I know I haven't been very active lately - been busy with 'real life', but I took some time today to watch all of our post game pressers. I was absolutely devastated yesterday after that game. I literally couldn't bring myself to do homework, laundry, anything. But after hearing the remarks of this team, I really have hope that we will be able to salvage something, maybe even gain something after this absolute robbery. Links below:
Jim Schwartz took no exception to placing the blame on the team, saying, "Hey look, the time I stand up here and start blaming officials for a loss is a time when I don't need to be doing this anymore." Even though I would have liked to see him stand up for his player making a play, Schwartz sets the example for the team, and as a disciplinarian, it is his job to shoulder the responsibility for the loss himself. He even goes so far as to compliment the Bears' defense. Jim Schwartz is class, and the differences in this team, even in a loss like this, is palpable.
Kyle Vanden Bosch stands with a bloodied face @ 2:33, speaking only of how proud he was of his defense, and how upset he was with himself that he didn't get a single sack. This is a guy who I want as a veteran leader on this defense.
"Obviously we gave up some plays we shouldn't have, but we battled, played with a lot of heart, a lot of intensity, and that's something we can build upon. Mistakes, guys in the wrong spot, those are things we can fix. But we put ourself in a position to have a chance to win defensively, guys stepped up and made plays when we had to... We're gonna win some games like that."
Stafford and Johnson were interviewed, and although Matt didn't say much, he didn't seem overly concerned about much. He complimented the defense and said that everyone loses as a team, but Johnson was much more somber. He looks depressed, but when asked how the gameplan changed when Hill went in, gives a stern look and says "It didn't change at all." He adds that it "sucked" to lose Matt, "our captain", but that they have to continue to try and win games.
Shaun Hill commented that he was 'very confident' in his ability to lead the team. Julian Peterson deferred a response about the call, and took responsibility for the loss, placing it on the defense to stop the 2 TD's they had. Suh threw his support behind Hill, and was asked if it was emotionally exhausting to have this happen in his first NFL game.
"I wouldn't say it was emotionally exhausting, I'm not a guy who gets too high or too low. I'm a guy who's pretty even keeled, rolls with the punches, and just really wants to be a guy who brings other people up with him."
I suggest you watch each one a couple times. A few things I noticed:
- Pretty much every player interviewed had the same look in their eyes - like they were looking off in the distance, but each person looked resolved. It's almost like this was a reason for each one of those players to prove to everyone that we deserve these W's.
- Everyone seems to be on board with Shaun Hill as the starter, unlike Daunte Culpepper preceeding him. Peter King remarked last night that they were thinking Stafford has a 2nd degree shoulder strain, which knowing the young Iron Man, would probably put him out for a few weeks. Matthew himself seemed relatively alright with the situation, and after experiencing a relatively serious shoulder injury, I personally feel like he would know how bad the situation was. I understand not saying anything until there is evidence, but I'm actually feeling OK about Stafford. Like Calvin said, 'It sucks to lose our captain', but we have a capable backup.
- The defensive players especially seem to have developed quite a chemistry. They are all very proud of their performance today, and sometimes all it takes is the execution of a stellar game to make players realize their potential. Our defense is absolutely better than advertised, and will only get better throughout the course of the season. The attitudes of players are SO important, as we have seen in a negative fashion over the years, and it really appears that the biggest problem we've had for over a decade - a permanent terrible disposition - has finally been lifted.
Take heart, you road-weary fans. All is not lost. Our team may be the David of the NFL, but our time will come. We have too much heart and reason to be kept down by Goliath. Take this chip on your shoulder as I'm sure our players have, and let's show the NFL that no matter how hard they try, they can't keep the Gridiron Heroes down for long.