Coaches Corner - Mike Shanahan 10/30/06

The local media had plenty of questions for Mike Shanahan following yesterday's loss to the Colts. Check out the full transcripts.

Mike Shanahan

On if he was impressed with how the offense matched up with Indianapolis yesterday
"We thought it might turn out that way, but you're never really sure with how a game will turn out. I was really pleased. I thought that the offense played extremely hard and we moved the ball quite well. I was quite disappointed when we had a chance to put it away there in the fourth quarter and we didn't do it and had to settle for that field goal."

On the status of RB Tatum Bell
"He is still pretty sore. Very similar to what it was last week and we are just going to wait and see how he does during the week."

On if he feels that RB Tatum Bell would benefit from sitting out for a couple of weeks
"I'm sure he would be a lot better if he sat down for a couple of weeks. Everybody would be a lot better if they sat out for a couple of weeks, but everybody is sore this time of the year and everybody is tired. Everybody is hurting a little bit, so if he is injured he won't play, if he is hurting he will do his best to play."

On if it is more difficult to get over a game like last week against Indianapolis because of the conference rivalry
"What I think is tough is that we had the opportunity to win the football game and put it away and we didn't do it. Anytime you play one of the top teams in the AFC you always want to win especially in your backyard. Other than that, it is a long season and it's a sixteen week fight and there is a lot left. We are not even at the midway point right now. You have to look at why you didn't win, look at the good things and important things, and then hopefully build on the things that are important and build on the same situation and hopefully take advantage of it."

On if the Colts' first two drives of the second half changed the momentum of the game
"There were eight drives in the game so you can go through each drive and talk about how important it was. Every drive is important. Obviously the last drive was the most important for us because we had a chance to put it away at the end and we didn't do it on offense. Sometimes you are going to have games like that where you have to find a way to put more points on the scoreboard than the opposition. We had a chance to do it and didn't do it."

On why it is so hard to put pressure on Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning
"I thought that their offensive line did a very good job. They played very well and as you mentioned Peyton (Manning) does a very good job at picking up on blitzes and running quick screens, but even with all of that we had a chance to – we played pretty well in the first half. We held them to six points. Even though we gave up some yards we kept the ball out of the end zone and we didn't do that in the second half. In order to do that you have to be flawless in your zone drop and you have to put pressure on the quarterback when you do get the one-on-one and you have to tackle well. We were missing tackles out there and to beat a good offensive team you have to do all of those things and we didn't do that."

On if he agreed with the call on QB Jake Plummer's fumble
"It was a fumble. He landed on somebody and obviously his legs weren't down so it was a correct call."

On how he feels that CB Darrent Williams played against Indianapolis
"I thought that Darrent – you know he is a good corner and most people do not understand that in zone coverage a guy has to be deep in the field and what he has to do is make those tackles. We had a miscommunication on one of those touchdown passes. He was running a different coverage- but all in all Darrent played a pretty good game."

On if it is unfair for the heat CB Williams is taking from outside of the organization
"I don't think he pays a whole lot of attention to that. We look at the film and if a guy has deep third, he has deep third and we can't let them keep coming up with a big play."

On what the miscommunication was on the second Reggie Wayne touchdown
"It was just a miscommunication. I do not go into details on what happened. We had a bust and sometimes those things do happen."

On why the bootleg was so effective with Plummer yesterday
"If you have the cut back then you can start running the football and Mike Bell did a good job cutting the ball back and once you start cutting the ball back it opens up the quarterback keeps. The quarterback keeps and the running game go hand-in-hand. Sometimes it will be there and sometimes it won't."

On how he feels rookie RB Mike Bell played yesterday
"It is nice to see a guy step up, especially a young guy. When your starter goes down in the first half and Tatum (Bell) was hurting at halftime and Mike took advantage of an opportunity and played quite well."

On if it is more impressive that RB Mike Bell stepped up being a rookie
"He gets quite a few reps; he has gotten quite a few since he has been here. We only have so many running backs so we switch off quite evenly through practice and you just like to see a guy take advantage of an opportunity once he gets it. He ran well, he blocked well, and he played a good game."

On whether or not RB Mike Bell would be back in the mix if RB Tatum Bell was not hurt
"I guess we might as well start that controversy and get away from the quarterbacks. By the way Jake (Plummer) is our quarterback this week."

