Did you expect Robert Meachem to be such a big deep threat in his initial development?
Probably not. I think 99 percent of the time it just takes a little bit longer and you kind of feel your way in. He's stepped in and done everything we've asked him to do and continued to be better out here on the practice field with each game and each rep gains much more confidence. Now I'm starting to have a lot of confidence in him too.
Are you now able to trust him?
100 percent. I told him after I threw that flea flicker to him that I threw that ball because I trust him. I know he's going to make a play. I can trust him.
Did you notice it was double coverage on that play?
I felt like it was our guy against their guy and our guy was better.
Why is it that it seems like he is only used on deep routes?
That is just coincidence. He has been used on shorter routes. For one reason or another ball's going elsewhere. That's just by chance. He's done a good job catching the ball.
Is it a flashback to high school to be running a lap around the field at practice?
When you make high schoolesque mistakes, then maybe you deserve high schoolesque treatment.
Is that the first time you've done that, at least here?
Sometimes you'll do it after practice when you do something like jump offsides or make a bad decision. You'll run a lap after practice or a 100-yard gasser or strider, but to stop practice and run the lap, it shows the emphasis on eliminating stupid penalties.
Was there only one today?
Just one, yes.
Was it an offsides penalty?
Yes. One too many.
Can you talk about Minnesota's defense?
It starts up front. They have three or four Pro Bowlers on their defensive line. They are a very talented group and you can see them creating havoc in the run game and the pass game when you turn on the film. Certainly they have some good players in their secondary and at linebacker as well. You can't find a weakness in this defense. That's why for us, you stress the little things so much. Let's not put ourselves in a hole by creating a stupid penalty or try to eliminate sacks as much as possible although they have a very good pass rush team. Make good decisions with the football and keep yourself aware of situations. Try to keep them on the field. Try to sweat them down. If you just line up and try to think you can get away with those stupid mistakes, you're not going to against this defense.
On a lot of throws, it seems very easy for you and that you completely know what you're doing. Is it that easy out there for you?
It's never easy, never, ever easy. Your preparation throughout the week can make it easier. The more comfortable you are and the calmer you are will be because you understand where the ball is going to go, no matter what the coverage or the situation. That's what allows you to be successful out there, the preparation. You're always trying to envision every scenario, that way when gameday comes around; it's as if it's always happened.
Are you always aware of three or four looks that opponents are going to give you?
Absolutely you always have to envision if it's man coverage, zone coverage, pressure zone, all route, blitz, where are my outlets, where I can go with the ball. I had a coach one time tell me there's a starting point and an ending point for every play. You better know the ending point, but it's better having an ending point or that's when you take unnecessary sacks and throw balls into coverage for interceptions and make critical mistakes.
You've been pretty good at knowing the ending point?
Yes, the most important thing is knowing where you can get rid of it.
What do you think of the fact that you can equal your 2007 home win total on Monday?
On one hand that's pretty sad, on the other hand, it goes to show the emphasis we make at playing at home. We take pride in that. The way that the fans support us, we want to make those games exciting. We feel like we should be playing out best at home.
Do you think Minnesota is putting a lot into this game as their hopes for a turnaround?
100 percent. I remember when we went to Seattle last year and they were 3-1 and we were 0-4. That's the magnitude of this game and I know the mindset on their part is that they want to come in and make it their best performance of the year to this point. Obviously we want to stay on the winning track here, getting a winning streak going and get some momentum. That's why this is going to be a heck of a game.
Can you talk about the story of perseverance with Lance Moore and Robert Meachem?
I think it's great. It just shows if you do the right things eventually good things will happen to you. Lance was on the practice squad at one point in his career where he's just running scout team for the defense. Robert Meachem ran scout team everyday last year for the defense. Those guys have paid their dues and now they're reaping the benefits.
Do certain coverages ever throw you off?
It happens from time to time. You always have to expect the unexpected, even though at times you'll see something where you are not quite sure what that was when you look at the picture when you come to the sideline trying to figure it out. That way I can try to see it coming the next time. Defenses are always evolving, trying to stay one step ahead of you just like you're trying to stay one step ahead of them. It's a chess match. I'm not going to sit here and say I never get fooled. It's not the case. From time to time they'll get you. The more experience you have, the less it happens.
Against a defense like Minnesota's, is being careful and ball security more of a priority?
Yes, it's always a big deal, but the team that has such a great running attack and is looking for any type of momentum it can get, it just is that much more important.
What do you attribute the enthusiasm in Lance Moore to?
If you want to know about Lance take a look at his celebrations. After he scores, they're even funnier after other people score. I sat there and laughed my head off every touchdown, watching Lance. I try to find Lance after the touchdown to see what he's doing. He's bouncing around. He got in the snow angel position after his touchdown, but then he layed still for ten seconds. I thought it was hilarious.
Don't his celebrations remind of you some of Michael Irvin's?
As long as he's getting first downs and touchdowns and other guys are scoring, he can jump all he wants.
Is their a difference between his type of emotion and Jeremy Shockey's?
I'd say Lance is very playful, whereas I haven't seen a whole lot of it, but Shockey's fiery like he's about to body slam somebody.
When was the last time Lance Moore dropped a pass?
Last Thursday after practice, he dropped two in a row and I had never ever seen that in my life. He caught two touchdowns in the game. Maybe we should have him drop two in a row in every Thursday practice.
Do you like Lance's enthusiasm?
I can't say I've ever seen the guy in a bad mood. He's always really positive. He enjoys playing football, being a part of the team and contributing where he can. He's just one of those guys where if you're in a bad mood, watch Lance and go talk to Lance. He's a good guy to be around.