"After getting back and getting some rest and getting a chance to look at the game, it was obviously a big win for us. To go into Pittsburgh and San Diego on the road and get wins in those places is very, very meaningful. Looking at the game, it probably wasn't as artistic as it was emotional. There were some things that we could have done better. San Diego, to give them credit, they forced a lot of things. Defensively, they had a lot of different packages and brought a lot of pressure. Offensively, they have so many skill-position guys, they put a lot of pressure on you to keep your poise. I don't know that we did that great on defense, but we made enough plays, especially in the red zone, to keep them out of the end zone enough and get that win.
"The other thing that probably went a little unnoticed was our special teams play. Obviously, (K) Adam (Vinatieri) with the three field goals was big, but we did a good job on (RB-Darren) Sproles this year. That really created a lot of field position for us. They didn't really start any drives in our territory. Their average starting point was the 20-yard line. That forced them to go the long route, so even though we gave up some big plays, it helped us keep them out of the end zone. All in all, a good team win, a good win on the road that sets us up for another road game this week. It was a good atmosphere on the plane, and I think our guys are feeling good about how we're playing right now."
On handling the fourth-down review this year compared to last year in San Diego:
"It was so funny, because we had the same officiating crew (as last season), and we talked a little bit before the game with those guys about how strange that was changing a fourth-down play. This time, I think we all kept our composure a little bit better. For me, I guess the last time I never anticipated they would change the spot. We had a chance to talk about it, and we said, ‘If it's a first down, we're going to kill the ball right away and have three downs to see if we can get it in field goal range.' Then we said, ‘What if it's fourth down? What if they move it back?' We felt like we could just leave them with one play. Even if we didn't make it, we wouldn't leave them enough time to move the ball. We kind of talked about the play we wanted, and we'd let the clock run down a little bit. I don't believe they started the clock when he wound it when it was ready for play, because we assumed there would be just four or five seconds left when we finished. But, we had time to really talk about it and think about what we wanted to do. I thought the whole group made a good decision and we executed it well."
On C-Jeff Saturday:
"Jeff strained a calf muscle. He did the same thing in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day a few years back (2004), and he missed a couple of weeks with that. We're hoping it's not going to be as long. We knew right away that he wasn't going to return (Sunday) night, but as far as how it will go, we really don't know yet. We're just going to have to wait and see."
On DB-Bob Sanders:
"(The injury to) Bob is what we've been fighting for the last couple of years. As I said, we're just going to have to find that happy medium of practice time where he gets sharp and gets to feeling comfortable without practicing so much that his knee keeps swelling. Hopefully we'll find that happy medium this week."
On if Sanders' swelling is due to staph infection:
"No, it is not. He's had swelling from overuse for quite a while, and we'll see if we can cut that down."
On OL-Jamey Richard:
"Jamey did exceptionally well for going in and playing against a really great player, (DT) Jamal Williams. Jamal had his plays where he overpowered him just like he does everybody, but for the most part Jamey hung in there. There were a lot of different packages that he had to identify. I think other guys helped him out, (OG) Charlie Johnson, the running backs, and everyone. But, Jamey did a great job under the circumstances."
On playing two rookie OL against San Diego's defense:
"That does say a lot about the way those guys prepare. Jamey got himself ready to play even though he wasn't planning on playing, and that's what you have to do as a backup player. You have to be ready, and he was ready to go."
On if the AFC South title is back in play with Tennessee's loss on Sunday:
"I've always said after we left there (after losing on Oct. 27) that we couldn't win the division, and we probably still won't, but what we have to do is make them continue to play. We have to keep winning so that they have to keep winning, and we'll see what happens."
On the difference in covering kicks this season:
"I think two things. Number one, we've kicked better. (P) Hunter Smith has done a great job hanging the punts and getting that hang time so we can cover them. (K) Adam Vinatieri, we've kind of monitored his kicks in practice, and his leg has been very, very strong. He's given us good, high kickoffs to cover. Then, the group that we have going down. We have some young guys who are energetic and they're learning. They're making up for their lack of experience with good hustle, and we've just covered better than we have in the last couple of years. (Sunday) night, especially, it was very important."
On the young players performing on special teams:
"We've had some young guys, (DB) Jamie Silva, (LB) Jordan (Senn) had a big day. We had had (Senn) deactivated for a couple of weeks, but then we watched the first Houston game (on Oct. 5) and he had quite a few good plays in that game and (Special Teams Coach) Russ (Purnell) wanted to get him back up, so we did last week. He was good last week (vs. Houston) and (Sunday) night. (WR) Pierre (Garcon) has improved every week. (LB) Philip Wheeler, Jamie Silva, a lot of young guys that are stepping up and playing well, and that's what we need."
On how much he gets involved in fourth-down play calls:
"Usually, I'll ask (Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore and QB-Peyton Manning) if they have a good play, a play that they like. I make the decision whether we should go for it or kick it. But, we all talked about that situation (Sunday night) and said, ‘When we snap this ball, there will probably be about 15 seconds left. If we have a play that can pick up 15, 18 yards, we can be in field goal range, call our last timeout and kick it. If we don't make it, if we throw the ball and we don't make it, there should be four or five seconds left and maybe they have one play, but it shouldn't give them a lot of time.' So, we all discussed the strategy of what we wanted to do. Tom and Peyton came up with the play. It was well thought out and talked out, and everybody knew what we wanted to do and executed it well."
On having to make a decision on OG-Ryan Lilja this week:
"We do. We'll have to make that decision by Tuesday. We'll see how he does this week. He's practiced for the last, probably, five or six practices that we've had, doing a little bit better every day. So, we'll see where we are, consult the doctors, consult Ryan and make a decision."
On if there were any injuries Sunday night other than C-Jeff Saturday:
"No. There wasn't anyone that couldn't finish the game, so that was good news. It was a very physical game, a few minor things, but nothing unusual."
On how he will approach the upcoming schedule with four sub-.500 teams in a row:
"One of the things I try not to do is read too much into the teams that you're playing and what their records are or what the perception of them is. The schedule comes out and in May and June people say, ‘Oh, they should win these, this is going to be a touch stretch,' and you really never know. You don't know, so you can't assume, ‘OK, Pittsburgh, that's going to be tough and San Diego is going to be tough but Cleveland isn't.' Cleveland is the only team that has beaten the (NY) Giants all year. They've played well in some Monday Night games. They've been up and down a little bit, but if we think they're not going to play well, we're going to be surprised. That's going to be our M.O., to try to get better and try to improve and try to play a better game this week than we played against San Diego."
On San Diego running routes down the seam:
"The one they hit for the touchdown, they caught us in a coverage that they had a good play up for that defense. We have to make sure that we're not giving them a steady diet of the same look. They tried it two other times and we defended it, but it's something where we have to be able to mix a little bit and play that one a little bit better. (The touchdown play), I think, was just well designed by them and well implemented. We had some others that we should be able to take away if we keep our poise and understand what they're trying to do. We played a little overanxious at times on defense, but overall, not bad."
On missed tackles at San Diego:
"There were some missed tackles. We've heard a lot of (WR) Marvin (Harrison) and (DE) Dwight (Freeney) and some of our guys. I kept hearing this about (RB-LaDainian) Tomlinson, and it didn't look like it (Sunday) night to me that he's not a great player. Part of the missed tackles were some guys who have some ability to make you miss and part of it we have to be better and break down a little bit better, but they have some tremendous offensive players."