Opening Statement: "It's our second big day of preparation for Arizona. This is a day where we typically go over all of our situations, short yardage, goal line, red zone, things of that nature. They present some problems for you in all of those areas on both sides of the ball with their personnel. So, we have to really be on top of it today. I think our guys practiced well yesterday so we'll see how they do today."
On having four tight ends healthy: "It gives you more options. We've been in a situation the last few weeks where we've been a bit limited. Typically, you go in with three, sometimes with four depending upon your needs and who you're playing. It gives us some good options of guys. They're looking good and they've practiced well the last couple days. (Eric) Ebron looks good, Joe (Fauria) looks good, (Brandon) Pettigrew's doing well and Kellen's (Davis) doing good. We feel good about that."
On if there is any concern with RB Reggie Bush's injuries: "I think he's had a bit of a tough stretch, but I do think that he probably knows his body as well as anyone. He felt that he was really ready to go. He just kind of got hit the right way. This game is kind of odd, it really is. He's feeling good and running well and just getting caught the right way and wrong position, he had to take a few steps back. I don't anticipate that being the case with him because of the fact that I do think he'll be able to help us here at some point in time. It could be this weekend."
On if there is an added intensity this time of year: "I think anytime you're in November or December, obviously those are key games that are played during that time. Those have an unbelievable sort of impact on your season. I think it's important to be able to play well this time of the year. This is where, as I tell our guys, where you make your money. It's that time of year."
On what it means to have his name amongst the Coach of the Year discussion: "Not much. I don't have any more money in my pocket and it doesn't give me a couple more wins. I don't pay much attention to that stuff because I don't think Tony Dungy ever won Coach of the Year, I don't think Chuck Noll ever won Coach of the Year and he won a lot of football games. I was 14-2 one year and didn't win Coach of the Year. I have no interest with even concerning myself with that aspect. Winning is more important to me."
On if he takes the same approach with Bush's injury as he did with WR Calvin Johnson's: "Certainly, there's that possibility."
On how he has seen Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin grow as a coach: "Well one thing, and it's probably much like anything else in life, you see someone early on in their life and they don't change a whole lot to be honest with you. You can kind of see exactly what you're going to get later on down the road. There are very few drastic changes in that regard. With him, he was actually playing when I was coaching and then we had him as a graduate assistant after he finished a little stint with the World League or Canada somewhere, then he came over there with us to Penn State. It takes you all of about five, 10 minutes to be around him and watch him express himself how much he knew as a young coach. One of the things I did back in those days, I was kind of always preparing, hoping I'd get a head job one day, so I was always kind of putting names in place, ‘Hey this guy will be my secondary coach and this guy will do this.' I was doing that constantly because you have to keep up with it, even though I think at that time I don't think I had even interviewed for a job because that was my first one. But nevertheless, 16 years I was kind of preparing for it. I was around him, within a short period of time I said you know what, ‘This guy's going to be my secondary coach.' It worked out that way, but, he had the poise, he's smart, tough, and a very good communicator. Actually when he went with me to Wake Forest, Coach (Joe) Paterno actually wanted him to stay there at Penn State. He ended up coming with us. But, over the years, we were there for three years, there was a bit of a hiatus. He went different places and we got back together in Baltimore and saw the same things, even a wider breath of knowledge. He's got that combination that I think is prevalent in all coaches, there's a couple of things that are extremely important. Empathy and expertise, he has that and the other thing is precepts and percepts. Precepts being, he understands the principles and the rudiments of the game. Percepts are, that he is and has an embodiment of emotionalism that can transfer from him to the players and they sense it, get it and perform accordingly. I think all of those things are important."
On when he first thought of Austin as a defensive coordinator as opposed to a secondary coach: "Quite early, quite a while ago actually. It was just dependent on if the situation was right. This one happened to work out."
On how important it is to be able to recognize coaches that fit the players a team has: "I think that you want a staff that has some balance, has some maturity, youth, exuberance and guys that have seen it all, who have really been around a bunch. I think that's one of the things that you'll find, obviously, that we have here but also in Arizona. Tom Moore, who I have the utmost respect for, he's tremendous in that area, he's been around a long time and I worked with him a number of years. And then Tom Pratt, matter of fact I think he might have been the first person from my hometown, he and I are from the same hometown, graduated from the same high school, but between those two guys I don't know how many years of experience it is. It's probably somewhere bordering 100. I think that you have to have a delicate balance there. I think that's a difficult thing in terms of putting together your staff, the right staff for the players that you have and I think we have the right guys here and they certainly have an outstanding staff there as well."
On if this is an amplified challenge for G/C Travis Swanson this week: "Every week in this league, I don't care who you are, what position you play, if you haven't been through the gamut and performed a number of years in this league, you're going to have your work cut out for you. I don't care who you are. He's going to have his work cut out for him, just like everybody else in that front because of the fact that they have a very good and outstanding front and difficult scheme. But he's smart, he's tough, he has all the makings at being very fine at what he does. He's got to grow up quickly. He stepped in last week and did a nice job. I'm anticipating he's going to do the same."
On if Swanson's intelligence helps with the mental stress of this matchup: "It does and at that position, particularly in the interior, it's extremely important. Those guys have to make adjustments in a nanosecond. The quarterback may give an audible to change a play and there may be only five seconds on the play clock, those guys have to get that communicated across the board and then be able to execute it properly as well as a 310 pound guy lined up on the other side of the line from them. So, it takes a guy that has a quick and resourceful mind in order to play."
On his philosophy on veteran days of rest: "I think it depends on how you practice. I think it depends on how much time you spend out there on the field and those kinds of things, so you have to judge that accordingly. So, we look at it sometimes we can do so by taking a number of reps off a guy, sometimes we can do so by giving a day off, we adjust it. But, I think for the most part we take care of them."
On how important it is to have CB Rashean Mathis leading the secondary: "It's invaluable what he provides for us in particularly, not only on the field but in the meeting rooms. I'll sit in there and watch those guys in their meetings and the preparation that goes on, he asks great questions, he also reinforces a number of different things just in terms of scheme and schematics. He does a great job in terms of communicating it, even on the field obviously he does a tremendous job. A guy that's like that, he's like one of the older coaches that kind of mentioned that have seen it all. There's not a whole lot you can do with 11 guys on the field on the opposing side, and typically he's going to know the combinations he's going to see. He's going to have a good feel for them. He'll know the strengths and weaknesses of the coverages and I think that's extremely valuable."
On if he grew up idolizing Tom Pratt: "To be honest with you, until I got into coaching, I didn't know him because I think he may have graduated in the 50's I think, if I'm not mistaken. It was a while back but then after I got in coaching I knew who he was and that he had done some pretty great things in coaching. Then he retired and came back out of retirement, he does an excellent job."