This just arrived in my inbox so I wanted to get it up as soon as possible. We get answers to some of the questions we have about the play-calling, but also some vagueness, as will happen on occasion.
End of Game Communication and Play-calling
RE: I read today in the paper, that towards the end of the game, some of the signals didn’t come through to the quarterback, there was a communication disruption. I wonder if you can explain what happened, because all I did was read it in the newspapers?
“The only thing in that situation, Coach [Mike] Martz was trying to get a couple of calls in towards the end of the game and it happens. The quarterback, due to the noise in the stadium, due to some kind of malfunction with the speakers. Shaun [Hill] was able to get the call, but in terms of whether the call goes into the boundary or whether it goes to the field, that was something else, so he just had to make a call, but setting it, you didn’t get it to the side you wanted it to and it’s as simple as that."
RE: Vernon [Davis] raised that he wished he was on the field for that last play, obviously you have different packages, you had four wideouts. Did you second guess that at all? Vernon had been doing a nice job, at least in pass protection at that point.
“No, I didn’t second guess it all and that’s one of those plays where hopefully you have it set to this side and you have someone in 55’s face. Coach Martz knows how dangerous the guy is. He had 16 sacks going into the game and so you are trying to get the call in, it’s not happening. I mean I heard him when they lined up. No, this is not what I wanted, this is not it. It’s supposed to be set to the other side, but at the same time, it’s on.”
RE: The running back was supposed to be over there?
“No, Shaun called it to the left side and should have been to the right side and it was just a communication breakdown. It’s as simple as that. It would have been great to get it set to the other side, but it didn’t happen.”
RE: Could you clarify a couple of things about the final play? The play as it was called, the formation was incorrect? Could you explain that? You had five wide outs, no tight end and nobody in the backfield. What kind of support was Barry Sims supposed to get, in terms of blocking Joey Porter?
“Here’s what you have: you have an offensive set, where you have everything set away from [Joey Porter]. You change it and you put it on the other side. What you have, you’re not going to have a wide out there blocking him here, OK? But what you do have, you get a couple of chips. It’s just like your running backs. You’re not going to have your running back go and hit that defensive end, but when that defensive end comes off ball, that offensive tackle if going to hit him and maybe when he tries to post him up, he’s not getting it right now, and that guy gets around him. All you need is that running back just to come right there and just chip the guy, and if you get a couple of those you got time. You buy time, and that’s what you get with a couple of receivers. Not all of our receivers are midgets, those guys – some of them are pretty decent size. Some of them are pretty physical. So you get traffic. Sometimes all you need is traffic. You don’t have to have Vernon Davis over there every time. You just need traffic. If you get that, the linebacker – [Joey Porter] is not the guy who’s just going to run over you. He’s going to have to throw some moves, so if that tackle gets a hand on him, or a receiver passes by him, or a receiver comes underneath, you’ve got a chance. You buy a couple of seconds and you get what you want. That make sense?”
RE: You had the receiver…
“Instead of that, we got the receivers over here on air, running a route on air. Instead of receivers over here, running routes where you got a chance to get a brush on the guy and slow him down and help [Barry] Sims have a chance to block the guy.”
RE: Should you have been in Shotgun formation on that play, and who was the primary receiver?
“That – I’m not sure, in terms of a shotgun or underneath the center. I’m not sure on that. Who’s the primary receiver? Whoever comes open. In a situation like that, you’re just looking for the open guy. It depends on the defense that they have. If they’re showing a Cover 2, you’re looking for the guy inside. If they’re showing a Cover 3, you’re looking for the guy outside. Whichever comes open. If they appear to be in a Cover 2, and you think they’re playing a Tampa 2 and they’re not. They end up playing just a solid 2-Man, now you’re just looking for somebody to beat the guy underneath. So, it just depends on what they’re doing. The question makes sense, but that’s all it takes sometimes, just getting traffic in that guys face to give that guy a chance. When you look over there and see Barry Sims all alone, wow, you’re licking your chops. So, that was the situation.”
RE: As I look at the play-by-play, in the fourth quarter, I see that your running backs don’t touch the ball. Was that okay by you?
“That was okay by me. I think that, in the game, you come to a point where you’ve got to do what you feel gives you the best chance of winning. I felt that what happened yesterday – it really wasn’t so much of, ‘Well if you don’t run the game, then you’re getting away from what Coach Singletary likes to do.’ I think you can be just as aggressive in throwing the ball, depending on when it is and where it is, as you are running the ball. I think you can be very unwise running the ball if you’re not getting what you want. I just think that when it came down to it, we felt we had a rhythm going. We felt that we had a chance. Maybe next time we’ll hit that pass. We had some plays. We had some opportunities, I said before, and we did not get them. We did not take advantage of them, and that’s very frustrating when you look at the film. But, that’s where we are, and that’s where we were yesterday.”
After the jump, Singletary and the reporters had an interesting back and forth regarding his chances of getting the full-time head coaching job.
On the potential of being named the 2009 head coach
RE: I know you don’t like to talk hypothetical, but just generally, after this experience can you imagine not being a head coach next season?
