Q: Obviously, [Adrian] Peterson number one on your radar…
Coach Bresnahan: There's no question and don't underestimate the talent overall of this offensive unit. But, Adrian's the guy and you hear it every week that I come up here is the first and foremost goal is to stop the run and there's really two words that describe what we've got to do all day for 60 minutes and that's gang tackle. You heard Hue [Jackson] up here – one guy can't beat 11 but if you put one guy on him, you're not going to win many times. So, you've got to get hats to the ball and again, it's a challenge. I mean this is a challenge to go out and play a back like this and we look at it no different than getting to go up against [Arian] Foster when we went down to Houston. This is a great challenge for the defense and we'll see where we're at on Sunday.
Q: You guys have had mixed results. Your losses – you guy have given up a lot of yard. When you've won, you haven't but what's been the difference?
Coach Bresnahan: And really to isolate that too – when we've lost, the rushing yardage has been a real indicator. If that's what you said; the rushing yardage. No again – discipline, attention to detail. You take the example, the most recent with Denver, and when you play the option, that's assignment football. When you miss an assignment, that play turns from a two- or three-yard gain into a 12-, 20-, 32-yard gain like what happened to us. So again; attention to detail, discipline, and more so than ever with these guys, you've got to gang tackle because this is an exceptional running back and we get the good fortune of having to go against Darren McFadden and Michael Bush all year. So, this is the type of guy they prepare us for although this guy really has some evade-ability and some elusiveness to him that is special.
Q: You don't really get to go at your own guys like you go at… Coach Bresnahan:Not live.
Q: How much does it really help?
Coach Bresnahan: I think it does. It really does and I'm going to tell you what – Taiwan Jones preparing us for quick backs and everything, he's given us a good look. When we get to the game on Sunday if we have trouble against the run, it wasn't because we haven't gotten a good look during the week. That's my point and we didn't have the offseason. We had training camp to go against Michael and Darren and with Darren being banged up a little bit, that hurt us. But again, those guys give you an opportunity to at least face a top-notch back each and every day and that's not the case in all these teams around the league. So, we're fortunate that way especially to have three.
Q: Third down conversions are a telling indicator of offensive and defensive success. You really were able to get off the field on third down against San Diego. What contributed to that?
Coach Bresnahan: We put the pressure or the challenge to our up-front guys, the front four because we felt like against Philip if we disguised our coverage and played a coverage approach against him, we would have success and buy that extra half second for our defensive line to get to the quarterback. They stepped up to the challenge with the pressure that they put on, the four man pressure, we didn't have to call many pressures and that to me is an ideal game plan. Whether you like the pressure or not – if you can get there with four and cover, that's the best way to go because again, we had the opportunity to make a couple pass breakups, get our hands on a couple balls. You'd like to see us finish the plays; the Lito Sheppard play is an example but again, the fact that we were able to play fast, play with vision on the quarterback, that helped us big time in getting off the field.
Q: How satisfying was it for you to come up with two big stops inside of four minutes? The [Matt] Giordano interception and to close out the game with back-to-back sacks…
Coach Bresnahan: It's huge. I mean it's huge. We talk all year long about having that opportunity as a defense to have the last drive and when you have a situation like what happened in Buffalo where you have the opportunity a couple of times to get off the field. Again, missed interceptions or missed turnovers give them another shot and then you lose the game. It was definitely good for us to be able to step up and get those opportunities in the game and be successful – big confidence builder.
Q: Nobody begrudged Nnamdi [Asomugha] when he took a free agent contract to go someplace else; that's the business football. There was a lot of, 'Oh, what are they going to do without him?' Do you think that that motivated some of the defensive backs here?
Coach Bresnahan: You know what – probably initially, there was a little bit of motivation. But again, they know this is a business and each one of those guys is his own company. They're going to take care of that company the best they can and to provide for themselves and they're family but also to keep their bodies in shape, the whole thing, to prepare and to perform on the field where they can earn those types of opportunities to go out in the free agent market and make themselves a bigger company. But to me, I think that is an initial maybe motivational factor but once it gets said and done – once you get the 53-man roster, these guys gel together and I think it's just trying to get the unit consistent, cohesive and they work toward that with no extra stuff outside.
Q: You mention Lito. What kind of difference has he made?
Coach Bresnahan: Lito brings veteran leadership, he brings veteran experience to the field and literally - you saw – he came in, he steps on the field and it's not like he misses a beat. There's things he's going to get better at technique-wise and understanding exactly how he fits into our system, but there's a guy with experience that you can put on the field and really challenge him and not have to pull the reigns back. You can let him go and he stepped up, did his job in the game and we're excited to have him.
Q: How important is it to have [Rolando] McClain in there? Obviously, he's a guy that you take so much communication through and when he's not in there, does it just break down?
Coach Bresnahan: I'll tell you and Darryl Blackstock – I can't put the loss to the Denver Broncos on Darryl Blackstock. But to me, you have a starting 'Mike' linebacker and when you miss that starting 'Mike' linebacker, you say, 'Next man up' and Darryl did that. Again, to not have 'Ro' out there was huge and my point to 'Ro' is that he's continually gotten better as the year has gone on and when he came into this week, he challenged the team in the locker room, he challenged our defense in the meeting room during the week, and he stepped in and became the leader of the defense. That's the type of stuff that he has to do is provide that leadership when he's on the field. So, it's been huge to get him back.
Q: There are some people on the outside who wonder when his input was coming. Have you seen a turnaround? Was it a health factor?
Coach Bresnahan: Much more so because of health than anything else. If you remember back in the beginning of training camp when we're going through the beginning of the preseason, he was doing some things really, really well and all of a sudden he got nicked up here or there and that's really been the thing that set him back a little bit. But when he's healthy and he's ready to go, he is a true factor in the middle. We've got to get him doing that every week.
Q: Is that this week when 'Ro' was talking to his teammates?
Coach Bresnahan: Before the San Diego game. He really stepped up as a leader in the room and took it upon himself that, hey, he's back. He's got to take control of the reigns and steer it in the direction we want it to go.