Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: Last week, the last couple of drives, any sense of here we go again? Or were you pretty confident you guys were going to play?
Coach Bresnahan: You know what, going into it I would not have put my money on [Dwayne] Bowe getting the receptions that he had. Up until that point he had two receptions for 20 yards and we had done a good job and even with McCluster, he had the one first down conversion on a third down. But we kind of controlled him, he had a couple more catches than we wanted, but to give up the plays that we did to let him go, especially the screen, where we had an opportunity to hug that thing up and have him nailed behind the line of scrimmage, and we just didn't get it done. So no, I didn't think oh here we go again. Our guys are cherishing the opportunity to get out in the field and at one point we were one of the better two minute teams in the league and we have got to get back to that because we have had two weeks now where we have let them score at the end of the game. One in the loss and now one in the win, thank goodness to the blocked field goals. But we have got to get back to executing and just finishing everything we do and that has been a commitment for us all week.
Q: Tommy Kelly says you have the penalty jar? How much money is in there?
Coach Bresnahan: Charity will love us at the end of the year. But that will be decided amongst the players, but to be very honest with you, it has to be addressed. And I heard what Hue said, and he is right, we have overcome it in certain instances but then for us in certain drives, like the Detroit game, we have those keep drives alive that make a difference in the game. So we have got to eliminate it and our guys are taking a real concern to it out here in practice and he told you, I think you brought it up, about having the officials here every day, and it's not like they are just standing around, they are throwing it when they see it. We are making a concerted effort to improve in every area. The ones that really get you are the no brainers, the offsides, the pre-snap penalties on both sides of the ball and in all phases of the game, but some of it is going to be judgment, and you have got to sit back and wait, and Hue always addresses that with you. But we have got to continue to improve in that area.
Q: How is [Philip] Rivers playing now compared to the last time you saw him?
Coach Bresnahan: I think when you compare the two breakdowns, the things he has done, is there is less sacks and less interceptions right now in the last four game breakdown. He is using the check downs a lot more, but this is it. This is the final game and I will tell you, they are going to lay it all out there. So we are expecting deep balls, double moves, screens, using Mathews, using Tolbert, they do a great job with their screen game, and then we just have to be smart. But the first thing you have to do, their deep balls come off the play action, so you still have to stop the run. I mean you have to stop it even with Philip, we are expecting Philip to put the ball up there pretty good, so we are expecting their 'A' game, we really are, we are preparing for their 'A' game.
Q: Illegal contact, the holdings, things like that, is that something that if you are going to play tight man defense that you are going to deal with getting those? Or is there anything you can do to avoid to get those?
Coach Bresnahan: It is going to happen. And when you start to play as much bump as like what we did last week and challenge the guys at the line of scrimmage, it is going to happen. Do you want to end up with seven penalties on defense at the end of the game? No, but if you get a couple of the five-yarders that don't affect the drive or don't affect the outcome of the game, you learn to live with that a little bit. But again technique and Rod [Woodson] works every day with these guys on hand placement, on technique, on footwork that will keep you out of a situation, where you have to grab on and hold or you have to get an illegal contact downfield. So again, we are continuing to try and work on it and Rod and Kevin [Ross] are doing a great job of working with the technique and the footwork and all that stuff with the players.
Q: It is obvious that you guys harp on it, you, Hue, Rod, all of the guys, but at what point is it on the players to get it done? I mean there is only so much that you guys can do out here.
Coach Bresnahan: You know what, I think if you asked every one of them, nobody is pointing the fingers in any direction. I don't think it is offense versus defense, special teams versus either one, turnovers, whatever it may be, penalties, I think the guys are stepping up and they know that they have to do it once they cross the field, or excuse me cross the line onto the field. So I don't think that has ever been a problem with our guys. I just think we have got to continue to be more, and we have talked about it all year, consistent and finish everything we do. For 56 minutes, you can't come out and say we played great for 56 minutes and then the last two-three minutes give up seven points and lose a game. Or give up 14 points and lose a game. You can't do it, so it erases everything else. And that is all an offense is looking for you to do, is give up one or two explosive plays in order to get a chance to win. So we have got to eliminate the explosive plays, and I don't think anybody is pointing any fingers, I think they are stepping up and knowing that they have got to get it done.
Q:What are your thoughts on Matt Giordano and what he has been able to do for the team this season?
Coach Bresnahan: You talk to any of our players, they would be the first ones to give his resume or references to his resume. The guy comes in and he is a student of the game. He is a true professional in everything he does and his awareness to formation recognition, pattern pressures, all the things that you coached during the week in your position meetings, or the unit meetings, he takes to the field. And the guys rally around him. I mean he communicates, he does everything well, he helps put himself in good position to make plays, the interceptions are perfect examples of that. But he is a good football player, and he is a real positive edition to the team.
Q: If Michael Huff is able to get out there this weekend, how will that change what you are able to do?
Coach Bresnahan:It just gives you another outstanding competitor and outstanding football player and we will see where he is at and we will judge it as the week goes on, but this is a guy that has been sitting back just pulling his hair out because he is a competitor. He wants to be out on the field, so anything Michael can give us is going to be a huge plus and we are excited to get them back on the practice field.
Q: How much has San Diego shored up their offensive line?
Coach Bresnahan: They are playing well. I think it is a little bit of a combination of what they have done. He solidified that tackle position, but they are also getting the ball out a little bit quicker. He is not sitting back and trying to hold the ball on every situation and get it down the field. He is using his check downs or using the screen game, the drive routes or the under routes, so they are doing some things to help Philip out, and that is helping the pass protecting as well.
Q: How about [Malcolm] Floyd and [Antonio] Gates being healthy?
Coach Bresnahan: Circle of influence, circle of concern, to me if it something we can control, I worry about it. If it is out of our control, I don't know who is going to be healthy. But right now with both of those guys healthy that now spreads your field a little bit and now as far as what you got to defend, but this is a good, talented football team. It is not just those two. When you start tying Gates into it and [Patrick] Crayton, and all their weapons, Mathews out of the backfield, Floyd out of the backfield, we have got our hands full, we have got to bring our 'A' game to handle their 'A' game.