Q: Did Larry Johnson practice today?
HERM EDWARDS: “No.”
EDWARDS: “Still sore, hamstring.”
Q: Is he going to play on Sunday?
EDWARDS: “I don’t know that. I would say he is. We don’t have to list him until tomorrow. He’ll be all right.”
Q: You said you were thinking about going to Croyle at QB last week during the game. Is that going to be the same situation this Sunday?
EDWARDS: “When you’re involved in the football game you have to look at what’s taking place on the field. At times there are certain situations where you are not moving the ball and you need a spark, I need to do something; I might have to make a change. But I never go into any game thinking that; that’s the last thing I’m thinking. You don’t do that. I anticipate players are going to play good. They’ve prepared to play well and you want to let them play well. Are they going to play perfect? No. That’s where your patience has to come in, especially at that position.
“When you decide to make a change at that position that’s big. It’s not like making a change at receiver.”
Q: But you would have no hesitation in making the change if you saw that…
EDWARDS: “If a guy’s struggling and I think that he can’t come out of it and we need a spark, then obviously you have to do what you deem is best for the football team at that time. That’s what every coach goes through. You never like messing with that position; you really don’t. What you don’t want to start is a quarterback deal, like now I’m going to pull him. You don’t want to do that.”
Q: Quarterback controversy?
EDWARDS: “Not controversy but indecision in what you want to do. That’s when your patience has to come in and you sit and watch and keep watching. It’s like last week. I’m not an emotional guy. I don’t get involved with emotion in making decisions. When you do that you make the wrong decision.”
Q: How hard is it when you’re in the midst of the battle and you really can’t see if it’s the QB’s fault or…
EDWARDS: “That’s a great question because the one thing you always know when things aren’t working well on offense…the first thing they look at is quarterback. Then it’s the play-calling and the head coach gets thrown in there too. You’re right. You don’t have enough information sometimes to make decisions. Now, if guys are throwing interceptions then it’s obvious. You have to understand who you’re playing, how the people around him are playing, and how you’re playing. That’s part of it too.”
Q: So you might make a change at quarterback even if he’s not playing poorly just because you need a spark?
EDWARDS: “That’s always been the position in pro football. But you see it more than you have in the past. A guy’s kind of struggling and you get him out and see if the other guy can do it.”
Q: If you make that move in the middle of the game this week or whenever that might be, you’re changing quarterbacks, right, not just for the rest of that game?
EDWARDS: “There’s a couple of reasons why you make it: the guy’s struggling right now and you want to get a spark or your making it because this is what you’re doing and you’re going to stick with it. That’s another scenario.
“But that’s the last thing on my mind. It really is.”
Q: You have to be careful though, right?
EDWARDS: “That’s exactly right. That’s why I say it’s a big decision when you decide to make it. And when you do, you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing for the football team. Damon is the right quarterback for us. We decided that on opening day. It’s not just the quarterback, believe me. It all gets laid at his feet at times and it’s not him. I look at what he did last week in the third quarter. He made some throws and I hope we can build on that. We have to do that. We have to be able to pass the football. We have to make plays in the passing game if we’re going to score points. Like I always say: you run to win and you throw to score points.”
Q: When you made changes in New York was it all because of injury or did you just make a change-change?
EDWARDS: “I made a change-change the first time. Then the last year [in New York] I had five quarterbacks [due to injury].”
Q: When you made that change that first time was it just time for a change?
EDWARDS: “Yeah, it was time. It was in the third quarter and I made the change and riding back on the airplane as I always do I sit in the back. Long plane ride home. Didn’t say anything to anybody. Came in the next day and told the coordinator that Chad Pennington would start at quarterback.”
Q: Did you look at who you were playing the next week?
EDWARDS: “We were playing [Kansas City]. We were playing at home and actually didn’t win the game although Chad played fairly well. Next week we won, then we lost again and were 2-5 going to San Diego. We beat San Diego and ended up winning the division.”
Q: Do you worry that Damon knows that he’s on a short leash?
EDWARDS: “He’s really not. He’s not on a short leash. I think we’re saying that because my biggest problem is I tell the truth. People ask me what was I thinking last week? It’s the truth. I was thinking that. But you can think a lot of things; but until you react it’s just a thought. There are a lot of things you think but you don’t react. That’s just part of football. That’s a big decision and that’s why I’m patient with it. I’m patient with most decisions when it comes to taking a player out. Who knows if there is a ripple effect, so that’s why I’m patient.
“As long as I tell the truth I don’t have to worry about going back.”
Q: What’s the difference between making the change to give you a spark and giving a guy a shot to prepare him for the future?
EDWAQRDS: “You have the option of doing it two ways. The best option is you have a lead and you get the guy in the game. The second option is the Pittsburgh game last year and it’s not a good option. It’s the end of the game and you’re down by three touchdowns and you put that poor guy in there. It’s tough.”
Q: But you’d like to do that at some point, get him some time, right?
EDWARDS: “You’d love to be in a lead. You bring him in in the fourth quarter and you give him a series or two so he can play. That’s kind of what happened in Chicago. Damon got nicked and we put him in. He did OK. That’s four or five plays. Is that good for him? Yeah, because he had some success. But did we win? No. But the quarterback had some success. But four plays doesn’t make 60 plays.
“And people are playing a little bit different at the end of the game when they’re winning than at the beginning when it’s a tie score. You have to think about all that too when you make that decision.”
Q: It seems like the Chargers defense is another good defense.
EDWARDS: “Yeah, they’ve got a very good defense. They’re big inside and the core of their defense is solid. They do a good job against the run and don’t give up a 100 yards against the run. A little bit of their deal to date is they’ve played two pretty good quarterbacks, two Hall of Fame quarterbacks actually. They’ve been hot and they hit passes on them.”
I hope we don't lose LJ. It would be nice to have Priest activated right now, huh, CARL??? *jerk*
Man, it sure seems like those guys are trying to trip Herm up with loaded questions sometimes. I can sit here and coach from my couch all day in front of a screen but I really am actually glad I don't have his job. Yikes!