October 16, 2003
Q - With the miscues that have happened in the past, how much do you guys need to revert to just keeping it simple?
A - Well, I think anytime you go and play on the road at a place like Minnesota you have to do that a little bit to begin with. It is going to be very loud; obviously you can't do a lot of checking out or audibles and that sort of thing. But we want to go out there and try to beat them so you can only not do so many things; you still have to get in there and throw the ball downfield and do all of the things that are necessary to win.
Q - Does the environment of Minnesota keep you from trying to do too much in order to try and turn this ship around?
A - No, not really. I think at this point when you lose a game or two, I think the thing you have to do is - continue to see the forest through the trees; you have to be able to just focus on the things that you need to focus on, not worry about the fact that you just lost the last game and concentrate on what you want to do the next game. So I don't think that we'll go out there and have any ill effects from this last week?
Q - They have gotten a lot of picks off of tipped balls - as a quarterback does that mean that you have to be more aware of guys getting close and sticking their hands in your face?
A - No, you really can't. You're always trying to throw through lanes and throw over people and that is just part of it. But there is really not a whole lot that you can do about it; sometimes they get tipped, sometimes they hit the ground, sometimes we catch them, sometimes they catch them - there just isn't a whole lot you can do. We throw around people but sometimes you have to throw it when you have to throw it.
Q - How much of a role is anger beginning to play?
A - Well, I think getting angry is okay until it starts hurting your preparation and it starts hurting the way you approach games. Anger leads to frustration and I think one thing we can't do is get frustrated. We have to continue to stay positive, not think about what has happened in the past and find a way to win games. I think it is more important to keep a positive attitude than to get angry and frustrated.
Q - How does the addition of Dorsey Levens change things up for you guys?
A - It is going to take some pressure off Tiki, I think it is great. Tiki has taken a lot of hits the past couple years and it couldn't continue so I am glad to see Dorsey come back - he really played well last week, he really played great. We'll use both of them and I think both of them will continue to be effective.
Q - Do you go into this game knowing that you are going to take a beating and that you are just going to have to get through it?
A - Yea, you watch the films; they've gotten every quarterback. That is part of what happens when you go up there, but that is just part of it and we will deal with it and I know those guys are going to fight their butts off up front and they will do a good job. Can you expect to keep them out every time? No, but I think they will do a good job.
Q - Do you not want the game plan to be pulled in because of the offensive line? Do you want to just stand in and keep firing down field?
A - Absolutely, you've to. Obviously it can be tough without protection but we are going out there and trying to win. We need to do what we need to do to, what we feel we need to do and some of that is trying to get the ball down the field. We haven't been doing that very well lately for whatever reason but we have to do better at it.
Q - Fassel talked about some limitations that he put on you in response the issues on the offensive line - do you feel that at all?
A - I don't feel that. I think going into games, protection is always a priority and it will be again this game but I don't think that it is having that much of an effect on the way games are going. Like I said, I don't feel like I am getting hit this year any more than I have any other year. I think they are doing a good job. I mean obviously Rich going down is going to hurt us but someone will step up and do a good job for us.
Q - So if you are not able to go deep it is not because of the line, it is because of other factors?
A - You know a lot of it has been coverage, some of it has been protection but that is going to happen sometimes, that is not anything new.
Q - Do you feel with the combination of noise and their defense that you guys are going to be at the eye of the storm?
A - I would think it probably will be, as it will be probably every game we play. It is one thing they do; they go after the quarterback up there. They have every time I have been up there and I am sure it will be that way on Sunday but like I said, I think our guys will do a good job.
Q - Have you done well in dome games with noise in the past?
A - Yea, pretty good. You look at some of the more recent dome games; we went to Indy last year and played well, went to St. Louis last year and played well, got a win, so yea, it is tough but we seem to find a way to handle it okay.
Q - How much will the noise in the bubble during practice going to help you prepare for Sunday?
A - It helps. It really does, as much as I hate it, it does help. Especially for the communication-in-the-huddle standpoint. Because on the line pretty much everyone is going to watch the ball, I mean I don't think they can hear me, I can't hear myself a lot of times. But from the standpoint of being in the huddle and having to call plays and get personnel and everything, it gives everybody a little more practice at tuning in and listening real good.
Q - Do your ears hurt after practice?
A - They don't hurt but there are times during practice when I would like to go over there and take a guitar or something and smash out all those speakers; live my rock-n-roll fantasy out (laughing).
Q - How does Jim's anger and emotion this week translate to the team?
A - I think everybody to a certain extent is angry about the way things have gone. The best way to handle anger is to channel it into something positive. I think we can't get too focused on the fact that we are angry about what's happening and lose sight of what we are trying to do in the ball game. But certainly you always want to play with a lot of emotion and after last week I think we all have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder.
Q - What is it like to know that mistakes that you guys have made is what put your record where it is right now?
A - Oh love it, it's great. It makes it that much more fun. No, obviously we haven't been doing the things we needed to do to win and obviously when we are bringing most of that on ourselves, it makes it that much more frustrating.
Q - How would you assess your play and your interceptions in particular so far this season?'
A - You know I think overall I have played decently. The New England game and the Miami game, obviously were rough games but I felt like in the other games I played fairly well. Some of the interceptions were tipped balls; my hand gets hit but those things are going to happen, they seem to have gotten a couple more than they usually get but that is just part of it.