Thursday, October 4, 2001
Q- You didnít seem too happy after the game on Saturday. Are you hoping to rebound this weekend?
KC- Actually, I was kind of happy with how the game went the other day. Maybe I didnít sound too good, but it was just one of those games. It was a tough game. We werenít going to put up big numbers and they played a lot of coverages and had a good rush. I was happy with hanging in there and making a throw at the end that put us up eight points. Obviously we would like to be more effective in the passing game, but it was just one of those games.
Q- Re: Washington and its previous effort
KC- Well, it didnít seem like they were playing collectively as a team. They didnít have guys in the right place a lot of times, but it wasnít because of effort, I donít think. I thought they played hard and I thought they came to play. That is how I feel about this coming game. They are going to come up here ready to play and they have good players. It is just a matter of being a new defense and a new head coach. They are just going through an adjustment period, but that could change any minute.
Q- As a quarterback, do you have to worry about Champ Bailey, Fred Smoot and Darrell Green, who are all so talented that at any given moment they could just make a play?
KC- No question. They are very talented and at any given time, that talent could come out and make you look bad. You have to be careful; you have to know what you are up against. Some people are talking about how they scored this many points against them. I am not listening to any of that because they have good players. They just havenít put it all together yet.
Q- Coach Fassel said it was kind of like a ďtrap gameĒ because you guys win a big game, an emotional game and they are 0-3.
KC- They have a chip on their shoulder, there is no doubt about it. They are much maligned down there, Iím sure. I havenít heard anything but I know people are giving them a hard time down there. They have guys with a lot of pride. Theyíve got guys whoíve been around for a long time, good players and they are going to come up here ready to play. If we think any differently, we are kidding ourselves. They are going to come up here looking to get back on track and Iím sure they feel that there is no better place to do it than up here, so we better be ready to play.
Q- It looks like now that IkeHilliard is back, the best thing that happened from the injury is that Joe Jurevicius established himself and Ike is back. So you now have three receivers that you can rely on.
KC- No question about it, Joe has really benefited from Ike being out. Ike has come back and he looks great. He looks like the old Ike. Whether or not he feels that way is a different story, but he looks like he is playing the way he always has. That has done nothing but help us; the emergence of Joe and the strides he has made and Ike coming back gives us three very good receivers. That is going to do nothing but help us. It is going to make us more balanced, more diversified, and that can do nothing but positive things for us.
Q- What about the fact that Tiki might not be able to go. On third down, you have to go somewhere else.
KC- Certainly Tiki is a big part of our offense. Obviously, other guys are going to have to step up. If Tiki canít go, it is going to have to be Damon Washington. Greg Comella is going to have to fill in and Ron (Dayne) is going to have to handle some of that, too. When guys go down, you have to be able to get guys to step up and do just as good a job as the guy who got injured. We are looking at those guys to still make some plays in the passing game, especially in those situations where we need to throw it and make some yards after the catch. We feel we have guys who can do that.
Q- Re: assessing his own play thus far
KC- I feel good about where I am. I thought the Denver game was okÖit was ok. The Chiefs game was a tough game. I look back on it and I donít know what we expected of ourselves, to really go out there and be on top of our game. I thought last week was a good game because it was a tough game. Things werenít going our way a lot of time. It was a tough day to play quarterback against that team, but I was still able to make the play at the end of the game to help the team get the win. So from that standpoint, I feel good. As far as overall confidence level with where I am with this team and the offense, I feel great. I feel very comfortable. I have a great grasp on the offense. It is even better than it was at any point last year, so I am very confident with where I am right now and how I am playing.
Q- Re: an assessment of the team at this point
KC- Well, we have won more games than weíve lost after three games. If the measure is winning games, then we are doing ok and Iím doing ok. Every game is different. You canít expect to go out and throw for four hundred yards like we did in the championship game. I think it is about winning football games. We have won two in the past couple of weeks that have been good wins for us and I think that I have been instrumental in that so Iím not worried about yards or touchdowns or anything like that. Iím worried about wins and losses, and so far I think we are doing ok.
Q- Jim said that when you first came here, you were the kind of guy, because of your athleticism, that would always go for the pin, never for the center of the green. Where would you say you are now with that?
KC- I have definitely become more aware, more conscious of just taking it back when nothing is there down the field. I think that along with that comes familiarity with the offense, knowing where my guys are, knowing what is good against specific defenses and I think in that respect, Iíve made a lot of strides. Even from the Chiefs game to this game, I feel like my decision-making was a lot better. I felt like I threw the ball to the backs a couple of times instead of trying to squeeze one in there or just throwing it away. I found a back to get some positive yards. I think that was better this game than against the Chiefs. It is something that I am constantly continuing to work on. We all like to have that killer instinct and to get the ball downfield, but a lot of times it is better to take it back and tee it up on another down.
Q- Do you always have that killer instinct that you have to think twice and bring that in and think twice before you let it go? Is that the kind of guy you are?
KC- I would definitely say I lean more that way than being conservative. I think a lot of it can be attributed to getting in the flow of the games and playing in the games and because of training camp. (In camp) you are always throwing it downfield, but I definitely think I am making progress in that respect. I was talking to Tiki about it the other day and he made the comment, and I didnít really think about this, I didnít start throwing the ball to him until halfway through the season last year and the year before. It is those kind of things that I think take time, but I feel good about my progress and where I am. It feels like Iím back in the rhythm of playing games and practicing and coming out and playing each week.
Q- What about this offense do you think is better than last yearís?
KC- I think we know now that we can be a good offense. Last year it was a new offense and we were still learning some of the intricacies. Now we have a lot of that down and that allows us to play a lot more. We know that the stuff weíre doing works. From my standpoint, I feel a lot better about just sitting in there and making reads. We have a specific play that we run every week and know what the answers are on any particular play against any particular defense. That all comes with just learning the offense, playing in games and maturing. I still feel like Iím doing that, and making progress.
Q- Re: Comparing Washingtonís defense to New Orleansí
KC- Against New Orleans, we had to work the middle of the field and there wasnít a lot there most of the time, just by nature of what they were doing. I had to take some sacks because I didnít want to throw anything in there that didnít look good. This weekend we will probably get more opportunities one on one on the outside and I definitely feel like my responsibility is going to increase this week just because we are going to get more opportunities. I feel comfortable with that and am certainly looking forward to that kind of challenge.
Q- Did you ever think in the offseason ďHow am I going to be able to replicate what we accomplished last year?Ē
KC- If I think about that, I think about the means to the end. Why did I have a good year, in my opinion, last year? Well, it was because I worked hard and I came to practice and practiced well every day, and because I took it one play at a time and one game at a time. I know it is a clichť and you guys hate to hear it, but it really is true. You hear about guys trying to stay in the moment. That is what I try to do, and that has worked for me. It is a matter of coming to work every day, working hard and trying to get better every week. Taking it in those progressional steps has been successful for me.
Q- If you had to turn to Damon Washington, would you feel comfortable doing that?
KC- Yeah, we will get him ready to play. Obviously, being behind Tiki, his role hasnít been that great, but certainly with Tikiís health in question, Damon is going to get some reps. He is going to be in there on third downs. Coach Studesville will get him ready to play and we will help him out a little bit out there. He is a guy who has ability and can make some plays. We just need to make sure he is lined up and going the right place.