I think it was a good practice. He’s comfortable. He’s been through it before, so it’s about as good as it’s going to be when you lose your starting quarterback. Now it’s just about having a good day tomorrow, finishing up the week, and go play a good game on Sunday.
(on whether transitioning from backup to starting quarterback will be an adjustment for Ryan Fitzpatrick)
I’m sure it will a little bit, but every game’s a little different even with quarterbacks that are playing every week. When you play against a different opponent, it’s always a little different. I think he’ll adjust as the game goes on. He’ll get more comfortable as he goes. Because he has so much experience, it shouldn’t take him long to feel comfortable on Sunday. If we can do good things around him, meaning running the football, yards after catch, things like that, and put him in good situations, it makes things a little bit easier.
(on whether more emphasis will be put on the running game given the new quarterback)
Generally, it would, there’s no doubt, but if Jake (Locker) was the guy, we’d still be saying that. We need to run the football well this weekend. It’s going to be a challenge to do on the offensive side of the ball because this defense is playing so well right now; they have a lot of confidence. I think that’ll be the key to how well Ryan (Fitzpatrick) does early. If we don’t put him in a lot of tough situations, if it’s not a lot of third-and-long, and things like that where we’re putting it all on his shoulders to make plays, he’ll (be fine). He’ll have some of those, and he’ll have to rise up and make some plays for us which we know he is capable of doing. Guys have made great catches, too. There’s going to be some balls that may not be perfectly thrown that guys have to go up and make the catch. Hopefully in the run game we can block well and CJ (
(on why the Chiefs have allowed so many yards per carry)
Well, they’ve been ahead in games. Fortunately, they get a lot of teams in third-and-long. When I say third-and-long, I mean more than 10. They’ll just give up yards when they hand the draws off or they get ahead in games; they give up a 10, 15-yard draw play. That’s why when you look at averages you got to be careful. Again, I think Denver is one of the worst passing defenses because they’re so far ahead in every game and they’re giving up pass yards. It’s the same thing here. This team has been ahead, and teams have been handing out draws. They give up plays where they’re giving them yards. You don’t see the two-back, two-tight end stuff getting a lot of yards because they’re playing very well in those situations. That’ll be the challenge, but, again, we need to improve, and that’s an area we need to improve on this week.
(on why Chris Johnson doesn’t get many reps close to the goal line)
Well, it’s more of a confined area, so it’s a lot smaller. Bigger bodied guys are in there because there’s not a lot of room to run. So, it is more about the body size sometimes at running back that can push the pile when it’s not blocked real well. Everything’s tighter, people are hitting the line of scrimmage more, so generally speaking, a bigger back’s going to have more success depending on what formations you get into you would think as far as just handing it off. Just like we did early in CJ’s (Chris Johnson) career with LenDale (White)—it’s the same thing there. When you mentioned Shonn (Greene), I think Shonn is not just there for third down, third-and-one, third-and-two, he’s here to give him a break also. You know, Jackie (Battle) had 10 carries this last week, so I expect him to get about the same every week.
(on Chris Johnson’s attitude)
Well, I think the good thing is that’s how he came into the league, that’s how we’ve used him from the time he came in and played for the Titans. It’s been that way and the one year when he was shooting for 2,000 (yards), he got more carries that year. Last year we had guys that were injured. The problem last year, the last couple years, we couldn’t keep a second back healthy, so we didn’t have the availability of going to a second back. When (Javon) Ringer was healthy the last couple of years, he was getting 8-12 carries a game. The last couple years, we’ve had guys hurt. It’s kind of been our philosophy all along. I don’t think it’s changed that way. There’s games where he’ll (Chris Johnson) will get 25 carries just like he did a couple times this year. I think he has more carries—way more than he did last year—so obviously we’re handing the ball off more to him, running the ball more. We’re not doing that on purpose, it’s just the way the games (have) flowed.
You always wish for the best and wish guys could recover quicker. I think sometimes you get unrealistic goals. He’s probably on track to where he should be where he’ll be playing in the next week or so. I think it will be hard (this week) since he hasn’t practiced yet.
(on preparing for inclement game day weather)
Just like you said, we look ahead to what it (the weather) may be. We thought it was going to rain last Sunday, we thought we were going to get some heavy rain last Sunday, and we didn’t—we got some light drizzle. We practiced in it during training camp and we’ve been in it, so you adjust if it’s a problem, if it’s a wind problem, if it’s raining hard. We’ve been in the wet weather, so there’s not much more you can do about it. We’ll just wait to see how thing are on Sunday and adjust accordingly.
(on whether the defense has adopted an “it’s up to us” attitude in the wake of
I don’t think so. I don’t think they need to do that. I hope they don’t do that. You don’t want guys starting to do things they don’t need to do and all of a sudden you make mistakes. I think they’re very confident in Ryan (Fitzpatrick) going out there and playing. I don’t think there’s any concern that way. I think everyone just rallies in general when one of your top players go down. They feel like they have to rally for him. They need to rise up and make sure we get a win in this case for Jake (Locker). Again, you have to do (what) is within your job description and just do your job and don’t worry about doing any more than that. (Do it) like we’ve been doing, and things will work out.
(on whether Chris Johnson can do a better job making guys miss on defense)
Well, most backs would always hope they make guys miss. That’s always the challenge in this week, and a lot of it depends on who he’s running away from, if there’s more open space to make the guy miss. There’s a lot of factors that go into if he’s making a guy miss or not. I think if you get enough opportunities in the open field like that, you’re going to make some guys miss. We have to create as many opportunities as we can and give him space where he can make someone miss. A lot of times guys miss because he’s trying to avoid someone else. For him to make plays, he’s going to have to make guys miss because there’s always going to be one guy. You can’t block them all and there’s going to be someone he needs to make miss to get that big run at some point. The more opportunities we give him, we feel he has a better chance of making them miss. So, as a group, we just got to do better with that phase of the game on Sunday.
Same way with the ankle. Again, he’s been doing a little bit. He’s progressing but not quick enough to be on the field yet. It would be hard (to play him), but we’ll make our decision tomorrow.