November 14, 2002
Are you now less confident that this offense will continue to roll?
I still feel good about where we are at. We are having a good week of practice, but obviously we are going to have to change some things up because of our injury situation. But, I donít think it is going to affect us a whole lot. I think we have been playing well offensively and I think weíll have a good shot at playing well on Sunday.
Do you feel this puts more pressure on you?
There is pressure every week. I donít think it does from one week to another. I am not looking at it that way. I think Daryl Jones is going to step in and do a good job. I think the guys we brought in here, I donít know what capacity we are going to use them in just yet, but I think they will do a fine job. We will have them ready to do what they need to do. I still have a lot of guys put there that are playing well right now. I donít think of it that way. Iíll play it like I always play it.
Do you have any comfort zone with the new guys?
Itís hard to obtain that in just a couple of days. One thing that helps is their size; they are both big guys. Believe it or not, there is sort of a comfort level there with a guy you really donít know a lot about because you feel like you can put it anywhere around him and he is going to go get it. We are working that kind of stuff out and it takes time. Herman has been around for a while. He runs good routes, as does Tony Simmons, and also Derek Dorris knows our offense a little bit. I really feel good about the guys we brought in.
Are you wondering whether weíll see Herman on Sunday, just like everyone else?
We are still trying to figure that out. Whoever we use, they will be ready to play. I am confident of that. I know everybody in here is getting ready to go. I donít think weíll have too much of a problem.
What about looking across the line on Sunday and seeing Jessie Armstead?
I tell you, when I look back on my career, that is one guy that I will say I was proud to play with. The guy is a great competitor. He is really a great guy to have on your team and to be your teammate. I respect the guy tremendously. We know he is going to be talking a lot and he is going to be fired up coming back here. That is great. He adds that to the game. He will be trying to whoop our buts, just like we will be trying to whoop his.
What it is going to be like emotionally to face a guy who you have that much respect for?
Itís going to be great. He is the kind of guy you want to play against. He competes on every play. He loves the game. He has a passion for the game. He is going to try to whoop our butt and we are going to try to whoop his. That is what it comes down to. After the game, I will give him a big hug and tell him how much I enjoyed playing with him.
Sure, once that whistle blows, we are all trying to win the game. Jessie is no different. He has a lot of friends in this locker room, but when it comes game time on Sunday, he is going to hate us all. We are going to be the enemies and like-wise with him. After the game, we can laugh, shake hands and say hello, but during the game everybody out there is going to be all about business.
Is it different preparing for a team you see twice every year?
Itís a little bit different this year with the Redskins. They have a new coaching staff and new coordinators, so we donít have that familiarity with them as we would with maybe the Eagles or Cowboys, whose coaching staffs have been intact. We are still learning what they are doing, but we are familiar with personnel. I think they are playing well as a defense. They are ninth overall defensively in the NFL. They have two great corners. Up front they are playing well. The linebackers are very solid. They are playing about as well on defense as anyone we have played this year.
Re: the Redskins secondary.
They are very, very good. You start with the corners. Smoot and Champ are two of the best cover corners that we will play against this year. We have a lot of respect for them, but at the same time, we need to execute our game plan as well as we can, take advantage of the opportunity here at home and put some points on the board.