Heimerdinger Part Two

Q)It seems like maybe I'm wrong, but maybe you ran in Tennessee a more vertical version of the West Coast offense. Chad by his own admission doesn't have the strongest arm in the world. How would Chad adapt to that kind of system? <p>

Heimerdinger: Well, I think it might be more how do I adapt to Chad. But I think you've got to throw the ball deep when you have got your chances.

You know, he threw a pretty good post-route to Santana in the playoff game and put that right in stride for the touchdown. So he can do it. I always wonder about what is a vertical game? Is it throwing it 70 yards down the field, which isn't a very high-percentage pass; or is it 20, 25, yards hitting a guy in stride; is it a 30, 40-yard post route? Well, he proved he can throw that the other day. That's vertical. I think it's getting your match-ups. He'll do that fine and I'll adapt to what he does best.

Q)Do you have any connection to Herman Edwards in your coaching paths through the years?

Heimerdinger: The first time I met Herm was when I interviewed for the job at Tampa Bay as Tony (Dungy's) offensive coordinator, and Tony went a different way. But I met Herm there and then the couple of times we played him, obviously I've talked to him and said hello but that's about it. I never heard anybody say anything bad about Herm. I know what kind of person he is. I'm getting to work for a guy like the guy I just left.

Q)At the end of the day what was the most attractive thing that brings you here?

Heimerdinger: I think offensively there is some talent here. I think working for Herm is a plus. I know the front office gives coaches some say in some things. There's some money here. There's just a lot of pluses to come here, and so was it a tough decision, leaving Jeff. When I weighed it all, this was the right decision.

Q)What was Jeff Fisher's reaction when you told him you were going to take the job?

Heimerdinger: Oh, I don't know if he was real happy with me, but you know, eventually we'll have a beer together. We'll be fine.

Q)How long was the contract you signed?

Heimerdinger: Three years.

Q)Among other things, it seemed as if the tight end disappeared, both of them even said so during the course of the season. They felt like they didn't get the opportunities to contribute to the offense. Is that a particular emphasis for you or was it at Tennessee and is it big in your philosophy?

Heimerdinger: Our tight ends in the time I was [in Tennessee] made a lot of catches for us - obviously (Frank) Wychek. So we worked the tight ends and the two tight ends in the package. I think it's not a priority. The priority to me is find out what guys can make plays and then get those guys on the field in position to make plays. So if the tight ends in practice make some plays, then they will find some plays for them in the game plan.

Q)Is there a guy who was your mentor in this game, somebody you look up to?

Heimerdinger: I learned a lot from Shanahan, Kubiak and Alex Gibbs in Denver; being around those guys, I had to get something by osmosis I hope.

Q)How much did you wrestle over the decision to leave or to stay?

Heimerdinger: I haven't slept in a long time.

Q)How much of a whirlwind ride has this been for you these last two days?

Heimerdinger: I'm still trying to get under control. It's been fast. It's gone faster than I thought it would. It's the fastest of anything that's happened to me. I didn't expect to be their coach or coordinator that fast so I'm still kind of spinning.

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