Joe Philbin Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 9

(How much credit do you take for the success of the offense this year?)

Very, very little. Football's a team game. We've got an excellent coaching staff here. The guys we have, who I worked with last year when I was a position coach, are outstanding coaches. Obviously our head coach is an outstanding offensive coach. Soo very, very little. Our guys do a great job, they're very detail-oriented. They take a lot of pride in preparing their position guys very well, and I remember when I took the job I really believed the position coaches are the guys that drive the train, so to speak, and those players, they've got to believe in their position coach. We're fortunate here. We've got an excellent group of coaches. Those guys are outstanding men and they're very, very hard-working and they've done a great job.

(What message were you able to get across this year or what do you feel you brought to the table?)

The one thing as you look at things over the course of the year is an ability to pull things together and organize. I'd like to think that we're a detail-oriented staff. I think we were a year ago, but I think some of those things hopefully we've done well and it starts (with) obviously how we organize everything from our playbook to our mini-camps, to our OTAs, to our training camps and preseason, etc. So there's a long process and I think some of those things, we've tied things together well. I think we've stayed the course well in terms of we haven't wavered a whole lot. Certainly when you coach offense you have to have flexibility, you've got to be able to adapt a little bit, but I think all-in-all we've stayed true to our philosophy and the only other thing I hope -- I told Mike when I interviewed for the job I wanted to have a sound offense, a smart offense and a tough offense. I think certainly not every game for 16 games have we been as good in those three areas as you would like all the time, but I think all-in-all our players have bought into that.

(Is it fun for you as a coordinator when everything clicks like this on an offense?)

Absolutely. I think the true measure of a coach really I've always believed is the day after a game when you get together and you sit down as a coaching staff and the things that you want to have your players accomplish are verified, validated on tape. We've all been around guys that are great coaches, know a ton of X's and O's and they can out-scheme anybody, but the real test of your mettle is are your players doing what you ask them to do, are they doing it consistently, are they getting better and improving? So there's a lot of satisfaction the day after a game when you sit down and you watch things and you see the plan that you implemented on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and you see it kind of come to fruition on a ballgame. That's a lot of fun. But the fun part is working with a great staff and an excellent group of players and accomplishing something together.

(What can a healthy Bubba Franks do for your offense come playoff time?)

Well, he gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of our run-blocking unit. There's some different spots we can put him in. There's different ways we may potentially match up a little bit better, so to speak. Obviously he's got very good size, he's got good strength. He's been a productive blocker in this league for a long time so, you know, he gives us some flexibility in the run game and we can move him around and get him in different spots on different type of people. And then he's just very steady. He's caught the ball very well this year. I think last year maybe he didn't catch the ball as well as he had demonstrated in the past in terms of his career, but he caught the ball very well this year and still has. So he's a viable weapon in the passing game as well.

(Do you take a special satisfaction over taking a group of young guys and having the success you've had and do you give their youth consideration as you approach the playoffs?)

Not really. Coach McCarthy's done an excellent job keeping things as similar as possible in terms of how we approach the game and how we prepare for the game, and I think our players have confidence in our approach to a ballgame. I think they feel like when they take the field they're well-prepared. They know what's coming. We spend a lot of time and we purposely attempt to make practice difficult in terms of we don't always script the easiest look. Sometimes on tape you'll watch a play and think, 'Geez we got them on this play,' so in practice they can make it look too easy. We oftentimes go the opposite direction. We try to put them in the most difficult situation possible and see how they respond in that situation. So, we've done the same things this week and I think our guys believe in how we do things, and I think they have a lot of freedom in terms of getting themselves ready to play too, but I think they trust our preparation. So we've kept it very, very similar. We're not really looking at the age of our guys as we enter this ballgame. We're looking at it as another ballgame that we've obviously got to play well in and we're confident that our guys will step up.

