Q: Injuries?
A: Scott Berchtold: [Corey] Graham had an ankle, [Stephon] Gilmore had a groin and [Scott] Chandler had a knee. One of the guys that was not on the injury report beforehand was [Randell] Johnson becase he went out, tried it out and he didn’t dress with an ankle. Obviously, in-game was Sammy [Watkins] with the ribs.

Q: Did Sammy Watkins injure the same ribs as last time?
A: Scott Berchtold: Yes

Q: Any x-rays or tests on Sammy?
A: Scott Berchtold: Not that I’m aware of.

Q: I imagine you’re not happy with how the preseason went. It’s meaningless, but you don’t see it that way, do you?
A: No, I don’t. I don’t normally look at it that way. I’ve said that before. We’ve had some really, really good performances defensively when our guys were in there. I thought that, at times, some of the things we did special teams-wise, when you look at the course of the whole body of it, we did a good job. Obviously, we struggled the last game with the punting and the net, so that was probably a spot that we have to make sure we improve upon going into the season. I think, offensively, we really moved the ball at times, but not consistently enough. Tonight we had three series and two drops. We set ourselves back with a couple of plays that put us in tough situations. We’re not good enough to do that. We’re really not. We’re not good enough to be a team that has penalties and put ourselves in tough situations. Now tonight, after the offense went out, we wanted to look at Jordan [Palmer]. We put him in there, which was a tough situation and we had a difficult time playing. We can go back, get the roster down. I’ll be meeting tonight and tomorrow with Doug [Whaley] and we’ll get ready for Chicago.

Q: Two years in a row you’ve had a quarterback come in late in the preseason. How much does that negatively impact the other ten guys who are on the field with them fighting for jobs?
A: Tim, it’s a good question. You’d like to stand up here and say, ‘No’, but I think that the reality of the situation is that probably occurs. Let’s just say for the fact of someone new. We, as coaches and players, we want to go out there and do our job, individually, ‘Hey, this is my job to do,’ and what the unit has to do. You like to see that, but I’m sure timing and things like that, especially at that position, I think more the quarterback position than any other position when you just throw somebody in there.

Q: How does that impact how you review game film and make your cuts?
A: I’ll still look at the performance. I’ll still look at the production and see what happens. I think, not to jump ahead, from the meetings we’ve had, we’ve had a bunch of meeting so we’ll go back again tonight after I’m done here and start watching tape, grinding it out and we’ll be sure that we’re making the right decisions. I think everyone goes into play, but, at the end of the day, I think you have to go by what you see. I’ve always been a believer in that. I think that’s what’s most important.

Q: Given that Jeff Tuel didn’t play tonight, would it be fair to say that you’re comfortable with him being your number two quarterback at Chicago?
A: No. I wouldn’t say that’s the situation.

Q: Would you be willing to bring someone in from the outside to fill that position?
A: I don’t want to speak without having spoken to Doug (Whaley), but we’re both on the same page that if we can better our football team, no matter, we’ll do. Like I said before, the big question is do you go out right now. If we can go out and get someone that’s better, then absolutely. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed in us doing that.

Q: How do you make your adjustments heading into the season knowing what the emphasis may be on penalties?
A: I think it’s one of those things to see. I really do. We’re coaching our guys to do things the right way. We’re constantly doing that. We really started out, I thought, the first three games we were outstanding. We really were, emphasis or not. Then, these last two games, we were sloppy. That’s what we were. I think, overall, with what’s going on, it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. Because you keep downs going. You know, the third-and-six tonight there’s a penalty and here goes another down. They wind up going ahead and then get three points out of it. You’ve got to be careful. I know those guys do the best job they can, but, at the end of the day, you want to leave it on the field. Like they always say, ‘You want to walk off the field and not even know that the officials were there.’

Q: Can you explain your thought process on the risk versus reward of playing the starters for that long?
A: My goal was, and I said it at the beginning of the week, I wanted those guys to play together. It happened that Chris [Williams] wasn’t available for us. He wasn’t cleared. And then really, like you said, one of the big questions is the quarterback with Sammy. They really haven’t played a lot in games. They’ve played quite a bit in practice, but I think it’s quite different during the games. Once the trainers cleared him to play, I was excited about it because he hadn’t really played since the first quarter of Pittsburgh. And he really didn’t play a lot before that because we were planning on playing him a lot in the Tampa game. So he really hasn’t played that much. I always get concerned when people come out, especially when you’re a rookie you’ve got to play. You don’t want to just throw them in there during the season. We’re behind on that.

Q: Is the rib injury something that may linger?
A: I think I did a good job of explaining it the last time. I’ll stick to that. You never know. X-Rays, tests. It shows up one day, it doesn’t show up the next. He could be out, he could be in. It depends on the player. It could be a week, it could be four to six weeks, it could be longer. I’m not getting involved. That’s why does [Scott Berchtold] the injuries, so I can concentrate on answering all your questions on the other things. The injury stuff is too hard for me.

