Opening Comments: Alright, first off, I don’t know if anybody needed a win worse than we did. Just feel very fortunate to get one. Just a huge effort, obviously, against a really good opponent, extremely well coached team. But our guys did a great job, they prepared, they were able to keep everything out, all the noise from the outside, able to block it off and prepare and I think that’s the mark of a good team. We know we only have one win and obviously we’ve got a huge task in front of us but we’re going to enjoy this one because we’re going to enjoy the fact that we know what everybody thought of our football team and we knew that we were a better football team than that. We showed up today, again, I tip my hat to the coaches. I think they did an unbelievable job, so it was great to see, but it was great to see that all the hard work, all that preparation that we put in actually meant something. So with that, I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Your third down defense, you went with a unique—well to most of us—formation with seven DBs. What were you trying to accomplish with that and why do you feel it was so effective?

A: Well I played Carson (Palmer) a few times and unlike last week, I had a pretty decent track record against him and it actually paid off this week, too. It was a joint effort, great team effort. Guys came up with certain things and they did a great job. (I) won’t get into specifics but it was just a great job by the staff and I think that one, we went with a four safety look, trying to mess their count up a little bit and they wanted to go ahead and go to empty, so that was good for us. We wanted them in that situation and we were fortunate. Obviously Carson’s a great quarterback. We were short on a couple of coverages, wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but we’re going to keep working.

Q: Rex, given all the stuff that’s been going on around here and the injuries, nobody gave you a chance to win but was that one of the motivating factors? To prove to everybody that we’re all fools?

A: Yeah, probably a little bit. But I think it was more though—John Blake (defensive line coach), I had him speak to the team the night before. He did an unbelievable job and to the point where nobody wants to follow him, including me next Saturday but we really sold out for each other. That’s what you got, that’s all you had left. I will say this though, there were a lot of witnesses out there when you see our fans. Like they gave us a chance to win. I mean, they were so loud that it was like alright, our fans never left us. And you guys know that have been here forever, through all the streak and all that stuff, that this is the most loyal fan-base that there is, so that really helped us.

Q: Rex, you were being second-guessed for the decision to fire Greg Roman and replace him with Anthony Lynn. What does this mean for this franchise and for you personally to show the way you guys bounced back on offense and defense given you were being questioned by everyone?

A: Well no, and I get it. You start off 0-2 and you’re going to be questioned about everything, so I definitely get that and I understand that. That wasn’t what we thought we’d be, we had much higher expectations than that. But all you can do is line them up and play again and that’s what we did but the focus was great, we thought the gameplan—our guys felt really confident going into it and again, that is no slight on Greg Roman because I know he’s a tremendous coach. I just thought it was the right move at the right time and I thought Anthony did a great job with our offensive staff.

Q: Do you think Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy were motivated to show that it was the right idea and that Anthony Lynn could do a good job?

A: I think those guys are just motivated like the rest of us just to lay it out there for each other and just to give everything they had to each other and I think that’s what we did as a team.

Q: Your defense seemed to be very inspired along the way as well, maybe atoning for what happened its last time out there. Can you speak to that?

A: Yeah, we were really, obviously, embarrassed by the type of play that we had last week, but we had to really look deep and try to help ourselves and come up with different ways and change the look on them. Bruce Arians is a great coach, so we knew we weren’t going to have the same plan that we had going into obviously the last game with. We were wanting them to think we did, but we were going to change everything and really try to keep them off balance. I think we did a great job. Dennis Thurman (defensive coordinator) did a great job of calling the game and then my brother’s (assistant head coach Rob Ryan) contribution in the red-zone looked pretty decent I think.

Q: What made you pick John Blake by the way to give that speech and what was the point of his message?

A: Well I’ve been around John. I think I’ll let the players describe his talk.

Q: Rex, the run game obviously came back in a big way today. At first glance, what made the run game so much more productive today?

A: Well we really did a great job up front. That offensive line did a great job blocking against an outstanding front. We were creative in some of the things that we did. Obviously when you have a quarterback as talented as Tyrod, able to get him out there. Albeit that kid (Tyrann Mathieu) made an unbelievable play on that pitch, like, oh my god. I think we were all like, ‘are you kidding me?’ I was saying the same thing after we gave up the safety. Like you got to be kidding me. But really, that was it and Shady’s (LeSean McCoy) always—he’s got that. We just got to clock him and he’ll do the rest.

Q: Rex, when that ball was in the air, guys were a lot better today making a play on the ball. What was the difference in four interceptions versus last week you weren’t getting those balls?

