Tuesday, August 24, 2004

(Opening comments on injuries)
“CB Travis Fisher, obviously, (will get) surgery, with a plate in the bone. No one completely knows when we will be getting him back. We could be very optimistic and say eight to 10 weeks, or you can be pessimistic and say three to four months. Nobody really knows, so there is no sense in putting a time on it. When he’s back, he’s back. It’s very unfortunate. He was having a heck of a game. We were very excited about his play. He had about 15 plays. It was just a freak accident. QB Marc Bulger injured his knee in the first series. He’s getting an MRI as we speak. LB Tommy Polley has a shoulder injury, a rotator cuff. And then DT Tyoka Jackson had an injury to his shoulder. Everyone else came out clean, so the significant one is losing Travis. He’s a terrific corner and it will be hard to replace him. It just gives someone else an opportunity, like CB DeJuan Groce or CB Kevin Garrett, to step in there and take charge. That’s what they are here for. They get paid for this opportunity. They need to make the most of it, and I’m sure they will.”

(On positives seen during the game)
“A couple of good things, DT Brian Howard and Tyoka (Jackson) were terrific in that game. All three linebackers, (Brandon) Chillar, Pisa (Tinoisamoa), and Robert Thomas, I thought played very well. I think that RB Marshall (Faulk) and Steven Jackson play exceptionally well. I was very excited watching the tape. Marshall’s burst and his speed. Obviously we have some things going for us on the offensive line. We had T Grant (Williams) trying to play for us on a bad wheel, and some other things that you guys well know. So we didn’t want to leave (Faulk) in there too long. But he did get 13 snaps in there. He had a chance to carry the ball, catch a pass, then get him out of the game. Steven, I thought, really picked it up. I was very pleased with his effort. He ran hard and he was very impressive with his change of direction. Some of the jump cuts that only smaller backs seem capable of doing, he demonstrated a couple of those during the game. He lowered his shoulder and ran through a couple of tacklers. I was very excited and pleased with how he ran the ball and just his skills. He did make some mental errors that did cost us on key third downs, and of course that needs to get cleaned up. The offensive line, (G Adam) Timmerman has a shoulder (injury), and probably won’t practice this week and we’ll see how he is for the game. We have some problems with the offensive line that will not get resolved in the next day or two. It’s going to take some time. Tommy (Nütten) needs to come back. We need to get G Chris Dishman in shape. He did play much better than I thought he would at this point, but we still have a ways to go on the offensive line. On a more positive note, G Scott Tercero continued to play terrific. He was outstanding again. So that’s a very bright spot for us. We are really pleased with him. TE Brandon (Manumaleuna) played more than I planned to play him, but it was out of need more than anything else. I thought QB Jeff Smoker, all the way to the very end, did a terrific job. I think that he has matured a great deal through the camp. QB Marc Bulger (played well) for the most part. We had some protection snafus and he got a little quick in the beginning. On the interception for a touchdown, he was blitzed from the back side. He has a choice of which side to throw it to, and if he puts a little more air on that thing, then (WR Shaun) McDonald catches it and scores. It’s a learning process for Marc. He will be fine. I think QB Chris Chandler is getting back in sync. We kept Chris out of practice for about six days because of general soreness to his arm, that we wanted him to recoup. It will be Chris Chandler and Marc for the rest of the preseason.”

(On if the third game of the preseason is most similar to a regular season game)
“Somebody forgot to tell the rest of the league that. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think it’s a myth. I just don’t think that’s the case. I think it used to be the case, but not anymore.”

(On how QB Marc Bulger hurt his knee)
“It was on one of the throws, and he got hit and spun around. I think he got hit on the knee cap. I didn’t know about it until this morning.”

(On the seriousness of the injuries to LB Tommy Polley and QB Marc Bulger)
“I don’t know yet. I think Tommy’s (Polley) is potentially the most serious. He did what LB Brandon Chillar did. He got caught with his arm extended. It could be a week or two (until he recovers). Marc was just sore in a particular area. He had kind of a hot spot, and you always want to be very conservative and make sure (the doctors) look at it.”

(On how CB DeJuan Groce is coming along)
“I think he is (making progress). I’m not sure we will have him this week, but we should have him next week. We could possibly have him this week, but I don’t know. He’ll start his running tomorrow. I think the swelling is out of the knee at this point. It’s not as sore, so we’ll see where he is. It’s a day to day thing. If he is not ready, he is not ready. Then we go with CB (Dwight) Anderson and whoever is ready to play. Everything is about getting ready for our opener. That’s what we have in mind.”

(On how CB DeJuan Groce and CB Kevin Garrett were looking at camp)
“They both had very good camps. In fact, Kevin had a better camp than I would have thought. He had the furthest to go, just in his skills and his background. He didn’t have the discipline. DeJuan was a little more refined, and I thought Kevin caught up. It was hard for us to determine who had the edge. That’s good news. We’ll just have to see. Not having DeJuan here this week, I’m not really sure (who has the advantage). We’ve been in this situation before with J.B. (CB Jerametrius Butler), and even (CB Travis Fisher).”

(On CB Dwight Anderson)
“He did better (than the first game). He still is very indiscipline, but he certainly has some ability. He made some plays. He had a nice pass break up, and we are very pleased with that. The discipline it takes to play this game at a high level, and not put your team in jeopardy with penalties, and things of that nature, we just need to press on him more. But he does have some ability.”

(On if S Aeneas Williams will move to CB)
“I don’t know. I would hate to move Aeneas. You would have to consider that if DeJuan wasn’t ready to go, and Fish (Travis Fisher) is out, and some other things go on. (Aeneas) is just settling in to the free safety position and really playing well. He played very well last night. I talked to him about it last night, the potential, in a desperate situation. We certainly don’t want to do that. It’s not fair to him. He spent so much time back there getting ready to play. He’s just at the point now where he has a really good feel for it. But we need to put our best players on the field, so that could happen in extreme situations. But at this point, it’s not a consideration.”

