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Turner: I’m proud of what our guys have done in terms of preparation and continuing to go
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Head Coach Norv Turner
Is there any chance of the players who were just activated from the practice squad being active on Sunday?
“I don’t know that any of them would be active. We’ll see how it goes during the week, but I would think not.”
Even though Ronnie Brown and Takeo Spikes didn’t practice today, do they look good for Sunday?
“I don’t know. Both of them have really made a strong commitment to keep playing and I think it’s mental toughness, because both of them could have been inactive last week. I don’t think that either of them are 100 percent. I saw Ronnie Brown limp of the field three or four times and he kept going back in. I know that Takeo is less than 100 percent, but I think he has the mindset that he’s going to finish this thing out and play as long as he can.”
Have you ever see this many guys go on IR during your coaching tenure?
“I think that every instance is different, every situation with players is different. I don’t know how to answer the question, to be honest with you. We have a bunch of guys who played in that three year period who have not missed a game and a bunch of guys who have not missed a play. They’re all involved in the same type of offseason programs, lifting programs and conditioning programs. They obviously go through the same training camp and everything else, so each guy handles things differently.”
If the team were playoff eligible, would any of these guys not go on the IR?
“Aubrayo (Franklin) and Brandon (Taylor) obviously would have gone on IR no matter what. What we’ve tried to do is that if we had a guy who we thought could come back and play within the last couple of games like Donald Butler, we resisted putting them on IR. So the guys who have gone on IR I think would have gone on under any circumstances.”
Going into this game against Oakland, do you draw on your victory against them at the end of last season when you weren’t really playing for anything?
“I don’t buy into the mindset of not playing for anything because last week, our guys obviously didn’t have the motivation of playing for the playoffs or knocking someone out of the playoffs. A bunch of guys have played as well as they’ve ever played. And defensively, there’s obviously a lot of effort being spent. I’m proud of what our guys have done in terms of preparation and continuing to go. These guys … every time they go out playing with the entire league watching and their tape will be evaluated by people in the league and people in our organization. So every time you go out, you have something to play for. These are the best competitors that I’ve been around. When they go play, they play. And if we were playing out here at four, they’d be playing and they’d be flying around and having fun doing it.”
Do you have any responsibility as head coach other than trying to win this game, like giving younger guys more reps or making sure others don’t get injured?
“I think that you go play. I don’t know that I’ve ever been around a situation where you coach someone to play and not get injured, because that’s when you have bad things happen. You go play and these guys are talented guys who know how to go and compete and take care of themselves. Like I said, we have a lot of guys who have played for a lot of years and never had any injuries because they know how to play.”
On his thoughts on what many would call a disappointing season:
“Again, I’m proud of the way the guys have competed, worked and the things that they’ve done. There are a lot of young guys who have gotten a lot better and that’s what you’re trying to get done. I think that they continue to believe in what we’re doing. When the year’s over, I think that you evaluate each guy and how they’ve played through an extended period of time.”
Is Sunday just a completely normal game day for you, or do you do anything different?
“No, I’m looking forward to the game. Like I said, the last time that we were at home, we didn’t play the way that we’re capable of playing. I would like to get some energy going. The last two games that we’ve played on the road, we’ve had more energy than we’ve had at home and it’s been a very positive atmosphere on our sideline. I would like that to be the feeling in our stadium.”
How do you explain not having that energy at home?
“Referring to the Carolina game, like I said, I thought that was a bad matchup for us with our offensive line the way it was. I thought that in the Baltimore and Cincinnati games, we were extremely competitive. I don’t think that it’s a lack of effort. We’ve got to create positive plays and then the energy comes from the stadium with people being behind you and supporting you.”
What allows Philip Rivers to stay in the lineup and not get knocked out of there like Carson Palmer did last week?
“I think that you have to have good fortune and he’s got to have a good feel in the pocket. He does do a good job of getting the ball out of his hands, but he’s taken some good shots this year and stood up to it. But sometimes it’s just a matter of good fortune.”
Is that something that you’re proud of?
“We work hard, but some of it’s good fortune. Carson (Palmer) has played a lot of snaps and not missed. He got hit pretty good, so you just hope that you can avoid those big hits.”
Do you think that Philip Rivers has played through more scrapes and bruises than other quarterbacks and doesn’t tell us about it?
“I think that they all have to do that to play the position. But he’s been fortunate to avoid the big injuries. Some of it is a guy getting knocked over right into a pile and landing on your legs, those types of things that sometimes you just can’t avoid.”
Did you make some halftime adjustments last week that really paid off with the offense?
“I just thought that we played better in the second half than we did in the first half. I know that there’s a lot of talk and that’s the easy thing to say about adjustments, but sometimes a guy beats a guy. You run the same play and the same coverage, blitz or whatever and you’re doing something different. Then a play comes up where a guy gets a chance to beat a guy. This league is about big plays and there are big players on every team, so sometimes a guy gets an opportunity to make a play in the second half and that’s just the way the game came up.” Read