A: We were ready for it man. I mean we wanted to be challenged, we wanted to have the ball thrown at us and that was it. And don’t be afraid to make a play. It was, as I mentioned, it wasn’t time to feel pressure, it was time to apply pressure, and that’s what I told our team before the game because that’s exactly what we needed to do and believe in each other, believe that we can make plays, and that’s what we did.

Q: Rex, what went into the play with Taylor? There were some designed runs for him which obviously played into his strengths. How important for him is it to play that way, to use that athletic ability that he has?

A: Well I just think that if you don’t use it, that it’s a mistake because I know how difficult it is to defend against a running quarterback. That’s what we have to be ready (for) in case (Julian) Edelman quarterbacks, right? I have a funny feeling he isn’t going to be (Tom) Brady back there. But all that type of stuff, yeah, we got to use it. It’s something that we have that’s unique about our football team, to have a guy that’s the fastest quarterback in the league.

Q: Rex, with what happened to the secondary last week and with Ronald Darby out, did you go into this game thinking you had to apply more pressure with different creative schemes to protect the secondary a little bit more?

A: No, we just had to do a better job of mixing things and like I said, Dennis Thurman did an unbelievable job calling the game. But then also, hey, we’re going to leave you one-on-one because we believe that you can get it done and that’s what we did. I thought Corey white had a great pick, Corey Graham was outstanding, so there was a lot of guys. It was great to see (Stephon) Gilmore get a pick also and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone else but you guys know who it is, I don’t know.

Q: Rex, just to clarify, was Dennis Thurman calling the plays today and was that a change from the usual?

A: Yeah, he was calling it. Now guys, here’s the—what happens is we present it. So I came to Dennis and said ‘look, we’ve played this guy a long time, this is what in my opinion we need to go to,’ so we put in a turbo package that we were ready then we dialed them up on down-and-distance what we wanted to do, so his sheet, as you can see it, it will have everything specific to the plan. But it was a joint effort of the entire defense, like you guys have no idea the contributions that some people make are absolutely huge. And when I mention the red-zone, we put my brother in there, he puts those coverages in. He only did a two-year study on them, so I think it paid off for us.

Q: Are you legitimately planning on Edelman actually playing quarterback?

A: Hey, you know, I can sit back and say I don’t care who plays quarterback because I know Brady ain’t. I don’t care who plays quarterback. Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If (Bill) Belichick’s playing quarterback, we’re coming after him, I promise you that.

Q: What went into the decision to hold Sammy Watkins out today and can you give us an update on his status?

A: Yeah, people think—it was more than him getting stepped on. He got stepped on in a walkthrough. That player has since been released, but that’s what it was and he just never came back. And so it was like, ‘hey, we’re going to go without him.’ And then Greg Salas comes back, he’s got a groin, so it’s like, ‘oh, here we go A-Lynn. You’re missing two of your wide-outs, first game against one of the best defenses in the league, so good luck to you.’ But he took it man and he did a great job and our guys did a great job of executing the plan.

Q: Rex you talked about the challenge of two games in five days to start the season. Was anything that we saw today a result of having extra days after the Thursday game?

A: Well it helped, there’s no question about it especially when you make a change at coordinator. That helped. Without a doubt that helped.


Q: How important was it to play well today?

A: It was good to see everyone come together and do whatever it takes … offense and defense, to get a win. Definitely a lot going on earlier in the week, and we were able to move past that and like I said, come together and get a win.

Q: How much do you think it helped that you were, “let loose” today?

A: There was some opportunities where I was able to use my legs. Certain teams are going to give you those opportunity going into a weekend and you know that. But that’s not going to be the formula every week. The good thing is that we have playmakers outside and in the backfield that whatever we need to do to get the win that week, that we’re capable of doing it. It’s just about us going out there and execution it.

Q: Are you more comfortable when you’re out there running around?

A: Yeah.

Q: That’s it?

A: Yep.

Q: Talk about the different types of pre snaps looks being called on offense.

A: yeah, a couple odd-ball formations … definitely takes the pressure off the defense. They can’t show their hand and it’s easy. Bringing in different personnel’s, lining up in different formations just keeps them unbalanced. But at the same time, we’re calling our regular offense … just moving it out in different formations. I think Coach (Anthony) Lynn did a good job of using that and mixing it in early just to get them off balance.

Q: Was the offensive strategy keeping the defense on their heels?

