(Do you feel as though you've got something going now?)
I think we have some momentum starting. Two in a row - we've played well for two weeks. I really thought we played a whole football game. I was very pleased in the way we played in all three phases. The special teams, our emphasis was to have a big play in the game. We had a couple of opportunities in the return game. It didn't quite come out, but we're doing a better job there. The offense - when you don't punt until the fourth quarter, that's a positive day. I thought the defense really held them intact and played with a lot of passion. I'm very pleased with this victory.
(In terms of the team coming together, is that how it's supposed to look?)
Absolutely. There are a couple of negative things that you have week in and week out, and when they don't affect the outcome of the game, that's a positive because you're able to correct them and learn from them. We had some communication things we could do a better job of. We'll get that cleaned up. As a whole, very pleased with the overall performance of our football team.
(You talk often about handling success - did they handle the success of last week's win vs. Miami?)
I don't know if we are quite to that point now. Coming off a win, taking care of the bodies because we had a number of guys nicked last week coming out of the Miami game, and a number of guys nicked again today, so that will be a focus. Right now we're in the mode of stacking successes, getting some momentum as a football team. I think we accomplished that today with the win over Arizona, and we need to carry that into Buffalo.
(What was with the fake field goal in the 1st quarter?)
In hindsight, I should have gone with my first reaction, which was to run it. We obviously came out of the gate running pretty well. In hindsight, I wish I would have run the ball there.
(How gratifying is the first win at home?)
Very rewarding - it just says a lot for everybody involved, especially the fans. To see the white towels flying up there today, everybody having a great time, and I'm sure everybody having a great time tonight in the city. It's important for our players to enjoy it. We have a midnight rule - we will enjoy being 3-4 until midnight, and then get in there tomorrow and get going on Buffalo. You have to win at home. We have a great home-field advantage. We talked about it again as a team in our final meeting last night. We need to take advantage of it. We talk about the Lambeau advantage, and it needs to be a constant as we move forward.
(How close was Jennings this morning to playing?)
He was close. I felt bad for Greg because he really pushed it. He just wasn't 100 percent and frankly I just wasn't comfortable putting him out there. I don't know enough about him as a young player, and we were confident in our plan and how the other receivers practiced this week. He was close.
Woodson with a left knee, he returned. Corey Williams with a right knee, he did return also. Donald (Driver) I think is fine - he had an ankle and did return. Miree we are looking at right now, his elbow. Morency is a lower back - that's a concern and we're looking at him. David Martin was in the x-ray room for his jaw. Nick Collins returned with cramps at the end. Really, Brandon (Miree), Mo (Morency) and David Martin are the three we have to get more information on.
(Speculation is that Martin has a broken jaw?)
I have no idea - I think it happened on the last kickoff.
(What about the play of Morency?)
Excellent, what 11 carries for over 100 yards? That's a hell of a day. He really gets more and more comfortable. We're really glad he's here. He's been outstanding on special teams, and an excellent addition to our football team.
(Is there a connection between Brett playing a controlled game and a solid running game?)
Oh, absolutely. When you're running the football, you're able to keep the defense in a 50-50 mindset. It plays to your advantage. We refer to it all the time as 'playing downhill.' I thought we played downhill all day today against our opponent, and that's the way we want to play. Brett did an excellent job of handling their overload defensive fronts and pressure defense at the line of scrimmage. I don't think we were in a bad play all day. He's doing an outstanding job at the line for us.
(Can't remember the last time Brett did a Lambeau Leap, is he having fun again?)
Well, he'll be in rehab all week from it, but yeah, he's having fun again.
(Talk about alertness on the sidelines - Bodiford went right in for Woodson on the punt return?)
That's the way it's supposed to be - that's our job - everybody in tune, with the game. Everyone knows from a player standpoint who they are behind. Being in touch with every situation, it's all about communication. I have spoken about communication since the day I took this job as something we need to improve on in every facet of our organization, especially on game day. That's our job, what we get paid to do. Like I tell the players, Monday through Saturday is what you get paid for. Sunday is for free. We need to carry that over, and things like that are implemented, repped, coordinated - Sunday needs to be a reaction. If you're out there thinking on Sunday afternoons, we haven't done our job during the week in my opinion.
(Is this another step in Ahman proving he's back?)