“In this game, anything can happen. I’ve been around it long enough to know that. In this game, anything can happen. I would think the better question is: Could I imagine not being head coach here? For me, as I’ve said before, I want the job but each week for me all I’m going to do is try, with everything in me, to prove to myself [that I’m] worthy of having the job. And after that, for me, that’s all it is. I just need to know myself, ‘Are you doing the things that you need to do? Are you getting the things out of the players that you need to get? And are you really worthy of that job?’ And after that…”
RE: What’s your answer so far?
“I don’t have an answer yet. I’m going to stay away from that. I don’t have an answer yet.”
RE: [Tom Fitzgerald:] Would you be disappointed if there were an interview process here?
“If there’s an interview process, I have to respect where they are. Would I be disappointed? If you asked me last year if I was disappointed that I didn’t become a head coach last year somewhere: yeah, I was disappointed. But I think everything happens for a reason. If I’m not the head coach here, then I believe there’s a reason why I’m not the head coach here. And that’s the only way that I can answer that.”
RE: [Lowell Cohn:] But the question wasn’t…
“I know that. I know that. I know. I understand the question. But that’s my answer. I understand the question. But that’s my answer. You asked me if I would be disappointed if I’m not the head… Ask me your question again since you….”
RE: [Fitzgerald:] There is a possibility that you could be named head coach today, for all I know, or after the last game. Or, it’s possible that the Yorks and Scot McCloughan could have a full-fledged interview process. So it’s either one or the other. I think there’s a lot of people who would say you should be named the coach right away. They shouldn’t even have an interview process. I’m asking if you would be disappointed if there were an interview process.
[Cohn:] But I think you mean that the interview process would include Mike.
[Fitzgerald:] Well, that’s obvious.
“Okay. If there is an interview process, all I’m going to say is that I would have to respect where they are and obviously I have not done enough to show them that I am the guy. If they can’t see that I’m the guy, then they need to have that interview process. Is that a better answer?”
RE: If they were an interview process and as it’s been pointed out you, of course would be part of it, would you participate?
“I don’t know…I don’t know. That’s a very good question, I don’t know I can’t give an answer to that question right now.”
RE: Coach, I’m a little confused, why would you take part in the interview process?
“Ok, yes. I would go through an interview process.”
RE: Well I think that you are a competitive guy:
“I am a competitive guy, ok. But competition, when you talk about competitive I’m competitive in anything that I do but I’ll just say this if there’s an interview, I’ll probably go through the interview process. Any other questions?
RE: Are you basically saying that this right now is your interview what you are doing and how you are closing out the season.
“You know what, I couldn’t say it any better. Thank you.”
RE: Are you surprised that they haven’t promoted you already? Clearly the team is more competitive.
“I’ll put it this way, for me as I’ve said before…when I took the job I file that in my heart and in my mind that I would do the things that I needed to do. When I took the job I’m thinking forward. I don’t ever think ‘well, okay I’ve got the job for eight weeks, nine weeks’ I don’t ever think that way. Someone has to come up to me and say ‘you know what, you don’t have the job and it’s going to be a whole other process and we’re going to do this, a process of elimination. When I took the job that’s where I was looking but if that does not happen then I will do the necessary things that I need to do take the next step.”
RE: In terms of what you’re going through now is one thing but I think if I was the owner of a team I would want to know what your plan is going forward. So I’m wondering is that something that you’re able to give right now to them, that you’re caught up in the season, that you haven’t looked ahead to what you’re going to formulate that plan. Who’s going to be in what position, what players are you going to need, what players you want to kick out of here…”
“Obviously because I have looked at the cost of –the preparation of becoming the head coach prior to this year those are questions that when that time comes when answers will be available…this is heating up here, man (laughing). You guys are getting warm here, wait a minute, hold on here.”
RE: You when to Miami, a team that could very well win their division, you don’t have your key offensive player, you lose your offensive tackle right away and yet you take it down to the last play of the game basically the last play. Do you look at this in terms of moral victories? Do you look at it as an impressive loss and do you hope that the Yorks take that into consideration?
“Ok, I’m going to say this one more time and I’m sure I’ll say it again. I am not trying to impress the Yorks. when I’m coaching, I’m not thinking about the Yorks; I’m not thinking that the Yorks are looking at me and hopeing that I hope they saw that. I don’t really care about that. The only thing that I care about right now is that I know that in this moment of time that I have I am doing the best that I can to be the best head coach that I can be. After that, whatever happens I got peace with that. If it’s not here then you move on and that’s where I am. But trust me, I’m not looking at ‘well see, that was good. Who was eyeing?’ I don’t care, to me I wanted to win yesterday and I felt like we should have won even without the people that we had, but we didn’t and even then, the thing that I talked about before this game [is] I want to have all the adversity we can get. Any piece of adversity that we can be because it makes it tougher. It makes it tougher for what we’re trying to build. What we’re trying to build is out there, but it starts here and works its way out there then it comes back. And so that’s where I am, I’m not thinking about the Yorks, I’m not thinking about who is grading, I’m not thinking about GM’s I’m not even thinking about the media. I’m just thinking about am I focused on this job can I do this job in the hardest situation possible, because all it does is make us better and it makes us stronger for when the right time comes and we take it forward.”