(on benefiting from an extra practice this week)
I hope it helps. It helped us in the Rams week, so maybe that’ll be an omen for another good week. It’s always good to get a good start, get an extra day of work on an opponent, more or less compete against each other. I thought that was good that we had two, three periods going against each other because you have some good tempo there. It was good. Now it’s on to the regular week, and I thought today was a good work day for us.
I just think, again…the situation was different in the beginning of the year. He hadn’t played. I just think it was a different feel. He didn’t play as well as he had hoped. As an offense, we didn’t play as well. I think he was hoping for another opportunity. I thought he came out, coach (Dowell) Loggains did a great job of getting him in, he really felt comfortable in. After working with him a couple games, I think that helped Dowell get a good feel for each other, both of them, on really what he does like because he hadn’t had a chance to really do that with Ryan (Fitzpatrick). It helped those two guys get a feel at what Ryan’s really good at, how he sees the game—I think it took a couple games to see that. In the Indy game as far as how he (Fitzpatrick) played, I thought he gave us a chance to win the football game with the way he played, the decisions he made. Hopefully, these next six weeks we need the same thing to give us a chance.
(on whether Ryan Fitzpatrick’s decision making has improved these last two games)
It has been. I think where he’s delivered the ball, taking advantage of what’s there. He didn’t force anything. The way he threw it, all 20 of his balls could have been caught. The six that weren’t were very catchable. He had a nice day. Again, hopefully he can build off that. I know it gives him a lot of confidence going into this game.
(on whether Matt McGloin is more popular in Scranton, Pennsylvania now)
He already has. I think he’s taking over. You always go with the player over the coach I think. I’m really happy for him. I’ve obviously heard his story. I met his dad, his family last year when I was home. He’s a guy that just walked on and was probably told he couldn’t do it. He starts at Penn State and (was) told he couldn’t make it in the NFL then he starts in the NFL and wins a football game in a tough place to win. (It was) a game they needed badly. Now, here we are both 4-6. Real happy for him, hope he has a great day but doesn’t get a win.
(on how he met Matt McGloin’s father)
Actually ran into him when I was back at Penn State for Coach Paterno’s memorial service.
(on whether he met McGloin’s entire family)
No, I didn’t. My family knows of them. I may have met them in passing over the years but never had a conversation with them. That’s an area that people really follow everyone. He went to West Scranton, I went to Scranton Central. That area is really big on following their players. It’s a big high school area, so people get to know the athletes really well—in all sports, not just football. That’s how it was when I played there, that’s how it was for Matt (McGloin). I’m sure there’s a lot of Raiders fan and Titans fans in Scranton.
(on whether Matt McGloin will start for the Raiders on Sunday)
I don’t think they’re going to let us know probably until Sunday. They have two different types of quarterbacks, so we’re obviously preparing for (Terrelle) Pryor and what he does, the element he adds to the game. He’s their leading rusher. He makes plays with his legs, and we’ve struggled with some of that this year. Matt (McGloin) did a great job last week—three touchdowns for a rookie and not making mistakes against a good defense in a tough place to play. He did a great job, so it’s just a matter of I guess what they want and how healthy Pryor really is as far as a guy that has to run and use his legs.
(on whether the team will adjust their pass rush strategy if Matt McGloin starts)
I think that’s something you have to adjust. I think if you’re a defensive lineman, you have to be much more aware of (Terrelle) Pryor because of how he can hurt you with his legs as far as staying in your rush lanes. It’s similar to how it was here over the years when we had (Steve) McNair then we’d have Neil O’Donnell go in. So, a defense always had to be ready for a little bit of both when those guys were banged up. You have to be very aware as a defense with who’s playing at quarterback because of how badly he can hurt you.
(on his impressions of Rashad Jennings)
He looks like another 27 that used to play here. He ran well. He had an 80-yard run. I didn’t know he had that kind of speed when he got loose, but he ran over the safety. It should have been a four-yard gain, but he ran him right over that was a big play. That was an 80-yard run that should have been a four-yard run. He’s run well for them the last couple weeks with the other guy hurt with the hamstring. They’ve always had talent there—that’s never been a problem with the Raiders. Now, they’re just a lot more active with what they do on defense, a lot more aggressive with their corners and their safeties. (They’re) bringing pressure which is helping them stop the run game. They’re in the top-five or top-six in stopping the run, and a lot of it’s the things they’re doing on defense where they’re changing things up. They’ve had success with that, so I’m sure that’s what we’re going to see.
(on Rashad Jenning’s style of running)
We’ve played against him here when he was at Jacksonville. I always thought he was a good back. He’s a physical back. A lot of times you don’t get many opportunities to have that kind of run, and all of a sudden he outran everybody to the end zone. That was a big play for them, and they took advantage of some turnovers last week. Now we got to go out to their place and win a big, big football game.
(on whether the team needs to get
If they take Nate (Washington) away, you saw Kendall (Wright), you saw our tight end catch 10 balls on 10 opportunities. That’s just a matter of what coverage dictates. If they’re going to take Nate away, we feel like we can go with Kendall and hopefully (Justin) Hunter some more. Hunter had a great ball he could’ve caught last week. All of a sudden, Nate was there on a huge play at the end of the game that we needed. Nate had a drop on a big play on a third down he needed to catch. You just never know when your time’s going to come. He made the big play in the fourth quarter—which he almost scored on—and obviously should have had the other catch in the fourth quarter. He’s a big part of this offense, but I think Ryan (Fitzpatrick) does a great job of putting the ball where it needs to go.