Chargers Headcoach Marty Schottenheimer
Talk about Tom Brady and his skills.
‚He is a terrific field general and he understands the game of football, which is obvious. It’s a combination of his personal playing skills as well as his leadership ability that has be the impetuous for that football team’s success the past five years.”
What about the crowd and the effect that they will have on the game?
‚The more sound that we can put out, the better our opportunities will be. It’s hard when you are out there trying to run an offense, especially in the shotgun and it’s harder to communicate.”
Do you think it is being overplayed that Brady has been in more playoff games than Rivers? Do you think it will be a factor?
‚No, but I can understand why people want to talk about it.”
Talk about the complexity of the Patriot’s defense in big games.
‚I don’t view it as the complexity of the system. I view it as 11 guys on defense who know exactly what to do and who are extremely well coached and do the right thing from the technical and fundamental standpoint as well as anyone in football.”
How important is it to get off to a fast start?
‚In our house we would like to be able to do that, but in the past we have shown the ability to scratch and scramble our way back. I hope we can get off to a fast start. Anytime you can get off on top is an advantage but it certainly is not any success at the end.”
Does the last game you played against them provide you anything that you can get out of this week?
‚Maybe some concepts they used in offense or defense but I do not think so.” How did Luis Castillo look? ‚To be honest with you I did not watch him.”
Are you keeping your eye on Philip and his excitement? Is that a concern at all?
‚No. What we are trying to do is lay one stone on the other as we try to build a stairway to hopefully a successful week.”
Chargers Running back LaDainian Tomlinson
What does Tom Brady bring to the table?
‚Obviously a lot of experience. Tom is very poised and he gets his team in the right situation a lot of times and always gives them an opportunity to win the game.”
How important is it to have home-field advantage? For the crowd?
‚I think it’s very important and obviously all year long we’ve been feeding off our crowd, but you know I think they’ve done a great job of really being loud when our defense has been on the field. And for the most part they’ve been pretty quiet while we’ve been operating on offense and that’s the way we want to have it. We want the crowd to be quiet while we’re on offense so that we can get our checks and everything we need to talk about out there on the field offensively. And then on defense, we don’t want Tom and the Patriots to be able to hear each other talking and be able to make checks. So the crowd has to be as loud as possible.”
Importance of getting out to a fast start:
‚Well, that’s always good too, but we haven’t gotten off to a fast start every game. Obviously we’ve had to battle back some, so it’s important, but I don’t think it’s the most important thing.”
Any rustiness during the bye week?
‚I think today we were pretty good. We didn’t seem to show any signs of being rusty at all. Guys moved around well and we threw and tossed the ball well. I thought we did a good job today.”
How is Philip Rivers handling himself considering he’s about to play in the biggest game of his life? Do you see any changes or differences in his anxiety level?
‚No. I think he’s been pretty good. And it’s only Wednesday so we’ll see what happens towards the end of the week as we get closer, but he’s done a good job so far.”
Will you ever find a need to talk to him on the side and explain to him how tough it is playing in a playoff game?
‚You know I don’t know yet. I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t even know if there is a need for that. He’s handled himself I think as well as any quarterback could in their first year starting. I don’t want to try to change anything for him.”
Last time you played the Patriots, Tedy Bruschi wasn’t on that defense. How is that defense different with him now?
‚Well obviously he’s their leader. He’s the one that’s able to guide most of the plays and make plays for them. And also just understanding what’s going on out there, he can coach them up and let them know what he’s thinking. They didn’t have that with him before and obviously I think it hurt him at the time. But now he’s back and you can see that he makes a lot of difference on their football team.”
What did you get out of that game last year that you can apply this year?
‚Nothing. Nothing at all. That was last year.”
A lot of people talk about their defense being hard to come around and those guys in training learn a lot of moves. Do they do much more of that than anybody else does?
‚I think Bill does a great job of adding a wrinkle here and there for their defense. And I think that’s one thing that you always have to expect from them, that they might come with something you haven’t seen before.”
We keep hearing you guys saying that you can’t worry about the Patriots and can only worry about what the Chargers do. Is that because you guys have reached the level now that you can pretty much dictate what you want to do on the football field?
‚I don’t know. I think that’s the way you approach it at any time, worry about yourself and not the team you’re playing. Because if you worry about the team you’re playing too much then you’re going to be in trouble because you really won’t know what to expect from your own team and don’t know what you’re going to bring to the table. I think you always have to focus on what you do best first and see what happens after that.”
If Bill Belichick is such a master at stopping opposing offense, how come he hasn’t been able to stop you yet? What have you been able to do?
‚I haven’t been able to do anything. I just play the game. Obviously it’s been a regular season so it’s a lot different from being in the playoffs. And so we’ll see what happens this game.”
Philip said he thought when you guys played the Jets two years ago, the team was overly excited. Did you sense that as well?
‚I think playing in the first playoff game after a while, we were really emotional. I think guys were overly excited to be in the playoffs and it was a situation where I think we shot our gun too early being so emotional and playing off adrenaline. And so when it came down to the end of the third quarter and fourth quarter we were kind of out of gas already. That was something to learn and something to take from that first playoff game.”
What has Todd Durkin meant to you especially during this season?
‚Todd has always done a great job of training me in the off-season. And obviously he prepares me to take a pounding and be able to withstand the journey that you have to go through in the National Football League.”
How does your play help alleviate the pressure off Philip making his first appearance in the playoffs?
‚Well, if we run the ball well, obviously I think that takes a lot of pressure off of Philip throwing the football. I think it ties in, we would like to be able to run the ball effectively and if we do that obviously it will take some pressure off him.”