Coach Sparano Shaking Things Up this Week


Opening statement: **"Today, injury-wise: Larry Asante was limited with a shoulder and a quad. Tarell Brown did not practice with a foot and an ankle. Chimdi Chekwa was limited today with a shoulder. Andre Holmes was limited with a shoulder. Brian Leonhardt did not practice with a concussion. Denarius Moore did not practice with a knee and an ankle. Pat Sims was limited today with a shoulder. Menelik Watson did not practice today with a foot and an ankle. Neiko Thorpe was full today with a hand."

Q: Rod Streater wasn't out there when we were. Is there anything new?

Coach Sparano:"He was a little bit sore, and I didn't put him out there today. We'll see where we are."

Q: When did Denarius Moore get hurt?

Coach Sparano:"Denarius suffered an injury away from the building."

Q: Is Tarell Brown's foot injury the same as last week or is it related to that nasty fall he took?

Coach Sparano:"A little bit of both. The fall in the game made it a little bit more sore so we kept him off of it today."

Q: Going back to Denarius, did he get into a car accident?

Coach Sparano:"No."

Q: You talked a little bit about the change in practice time. What was the thought process going into it?

Coach Sparano:"Thought process in that was done through research here, looking back in the past, between some of the things I've done and they've done, and just playing games into that time zone a little bit on a one-day trip. This is a one-day trip, which we're leaving on Saturday for. It's a noon start there, which really makes it an East Coast game for us on the body clock. What I wanted to do was make sure that everything that we did got us to the practice field in the next couple of days at 10 a.m. So, practice will start at the time of the game for our bodies. This way we start to get accustomed to that a little bit. We have to get our guys up a little earlier and they'll be out of the building a little bit earlier. They've got to stay off their feet and get proper rest that way so that on Sunday, when that rolls around, that 7:30 a.m. wake up call to go to the stadium technically we've already done that three times."

Q: That storm coming in tomorrow, is it going to affect practice?

Coach Sparano:"It could. We're certainly prepared for it and we've made some alternate plans right now if that has to happen. Certainly could affect practice for us."

Q: Off the facility?

Coach Sparano:"We may have to be, yes."

Q: You've probably been through this situation many times, where you play the same team twice in a short amount of time. Has it been your experience that teams change a lot?

Coach Sparano:"I think you have to look at what they've done their last couple weeks and maybe what we've done our last few weeks, since the last time we played the game. There is some different tells there. Obviously, the last time that we were getting ready to play Kansas City, they were coming in here and they had won several games in a row. We have to look back and see some of the things they've done recently. We had to evaluate ourselves here, what we did well in that game and what we didn't do well in that game. There will be changes to the plan, taking a look at some of the things they're doing right now."

Q: Derek Carr had talked about the second time playing in San Diego, that it was the first time he'd ever played the same team twice in a year. For him, the second game didn't go as well as the first. Do you think he learned from that?

Coach Sparano:"Yeah, I hope so. I would hope he learned from that. I would hope he learned that it's not going to be the same thing, which I think he knew going in, that it wouldn't be the same when we played San Diego game one and San Diego game two. As I said to the guys today, we have to learn from a lot of things. We need to learn how to handle ourselves after winning a football game, what the next week is like. If you're a lousy student, it's hard to learn sometimes. We have to do a good job that way and understand. From Derek's standpoint, he has to learn that this game can be completely different. Kansas City may look at it and say 'you know what, we had a 90-yard run come out of there and another run come out of there' and that maybe they don't feel like they played that play extremely well. Short of that, maybe they played pretty well. That's hard to tell what those guys are thinking on their side of the football."

Q: Derek talked the other day that he's able to look at receivers better. How have you seen him grow?

