Q: How happy are you that this week is finally here and you finally have an opponent to prepare for?
MS: I think our team considers itself very fortunate to be in this position here. There are only eight teams left playing. It’s an honor to be one of those teams, and we certainly feel like we have a very tough opponent to prepare for this week. They’re a team that’s playing as well as anybody in the National Football League. They pose a lot of different problems in all three phases, so we definitely have our work cut out for us. We know that they’re going to be ready to go, and we’re going to do the best we can to be ready to go.
Q: Does watching the Chiefs return that kickoff for a touchdown on Saturday get your attention a little bit?
MS: Certainly, certainly, and they do a great job in the kicking game. They always have, and their special teams coach has a tremendous history working with Devin Hester during the prime of his career. So they know what they’re doing. They do it well, and I think that game, in all three phases, they really had their way. So this is going to be a tough football team, as I said, and we’re going to have to do everything we can and be ready for a fight on Saturday.
Q: Speaking of special teams coach Dave Toub, do you pick up any tendencies or characteristics about his special teams units, or is it different game by game? Read
MS: I think their team, they’re going to do what they do, and if they see a weakness that you have, they’re going to attack it. And I think they do a great job of just playing to their strengths. They have guys who play with a lot of effort, and a lot of times they just outwork teams. It’s very evident when you turn on the film. They’re hungry to make plays, and sometimes it’s just an effort thing. They out-effort a lot of the guys that they go against, and I think that mentality starts with him. If you know anything about his background, he has a military background. He was a D-line coach. Excuse me, not a military background, he was a D-line coach and he has a strength coach background. So I think that says a lot about him, and I think that character that he has pours over into his unit.
Q: How much weight do you put into momentum this time of year?
MS: I don’t know how much that comes into play. I think the most important thing is who plays the best game on Saturday. I think obviously they’re going to be coming in confident, as they should. They’ve been playing at an extremely high level, but at the end of the day, it’s not really about momentum. It’s about executing on Saturday, and whatever team executes better and makes more plays is probably going to leave the game happy. Mat