A: I think the way we mixed in our no huddle definitely was beneficial … definitely with the touchdown that Shady (Lesean McCoy) had off the trap. That was definitely a big one in the game. You have to pick and choose when you use it, because sometimes you get stuck on a personnel, and it is not the personnel that you can run your whole offense from. But I think we did a good job of mixing it and it also, like I said, forced them to play certain coverages and stay in certain things and give us decent looks to run our plays.

Q: Explain your touchdown run.

A: Yes, a high tendency of men in the red zone. It was an option route with Shady. Got pushed up in the pocket and just tried to make a play. When there’s a five-man rush like that, it’s a bunch of singles up front and you can’t hold the ball for so long so, just tried to make a play with my feet and was able to get out on the edge and make a play.

Q: Explain your 49 yard run.

A: Something that we went into the game thinking that we could definitely scheme up a way to get a read option and luckily they closed down with three key and the safety ended up taking the pitch guy and left me down the field so, it was big play of the game. I think it was definitely something that sparked that drive and we were able to capitalize.

Q: Did you feel confined in the pocket in the first two games of the year?

A: Like I said, each and every game is going to determine how much I run. I mean last week wasn’t that much opportunities to run, I had to stand in the pocket, threw for almost 300 yards. But that wasn’t the winning formula for that game. We were able to have a balance today. But me running for 80 yards a game … is that realistic to see every week? Not sure. But this week it helped us win and whatever it takes us to get a win and I’m for it.

Q: Did you see anything on film compared to the previous two games that led you to believe you could exploit the run?

A: All three game plans were definitely different. Like I said, certain teams give you the opportunity where you can run your read plays. This week we knew going into the game that there was an opportunity for that, and we we’re able to take advantage of it early on in the game and mix it in throughout the game as well.

Q: So when you see man coverage you know that that possibility is going to be there for you, right?

A: For sure.

Q: Could this have been done without changing the offensive coordinator?

A: That decision comes form upstairs. That’s completely out of my hands.

Q: Were you talking to the owner about this?

A: It was a conversation that was had. Like I said, I didn’t make that decision. That’s in the past now. We have to move forward as a team and we have to move forward as a offense and do whatever it takes from here on out, each week, to get a win.

Q: Can we assume you didn’t argue the firing of Greg Roman?

A: Like I said, I spoke about this earlier in the week … I appreciate everything Greg Roman has done for me in my career. A great coach. But like I said, that decision came from upstairs. That’s completely out of my control.

Q: How was communication between you and Coach Lynn today?

A: Yeah it was pretty solid. We’ve done a good job of getting the plays down. It’s always different coming from upstairs. They see things from a different perspective as far as calling some things in so, I liked the communication today and hopefully we continue to keep building.


Q: How important was it to play that well after losing the first two games?

A: I mean it’s very important for us just in general to get going. We always want to help out the defense. The way this team was built, was defense, that’s Rex and his family. They go out there and make stops, they make pressure no matter who the team is. And on offense, we’ve got to put the points up. I think the way they play their game on the other side by making plays and putting points up on offense, we have the easy job, just put a couple points up. That’s when we’re most effective, when we’re playing on the same cylinder. Making plays together; defense, offense, special teams. That’s what a team is based on, so it was very important for us to come out there and put some points up.

Q: LeSean was there some miscommunication, I mean the criticism and what’s gone on with this offense and to come out three touchdowns rushing and to do what you guys did, there has to be some sense of something?

A: I mean it’s to be honest. It’s the whole week of preparation. There was a good team coming here, a winning program, a great offense and a solid defense. That’s the difference they play well, they tackle together, fast full team. We wanted to run the ball well and then off the run make some plays in the air. That was the main focus.

Q: What did you see with that first touchdown play?

A: Oh man! They blocked that up! It was a trap, quick trap up the middle. The safety was deep to the left, so I knew that I could run at them, but they got me to the secondary and that was it. It was a play we went over; hitting them, hitting them, hitting them. You know, and get something quick, so it worked out well.

Q: How about the second one, out to the left?

A: We set it up with a, I don’t want to tell you play, but it was like a pitch out. We didn’t get the crack on the defender, so he was free to run to Chandler (Jones) so I ran him and when you see a guy’s moving that fast and he’s that big, I can cut and stop. He can’t. That’s the whole game. We really ran the ball well. The guys up front, they blocked extremely well. Something different today, we got the ball back to the back deeper, more “I” formation type of running game. Then we sent some different direction type plays we had in there. It’s a lot to defend. The thing is as a running back, what I like is when you get the ball deep; I’m not the biggest guy, but I like to pick if I can go inside, outside, you know it’s more our decision based on, you have to go that was because there is a structure of the play. This one was a little more different.

