Thursday Report

<b> BILL COWHER</b> <p><b><i>How did Schneck look?</i></b></p> <ul> <li>Mike took some snaps. We'll see.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><b><i> Is Kendrell coming along a little bit?</i></b></p>

Yeah. He did some things today. Again, we'll get the pads on the next couple days and have a better sense of where he's at. Just my initial observation is he looks much further along than he did last week at this time.   

Have you dealt with Bradshaw much?

  • Not really. I met him a couple times. Certainly, when he came in a year ago to do an interview I had a chance to sit down and talk to him.


  • It's great. Any time you can get a Hall of Famer coming back, a guy of that caliber, it's great. I hope the fans receive him well. He's a very popular player and certainly was a cornerstone of the championship years here.


Can you explain Jason Gildon's lack of production?

  • It's hard to say. We've been dropping in coverage; he's been rushing some. So we've been mixing it up a little bit. He's had a solid year. He set very high standards for himself. And those things can come in bunches just like turnovers can, if you reference the sacks. But he's playing very solid.

  On the film crew following Maddox:

  • He's got a good perspective on things. I think that's one of the things, when you look at him, since he's come here, he takes in every day. Really, his head's never gotten any bigger, even since he's been named the starter. He's got a great perspective on things. He enjoys every day. He seizes the opportunity and keeps it all in pretty good perspective.



  • It's unfortunate, when people reach a certain level of success and recognition, that they become targets to plots and schemes and unfounded accusations. And to be associated with this type of behavior is uncharacteristic with me as a person, and it's awful that anyone be subjected to the type of criticism and treatment that I've received recently.  But with the support of my family,  friends, teammates, the organization, and the Rooney family, I've been able to deal with it and focus on football. The fans have been very supportive of me and I do appreciate that. I've been very thankful for that, just thankful that everybody didn't cast the doubt so quickly.

  Are you relieved?

  • Very much so.


TOMMY MADDOX On playing on Monday night and being the story:

  • I'm not real concerned about that. To me it's just another game you prepare for. You go out and try to win a game. It doesn't matter whether you play on Monday, Sunday, whatever. I think everybody else enjoys all that probably more than we do. But it's another work week and (we) do what we've got to do.

  Is denying it's a big deal the key to keeping your cool?

  • Well, they're all big deals. Every game's a big deal. I don't think you put more importance on the game just because it's on Monday night. Obviously you want to play well. You know everybody's going to be watching; but if it takes Monday night to get you to think a football game's a big deal, you probably need to check yourself a little bit.

  What about NFL Films following you around?

  • It's been alright. Monday night and Tuesday were kind of the big days. Now it's become a normal work week. Yeah, they're going to follow us around a little bit, but it's more football stuff now.

  Where have they been?

  • They've been at my house, doing things with my kids and stuff like that. Yesterday (I was) doing a couple radio interviews, commercials, stuff like that; they went with us. Then, last night they went with us to do Josh's and Hines' radio show. It's been fun. I've enjoyed it. They're great guys and so it hasn't been too bad.

  Are you looking to shed the "XFL Guy" label on Monday?

  • Not really. I'm not real worried about what they're saying or what they're doing. Like you said, there are guys around here that have been with me for two years and they know what I'm all about and all that;  and I'm not really concerned about guys that aren't in this locker room. I'm not looking to shed any labels. I'm proud, very proud, of the things that we accomplished in the XFL and a lot of my teammates in the XFL, so I'm not looking to shed that at all.

  Should coaches send guys to the Arena League instead of NFL Europe?

  • I think so. I've said that for two years. And I think as the NFL's starting to buy more and more into the Arena League – I mean, a lot of owners have either already bought franchises or they're looking into it – I think it's a great training ground for quarterbacks.

  Is all this recognition better or worse than you thought it would be?

  • No, I probably enjoy it a little bit more. Everybody always complains about things and then you take it away and they're like, "Man, that wasn't so bad." So, I probably enjoy it and know that it's a time in your life and you might as well enjoy it because it'll soon be gone too.

  Did you put on a little show for NFL Films?

  • No. It's not my personality. My kids did. My kids were going crazy. I thought they'd be shy. They were enjoying it.

  Wife get upset when they came to the house?

  • Yeah, she wasn't real happy about it. But she made it.

   On Colts' defense:

  • It's a defense where they're going to bend and not break. That's just their philosophy. It's been Tony Dungy's philosophy, so we're going to have to be patient against them. They don't give up a lot of big plays. They tackle real well.

  Compare and contrast Hines and Plax in the huddle:

  • The great thing is in the huddle they're about the same. They just get the play without talking a whole lot and they try to hurry to get out to their position. Everybody knows Hines is kind of a scrappy guy. He's going to block, throw his body around, kind of do a lot of things a lot of receivers won't do. With that said, Plax is a great guy, goes across the middle. He's not afraid to get hit. He's a tough guy in his own right. To be able to have two guys outside that kind of aren't afraid to do some things that some receivers are is a great benefit.

  Do you consciously try to keep both happy?

