Brian Schottenheimer 11/18 Press Conference

On whether the field being shorter is part of the reason they have struggled in the red zone…
I don’t think so.  We’re not going to make excuses like that.  Believe me, it’s hard.  It’s not easy, but I think what we’re looking at, when you go back and look at it from the last couple of weeks, is execution.  We don’t expect that Mark (Sanchez) is going to drop a snap on first-and-seven at the seven (yard line).  What we need to do, is clean up the execution in that area of the field.  The game does shrink.  There’s smaller voids, I think.  You go back to the first drive of the game last week and we tried to sneak LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) out in the flat on third-and-two down in there low.  He (Sanchez) came of his first two progressions, tried to come (over) to Braylon (Edwards) (with) the ball.  Things are condensed and the safety made a good play on it, but there’s clearly things we could have done differently throughout the course of the route where we feel we could’ve executed a little bit better.  We’re aware of it.  We know we need to execute things better.  We’re looking at the plan and the different things we can do to try to maybe condense things and not have as many things down there (and) focus again on the execution.  We’re aware of it and we’re working towards it. 



On what happened on the play where Sanchez was almost intercepted by Abram Elam
That’s a great question.  We hit the play going the other way.  It was second-and-15, we had a false start penalty or something that backed us up going the other direction.  We hit Santonio (Holmes) on the same exact play for about a 12-yard gain.  In that situation, you know you’re in field goal range.  You’re going to call a pass that you think gives you a chance to convert the third-down, but also is pretty safe.  We flipped it (and) ran it the other way.  They were in a pressure and (we) were trying to get the ball to Santonio (Holmes) or LaDainian (Tomlinson), and when LT flared out to the left, Matt Roth, the defensive end peeled on him.  When Mark saw that, he just kind of assumed that the spot route, which was what Santonio was running, was going to be wide-open.  He thought, "Ok, if he’s running with the swing, there’s nobody there."  He just never saw Abe (Elam).  It was Mark’s eyes.  He had bad eyes, or bad read discipline on that one.  He has to see that guy because it could’ve been a costly error.  I think Santonio made a terrific play to come in there after Abe bobbled it and knock it down.  It was just a bad read. 
 
On how important it is to have both Tomlinson and Shonn Greene
Obviously, I think the formula has worked for us for a couple of years now, even dating back to Leon (Washington) and Thomas (Jones) before Shonn ever got here.  It just helps.  You don’t think you’re going to have 91 plays or whatever it was last week.  You don’t think you’re going to run it 45 times.  I think a lot of times we pride ourselves, offensively, (on) being able to score on big plays, but also we can move the ball down-the-field and sustain drives.  If you’re going on a 13, 14-play drive, you’re going to need backs.  It’s hard.  The running backs, they take such a pounding in this league.  Quite honestly, the two that we have are awfully great compliments, because LT is such a threat out of the backfield and he can get to the perimeter and Shonn’s such a bruiser.  Not that they can’t do the other’s skill set, but it’s awfully nice to have  a change-of-pace back where Shonn’s pounding you between the tackles and next thing you know, LT’s on the edge.  I think we’re just very fortunate to have those two guys. 
 
On if Greene getting more carries makes it feel like the team has a new acquisition…
No, I think a lot of times numbers maybe make things appear that way.  His numbers were down, his carries were down and he wasn’t maybe as productive.  I think a lot of things go into that.  LT, obviously, he was the big story because of coming here and everybody thought he was washed up and stuff like that.  We have two really good tailbacks.  Again the numbers have just gone, that Shonn has gotten more work the last couple of weeks.  He’s produced for us.  Not that LT’s not playing very well, just sometimes the numbers go that way.  I think Shonn, last year, right around, the New Orleans game, game (four), started taking off and I think you see him coming on right now. 
 
On how much of Sanchez’s mobility is instinct and how much is experience…
I think it’s something that we saw that Mark had coming out of college, but I think that it’s something that you need to continue to work on.  It can be refined.  It needs to be stressed.  It’s probably something that early in the year, myself and Coach Cav (Matt Cavanaugh), probably could have done a better job of.  We’ve obviously made a big (adjustment).  I know everybody sees us out there beating him up with the foam bats and everything.  It’s something that you have to work on.  There’s so much going on in such a confined space.  You (need to) have the instincts to move, but you also have to make your body do it.  I think Mark has the instincts.  He has the feel, but at the same time, you have to keep your legs engaged and you have to be able to tell, "Ok, my mind’s telling me to move.  Can I move fast enough to avoid a 330-pound defensive lineman that’s coming free?"  Unless you work that, it’s hard to get it to kick in.  To play quarterback in this league, if you don’t have that, you’re not going to be very successful because so much of the game, even with the line we have, is played with people around you and having to move and avoid people.  That’s one of the things that he, Mark, is very pleased with, how he’s progressed with that through the last couple of weeks.  
 