On how Erik Pears performed in his first start at left tackle
"I thought Erik did a good job. Trying to block (Indianapolis DE) Dwight Freeney in your first game, it's pretty tough to do that."

On Gerard Warren's status
"I'll get a better feel for that on Wednesday."

On whether he had further updates on any other injuries
"No, I really don't right now. I don't think anybody will be out. A few guys are bruised up like they normally are, but I don't think anybody will be listed as questionable."

On whether the defense didn't execute or Indianapoli s QB Peyton Manning just had an excellent day
"I think I just shared that with you, but I'll repeat it again. You've got to get a little more pressure on the quarterback with a guy like Peyton. Our zone drops were a little bit – you've got to be very consistent, and we weren't as consistent as we normally are. Then, you've got to tackle a little better. We played very well in the first half. Even though they got some yards, we kept them out of the end zone. Six points is pretty good against a team like that. Then we didn't play quite as well in the second half. You've got to look at yourself and hopefully correct those mistakes so next time we take advantage of the opportunity. But with all that said, we still had a chance to put it away there with two minutes left on offense."

On the decision to blitz sparingly
"There are so many factors. We did blitz a few times during the game. There are a lot of factors involved. We've been pretty good playing just base defense this year. That's the reason why we played a lot of zone defense, because we've been pretty good at it. We played pretty well in the first half."

On whether he hoped to get better pressure out of the base defense
"Yeah, you've got to get it out of your base if you're going to be a great defense. We didn't have the push up front that we normally have. A guy like Gerard (Warren) has been really good pushing to the inside. We did have some good pressure outside, but Peyton did a good job stepping up into the pocket. Where we did have push in the past, we didn't quite have the push with Gerard not being in there. For us to be successful against a guy like that, you have to have push up front and pressure to the outside. Going with four people, we didn't quite have that type of push."

On facing five road games in the next seven weeks
"I'll be honest with you, I don't even look at that. I just know we've got eight home games and eight away games. Everybody's got the same schedule. We're getting ready for Pittsburgh as a coaching staff right now. I don't really look beyond that, and I don't think our team does, either. You can't think about (having) two or three road games. It all averages out, and you've got to find a way to win games on the road."

On rookie WR Brian Clark's debut as kick returner
"He played well. He didn't have a lot of opportunities. Both kickers obviously kicked the ball quite well – a lot of touchbacks. But when he did have his opportunities, he took advantage of them."

On why he promoted Clark to the active roster
"Number one, Green Bay tried to sign him. I really like Brian Clark as a receiver. I like him as a return guy. I thought we might be able to hide him for a little bit. Then once Green Bay tried to steal him, I didn't want him to go, so I told him, ‘Hey, we're going to put you up on our team, make you active, and you're going to be the kickoff returner."

On Clark playing rather than Quincy Morgan
"I thought both guys would get a lot of opportunities being kick returner, and Brian is a lot more familiar with our offense than Quincy is. So, at least in my thought, it was a logical choice."

On the Pittsburgh Steelers
"I haven't had a chance to look at Pittsburgh. All you have to do is take a look at a team that gave up 98 yards and lost the game. They're ranked second in the NFL in defense, second in yards per play. That kind of says it all."

On not blitzing as much this season
"It's a different type of scheme. Until we played Peyton, we were doing alright, I thought, in our regular defense. Some people are going to get exposed (against) a guy like Peyton. But we surprised a lot of people last year with our blitzing scheme. You don't surprise people after a year of running a pressure-type defense. We'll still pressure, but it won't be as much as it has been in the past. We surprised a lot of people, and that's why we had as many turnovers as we did. If we did that this year, teams would take advantage of it just like Pittsburgh did."

On the final offensive series
"We had the ball at the 30-yard line, and we had a chance to get a first down and take the clock all the way down to the last seconds. First-and-10 at the 30-yard line with a couple minutes left. We had to settle for a field goal there instead of taking the ball down and scoring and taking some time off the clock. But obviously we didn't get it done."

On Tatum Bell's toes
"Both toes are bothering him. It's a little bit of turf toe. Obviously, it's not to an extreme because he can still practice, and he still played some. But it's quite sore."

On when Tatum Bell's toes became an issue
"I really don't know. At halftime, he said that he didn't feel very comfortable, so that's when we put in Mike (Bell) full time."

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