Coach Sparano:"I've seen him grow a lot that way. He's done a good job. He can use his vision pretty well. He's starting to be able to play with the secondary a little bit that way with his eyes. He has a much more definitive plan on what he's doing with the football before the snap. I think the good thing is, he is at a point now where he's getting the play from [offensive coordinator] Greg [Olson] and as he's getting the play from Greg, a picture's being drawn in his head immediately. He has a pretty good idea what he's been seeing that way, so he's able to connect the dots pretty good. That's the area that I've seen the most improvement in. Of course in the ball game the other day, the thing I thought he did really well was his accuracy. That's something that we want to see continue to improve." Q: There were times when Derek rolled out and you saw him directing receivers where to go and then throwing to those receivers. How much of that is just a natural progression for him, or is that him being ahead of the curve in terms of seeing the defense?

Coach Sparano:"Yeah, I think it's a little bit being ahead of the curve, because sometimes when you do that you've got to know what's happening on the back end because all of a sudden you can get robbed. You're there, you're there, you're redirecting traffic and you're throwing the ball – you think he's open, but all of a sudden something comes from your blind spot. I think that he has a pretty good feel for it right now. He's starting to develop a better feel for it and kind of how to play catch that way with some of his different receivers right now. I think he has a good idea what's happening in the back end of some of those coverages. That's something that you really can't coach a lot. It's happening in the games. It's something I've been around a few times with different quarterbacks like a [Cowboys QB Tony] Romo or somebody like that, that would do something that way to extend plays that way. If you can get that and extend some plays, you'll get some chunk plays."

Q: It seems like Derek's best games have come at home. Do you see anything in his play on the road that maybe he needs to correct in those environments?

Coach Sparano:"No. I mean, listen: All of us need to do better in those environments right now. We're out there on the road – for us, we've played hard on the road in most instances right now. That hasn't been an issue. Obviously, we had the St. Louis thing on the road, but in a lot of situations, we've played really hard on the road. It's just been unfortunate. That's something that we've talked about here. There's a lot of potential for firsts for this group of players this week and we need to get some things done. We need to win a game on the road. We need to win two games in a row. Those are all important things."

Q: There was a lot of jawing going on back and forth the other day between the Raiders and the 49ers. The Chiefs are coming up and that's an emotional rivalry. I'm curious as to what your take on trash talk and getting in other people's heads. Is that something that you frown upon or do some players actually thrive by doing that. How do you approach that?

Coach Sparano:"That's a good question. To be honest with you, it's not something that – I don't necessarily think it's a huge part of the game. It's not something that you're coaching or that you're doing that way. Every player is built a little bit different and some players, that gets them going a little bit. I've been around some players where that really fuels their fire, and some players I've been around just don't say a peep. I can't get a peep out of them. I just think it really depends on the individual. You can cross a line, obviously, if you're in a situation where it hurts your team, where you get into a situation where that costs you a penalty or that costs you something in a critical situation. I've been involved in those things. I've been involved in players getting ejected from games, those types of things. Now you're hurting the other 52 guys on the team. That becomes a problem. The game is an emotional game, like I said, and some people play differently. I'm different than a lot of other head coaches that are out there. I coach the game differently than some other people; some other people coach the game the way I do. It's game time and you're kind of wound up and ready to go."  Q: Sio Moore had the thing with Colin Kaepernick that was a two-way street and they were both going at it. Then against Kansas City he was behind the line, maybe too fired up. Is he a guy that you need to rein in?

Coach Sparano:"No, and again, Sio and I have visited about those situations. But I love Sio's energy and I love his passion. It's necessary. He's a passionate, emotional player and I like that part of it. I want my team to play that way. I want my team to play with passion and energy and enthusiasm. It's just there's a fine line between that and not playing smart football all the time. The play a couple of weeks ago against Kansas City could have been a critical situation in the game had it not been for a timeout being called there in that scenario. We've got to learn from these things and again, like I said, you try to find out whether or not these guys are at this point, when you're teaching lessons – are you a good student? I said this the other day: DJ Hayden a couple weeks back he had that hit and it ended up being a really good play, a really good hit, and then a taunt. The very next game DJ came back and he made that same play and made it clean and did it the right way. That's learning a good lesson, so that's what we need to be doing."

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