HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on players’ statuses heading into Sunday)
Just two guys questionable, Vern (
(on the team’s overall health as a bright spot)
It should be, especially having the tight ends being healthy will be a big difference for the offense. It’s been (tough) the last few weeks having Delanie (Walker) missing and having (Craig) Stevens kind of limited last week and missed the week before himself. I think that’s good. I’m sure Akeem (Ayers) and Vern (Alterraun Verner) will be ready to roll, but they missed two days of practice. We’ll see how they respond after today, but we think they’ll be OK.
(on the Cardinals defending tight ends)
I think they’ve settled down, but I think we like our matchups with Delanie. I think having Delanie (Walker)…helps us a lot especially (against) this group that’s big. They’re big defenders, big pass rushers, so I think it helps us there. They’ve been playing well in general. They cleaned up a lot of things in the last month and a half, and that’s one of them.
You never know. I didn’t know Leon (Washington). I’ve heard of him over the years, but when he came in here, like we talked about, you see how he prepares, his work ethic. You knew he was going to be fun to watch on Sundays. In the two games he has had a punt return, he has had a kick return, he’s done some good things. I think the confidence is way up in those rooms. We’ve been blocking well, but we haven’t been getting anything for our efforts. I think he has brought that. They want him to bring it out, they want to see what he can do, so I think that is part of the excitement on the sidelines that we haven’t had in a while.
(on whether Leon Washington will be part of the team’s future)
I think those are things (we’ll discuss) when the season ends. He’s a guy that’s running well. He’s been around a little bit, but he still has got good legs. He can do some other things probably later on with the offense. He could probably start helping there more when he has more time to learn what we’re doing, plus he’s good for the team. He’s a good example kind of guy and work ethic and all that is great. I’m sure those are things we’ll look at when the season ends.
(on the team’s morale this week)
It has been good. This is important to them. Come Sunday, records don’t mean anything. Once Sunday starts I think you’ll see us play as hard as we would no matter if we’re 10-0 or out there with whatever record it was. I think when you’re going through this type of thing, it’s tough on Mondays and Tuesdays if you don’t win and you’re struggling some. Once you get to Wednesday, I think the spirits get lifted. They see the challenge ahead, they want to win, they want to finish strong. By the time you get to Friday, they’re excited again. I think you’ll see that effort on Sunday. We haven’t been home in a month playing a game here. It’s been a long, long time, and we lost the last two, close games, lost by three and two. We know that the fans want to see something good, so we need to come out and play well.
(on the importance of winning at home)
We need to do it. We’ve slipped up this year in a couple games, especially the last two. We’re in a whole different situation if we took care of business in the two games we felt we should have won. We got two more at home, and we have to win them. We have to start winning at home, playing better at home, finishing games at home, taking advantage of the noise that we can create in there. We have to win these two games, and we know that.