Mike Martz Conference Call: 9-28-05

Re: How tough has it been playing three games that were like right down to the wire? Those are always difficult because I think the toughest part is when you start to get control of the game and then you turn it over. That's hard on the defense. I think that has been terrific for the defense the way they have responded. Those are things that you always hope you grow from as a team.

Re: When you watch tape of the Giants on Sunday night and watching their defense, how do you keep your offense from getting too overconfident?

Well, I think that is not a fair question at all. I don't think that's an issue for us obviously because it makes us sound like we are real, real good on offense and we are not. The other part of the issue is that you are in San Diego, they are 0-2, and they have to win. That's probably as good as they'll play. When things start going too bad, it's hard to stop it sometimes. That's just the way it is. You have games like that, but that's no reflection on their defense, their capabilities, or what they'll do in the future. Anything that has been done last week or before has no bearing on this Sunday. I think everybody in the league understands that.

Re: Would you say that their defensive performance on Sunday in comparing it to the first two was maybe an anomaly?

That's not my job to compare and do that. I don't coach that team.

Re: You said your offense hasn't been playing well. What are the specific problems that you can pinpoint?

We still have some mental errors. We have some technique issues. The turnovers have been bothersome. And protection, obviously we have our problem at the right tackle at times. So, those are issues that we need to resolve.

Re: Are you changing your right tackle?

We are. We are going to start the rookie. And obviously that's not a good matchup for him this week to have his first start against (Michael) Strahan, obviously. So, we'll have to do something to help him or we are just going to play the game and do what we can.

Re: How is (Marc) Bulger weathering the storm of being sacked 15 times?

Pretty good, really. When he started off, he was getting hit pretty good early and I think to come back and play the way he did'I never worry about Marc (Bulger) in that respect, I worry about keeping him healthy. The biggest issue for me is some of the late hits that have happened that go uncalled and that's the biggest deal, the things that are unnecessary. The sacks you tuck it and get to the ground and you like to get rid of the ball, but it's those other things that really you worry about.

Re: Has it been a difficult transition over the last couple of years for Marshall (Faulk) to have his role reduced and have Steven Jackson become the guy?

Obviously, it's hard on Marshall. And if you know Marshall, and I have said this many times, he's such a different individual, an unselfish individual. In his mind it's the right thing to do. He feels he can play at the same level he has his whole career and I think he's accurate about that. The main issue is durability for him at his age now. I think if you saw the game last week, speed is not the issue, his weight is down, he's playing as well as he's ever played, but he's got some wear and tear on those knees and some of those things. So, to ask him to carry the load, he knows it's not going to be good for him physically. This will allow us to use both of them most effectively and hopefully potentially extend his career.

Re: Is that always a tough thing for a coach because obviously Marshall did so much for you and that team to kind of now have to realize the end is near and shift gears like that?

I dreaded it. The one thing when you are close to a player and Marshall and I have a very special relationship, I didn't know when the time came what to do. I really didn't know. I didn't know how I was going to handle it. I just worried about it. But, Marshall being Marshall he took all that away in about two minutes and we moved forward with it. That allows you to build the offense in a different fashion, which has been kind of fun.

Re: How's Steven Jackson?

He's good. He's sore obviously from the game. He has a little contusion to the chest. But, he should be fine.

Re: And Isaac Bruce?

I don't know. We'll just have to see.

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