Q: What is the reason for the time switch for practice today?
Mike: "Well, we were looking for ways to change the routine for the away games, and one of things we could do was move up practice to be a little bit closer to when we actually play a game. Now, it might be a little bit like what color pants we are wearing; we still get the same type of practice time in. We did not have to change anything, we just flip-flopped things and this afternoon we are going to go special teams and our newer plays and take the pads off this afternoon. I just wanted them to get a feel about getting up and cranking it up a little bit earlier like they have to do on the road."
Q: Did they respond?
Mike: "I thought they practiced well. I was a little bit upset at a couple plays we ran at the end, but all in all I thought there was good enthusiasm and we practiced pretty well."
Q: Is that decision based on feedback from the players?
Mike: "No, feedback from the players is over right now. (Laughter) That was my deal."
Q: Any other changes in the routine?
Mike: "No, I don't think so. I kicked around the idea of flying in there Saturday instead of Friday, but that would be a real dramatic change in our schedule and I think we have real good reasons in going in there earlier on a time change like that. Those two things I contemplated, so we changed the practice thing here."
Q: How do you balance keeping things stable and not acting like you're panicking, and instilling a sense of urgency?
Mike: "I think that was what you have to think about when you make changes like this time of year. I think when you make a change like this you kind of have to explain to the players why you're doing something and it has to make some sense. As long as you do that I don't think panic enters into it, but there's change and this is why I did it. By the way they practiced today and the way they were attentive in their meetings I think the players are pretty flexible in that way. It made some sense to them and so we're doing it that way."
Q: Does the fact you're playing a tough opponent on the road help the team with their focus?
Mike: "I hope so, and I'm not, honest to goodness, and I've been doing this for a little bit now, and I think sometimes problems are created, manufactured, and they're not really there. They're interesting things to talk about and any time you have a negative streak going things are kind of mentioned more. For the guys to read that or think about that or the color pants we're wearing or whatever, than, yeah, it might have some effect on them. So I'm trying to alleviate that, but at this stage in the season and the position we're in…First of all, it's great we're still playing for something, that's a real positive thing and we should be real excited about that, but the distractions shouldn't be a factor, they should not be a factor. We all know how good the Rams are. We know it's a tough building to play in and now we have to go back and play."
Holmgern Press Conference.
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