I think it is safe to say he's back. He runs the ball as physical as anyone I've ever been around. I've never worked with him in person before, but that's what we talk about - one cut as a ball carrier - and he's excellent at it. He had a couple today he almost got on the edge, and it would have been fun to see him in the open field. He's running very strong, and I like where we have him at in terms of attempts. We just need to be smart with him, smart with his body, as we go forward.
(Another step for the o-line today?)
I thought our offensive line was excellent. The thing I saw was just the surge, capturing the line of scrimmage play after play after play. That speaks volumes. Running the football is an attitude, and we played with an attitude today. That's what we need to carry over, because there are days when you may not throw or catch the ball very well, but if you run it with attitude, you run it well every game. That's our philosophy in the run game. It's an attitude part of the game, and we need to continue to build on it.
(How have you reached David Martin to reach the potential people have been waiting to see for years?)
I can't really comment on the past. David Martin is a heck of a football player. He's been here the whole off-season. We put a whole lot of that group's plate, the tight ends. They're playing fullback, receiver, they're on the line, they're moving. I cannot say enough positive things about David Martin or any of those tight ends. Whatever happened in the past, I did not see that. I really didn't. I always judge players on my interactions with them - he's a heck of a football player and I'm glad he's on our team.
(Explosive plays were limited today - what do you attribute that to?)
I just think it's a group that has come together - the communication, the technique, everything. I thought they were very physical, really controlled the game particularly early on. The thing I look for in the pulse and the tempo of the game, I felt very comfortable playing wide open on offense because of the way our defense was playing. That's a comforting feeling as an offensive play-caller. They were definitely in control of the football game early. I thought we came out of the locker room with a lot of urgency, a lot of passion, and that's what we need to do week in and week out.
(What are some of the things you have to improve on?)
Coaches always want to play the perfect game. The communication on the fake field goal, things like that. When you put a special play in, something a little different, rep it all week, we've all got to be on the same page in terms of confidence, and that wasn't the case on that play. There are minor things like that - nothing that affected the outcome of the game but we're striving to be perfect.
(What went wrong on that field goal?)
It shouldn't have been called there. It was a bad call there. Fourth-and-6 is a better time to call a fake field goal than fourth-and-inches, so that's a bad call.
(Haven't beat the best teams, how do you put that in perspective with your obvious improvements?)
I don't agree with the point about perspective. Winning in the NFL is winning. I will never apologize for a victory over any of our opponents. You ask New Orleans or St. Louis, they won't apologize for their victories here at Lambeau. We've won three football games, and we're a team that's improving every week, a team that's getting better, a team starting to play with some momentum, and that's how you win in this league. That's a very talented football team. They challenge you schematically - I know they have a rookie quarterback - but that was a dangerous football team we played today. We feel very good about the direction we're going as a team.
(What do you gain on the multi-tight end formations?)
You're looking for personnel matchups, it gives you the ability to stay in your base concepts in the two-back, play one-back, a lot of the things we've talked about in the past. We have the ability to go one-back and two-back, and I don't ever want to lose ability when I'm game-planning. The tight end group gives me that ability. In the backfield in pass protection, David Martin lead blocking, and then we flex them out and play with our one-back schemes. Also, they give us matchup ability on the linebackers, so there are a number of things that the multiple tight end grouping and formation gives us.
(Does it help the running game but hurt the passing game?)
It depends on what you are trying to do in the passing game. I'm not going to run a bunch of go routes with those tight ends, but you can attack the middle of the field, and we can stay within a lot of our base concepts and keeping our quarterback in positive play selection.
(Can you talk about the difference in assigning a role versus them actually going out and performing?)
One thing about a player, he wants to be involved. He wants to feel like he is being put in a position to be successful and contribute to the team. I'm not going to speak for the tight ends, but they have to be excited about the role they play. Every week when that play selection goes up on the screen, whether its run protection or pass game, they have to sharpen their pencils and get going because they are a big part of what we do. They may not be a big part of our primary concept as we attack, but they're always in the secondary part of it. Sometimes, games go that way. Not every game starts the way you want it to start, and you have to jump into primary game-planning concepts and things like that. Our tight ends are very involved from our game-planning week in and week out for us.
(And in the team concept?)
Well, special teams, I've also talked about the body type. When you have 260-pound men who can run 4.5-4.6, that's the way I would play special teams. The body type is really conducive to the success of our special teams too.