HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on if the windy weather at practice today will prepare them for Buffalo)
It’s unpredictable what the weather will be like. I think right now it’s supposed to be pretty decent. We had a great day last year, but we’ve been up there plenty of times where the wind was a factor and the weather was a factor. It’s good to get some practice against something different. The weather has been so good here, so it’s been nice the past couple of days to have a little different atmosphere.
(on if he looks at the forecast for Sunday or knows that the weather can change in an instant)
We always look at it, “Hoss” (Paul Noska) and the equipment guys obviously are more on top of it because of the clothes they have to bring and the shoes and those things. They’re always on top of it, and they usually give the heads up on what they’re predicting. As you mentioned, it can change dramatically so you pretty much have to be ready for anything and really not let it be a factor. These guys, that’s the last thing that should be on their mind is weather. It’s just a matter of going out and playing. I think we’ll be fine.
(on if the run game becomes more important in windy conditions)
Yeah, it does. I’ve been involved in a lot of games. Our game against the Giants that one year where I think (Steve) McNair threw for 350 yards or something, the wind was a lot worse than today. We passed the ball more than we ran. I think it’s good to always be able to run the ball. We want to go up there and obviously run the ball very well and pick up where we left off this last game. That’s going to be a big part of us being successful is being able to run the ball this weekend.
It helps us a lot. With Matt (Hasselbeck), the quarterbacks getting used to each other, the receivers and especially Kenny (Britt) getting used to the offense is a big plus. The fact that, like you mentioned, he can do it all three days this week, which is a first in a long time. We’re getting complete practices with all our players, other than the quarterback, which is a big one. But having Matt who was here last year, those guys are all comfortable with each other. It’s a big plus. It’s great for Chris Palmer to kind of see what works, you can adjust things during the week now rather than making all your adjustments on game day. You’re seeing what Kenny (Britt) runs well, what Kendall (Wright) runs well, what combinations look good for the game on Sunday. It’s been very helpful.
(on if the offense is getting closer to what he hoped it would look like)
Yeah, I thought we were starting to see glimpses of it this week. Hopefully it will be another look at that. Like I said, with Jake (Locker) not being in there, seeing (
(on if Chris Johnson’s past success against the Bills will help him on Sunday)
It’s always a little plus I think if you know you’ve had some success. It doesn’t guarantee you anything. We were up there last year, we know we ran it well and we could get the opposite this year. You have to go in there with a positive nature that we’re going to be able to do things, and it’s going to be up to us how well we run. We know they’ve upgraded their defense from a year ago in a lot of areas, so it’s going to be a great challenge. It’s helpful knowing that we’ve had success. It’s nice to watch some film from a year ago when you played them and did some good things that you can build on and do better, rather than when you struggled.
(on what the offensive line did well against the Bills last year)
I just think we made some big plays. (Chris Johnson) took off on a power play for a 50-yard touchdown run, which was a great run for him last year. We were consistent, just getting four-and five-and six-yard runs, other than that big run. It was manageable, where we made manageable downs for the offense where we were able to stay on the field better, kind of what we did against Pittsburgh last week. It was more like that kind of game. We won 23-17, pretty much like last week, that kind of game. I think that’s the kind of team we are. If we do the things we can do well, then it should be that kind of game again.
(on if moving the ball on first down last week was the biggest difference)
Yeah, and not having any yards for loss was huge. That’s been plaguing us all year for whatever reason, where you’re handing the ball off and it’s second-and-13 on the next down. That’s the stuff that really hurt us in the games we lost. I think last week we didn’t even have a run for zero. I think all of our runs were at least for positive yards. That’s what you need out of your run game, you need a second-and-seven. Even if it’s not a great run, it should be a second-and-eight or a second-and-seven. I think that was a nice change from what we’ve had the rest of the season.
(on if playing in Buffalo reminds him of the 1992 Wild Card game)
Not really. When you think about Buffalo, obviously that game comes to mind for me, and the Music City Miracle replaces it really quickly for big plays against Buffalo. When you go back to the stadium all the time, I was in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, and I was thinking about when I played in Minnesota. You’re always going to have memories of your own personal memories, but the memory as a head coach is the one that we went there and won last year. That’s what most of these players that were on the team were a part of. They know that we can go in there. They know it’s going to be a different atmosphere this year because, like I said, last year was different. They were coming off of four losses in a row and their season was in turmoil when we came in there last year. I think that affected their situation. This year is a totally different story. They’re 3-3, they’re in first place. They won a big game last week. I’ve been in that stadium, and it’s going to be very loud. Those fans love their football team, and it’s going to be a tough place to play.
(on his impression of Bills rookie Cordy Glenn)
I liked him a lot. I think he’s going to be a very good football player. I think he tweaked an ankle or something, and he hasn’t played for a couple of games. I knew he’d start. We felt he was a guy that could come in and start right away. They’ve got a nice offensive line. They’ve drafted in the first, second, third rounds the last couple of years to get a good line, they have a good one. They’ve had some injuries, the tackle has been out, one of the guards has been out. I think he’s coming back this week. They’ve got a nice group of players. I liked him. I liked him coming out of the draft, we did as a staff and knew that he’d come in and contribute right away, which he has. I’m sure he’s going to have a very good career there in Buffalo.
(on the play of Jairus Byrd)
He’s making plays for them, that’s what it comes down to. Last week, he’s the guy that made the plays for them and made sure they won that football game. He plays well, he’s all over the field, you watch him. He’s a guy that makes plays. Like I mentioned, last week, obviously he made a couple big ones. Good football player, part of a good defense. They’re a defense, again, they put so many parts into it and they’re only six games in. They’re just going to get better and better, I think. I know we all get judged in the league one game at a time and six weeks and people make these judgments on a defense, but I think when the smoke clears, they’re going to be an awfully good football team and defensive team. Five sacks last week, I think that shows you where they’re heading. It’s going to be a great challenge this week for our guys, especially our front.
Yeah, he’s throwing. I think the big thing is he wasn’t sore from yesterday, didn’t feel any worse, felt fine from what he did yesterday with the individual drills that he did. The throwing, the seven-on-seven, all that felt good. Pretty much did the same thing today, a little more individual work. He threw about the same, tomorrow he’ll probably do a little bit more. So far he’s feeling good, which means he’s getting his confidence back. Next week, again, as we go through the weekend, and Monday, Tuesday, we can kind of see where he’s at.