October 31, 2002
Re: the offenseís struggles.
Everyone is accountable; it is not just on Sean (Paytonís) shoulders. There are a lot of things that we havenít done as an offense and as a team and that may be why we are 3-4. It is not all Sean Paytonís fault.
Will Fassel calling the plays now make a difference?
Whoever is calling the plays or whatever the plays are, it comes down to us executing and we havenít been doing that well enough to score points. Thatís where we are at right now. It is not going to be a major change. Itís not going to be totally different plays, but we need to execute better. And that is on us, the players. Until we do that, we are going to struggle.
Re: the change from Payton to Fassel calling the plays.
Jim called the plays when I first got here. It will go smooth. It will be fine. Having said that, it comes down to us as players and our execution and what we can do. It will be a smooth transition and everybody will do what they have to do.
Did Fassel ask your advice or your opinion?
No. He didnít ask for my opinion. He just wanted to keep an open line of communication. He gave me an opportunity to talk about, but he is the boss. He is the head man. He is going to do what he sees fit. Right now, I am just going to worry about what we are doing on the field and what we can do as players to score more points and get wins.
Re: the play calling.
I donít know. I think time will bear that out. It has been a while since Jim has called plays. I was here the first year when he was calling plays, so I donít know. That is something that will get worked out and weíll see. But, itís not going to be a huge, major change in philosophy or anything like that. Weíll go with it and go slow. Like I said, regardless of who is calling the plays or what is going on, we need to execute better.
Did you see this coming?
I didnít see it. I know the media has been talking about it a lot. I donít read the papers or watch the news or anything like that, so I probably wasnít aware of it as much as it was being talked about. But, inside, I never really had that idea that this was going to happen.
Is too much being made over this switch? Is it really not that big of a deal?
To us, I donít think it is going to be a huge deal. Obviously for Sean itís a big deal. For us, we know Jim. He has been around. Weíve all been around him. I was around him when he was calling plays. There are a lot of guys who have been around him when he was more involved with the offense. So, I donít think itís going to be that big of a change for us.
Is Sean still going to work with the quarterbacks?
Sean Payton is going to be there for us. He is going to be supportive. Sean is a very, very positive guy. He is 100 percent fully committed to us. He wants to see us do well. He wants me to do well as his quarterback. Sean Payton is handling this in a really classy, upstanding way. He is still going to be a big part of what we are doing. He is going to be a big part of my role on this team and in the offense. Not one moment has he wavered in that and I think that says a lot about him.
Is the Jacksonville team better than the record shows?
No question. They have a lot of talent of that team. One thing about Jacksonville is they always play hard. They came in here a few years ago and they didnít have anything to play for, it was the last game of the year. They played as hard as can be, regardless of where they were in the season. Itís going to be a big challenge for us. Obviously, we have struggled offensively and their defense is quick, fast and big up front. They have some good players. Their safeties are good players; No. 20 and No. 32 are good players. They have good personnel and they will come in here ready to go.
If you win, you are 4-4. Could you see getting on a roll to finish the season?
I donít think we can look at it as our recordÖyou can get too caught up in the season and what you need to do beyond that. I think it hurts you. We are just trying to have a good week of practice. We had a good day of practice today. We are going to try to have a good week of practice. We are going to do the steps and necessary elements we need to do to win Sunday. We havenít done that the past couple of weeks and that is what we are trying to figure out.
Last year it was devastating losses to Philly and the Rams. This year it has been Atlanta and Philly. How do you prevent a downslide like last year after those games?
We have to be tough. That is part of the game. That is part of this profession. You have to be tough and you have to be able to move past things. Obviously, right now, we have lost two in a row and we struggled a little bit. But, you have to be tough. You have to be able to move on and I think we have some tough guys in here. My head is not down and I donít see anybody elseís head down in here, so we are going to come back and try to get a win this weekend. Thatís all you can do.