  • No. I don't think you can. And I think they know that about me, so I think it helps. They know I'm just reading the defense and wherever the defense tells me to go that's where I'm going to go. By both of them knowing that, they know I'm not just picking a guy and trying to get him happy and make sure I make the other one happy later. I think if you start doing that you start making mistakes and throwing balls that you shouldn't.

  Do either complain about not getting the ball?

  • No. I'm telling you it's been great. Like I said, I think they both understand why balls are going where they're going. We talk on the sideline. They tell me what they see, tell me what they think they can get a guy on, which is great communication. That's been good and I think it'll get better the longer we play together.


ANTWAAN RANDLE EL Compare and contrast Hines and Plax as mentors and WRs:

  • Hines is more of a leader, example guy. Plax is the same way but in his own little way. I think to compare, both of them are great athletes. I think they go about work differently than the other in terms of preparation for the game. Plax is more laid back and Hines is the excitement kind of guy, the guy who wants to get everybody going. Plax will get people going, but once he gets going. I guess. I'm still really just getting to know them.

  Wouldn't you like to see Plax be more excited?

  • Last weekend it was good to see him go out and play the way he did. But I think that had a lot to do with the way he practiced. If he continues to practice the way he practiced, he's going to always be able to go out on the field and do some things. I think a lot of things Hines does not only rubs off on Plax but some of the other receivers, too – the blocking and commitment to just being where he's supposed to be all the time.

  What about socially?

  • Both of them are guys you can hang out with, have fun with, sit back and crack jokes with. I don't know if Hines is more of a partier than Plax. I don't really know because I don't do the party thing. Lee Mays does.

  LEE MAYS How are Hines and Plax similar or different socially?

  • Antwaan lied to you, man. I don't go out with those guys.

  OK, how about off the field? Is Plax more laid back and Hines the more serious?

  • Yeah, that's what you get. Hines is a good guy to hang around with. He's always making sure you're taken care of and everything. Plax doesn't say much. He has to get to know you better. They're both good guys.

  How about in their treatment of rookies?

  • I think Hines would play more practical jokes. He didn't get me, but he's the bigger practical joker. I haven't seen one, but he likes to give the guys a good laugh, a good joke. He's always smiling so you know he's thinking about some joke he wants to pull.


  • They've both helped me, especially at training camp. They both kind of filled the brother role and made sure I was out there knowing what I was doing and doing it to the best of my ability.

  The best tip?

  • They both kind of told me to just go out and relax. They said, "It's football. You've been playing it since you were a little kid. Yeah, this is the best of the best but you have to play football and have fun and go for what you know. It'll come to you at the end." That's what I did and that's what I'm trying to do right now.


PLAXICO BURRESS Compare and contrast yourself with Hines as a player and in terms of personality:

  • As far as players, we're two totally different types of players who complement each other very well. As far as me playing beside anybody else, I wouldn't. Hines is not one of the fastest or one of the flashiest guys in the league, but he manages to get his job done as well as anybody of his stature can get it done. He makes the tough catches and coaches ask him to do things that no receiver in this league is doing. He's an all-around player. You can put him at tailback and he'll throw the ball, whatever it may be. He just makes the tough play. He does all things that other receivers don't do. As far as that goes, a lot of people have respect for him because of that. He's a highly respected guy around here and around the league. Defensive backs are very alert as to where he's at all the time. He's just a heavily respected guy because of the way he does it, how he plays the game, and how he carries himself.


  • The one thing I've learned from him is it's not about how you make it look. It's about just getting the job done. Now, I'm not going to be the guy to be knocking people out like Hines does. I'm not that type of receiver. I'm just going to try to get my job done. People look at me and say, "You're 6-6, 228 pounds and you should be running in there and doing the same thing." But that's not my game. I get my job done in blocking and he gets his done the same way.

  What about that Michigan cornerback?


  • I think we're very similar. We talk and neither one of us are selfish players toward each other. He's going to get more touches than I get. That's just the way the offense is built.


  • Hines is more of a practical joker. He's always smiling. If you look at pictures, he always has a smile on his face, even when he's carrying the football. I don't see how you can play this game with a smile on your face. People always ask me about that, but that's just how he is. He has fun and he's one of those guys who will do anything he can to help you.


  • I wouldn't say I'm a partier. I had a couple incidents that made me realize that just because of who I am and the fact I stand out, I can't do things everybody else does.


  • I don't go out as much as he does. I stay a little further away. When I go home, I'm in for the night. I stay to myself a lot. I don't really get out too much. I like to be alone. I do a lot of thinking. That's the kind of person I am. I'm a laid back person. I'm not trying to hurt anybody. Hines is more of a people person. People tell me that I look unapproachable. Maybe it's because of how I look or the way I dress, for whatever reason, people say they don't ask for my autograph because I look unapproachable. He's the type of person who would stop what he's doing to make that person happy and sign an autograph. Whereas with me, I'm saying you can't make everybody happy.


HINES WARD In comparing and contrasting you and Plax, are you the worker and he the playmaker?

  • It depends on what you mean by playmaker. He plays X and he gets a lot of the deeper balls down the field and his height gives him an advantage down the field. It's not saying I can't make plays, but he's going to get more opportunities, especially by playing X. He's got all the deeper routes and I'm more of a possession guy.


