September 18, 2003

I think yesterday we were all a little bit tired just being two days after the game and everything but I thought we came back and had a great day of practice today. Iím not seeing anybody hanging their heads, Iím not seeing anyone down about what happened Monday Night. Certainly those losses are never easy but it makes it a little easier maybe just by the fact that it did happen early in the season but still, you hate to give away a game like that, regardless of when it was. We werenít in a situation where we were in desperate need of a win so the fact that it happened this early certainly wasnít as bad as it couldíve been.

I donít think you shake it off, I think it depends how you use it. Either you get down or you get a little bit of a chip on your shoulder and I think that is kind of how we feel in this locker room right now. I think we are all disgusted with the way it happened. I think we are all very disappointed with the fact that we lost that game but it happens and we know that there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We are not going to let it get us down. We are going to use it for motivation.

Well, I think certainly he is always aware of protection. I mean that is where it starts and stops with throwing the ball, it is hard to throw the ball without good protection. It got better as the night went on the other night and we started making plays. But it has always been a concern for Jim, that is something that we deal with every game.

Jim is aware of it every week and he is going to do a good job of protecting us.

(The Game) It is very important. Who knows, they are playing really well, they play with confidence, they have gotten two wins against two good football teams. It is a challenge for us, they are playing great, we have to go down there and play. But we are going to have a good week of practice and hopefully we go down there and hopefully we play well.

I just look at their defense and the way that they are playing. They have two great corners, their linebackers are very active, very disruptive players, they shelter their defensive line a little bit but it seems like they are playing well, they are second in the league now, in defense. It could be a good challenge for us, especially down there on the road, it is our first road game, we have to make sure that we are on top of everything and go out there and play well.

Try to execute. It is a matter of getting a good study on them this week, preparing well for them. Knowing our game plan inside and out. Always being aware of what they are doing. They have been really good on third down, I donít know what their percentage is but it is at the top of the list.

Heíll be fired up there is no doubt about it. He plays this game the way it should be played. I am proud to say that I played with Jesse, he is a tremendous competitor and a tremendous professional so it is fun to play against him because you know you are going to get everything he has.

A little bit. I thought Jim played the average and I think you have to at this level. Hindsight obviously, as the old clichť goes, being twenty-twenty, but what if we go run another play on third down and kicked it on fourth, some people would say oh you should have kicked it on second down, you know what I mean? There are always going to be the people who are critical and I think that is where our jobs are similar, we are in the same boat in that respect in that people second guess what we do all the time, that is just the nature of our job. Our job more so than probably anybody else in the locker room. So yes, he stuck up for me a lot and I felt the need to stick up for him this week. You can look back and say this happened and that happened but like I said, you play the odds, play the odds; if we canít kick the ball off with 11 seconds left, with a three point lead and win the game, we donít deserve to win, that is just the bottom line. Jim made all the right calls; he didnít make a bad call.

He actually said something to me about the comments in the paper and appreciated me standing up for a little bit. The fact that I stood up for him with a couple people this week, I said look I meant it, I thought I was right on target and I thought you were too. So, it is part of the job, you know that and I know that. I think that one of the things that has made our relationship as good as it is, is the fact that we are able to have open communication and we understand what each other goes through, more so than anybody.

No, not really. I feel fine. I donít worry about it, I really donít. Itís not like I havenít gotten hit in the past. As long as I am okay today, I donít worry about. I am just going to keep doing what Iím doing and I think they are going to get better, I really think they are going to get better.

Naturally that happens sometimes. I am a firm believer in getting rid of the ball and when the clock is coming off a little bit faster, it happens, it is only natural.

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