Jim Johnson press conference: 11-3-05

On how he has seen his guys respond to what happened Sunday against Denver: "I think we had a great practice. The thing about the NFL, you always have a chance to redeem yourself. At least we don't have the bye week this week. They've responded. We brought them in Monday and went through the film and criticized, very critical.

 They know what we have to do and they had a good practice yesterday. And you've got to get it out of your mind. It's just one of those things. It's hard to do, but you've got to get it out of your mind and go on."

On whether he has been through anything like this here:

"No, foreign territory a little bit. For us to be giving up touchdown passes and big plays, it's very unusual. It's hard to pinpoint. Part of it's pressure, part of it's coverage, and sometimes I've got to put them in better position as far as the coverage, in better coverages. So, you'd like to pinpoint it but we're struggling with pinpointing it. We just know we're giving up a lot of big plays."

On whether he is confident he has the right personnel:

"Yeah, I think we've got good cover people. I think the pressure can be better. There's no question. We've got to get more pressure up the middle, especially last Sunday. And the coverage has got to be better, and I've got to call better coverages. We probably played the run a little bit too much last week and it hurt us on the coverage. It's one of those situations too."

On whether he will fix the problems by blitzing more:

"Well, every game is so different. You're going against Denver, and we got them in a situation and we did blitz them. A lot of times they went with one receiver in the ball game, a little bit tougher than that. So, every game is going to be a little bit different. If we can do it, we're going to do it. If for some reason we can't matchup, or there is some type of personnel, we don't do it. I can't say right now, but the biggest thing is we've got to make sure that we're making good plays on the ball. And a couple times last Sunday we did."

On whether he worries about the overall confidence of the defense:

"I'm sure you're going to worry about it. Until you have success, you don't have that confidence again. This is a chance Sunday to redeem ourselves and get our confidence back too. And I think they're a confident group. There were a couple breakdowns, but I think they're a confident group and they're playmakers. We've just got to make sure that they stay with it. You execute the scheme of the defense and they'll be fine."

On whether Washington QB Mark Brunell is still mobile:

"Not quite as much as he used to be. I think he had that hamstring pull a little bit, but the thing that he'll do is he'll run in a crucial situation. If he needs 3rd and 5, in a passing situation he'll scramble for the first down. But he's not like he was 4 or 5 years ago, where he could run outside and get big plays. He's not that kind of quarterback, but he's still a great competitor and he'll try and make the first down when he has to."

On whether he thinks he will have DE Jevon Kearse on Sunday:

"I think we'll have Kearse and I think he's probably going to practice tomorrow. We'll see, but I think we're going to have him. We're planning on having Kearse. If not, just like we had to do Sunday, we'll have to have [DT Darwin] Walker maybe play some end, stuff like that. We'll see."

On the production from the guys up front:

"I think it was fine until last week. I don't think we had enough pressure last week. Every game is different. Against San Diego we had good pressure. Last week we didn't have the good pressure. And it goes hand-in-hand, coverage and pressure, sometimes. It just wasn't a good team effort last week, or coaching either."

On what kind of year Kearse is having:

"He gives you great effort. Against Denver and other teams, they keep their tight end and that's tough. He's getting double-teamed quite a bit and you have to compensate for that, but he's giving good effort. He really is and that's all you can ask for."

On whether he feels the defense has been on the field too much:

"I never say that because our job is to stop. We've always been good in the red area. We get down in the red area, we hold them to field goals if we don't have field position. We're not doing that. So, that's on us too. That's one thing. We've always been good in the red area and all of a sudden we're slacking a little bit. And it's hard to pinpoint, but no, I'll never blame anybody else. It's our fault. It's our job to stop and hold them to a field goal."

On whether he sees that guys are not as hungry as they were in the past:

"No, I don't see that at all. I think they work hard. Like I said, we're in unfriendly waters right now a little bit, but we've got to snap back. We snapped back after Dallas and we're planning on snapping back this week too."

On the status of LB Jeremiah Trotter and what will happen if he can't play:

"[LB Mark] Simoneau will play."

On why home teams are winning more this year:

"That's a good question. We've always been pretty good on the road. Tell me why we're not playing good on the road. It's basically the same football team to a certain degree, but we've always been a good road team and we just haven't played well on the road."

On whether parity in the NFL has much to do with the fact that home teams are doing well this year:

"It could be. First of all, I think there are so many good teams. I think some of the teams are much better this year, especially in the NFC East. The teams are much better and I can only go by the teams we're playing. We're playing the AFC West and we're playing some good football teams. And when you play good football teams, you better be playing your best football, especially a place like Denver or Kansas City. You better play your best football. Same thing here with the Redskins, we better be ready to play."

On whether RB Clinton Portis is a guy you have to concentrate on:

"I think this is a much better team over last year's team because of [WR] Santana Moss and Brunell, the quarterback. I think that's the major difference in this team. Portis is a good football player and he's one of the things. You have to make sure we can handle him, he doesn't get on a warpath against us. But anyway, we've got pay attention to him. I think this team has improved because of Santana Moss and Brunell."

On big plays being a problem and going against Santana Moss:

"A lot of big plays. He's probably playing his best football right now. I think that he's playing with a lot of confidence too, so it's made it more of a wide open offense. It really has."

On whether CB Lito Sheppard's knee injury was causing problems in coverage:

"I don't think he was 100%. He wanted to go. He's a good competitor, you let him go and he struggled a little bit. So, I don't know if it was 100% or not and I'm sure it wasn't, but he thought he was ready to go."

On Washington tackle Jon Jansen being back and what it means for Brunell:

"I know he's had some sacks, but Brunell, he'll make sure he wants to make the completion. He holds the ball maybe a little bit long and they do give him good protection, max protection. But I'm sure that Jansen back there, he's one of the better tackles, so I think he likes that. There's no question about it, but they have taken some sacks, only because Brunell's trying to make plays and make them downfield."

On whether when the team has a game like they did on Sunday if it is frustrating when you can't pinpoint the problem:

"Yeah, it's frustrating. You wish you could pinpoint certain things, and the only thing I can pinpoint, I just know we're giving up too many big plays. And that's the thing. We've got to get out of that, and sometimes it comes with coverage and pressure and stuff like that. But that's one thing we have to cut down on."

On whether he still feels that they can be the best defense in the league:

"We're planning on it. We weren't very nasty last Sunday though were we?"


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