On the foam bats they use in practice…
The foam bats have been pretty good.  We’ve used different things in the past, but when Bru (Mark Brunell) brought those, Mark really seemed to like them.  The first couple of times you actually saw him wince.  He’s getting more and more comfortable with it.  Obviously, it doesn’t take the place of an actual live rep, but you do get more comfortable with things around you.  Quite honestly, I know Kellen (Clemens) and Brunell like beating him up when he gets back there.  It’s been good.  It’s a small little thing that’s paid dividends for us the past two weeks.
 
On why the receivers haven’t been more open if defenders are paying more attention to Dustin Keller
A lot of that is play specific.  I’ll give Cleveland a lot of credit.  They had somebody hitting Dustin on every single play.  You watch them in the two minute and it’s the actual defensive end that’s rushing the passer that’s getting a piece of him.  The one time he caught the big pass, we call it Cover Two post, late in overtime on 41, (Ray) Ventrone , was one of the few times they didn’t bang him.  Give Cleveland credit.  They wanted to bang and reroute him.  They come out of the New England family that thinks you have to get your hands on him.  The other thing is early in the game we hit a couple of comebacks on the outside to Braylon and Santonio. Then, what’s the defense going to do? They’re going to adjust.  They start telling their guys to go deeper or wider.  That opens up LaDainian.  Believe me, it’s not that Dustin’s not involved, but you’ve got one ball.  Mark’s not trying to get a ball to a specific player.  He’s going through his progressions and the first guy that’s open is going to get the ball.  Dustin’s a guy that the ball goes to on the low red zone play.  He kind of stumbles coming out of his break.  He’s a big part of what we’re doing.  There are certain weeks where he’s not going to catch as many passes.  Hopefully, when that does happen, Santonio comes away with 80 yards and Braylon has 60 yards and Jerricho has his share of touches.  I think LT right now is our leading receiver with 36 (receptions) because teams are playing us pretty soft underneath.
 
On Cotchery’s diving catch in overtime…
Unbelievable.  (It’s) one of those things I’ll remember forever just because of the type of person he is.  I saw the catch, but I was actually looking at the coverage to see what happened.  I had no idea that he was hurt until I heard about it.  They were talking about it after the play was over.  Funny enough, I was asking if he was ready to go back in and the trainers looked at me like I was crazy.  I was like, ‘Is he ok? Can he go?’ and they were like, "No, he’s not going back in right now."  It must have been adrenaline is all I can say.  He’s sitting here and starting to pull up and then all of a sudden he sees Mark look at him and who knows what he’s thinking at that point.  The adrenaline and the competiveness takes over and he makes that unbelievable catch which was amazing. 
 
On if he thinks Holmes has not been double-teamed because Keller and Edwards get more attention…
We move everybody around so much that I think they try to double different people.  It’s one of the positive things of having so many play-makers.  It’s hard to double everybody.  I think it’s by play.  It’s by coverage. I know there were certain times that they (Cleveland) were rolling the coverage to Santonio last week.  There were certain times they were rolling the coverage and trying to double Braylon.  That’s why it’s pick your poison a little bit.  It’s hard to double a back.  That’s why LT has had so much production.  Plus, you throw screen passes in there.  It’s hard to double a back.  It’s easier to double a guy that’s extended out wide playing receiver or a tight end.  It’s easier to double them than a tailback coming out of the backfield.
 
On if their mentality has changed at all in the red zone…
No.  Obviously, in the red zone the running game becomes more difficult.  I think our philosophy down there is the same as out in the field.  In the running game, we’re going to do the things we do well.  In the passing game, you’re going to try to spread the field as much as you can and get matchups and isolate a guy if you can based on formations.  Usually, in the red zone you carry some of your base plays over, but you also have red zone specific plays.  Those are the things were looking at and trying to improve some of those things and the execution.
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