play much more penalty-free (offense) so we don't put ourselves in those situations where it's almost impossible to convert on third down."

On Jets CB Darrelle Revis
"The value (of having a player like Revis or CB Champ Bailey is that) you feel comfortable with putting him on somebody and saying, ‘I trust that we're at least going to be competitive in this situation.' The issues in playing against somebody like that are that you certainly have to know where he's at all the time, you have to be careful and you have to decide what the risk-reward is if you're going to throw towards him. If you're going to throw at him, you know that there's some inherent risk involved in that and if you're not going to throw at him, you're basically telling them, ‘We're going to use this half of the field and we're not going to use the other half.' You have to make a smart choice, a smart decision and he is a great player. But, I'll say this about the Jets — after seeing them for a day now, they don't just have one corner. The other guy (CB Antonio Cromartie), we're very familiar with, the rookie, (CB Kyle) Wilson is very talented and they have a really good scheme up front that forces you to have to challenge somebody man-to-man and you don't have all day to hold it either. It will be an interesting preparation for us and I'm sure it'll be an interesting game plan for us to play these guys."



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