(How much will it help you if Tauscher can do well against Kerney on his own, and is he the kind of guy that's been able to do that against the best opposing players? )

Since I've been here with Mark he's played against a lot of good players and Patrick Kerney's an excellent player. It will be another challenge. Certainly he's been around long enough, and you've seen him line up against (Julius) Peppers and you've seen him line up against Jevon Kearse and I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of other outstanding defensive ends in the league. But I think Mark's the kind of guy that rises up to the challenge. I think he looks forward to those opportunities to compete and obviously this is a huge challenge. Patrick Kerney was extremely disruptive in the game the other day and he's a fine, fine player. But I'm sure he'll be ready for the battle.

(How does Tauscher have so much success? Is he a better athlete than he looks?)

I think so, and I don't want to infer that he looks bad because he may not appreciate that from me. But, No. 1, you can't always judge a book by its cover and he's a good athlete. He's got very, very good balance, he's got good functional strength. He stays on his feet very well, and then he's got the competitive spirit. It's important to him that he does his job, he protects the quarterback, his guy (isn't) the one that causes the problem or the scheme breakdown. So the guy's got a lot of pride and he's got more ability than we give him credit for probably. That's why I think he's been able to succeed for such a long period of time.

(What are pros and cons to going 4 and 5 WRs against a team that brings a lot of pressure?)

Well, you know one of the advantages of the four and five wides, aside from potentially getting the ball to skill players and speed guys out in open space, which is obviously a huge advantage, is sometimes it can help clarify for the quarterback and the protection unit exactly what blitz might be being deployed and you can make an adjustment according to what you see out there on the field. But obviously you've got figure out A) can you hold up? I'm sure they're probably sitting there, their defensive coaches are probably (saying) 'OK, when they go four wides or five wides A) can we get pressure with four guys and if we can't maybe we've got to do B. Maybe we've got to bring some pressure. So it's a little bit of a chess match, but I think the advantage of the four and five wides aside from getting guys that are athletic and speed playmakers on the field is from a protection standpoint, at least it can sometimes clarify things as opposed to when you're in a tighter box and everybody's in there tighter (and) they probably have a little bit better opportunity to disguise some things. When you spread the field initially they probably have to declare a little bit quicker in terms of what their intentions might be.

{sportsad300}(How disruptive is Patrick Kerney on defense?)

He played an excellent game (against Washington). He's had an excellent season, obviously. I believe he had 14.5 sacks to that regard and what was he, second in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting, so he's obviously an outstanding player. He's had a great year, excellent motor and really had a fine game against Washington the other day. So you know he can create some problems. He can create mismatch problems, he can penetrate. He never stops playing, so you can't relax on the backside. Maybe you design a run away from him. You may not want to do that because he's going to chase the play down extremely hard and give an all-out effort every single snap. He's a guy you've got to account for every time. You have to make sure, as we say, you have a hat for him every time. You've got a guy assigned to him and sometimes maybe you need two. You never know, but he's a guy our guys have to rise up and play well against. There's no question about it.

(With all their pressure can you go 4 and 5 wide on a consistent basis?)

We have confidence in our guys. Those guys have done a great job. I think we had 19 sacks this year. We ran a bunch of four and five wideout sets, so we did a lot of five-man protection this year - much, much more than we did a year ago - so we're confident in our ability to protect. We're confident in our quarterback's ability to beat defenses and get rid of the ball if there is pressure. Obviously you can't account for everybody when you have a five-man protection scheme, but we're confident that our quarterback and receivers are on the same page. The problem we'd be more concerned about is if they only brought four and we didn't protect very well. That causes more of a problem than, 'OK we're going to line up in four wides or five wides. Do you want to blitz us? We're going to get the ball out of our hand fast. We know who's not accounted for and we're going to get the ball to one of our speed guys and we're going to see if you can tackle him.' So I think the bigger concern for us is we have to make sure when we have a five-man protection scheme, and they're rushing four and playing zones and so forth that we have the ability to do a good job protecting our quarterback, which we're confident that we will.

(How much help have you had to give Tauscher during the regular season?)

Not a ton but we always have some at our disposal. It's kind of one of those things that you have ready. It's in your package. You may use it, you may not. It's kind of on the basis of how much you feel you have to incorporate it in that particular ballgame. But it's always available and we'll just see how the game unfolds.

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