Videos and excerpts from each of our three coordinators at their weekly news conferences on Thursday afternoon:
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DENNIS THURMAN
It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s what you do. We performed well at times, not so well at others. Our expectations are that we will continue to perform at a higher level more consistently in the second half of the season. If we do that, we have a chance to be pretty good. If we don’t, we’ll keep riding this roller-coaster we’ve been on. We have to keep working at it.
The best teacher for some of these guys starting for the first time is playing and gaining experience. You can only do it when you’re out on the field. Standing on the sideline doesn’t help you. One of the things I’ve found, being a professional athlete, a former athlete, is the game is entirely different. You can stand on that sideline and be as close as you want to the action, you look at it and you say, “I know what I should be doing.” And then you go out there and you see it, it’s like being on the freeway. You’re surrounded by cars flying all around, left, right, and you’re caught in it, you have no idea how to get out of it.
That’s how fast the game is. Everybody’s expectation is “Oh, he ought to be able to do it.” You can’t handle that until the game slows down through your own eyes. That’s what we have to get with our players on a more consistent basis. The game has to slow down for them on a more consistent level.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MARTY MORNHINWEG
Look, we can make up a lot of reasons and all these things, and we just won’t go there. Young, inexperienced, classic, all this [stuff], we will absolutely not allow our minds to go there. We have to play good, consistent offensive football. So you start getting into all these reasons and excuses. First of all, you sound like crybabies. Secondly, it prevents you from getting any better because you have an excuse built it.
We just don’t go there. We get better every day. Our foundation is built with hard work and preparation. It’s just that simple and we move forward. I’ve said it, I think, twice. We took a few steps backwards and everybody’s still a little hacked off about that, I’ll tell you that. We need to take some steps forward here.
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR BEN KOTWICA
He’s good. He’s been good for a while. Doing both, he’s one of the better guys in the league who handles punts and kickoffs. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s done an excellent job over the course of his career, so it will be a good challenge for us.
I think he does a great job, first off, catching the football, decision-making, and his athletic ability. He’s quicker than fast, though he is fast, he can run. He has an exceptional burst, an exceptional change of direction. You see it on the offensive side, but especially in the punt return game, he’s really good.
Tackle him. Get him on the ground. ... You watch the tape, get a feel for what he’s trying to do with the football, what they’re trying to do, where they’re trying to take it. And say a couple prayers. He’s good, but our guys will be ready and they’ll be up to the challenge.