(On if the doctors will have a better time frame for Travis Fisher after surgery)
“It’s just like WR Kevin Curtis. Everybody heals so differently. TE Cam Cleeland had a very, very severe hamstring tear, and he’s ready to come back. And we have had guys with mild pulls not ready in this amount of time. Everybody heals differently. It’s not a question of toughness, it’s just how fast you heal, particularly a bone. That’s why it could be anywhere between eight weeks or four months, who knows.”

(On if Travis Fisher will be put on injured reserve)
“We are not going to IR him at this point. We are expecting him back at some point during the season.”

(On FB Joey Goodspeed)
“I think he probably could’ve gone last night, but we kept him out. When a guy is tight, generally that’s a precursor to a major pull. That has been my experience. He was ready to go. I told him to just stay out and make sure he’s ready to go this week, and get ready for Arizona.”

(On if RB Marshall Faulk was satisfied with the amount of work he had)
“I think he was. I talked to him a little bit on the sideline, and I think at that point he felt good about it. We will to continue, in these last two games, to make sure that he gets work, too.”

(On RB Marshall Faulk playing on Friday)
“He’s going to play a little bit, how much I don’t know. We’ll just kind of see what the status of everybody else is, I would like to have Joey (Goodspeed) in there in front of him.”

(On WR Shaun McDonald punt returning)
“When you see him run, he’s fearless, and knock on wood, he’s protected the ball. He’s a threat to take it the distance at any time. I think as the season goes on, we’re looking at guys on special teams as punt return team. When we settle in on that unit, then he’s going to have a much better opportunity to return a punt. We’re not into schemes, we’re looking at guys just getting downfield, blocking guys and picking up, just seeing how they play. We’re really like that on offense and defense too. As we get toward the season and into the season, there will be some very specific returns and some good things for him to get wrapped up in. I really think he has a real good chance to return one or two.”

(On it being hard to value what the preseason games mean)
“Yeah, there’s a mixture of emotions in that thing. I do know that after they played the Giants, and rushed for all those yards, I just felt like we would get blitzed pretty good. I just didn’t want to get into a lot of the schemes in some of the things that we do. I just thought that we would perform better under fire with these things, and we made an awful lot of mistakes, and yet we were very simple, and they we’re very simple in offense too, we were very much alike in what we did. The execution part of it, and watching guys play is what I’m most concerned about, and getting them better. Of course you would like to do that, and win a game too. I just didn’t feel like we competed very well. We made an inordinate amount of mental mistakes, which is something that we’ve really stressed here throughout camp, and have done a good job of eliminating, and we practiced very well up until that game. There’s some reasons why, and I think I do understand the situation, but it is frustrating. At the same token, when we open up with Arizona here, we have to be at our best, and sometimes you have to take a punch or two unfortunately, and keep Joey Goodspeed out, and do some of those things, that’s just the way it is.”

(On how long it will take T Orlando Pace to be ready to play after he returns)
“When he gets here, he gets here, and we’ll talk to him about all that stuff. I don’t have any idea how much work he needs, because I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in, I don’t know what he’s been doing, I don’t know anything about him. I have not talked to Orlando since the end of the season, he has not returned any of the calls from any of the coaches, any of the players, or anybody else, so I don’t know. He did the same thing last year, but I think some of the players had a pretty good idea of when he was coming in, he certainly has a bunch of friends on this team. I think that’s the business aspect of it through his agent, I think that’s what his agent wants him to do. I don’t blame Orlando for that certainly, I think this is what he’s been asked to do through his agent. That’s the hard part of it though, even though I understand the business, it’s hard. You’ve got some guys out, you’re thin, you would like to have him in here, but by the same token, it’s what it is.”

(On the Chiefs performance)
“I just think that they’re further along than we are. Their offensive line has been together. They are really rolling. I think they are a good team that’s ready to play. I think going in with the offensive line out of sorts, we knew we would have some problems, but we need to work that out. They looked very good to me.”

(On if the offensive line will be ready for opening weekend, or if it will be a work in progress)
“Provided that we can keep what we have healthy, with the addition of Orlando (Pace), even if Orlando isn’t here, we will put out a first unit that will compete and play well. You have to figure that G Chris Dishman has made tremendous progress at this point. You figure in another two weeks he will continue to improve. Here is a guy that has played the game quite a bit. And if we can get T Tommy (Nütten) back here in two weeks, he should be somewhat near being ready to help. In three of four weeks he certainly should be able to help us. My biggest concern is Grant Williams. He probably shouldn’t have played last night, but played anyway with that ankle (injury). The good news is that G Scott Tercero can play. He plays the tackle or the guard position, and can play at a high level. He probably played the best of all offensive linemen last night.”

(On T Grant Williams)
“He’s got a great deal of soreness in (his ankle). It’s one that you would want to keep someone out a week or two, but we are just so thin at this point. I told him to do what he could do. If he couldn’t do it, it would’ve been his decision. Grant doesn’t have to play. He’s been in the league long enough and he’s secure enough where he plays because he wants to play. There is great character in that man. He wanted to do this, and I appreciate that. I’m very grateful for that.”

(On RB Chris Massey)
“The players call him ‘textbook,’ because he does everything by the book. He’s a terrific lead blocker. He is an unusual deep snapper, and probably as good as there is in the league. And we can’t afford him to sustain an injury at fullback, but we are at the point that if we are going to have Marshall (Faulk) in, we want someone in there that knows what’s going on. RB Erik Jensen has been (at fullback) for about three days, so he’s not ready yet.”