Q: How are your young guys handling the 3-0 start, and has it settled in with them?
Mike: "You know what? That's a good question. I don't see anything where it would make me nervous about that. They're just kind of...it's business as usual. Our young guys, and I'm talking about young young guys like Hamlin and Trufant and those guys, they're remarkably poised compared to most young guys that I've been around that are playing right away. I hope it keeps going. Nothing has happened where I've had to come in and calm anybody down except for I talked to both of them about chippin' at the opponent and all that kind of stuff, and then they stopped doing it. So, no, I think it's just business as usual and they're getting ready for this next game."
Q: What did you get
out of the bye week?
Mike: "Two things. It's mainly a coaching function. We've been able to think about and talk about a lot more the plan with more time. As far as the players go, the main thing is they rested up pretty good, they were able to get away from football a little bit. I would say those are the two main things."
Q: What are you doing
to improve the pass rush?
Mike: "At times we've put a little pressure, but I don't think nearly enough. I think that's something Ray would also say, if you asked him. There are pressure teams, teams that are drafted that way, that have those types of guys. Green Bay has an outstanding pass rushing end. Little, for the Rams, outstanding player. Wistrom, good pass rusher. I think we have a couple. Sometimes the scheme of your defense cuts those guys loose a little bit more on certain teams. Maybe a little bit more than we cut them loose. But that's something that we need to improve upon. Anytime you see the quarterback having as much time as say Bulger did against us, that's not a good thing. Now part of that was, Warner had been sacked six times in the first game, Bulger five times in the second game, so the Rams changed their protection schemes for our game. The Rams kept some people in, they moved him out of the pocket. They did some things specifically to help him. But still, having said all that, we still have to get after the quarterback better."
Q: There aren't too
many mysteries with you and Favre, you pretty much know what he can
Mike: "Yeah, I think so. I think the players that I know the best, and again, they're usually offensive players. But I don't mess around with the defensive group, as I've mentioned before, very much. But on teams that I know well, or with players I know well, then I will try and offer my input early in the week to Ray or whoever. This is what I think I know about that person. Then it's up to the coordinator to kind of take that information, if he chooses. Brett's a wonderful player and the beauty of when he plays, and the hard thing about the team is playing against, is that he can do things other guys can't – physically from that position. Because of how strong he is. So you have to play the game a certain way. You really have to stay alive on defense. You've got to get play good team defense."
Q: Did you see any of
the Monday night game? Where you impressed with Ahman Green?
Mike: "Oh yeah, he's doing a wonderful job. He's a very valuable part of that football game. He's very important to their offensive success. He's also a fine young guy. He was a good guy, and you know he's a good player."
Q: Is Matt pressing a
little bit right now?
Mike: "No, I think he's doing fine. I think if there's one area of the football game that I would like him to improve upon, it would be...he's pretty excited early in the games. He comes out there like a young colt a little bit, and as a result we missed a couple of things early in the games and then we kind of settle in and we play better. That's kind of what's happened there and then in a couple of games we've played, I've taken the ball out of his hands a little bit and run the ball and worked the clock and done some of those things. So I'm not unhappy with the way he's playing. I think he's right on schedule."
Q: How special is
Trufant's tackling ability?
Mike: "Well, you'll see. The real good cover corners in the league, some of them-and there are a lot of good corners-some of them, it appears, don't really like to mix it up too much. They'll make the play because they're football players. But Marcus falls into that category where, you know, he's a good tackler and he likes, he actually enjoys the banging around more than some of those guys. So that's a very good combination."