Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.
Q: Obviously, there is a lot being made about the run. Is it as bad as it seems or is that just one game or is it a run here and there?
Coach Bresnahan: You have the saying, 'Its never as bad as it looks and it's never as good as it seems.' Well, when you give up 216 yards rushing and 184 yards rushing in two games, its bad, so do you panic? Do you push the panic button? No. We go back and we evaluate what we do, how we do it, the experience our guys have within our scheme and its not that much different from last year, but there are differences. I will tell you the resolve this week – the commitment is the resolve to get this fixed this week is better than I have ever been around and there is not that much between giving up a four or five yard run and letting something break for 20. If you pop your gap too early or if you don't hit your proper gap in an eight-man front defense, the next guy to get it is the deep safety and so you're selling out to stop the run. But sometimes if you don't play it correctly, you get into trouble and that's the discipline. That's one thing we're lacking a little bit right now and that's been our emphasis point for the week. The other thing was after the first two games, I hit you after Buffalo and it hits you after this one, so perfect timing. I told you we left the two interceptions and the fumble on the field in Buffalo, we left the fumble on the field in Denver, and two interceptions in Denver, so the turnovers were a big difference in getting off fields where they had scoring drives. In this last game it was penalties and whether they were right, wrong, it doesn't make a difference. You can't bring the officials into the game, you can't be undisciplined like we were and that's been a big emphasis point for us because we kept four of the five scoring drives alive with penalties and that's shooting yourself in the foot. So, the resolve to our fans, the resolve to our owner, is that we're going to come out and our motto is to be physical, relentless, and intelligent – the first three characteristics we say a Raider is; we have got to play that way. We have to be physical, we have to be relentless, but we have got to play intelligent. So, those will all help with the discipline of stopping the run. The questions, listening to Hue, about Andre Johnson you brought it up – Andre Johnson didn't play last year. Arian Foster comes in and rushes for I think it was 133 in the second half. These guys were a part of that, but this is a fresh start, a clean slate, and we're going in with the main goal of stopping the run, shutting the run game down. As far as the other receivers, there are pluses and minuses because you can go into a game plan and double one receiver if that's one guy they've got. But once you lose that guy, what happens? They spread the field more, so you have got to be more disciplined in everything you do. So, we have a challenge ahead of us – this is a hell of a football team, they are very well coached, they're disciplined in what they do, their runs tie into their play action passes, so we got a lot cut out for us but it's the perfect week to have that type of challenge.
Q: What is the challenge with this style of running? Is it the old Denver style the stretch plays and all that?
Coach Bresnahan: Yeah, its similar to what they used to do with Alex Gibbs as the offensive line coach and Mike Shanahan as a coordinator, and the carry over from their assistants that are down there now. Not quite the same blocking scheme, but very similar. It is a challenge and there are certain ways we felt when I was here before that you could defend against that style of run. We're taking that approach this week and we're excited to go out and see where we're at and again, we have a chip on our shoulder. So from the coaching staff right down to the last player, there is a chip on our shoulder about proving to our fans, our owner, the organization, that we can go out and get the job done and stop the run.
Q: You guys talked about finishing plays and there were some plays last Sunday where you get to Brady, you get to the quarterback and you don't bring him down. It's the same thing with the run – how do you emphasize getting there and finishing the play?
Coach Bresnahan: There is a lot to do with the technique of tackling. There is tackling circuit drills you do and a lot of teams do this. Not every team does, but we do it once or twice a week and if you have a poor tackling week, you come back and you hit it on every day wearing pads. Well now, you only get the one day of pads or if you use two, you lose a padded day later on. So again, you have got to take great advantage of it. Without having the off-season, with having the one padded day, tackling is a major emphasis for us. So it is – that's critical in the pass rush, as well as the run game, so you have got to attack it in your individual and fundamental drills.
Q: So there is no question in your mind that the personnel is here to stop the run?
Coach Bresnahan: Yes, there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever. No doubt in my mind. The way we practiced today, if we carry that to the field Sunday, I will be excited because, I'm telling you, with resolve of these players and the commitment they have now is impressive.
Q: To what degree can you tell the guys are losing sleep about it? Because I've heard that Rolando [McClain] – people have asked Rolando and obviously it's his livelihood. I can understand how he would feel; have you seen that?
Coach Bresnahan:I see, again, a chip on the shoulder, but I don't see any finger-pointing. I see, 'How do we get it right?' They want to know exactly, and they want you to tell them if I'm wrong, tell me I'm wrong and they will own up to it. I think that shows the professionalism within the group and it's not always going to be pretty. It's not always going to be telling them what they want to hear. You've got to tell them, you've got to shoot straight with them, and let them know. Like I said, they have taken it from the meeting room to the practice field this week and we have a chance to go out and get ourselves back on track the way we started the season. You watch the Denver game and that was more of a condensed game in Denver. They ran inside, they didn't spread us out, and the last two weeks, we have to set the edge, the edge of the defense is where we have the problems, not inside, and that has been a challenge for us. So, we've got to go out and it's very easy to correct – well I shouldn't say it's very easy, but its correctable, and we're going out there to get it done this weekend.
Q: How do you guard from being so intent against the run that you forget about the pass?
Coach Bresnahan: No, not at all because our guys do a great job, we play man coverage in our eight-man front zone coverage and we say, 'Hey if we're doing that, we're challenging you on the edge.' They step up. That's all there is to it. They know when their time comes.