Q: What is the level of concern on the penalty problem heading into the regular season?
A: I would say that the first three games I had zero concern. We have officials at practice every day. The last two games though, I would say yes that I have concern. It’s just like I talked to the team after the game in addressing what we need to do, you know, turnovers. It’s very simple again. The games that we haven’t won, we’ve lost the turnover battle. That’s as simple as you can get. We can’t do that. We can’t overcome those things: penalties, field position, things like that. That’s how we’re going to have to play to win. I think everyone can see that and that’s what we’re going to have to do.

Q: How have you been doing in practice?
A: There’s been some points we’re there have been some good things. You get excited and then you come out here and it’s not carrying over, what you want to see. Now part of that is the rhythm of the game and the way we want to play the game. Again, at the same time, coming off the Pittsburgh practices, which I thought were our best practices, we were going. And then we didn’t play as well in that game as we wanted to. Then the Tampa game leads us to now. We really haven’t put a lot in, as far as trying to game plan and everything like that, so I don’t know. I hate to lean on that as an excuse for that, but we really showed absolutely nothing. We really have, for what we’re going to do. We tried to keep that stuff that can give us an advantage for the season and it’s no-holds barred now. Everyone will be in, everyone will be playing, game planning every situation and expecting the production from the coaches and the players.

Q: How would you summarize EJ [Manuel]’s three drives today?
A: I thought it’s the same thing. Quarterbacks, especially young ones, are very streaky. I thought that we had some good pockets at times where he was back there. I thought the two throws, not having really gone and looked at them. Are they catchable? I think they could have been. Could they have been better throws? I think it could’ve been both. I think those do things come into play. Same thing as last week, he can’t press and he’s got to relax in the pocket and throw. We can help him out too by making those plays. Fred [Jackson] made a nice play; a big first down. We got to make those catches and make those plays to help him.

Q: Where are you with your punting?
A: I don’t know. I talked to Danny [Crossman] afterwards. Brian [Moorman] has really been outstanding in practice, but in the games you expect him to do a better job and come back. I’m not saying that you don’t expect once here or there. You understand that, but two in a row. That’s one of the ways we have to play, so we’ll take a good look at that. We’ll discuss it with Doug and see where we’re at.

Q: Is [Jordan] Gay here to compete with him or is he just going to be used for kickoffs?
A: More for kickoffs. More for kickoffs, right now. We don’t feel that he’s ready (to punt). We got him out there and look at him on a punt tonight. That’s how we felt prior to today that he’s not ready to do the punting stuff, but really had an unbelievably strong leg. We could get him for kickoffs and he’s somebody we could work with.

Q: Is there a reason that you’re so adamant on having a kickoff specialist?
A: The last two years we’ve lead the league in kickoff returns against us and I just think you’re playing with fire when you keep doing that. I think you can have a big advantage for a couple of reasons. One, you can take that phase out of the game. Meaning that you’ve got thirty-something spots that you need for special teams, the two coverage teams with kickoff return and punt and a lot of times we have starters on that. If you’re a team that makes a decision to kick it out of the end zone 90 percent of the time, you’re saving a lot of shots, you’re saving a lot of reps. And then you take away the opportunities for the other team.

Q: Are you concerned about your offensive line’s readiness to play an away game?
A: I’m probably not concerned about the noise and the snap count. It’s always much easier when you can just focus down and tunnel in on the playing. That’s the case all over. From that standpoint, it should be better. We’ve been getting ready for Chicago, which has been since OTAs and stuff, you’re getting ready for them as coaches, you have everything done and then you plan for them now, I think the biggest mistake you can make is having too much in the game plan. I told Nathanial [Hackett] that. I talked to Jim [Schwartz] about it to make sure that we’re straight that that’s what we want to get done and not put too much in.



Q: What was your perspective on the play where Sammy Watkins got hurt?
A: It was a tight throw, and he probably just got a little banged up. He’ll be fine.

Q: How would you assess your performance on the three drives?
A: Pretty good. I got a couple drops on third downs, but as far as going to the right place with the ball, I thought I did a pretty good job.

Q: Has it been frustrating not having your all your receivers with you during the preseason?
A: Not really, I don’t think so. I think we tried to go out there with what we have. That’s what we want to go with. I wouldn’t say I’ve been frustrated.

Q: Were you hoping for a better outcome to build some kind of momentum going to Chicago?
A: Yes, definitely. But like I said, I went to the right place with the ball. Coming off the field talking to Coach Hackett and Coach Downing, they told me I did a good job, so I’m psyched for that.

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