Opening Remarks: "This Cardinals' defense is playing an excellent brand of football, championship-defensive football. They are fast, quick, aggressive. Their secondary is making plays on the ball; much different than they were when we played them, so we have quite a challenge. We have a challenge with the crowd noise as well."
On whether the Cardinals' defense is similar to defensive coordinator Jim Johnson's defense:"They are a 4-3 team, yeah. They moved some guys around. They'll play a 3-down on occasion and maybe a little bit more than occasionally on nickel situations."
On how the Cardinals' defense is different: "You know what it is, they are just playing aggressive, fast, turn-it-loose football; unafraid to make a mistake. They've stopped, really, two of the top three running teams in this league and they've done a heck of a job. It's more attitude than anything else."
On whether he's seeing his guys playing with the mentality of being unafraid to make mistakes: "Yeah, well, we always want to have that mentality. We want to chase at perfection. However, we are unafraid to make mistakes – when you're a little bit scared of making mistakes, you can't play fast. So, we want to play fast and have that mentality."
On where he thinks their running game is at right now: "Our running game? It's not very good right now. We have to get better. There are several different factors that come into play there, and I think we'll get better there."
On how much RB Brian Westbrook's health is an issue going into each game:"Every week I do. Yeah, he's been banged up all year. He's had very little practice all year. You can go on and on and make a lot of excuses for our running game but we don't do that. We try to make our corrections and get better and move on quick and get to the next game."
On how the offense has improved in third-down conversions and whether it's because of schematics or execution:"Yeah, there is a whole host of factors that go into that. Our third-and-shorts have been a little bit better, so that's a good thing. I think the offensive line has done a heck of a job protection-wise, the backs and tight ends. Then we've had several plays where just terrific individual effort by the quarterback, by (QB) Donovan (McNabb), by some of our receivers. However, it all starts up front, both run and pass."
On how McNabb seems to be comfortable in the shotgun: "He's gotten better and better over the last several years in the shotgun. I think he is very comfortable in the shotgun. We have done that all year in some situations and a little bit in some schemes. I don't want to get into too many details but for a host of reasons we'll go to the gun. But I think he's pretty comfortable in the gun. I think he has been, and I think he has been getting better and better in the gun. The key in the shotgun is your feet and the timing. Sometimes you lose that when you are in the shotgun, that precision and that timing, and so the feet are important when you are in the shotgun."
On how the offense has been in the shotgun: "We've been pretty good at it, up to date anyway. I think very rarely about the snap. We've been in the gun an awful lot in the past several years really."
On what specific improvements he has seen in the Cardinals' defense:"Much of it is just that mentality and that attitude and they are fast. They are a very fast, fast team. They are playing championship-defensive football. They won a game on the road and one at home and have given up very few yards and then stopped two of the very best running teams in this league."
On whether Cardinals SS Adrian Wilson has improved:"Absolutely. Yeah, that mentality part."
On how this team has worked through crowd noise all year and whether crowd noise is a nonfactor in this game even if the roof is closed: "Well, yeah. I would say yeah to that. We don't know if the roof is going to be open or closed right now, and we really don't care. So, that's the mentality we take in with us. If they open it they open it. If they close it they close it and we go play. I think (C) Jamaal (Jackson) does a good job, and I think Donovan changes it up pretty well, and so we've been pretty good that way. I think we're one of the top offenses with lack of penalties, so that's a good thing. Now all that doesn't matter for this game; we have to get it done in this game. But it is a situation that you have to handle with the crowd noise. That's one thing that they have done an excellent job of at home is they beat their opponent to the punch with the snap count."
On whether Wilson is a player that they really need to keep an eye on:"Well, there are several and he's one of them. You're right. He's down, in, and around the box not all the time but most of the time. (He's) very smart; excellent feel of the game. And then there are others that we have to pay special attention to as well."
On whether he feels their offense needs to play to the level of their defense: "Oh the defense is playing great. That makes it a little easier on offense. Certainly we play toward our defense just a little bit. A great defense like ours certainly helps that offense. Now the numbers may not be as big, but it makes it a little bit easier on offense."
On whether you can overemphasize not committing turnovers:"We address that, absolutely, yeah. And that's one of the things that they have done all year long. I believe they were fifth in creating turnovers throughout the year, and in the playoffs I believe they had seven; five interceptions and a couple of fumble recoveries. I think they have five sacks if I recall right. You may want to double-check me on that. But that's how they've won those two ball games. They have done an excellent job of creating turnovers and creating havoc for the opponent's offense and much of that is quickness and speed."
On how important varying the snap count is against a team like the Cardinals: "That's right. It's important, and we have typically done a good job of that. I think I know how the other team did that offensively. And so they did a nice job of timing up with several plays throughout the game."
On whether he has to adjust the gameplan based on Westbrook's health as it gets closer to gameday: "We've talked about that several times this year and we really don't. We have a pretty big gameplan for every game, and every game is a little bit different. As far as with Brian we don't, and then if he's ready to go, then we use many of those plays. And then if he's not, we'll use some of the other plays that we've gameplanned for some of our other guys. The matchups are important. The most important thing is what we do. However, the matchups are important and we would like to use Brian in some of those matchups."
On whether he was encouraged to see the two touchdowns that came in the red zone last week:"We're getting a little bit better in the red zone. You know, in the playoffs you need to score touchdowns, not field goals. We have one of the great kickers in the game for us. And then as of late we've had great, great defense. Some of those things come into play but we've done a reasonably good job, especially at the critical times of the game, in the red zone."
On whether he thinks RB Correll Buckhalter should be getting the ball more:"Yeah, I can do a better job of that. Last week nothing was really very good there in the run game. We kept pounding it a little bit. The key there last week was positive yards, whether it's one or two or three yards. That was important against that type of defense. But getting back to your point, I can do a better job there in getting Buck the ball a little bit."
On whether he has been making a conscious effort to maintain a balanced pass-run ratio: "No. Every game is different. I have played to our defense just a little bit. But no, there is no conscious effort or anything. We'll try to attack the defense how we see fit. None of our players really care too much about who gets the ball or who catches the ball or how we score the points; very unselfish that way. So we'll just do what we think is best in that particular situation in that particular game."
On whether they have played to the defense: "A little bit, yeah, sure. They are stopping guys. Field position comes into play. Sometimes the weather came into play down the stretch there just a little bit as well. So yeah, sure."
On whether that thinking changes for this game because the Cardinals are at home: "They are 7-2 at home. They are an excellent, excellent football team at home, so we want to score points every time we have the ball. That is our mentality. But then we try to do the reasonable and smart thing on occasion as well and then staying aggressive."