Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q: Can you talk about preparing for the Patriots and their version of the 3 – 4 defense?A: "Well, they are very multiple. When you look at them they had two of their games in the preseason were basically all 3 – 4 and then two of them were 4 – 3. They have been mixing up the 3 – 4 and the 4 – 3 in their regular season games. It will be a challenge for us because it will be two different schemes offensively and they have three really good players up front with (Vince) Wilfork and Ty Warren. Those guys are really good player."

Q: How has (Pierre) Woods shown on film for you?
A: "They have a number of guys that are new on their system from last year when you watch the tape, but there are a number of guys who have shown up that look like they are going to be fine players. Of course, Coach (Dean) Pees, their Defensive Coordinator, and Coach (Bill) Belichick are going to put together a really good game plan and we are going to have to be on our A- game because it's really tough to go into a place like that."

Q: The Patriots are disciplined on both sides of the ball. Is that what makes them so tough, is that they rarely make mental mistakes?A: "They are a very disciplined football team. They don't give up a lot of big plays, they are where they are suppose to be, they are very gap sound, and they make you earn everything that you get. You are not going to catch them by getting them out of position. You are going to have to earn everything that you do. I think that's why for the first eight years of this century, they are definitely the best team that has played in the NFL."

Q: Is there one thing that separates Tom Brady from the rest of the quarterbacks in the League?
A: "I don't think that there is one thing that separates him, the thing that I think all of the upper echelon quarterbacks have is they have good decision making, the process that they go through, they are always getting the ball out of their hands and on time and to the receiver. He is a very accurate thrower."

Q: You talk a lot about how philosophically, you like to try to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. What is it like going up against a team that doesn't seem they are so worried about the run and throwing and so on?
A: "Well, through the first two games, they have been throwing a lot more than they have been running the football. I would anticipate that we would likely see a change this week. That's something that Coach Belichick will do. They will come out one weekend with two tight ends, and then they will have a completely different personnel group and they will have a completely different kind of attack. That's what makes them so diverse, is that you have to prepare for everything."

Q: Does that make it hard to game plan?
A: (Laughing) "Well it complicates things and it makes things a little bit tougher."

Q: How are your injuries?
A: "Jerious (Norwood) was the only player that did not participate today fully. We are looking at him day by day and we will see where he is tomorrow, but he did not practice today. The rest of the guys were out there in full participation except for Jason Elam."

Q: How does Vance Walker fit into your plans and system?A: "Well, it was a very tough decision when we were making our 53-man roster. We are fortunate to get Vance back on our practice squad. Vance has the skill set that we are looking for in terms of defensive tackle, and he is going to get an opportunity to compete this week with Thomas Johnson and Trey Lewis."

Q: Any updates on Peria (Jerry)? Has he had surgery?A: "No, no update. He has been in the training room the past two days and it will be a little bit before he has his surgery. You know, Harry Douglas had his surgery last week so, he is well on his way and his rehabilitation. We don't have a time frame right now on when the procedure is going to be done."

Q: You're going on the road this week. How did the team react with the crowd noise incorporated in practice?
A: "Well, it's the first time that we are going on the road and of course it will different than the two road games that we went on during the preseason. We wanted to acclimate our guys to the noise and during our team periods, we pumped it in. I think that they did a nice job today, and we will continue to do it on Thursday and Friday to prepare them."

Q: Chauncey Davis is a guy that has played inside linebacker before. Is he someone that might be figured into the rotation at some point?
A: "Well Chauncey has been in our rotation inside in some of our packages. Of course, his role is going to be expanded simply because of the loss of Peria (Jerry)."

Q: On the challenge flag...
A: "I think that as a head coach, you have to look at all the reviews you can. I have tried to watch as many reviews as I can. I try to watch as many of the reviews that happened last year, and I did it the year before also. I would just look at it and would ask myself if I would make a challenge in that situation or if I would not make a challenge in that situation. The second thing that you have to do is have a procedure in place. Your eyes are on the field, so sometimes you have a better vantage point, and sometimes you don't have a better vantage point and you have to rely on guys in the press box. We have guys that are responsible to look at the replay and see if we want to make a challenge and then it is up to me to make a decision if strategically, it is the right time, or if you see something done on the field differently."

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