  • To contrast, we have two different styles. He's blessed with the ability he has. I wish I was 6-6. But I don't compete with Plax. I just try to go out there and do the best I can do. I hope he feels the same. I think we complement each other really well. I need him just as much as he needs me. Of course, he's going to get the bigger DBs and I play more physically than he does, so we bring a different style of play to our game.


  • This game's all about opportunities. Last week, he caught 8 passes and half of them were hot routes, adjustments routes, where he and Tommy are making great reads. Plax is learning the game and that comes with experience, years of playing. The older you get, the more you see; and it's easier for Plax because that's all he plays is X. They don't ask Plax to move around like they do with myself, Antwaan, and Terance. He's our X guy.

  Would you like to be the X guy?

  • No. I like blocking, but I don't want to just be known as the best blocking receiver. I want to be known as a dependable guy, someone who will make a play when the ball's thrown near his area. That's what I consider a playmaker. I don't get the deep balls Plax does, but if we need a guy to make a play or get a first down, I like to be considered one of those guys as far as making a play. And that probably gets overlooked because in this game it's all about touchdowns, yards. They don't look at the little things and that's what I do, the little things. People probably take the little things for granted, but I don't. And I don't get credit for blocking or screening off the guy so Dan Kreider can score. Nobody talks about that, but I know I did my job. That's all I can really do is be the best guy at my position.

  Compare and contrast your personalities:

  • I like to interact with people. I'm a very social guy. With the media people, ask me anything. I don't mind. I'll tell you like it is. Now I've got to watch what I say because whoever wrote that story at training camp got me in trouble. I don't ever want to be the guy who's complaining about "throw me the ball." I was more frustrated because I wasn't getting better by doing all this stuff, knowing I'm not going to play it.

  What about the party stereotype he has?

  • It's just that he's younger. I've done all that. You've got to understand, being in the position we're in we have to be careful. We're in the limelight. Whereas Plax, he didn't care. I'm more, "What will people think?" You shouldn't have to worry, but it comes with the territory. That's where I'm more worried about that, whereas Plax is still young, but it's a learning experience.


  • We're close. We don't go out and hang out all the time. He likes different things than I do. But I know, I wouldn't have had the year I would've had if it wasn't for Plax; and it's probably vice-versa, because if you just have one guy they can easily take that one guy out of the ball game. But if you have a go-to guy on each side, then everything balances out. That's where the competitive nature comes in with receivers who want the ball more. We don't have that problem. But to have two 1,000-yard receivers on this team, that's unheard of.


  • Going over to the Pro Bowl was big for me. I learned so much and gained so much confidence in myself. I am a good football player. I can compete well at this level.


  • We both have different styles, but we complement each other really well. Plax wouldn't have the games that he had if I wasn't out there on the field, and I probably wouldn't have had the games that I've had if he wasn't out there.

  Any sense of competition?

  • There should be. It's good to have competition. When you have two good receivers, you want to be the go-to guy. Now, I know we have two go-to guys. We just bring different styles and the coaches like to use our strengths. They're not going to ask Plax to run routes I run, or ask me to run routes Plax would run. You think you can do the same thing as the next guy, but we don't have any control over who the quarterback throws the ball to. I had to deal with it last year. I'd run the best route of my life, be open, and we'd force the ball to Plax. It was frustrating. Coverage dictates where the ball goes, so you wonder "Why did he throw it there?" Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. The quarterback already has enough on his mind without worrying about a receiver complaining about throwing him the ball all the time.

    Why are you always smiling?

  • It's still a game we played as a child. Yes, you want to make as much money as you can, but while I'm here I'm going to make the most of it.


  • I'm one of his biggest cheerleaders. When he scores, that's like me scoring. I'm on that field, too. I know I'm out there helping him get open and that's satisfying. That's why I'm always smiling.


ROB GEHRING (producer with NFL Films)

  • Will air at halftime of Monday's game, 7 Nights to Monday. Previously featured LaVar Arrington, Ray Lewis and Garrison Hearst.


  • Fred Gaudelli, producer of Monday Night Football, made the decision on Maddox because he's in game and sounded like the best story, between how he got here and what he's done all season.


  • We knew from working with him in the past that he had a good personality. NFL Films Presents in 1999, we did a story on how he'd been drafted and drifted out of the league, and that he had decided to get back into football with the New Jersey Red Dogs.

  Has it been good?

  • It has. Tommy's the first one who's had a family. His kids were great.

  Wife against it?

  • No. Not at all. I think she was concerned about having a camera crew in the house, but by the time we left she thought it was great. She liked it and had a lot of fun. She's a great lady. I think she was more worried about us taking away from their time together, like Thursday night, which is their night out.


  • You try to give these guys their space and shoot just what's important. We don't have the camera in their face at all times like the Real World. Like today, we're only shooting practice and Thursday it will again only be practice. Saturday we'll shoot the production meeting with the ABC people and on Sunday we'll get him kissing his wife and kids goodbye as he gets in his car. We'll be in the car as he drives and then checks himself into the hotel. Somehow it comes together by Monday at nine o'clock.


--Jim Wexell           



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