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Jim Fassel Press Conference

"We will find out our character real quick; on the road, play a division team that right now feels very good about themselves."<BR><BR>

Opening statement: As far as today goes, I changed up practice; we had extended meetings and a shorter practice. After Monday night's game; it being late and everything else, I didn't feel like we were ready to go out and bang on each other. I thought today's practice was productive. I thought they concentrated and worked the way that I wanted them to. As far as Washington goes, they are 2-0, they are leading our division, they are playing very well, playing well on offense, defense, statistically they are, right now they are playing very well. I think it is going to be a challenge for us. We will find out our character real quick; on the road, play a division team that right now feels very good about themselves.

Q: Is this game a lot more important to you since it is a division opponent and they are 2-0?

A: I think so. Yeah, that becomes critical. I mean we are awfully early in the season for anything. I think even after the first weekend of the NFL, there's a lot of people that buried some teams and anointed some other ones which isn't true and it is going to be a long time before it sorts itself out but it is critical; we are on the road, it's a tough game against a team that has played well.

Q: Having three rookies on the O-Line, is that a long term thing?

A: I don't know. It is interesting. I told the offense this morning, we have our goals. Our goal in rush is efficiency and it breaks down to four yards a rush or rush for a first down; second and two and you pick up three, it is an efficient run. Goal line, if you're on the goal line and you run the ball and you score it is an efficient run. We have hit our goal of run efficiency but last week when we weren't running the ball well in the first half and I had to more or less abandon it later on because we weren't being efficient - we were too inconsistent with it. So those numbers can lie to you and we need to come out and run the ball better.

Q: Are you sensing any anger in the team now that could be used as a motivator in the short week coming up and the game?

A: I think the short week can be an advantage for us and I think that we have to get ready to play. That is behind us and we have to get ready to play, that is behind us, over, done with, there is nothing that we can do.

Q: Do Tiki's fumbles concern you?

A: I talked to him this morning and I talked to all of the guys, it is not just applying to Tiki. What happens is the ball separates from the body when we're going down on the ground sometimes when we are making cuts. But I'm concerned about that. I am concerned about the overall turnover ratio. We're one and one, one game we won the turnover ratio and the other game we lost it. One week our defense had a lot of them and we still had three, three of them came from hits on the quarterback. Two fumbles and an interception, the interception came because he got hit when he was going to the guy in that area but that is six for the two games and that is not good. I explained it to him and I'll say it again, if that continues, I don't care who is out there playing, I don't care who we are playing, we are not going to win many games. You cannot turn the ball over three times a game and we are one and one and it could have made a difference the other night because the numbers are there. I said to the guys the other night, the stats are there, it lays it out. You have to be far superior and be fortunate to go through the season with a minus turnover ratio and win.

Q: Is this Washington team better than the one you faced last year?

A: Yes, I think so and I think the starting point is Ramsey's playing a lot better, he is playing extremely well and then Laveranues Coles has really added something to them. Those two guys, one playing better, in addition to the other one has really changed what they do.


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