HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on Chad Henne)
I think he shows when he throws, he’s fearless. I think he’ll throw a ball in a tight window. In the game last week, he made some great throws in some tough spots, great coverage really. You have to realize that he will try to stick it in there. He’s confident in his ability. He hasn’t been around a long time, but he’s played quite a bit to where I think he has good confidence. He obviously has a good handle on their offense. They did a nice job last week. He’s played in some of the games, he was in the Raider game, that game, he’s had some action this year. He’s played some. He gave them a boost in a game that I don’t think many people thought they had a chance of winning. We all know how close they came. He’s someone that there’s enough tape on him that we have a good feel for what he does well.
(on if he will look at any tape of Chad Henne playing for the Dolphins)
Not really. I think it’s more you worry about his scheme. It’s kind of different that way. If it’s a coordinator or something, you’re worried about something that a defense may show or an offense. You kind of dig back. At some point, Jerry (Gray) might do that to get a feel for some of that. But for the most part, there’s enough to see. He’s going to play within their system. He does a nice job. He sits in there, he’s going to throw the ball deep. Really most of the year they hadn’t been throwing the ball deep. The other quarterback wasn’t doing that. Something to the fact that maybe they’ll be a little more time in the pocket to make plays, maybe we get the rush to him and get some pressure on him and make his day a little more miserable than it was last week.
(on if Justin Blackmon becomes more of a threat)
It showed up last week, for sure. He took some plays that should have been 10-yard gains and turned them into huge plays last week. The Texans missed some tackles, which is unlike them, and turned into an 80-yarder and a 60-yarder or something. There were plays that could have been made, he turned them into them. I’m sure that’s why they drafted the guy, that’s why he was looked at as the best receiver in the draft last year. He finally had a game I think they were hoping he’d have. We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
(on if the game plan on offense will expand with
Really going into that game, we had a lot of things in for him. The game fell a different way because of us getting a lead and us getting short fields. We didn’t ask as much of him as maybe we did in the Detroit game when we had to throw the ball a lot, or the Patriot game, where we had to drop back more than we wanted to. He has a great understanding of everything we’re asking him to do. I think we have some good stuff in for him this week. It just depends on how the game goes. If we can keep the running game going as well aswe have, I think that will make it easier for Jake (Locker) and allow us to do some things in play action which he wasn’t able to do earlier in the season. I’m excited to see him play again. It seems like he hasn’t played in a while. When you have a week off and we waited six weeks for him to play, and he played well, then it’s been like another two weeks, and now he’s going to play again. I’m excited to see where we’re at again as a team after sitting out for a week.
(on if he’s excited to see how the defense performs)
They have confidence. I mean, they should. We talked about it a little bit today, it’s just about making plays and doing the things you talk about every week, getting off the field, which they did. They did a great job on third down. We got aggressive I think, once we start having some success early. (
I think it will stay the way it is. Depending on how much nickel and how much three-receiver we get each week, it will determine how much he plays. He’ll definitely play a lot in that package. He’s just getting better every time he’s on the field and getting more confident. Like I said, he communicates well when you have to make adjustments during plays. He’s a very confident kid for being a rookie. I think the next six weeks, he’s just going to keep getting better. But I think his role is still more in the sub package.
(on Justin Blackmon moving around on offense)
They have been. I’m sure they’re going to do more things like that if they’re going to throw more. It’s a different Jacksonville team than we’re used to. We’re used to, as we have here in the past, where I think with (Maurice) Jones-Drew hurt it makes a big difference in how they’re going to attack you. In the past, they’ve run the power at you 10 times in a row. Now it seems like they’re passing much more than running. I think we’ll see a lot more that way than we’re used to seeing from this team.
(on if holiday weeks are more challenging)
I just think everyone is so used to it. It’s something that you’ve been doing since you’re growing up, especially Thanksgiving. I think maybe Christmas is a little tougher when you get to that one. Thanksgiving has always been about football and turkey. Heck, I played, my high school team, I remember watching from the time I was eight, nine years old. My high school, we played on Thanksgiving Day. It always seemed like it was a part of it. Obviously, we’re not playing in the game this week, so we’re here, home. We moved things up so guys can be home by early afternoon. So it turns out we’ll have practice, you can go home and watch football if you really want to and you get a chance to be with your family. I think this holiday works out well for everybody.
(on if Thanksgiving is a big family day for him)I think it’s hard because like you said, all your family is not in town because you are at work and you can’t travel home and be with your mom and dad and some of the family that way. We have a huge family here with a lot of the coaches and neighbors. I think everyone enjoys once we get out of here tomorrow afternoon to kind of put it behind us. Football is over for the rest of the day, and I look forward to carving a turkey. It’s easy for me, I go home and my wife does all the work and the house smells great when you walk in. We’re all ready to eat and enjoy the day. She does a great job every year, and it seems like she’s been doing it every year I’ve been in the NFL. I look forward to it.