Q: So instead of just hitting it, you have a choice?

A: Yeah, it was more to hit it, but it’s all out of the back field so you want to bounce it; some guys have more leverage on their blocks, you can bounce it out. I think it’s in the game plan, especially the running game was excellent. It kind of let our backs pick out if they wanna run outside, inside. You know, Coach Lynn did a good job with that today.

Q: They seemed to be an over pursuing defense, did you guys see some of that?

A: Cause they’re fast, so the idea of the game plan was more a little misdirection, a little “I” formation, a little option, so yeah. Option out of the pistol. So much to defense so I knew we would run the ball today. I didn’t know if we would run this well.

Q: There seems to be some crispness in the offense since getting the plays going, getting them going faster. What do you attest that to?

A: Yeah, oh no it’s tempo. I knew we would run the ball well because he’s big on that. The urgency to get in and out of the huddle. Get up on the ball. There were some times where we would snap the ball when they were just kind of lining up and that helps out. Defenses can’t structure their blitzes how they want. They can’t see what formations we’re in so they can line up everything and get it correct. You know, cause defense, all that is, is they just react to the offense. Okay the ball goes left, they react to the left. So when they line up they try to find out who’s who, they have their keys, when you snap the ball fast it’s kinda hard to get everything together. I don’t know if you noticed, but we ran some quick two-minute type of plays early in the game, so there is a lot of different things to prepare for.

Q: Some wildcat today too.

A:  Yeah, a lot of wild cat today. Yeah for sure and I did well. Like I said the guys up front they did a great job and Coach Lynn called a good game.

Q: And Tyrod (Taylor) played the ball a little bit more today too. It almost seemed like you fed off his energy after he made a play and he’d feed off of your energy after making a play, it was almost like a snowball effect.

A: Yeah for sure. He’s making plays, I’m making plays, the guys up front are getting more confident at making the blocks. When that happens like you said the snowball effect that comes with the play because now the defense has to worry about; alright is Tyrod (Taylor) keeping it, or is McCoy taking it up the back, I mean it’s so many different things. That last option we had, if Tyrann (Mathieu) doesn’t knock that down, it’s a big, big gain. It’s one thing as an option, and like you said with different guys getting the ball it puts a lot of pressure on the defense.

Q: Rex was saying; for a team to not use what Tyrod (Taylor) does better than anyone else at that position which is use his legs, it would be foolish to no use that. Do you expect more of that?

A: Yeah, I was always a big fan of when every coach or team wants to have the best team in the NFL, but every coach doesn’t think that’s the reality. So why wouldn’t you use, the players you have, use their best abilities. Tyrod (Taylor) one of the best things he can do, is he can run the ball. I mean he’s like a running back at quarterback, so why wouldn’t you not have him using his legs? That’s something that we’re big on. There might be times that he throws the ball down field or a different pass play, or we could let him run for 48 yards like he did today. I mean that’s just what makes him a special player.

Q: Do you think that element was missing coming in to today?

A: I’m not sure, I mean that’s hard to say. I just know that right now the way that he’s playing and the plans we have for him as far as throwing the ball, running the ball, using his legs, making his legs as a weapon that’s something for a defense to stop. When you add that in there that’s so many things to account for when you play us. And one thing I can do is help us out.

Q: That seemed to be missing, that element the first two games.

A: Like I said, he’s rolling out so that’s all that matters.

Q: Have plans changed from last year the way things are being played?

A: It’s hard to really think about last year, but one thing I will say is when you have a good year as far as doing what you do best, running the ball or throwing the ball you have these particular plays you always go to, the “go to” type plays. Defense, they can play too so you have a whole year to kind of scout and they see what’s going on. I remember my first year with the Kelly Era we were running fast plays non-stop. Then the next year it was kind of harder and the reason why is because the teams had a whole year to prepare for it, so anytime you do something so well the guys on defense, they get paid to stop it. So maybe some of the things we did last year were so successful, I think guys had a whole offseason to prepare for it and that gives credit to a lot of the defense.

Q: LeSean how important was it for you guys not to only win, but to be as dominant as you guys were?

A: It was a big win. For sure. Beginning 0-3, that’s tough. We’ve got a big game next week coming up with a big opponent so this win right here just, we’ll enjoy it for the rest of this day and then we’ll move on tomorrow.

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