As with the postgame comments last night, Coach Zorn’s press conference today seemed to acknowledge the obvious problems — pass blocking, pass rush — even while maintaining his trademark confidence. And his brutal frankness was on display, especially during his comments on Devin Thomas and Jason Campbell.
On attempting the big play shot to Santana Moss:
- “When we took a shot down the field with Santana after they scored, that would’ve put us on the nine yard line. That was a deep pass, Santana went up for it, and it was a volitile situation. Had he come down with it, that’s a huge play. We did get protection, it was executed well, it was thrown well. He had to go to heroics to make the catch, and we didn’t get it. That was one of those handful of plays that you wish could’ve gone the other way.”
On the realities of quarterback sacks in the NFL:
- “I try to prepare our quarterbacks. I always try to tell ’em, ‘You are gonna get hit at least seven times this game. And they are going to be TREMENDOUS hits. But you gotta get back up.’ Because quarterbacks get hit. I don’t want them to go into any game thinking, ‘Oh, this is gonna be hunky-dory, it’s gonna be a walk in the park.’ It never is.”
On what a coach can do for his quarterback’s confidence:
- “When they do get hit, and they don’t know where it came from, what I try to do is give them the correct information: here is what happened. And it may be simply, this guy got beat. He whiffed. And I think that helps the QB to know that it’s not the scheme…. If you can tell them what happened, it gives them a chance to say, ‘okay, we’ll get that taken care of, because he’s not gonna whiff twice,’ or, ‘oh, we have to help that guy who just whiffed.'”
On what used to go through his head in the face of a pass-rusher:
- “If you could see him coming, I always felt like they couldn’t touch me.” General laughter, and Zorn also smiled. “I hate to even smile on a day like today. But I’ll say this — when you couldn’t see him coming, you hit the ground so fast, it didn’t really hurt, you just wondered why you were on the ground. You just didn’t see it. So there were times like that. The main thing is if you sense it coming, and you know you can’t get out of the way, it’s all about ball security. It’s about taking the sack, falling correctly, securing the ball, and just letting the coach dial up the next play.”
On the possibility of lineup changes:
- “I don’t think so. I don’t know that yet. We have guys that are battling. I like the battle, I just don’t like that the individual battles aren’t getting won enough. Had we won this game, we would still be saying, we need better pass protection, because Jason did get hit a bunch. Even when he got rid of the ball, he was still getting hit.”
On the incomplete pass to Devin Thomas on third and 4:
- “I gave Jason Campbell — I scratched a big minus for him. I didn’t put that on Devin. That was a very, very difficult catch for him to make. Because he was coming inside. Alls Jason had to do was put the ball on his inside shoulder and he threw it low. He raised up and he threw it right down. Now you’re telling that receiver he had to actually burst, dive to make the catch. Tough, tough catch. I wouldn’t put that on Devin.”
- Marcus Washington has a high ankle sprain and is likely out “more than one week.”
Antwaan Randle El has a much less worrisome ankle sprain.
Clinton Portis is better today than he was the day after Pittsburgh.
Shawn Springs was expected to play, but “just could not go full speed,” and will hopefully be back next week.
Anthony Montgomery is still questionable and 50-50 to play.