By Steve Corkran
Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 3:02 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Wonder what Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan thought about his unit’s collapse in the final 5 minutes or so in a 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lions? Wonder no more. Here’s what Bresnahan had to say about that game, as well as other topics in a question-and-answer session with the media:
Q: Did your scheme change when you were up 27-14 on the Lions on Sunday, as everyone assumes?
A: “If you look at the game, we didn’t do that. We stayed with a four-man rush, we stayed with our coverage approach. After a game like that, I’m not going to say I’m discourage. I’m disappointed because, going into a game, every team puts red dots on people. Hue talks about it from us on an offensive perspective, we do the same thing on defense, usually try to take out the opponent’s top one or two, maybe on a certain week, three, red tags in the deal. Well, this week we only had one. We only had one target. At the end of the day, we failed because, when you allow somebody to have 200-plus yards in receiving yardage and making impact plays like he did, we obviously didn’t do a good enough job on defense. At the 7:50 mark or whatever, after the defensive score, if you tell me that our guys weren’t excited to go back on the field for those two drives, you would be completely wrong. They were excited, they were ready to go, and we just didn’t get the job done. The penalties, the lapses in mental mistakes, we’ve got to eliminate. But that comes on my shoulders, and I’ve got to make sure we’re prepared. But they were excited about going back on the field and they were ready to execute the game plan like we had right up until that defensive touchdown, and we didn’t get it done.”
Q: Was there confusion on the zone coverages on Johnson?
A: “I wouldn’t say it’s confusion. Again, it’s trying to do too much at times. Those are things that we’ll discuss in our meetings, as far as who was at fault or how we can make it better and all that type of stuff. But, no, I don’t think it was a confusion standpoint at all. When you talk to the players and you look at the play itself, we just didn’t get it done. We weren’t in the right position to keep that ball in fron of us, and I’m talking about the deep ball at the end. Same thing in the first quarter on the long one. That should never happen, either, because of the way the coverage is designed to keep a high person and a low person on him, Again, we’ll get that corrected. I’m disappointed, not discouraged. You guys asked about the effort to Hue, and the energy, it’s been right back and these guys, they put the play behind them and they’re ready to go. But you can’t do that. We got to play on a more consistent level because you can’t give games away like we just gave that one away.”
Q: On the long pass to Johnson, two guys were in position to make the play. They lose sight of the ball?
A: “Yeah, and, again, there’s things, though, that happened at the beginning of the play that we didn’t execute properly to disrupt the whole timing of that route, and I put that on my shoulders because we didn’t get it done. We did not get it done and we will because, when you have one red dot, that red dot is not going to do what he did to us. They are a unique team, where you have an exceptional individual. That’s not to say all the other guys weren’t effective or guys that we had under control. Our two things were to stop the run game and minimize what Calvin did to us, and we didn’t get it done.”
Q: Any question of using MLB and backup safety on Calvin Johnson in a critical situation?
A: “At this time, it’s our starting safety and that’s our package. Our Mike linebacker is a middle-of-the-field player but not over the top. He’s an inside player looking for the in routes, and our safety is over the top. Again, that’s stuff that we’ll handle in our room. But, no, when you look at the entire play, it should never have gotten to that (point).”
Q: What do you make of the Chiefs offense?
A: “Well, obviously, they have a different quarterback, but this is a team that you still have to go in, and this will be a challenge for us with the run game. They do a lot of things with McCluster. But they got, really, a three-headed monster back there with Jones, Battle an McCluster. They’re going to try to establish the run. They’re going to try to get it on the edge with McCluster. They have the ability to go to the Wildcat, like they did to us in the red zone the last game. But we got to come out and stop the run and then we have to be very disciplined in our coverage. And step it up a notch and really hold ourselves accountable to make up for last week. The guys understand what’s at stake now. Not that they haven’t up until this point, but they definitely know what’s at stake and there’s a real attitude, chip on the shoulder, after the last game to make it right.”
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