(on what he does to get ready for possible playoff opponents) * *
"I study, in particular the teams that we haven't seen much of or that we have not had the opportunity to play. We'll take a good look at them and try to study their personnel. I'll concentrate on one a day. I'll just take the entire day and study every aspect of that particular team. I'll look at as many tapes as I possibly can. I'll look at their personnel situation. Then the next day, if there is another team that it is a possibility that we may play, I'll take a look at that team. Obviously, there may be some teams that we've had an opportunity to play already. That gives us a little bit of familiarity, in terms of our preparation. I'll watch the (wild card) games live, as many as I can. You learn quite a bit from television sometimes. They give you different angles that you don't get from the tape that we get. It does add something to it."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the thinking that the coaches tape always gives the best view of other teams)
"From a technical standpoint it is. From just looking at it from schematics and the angles which we get, both end zone and sideline, there is no question about that. But with the sound and what they pick up, you oftentimes may be able to determine the severity of an injury, whether a player walked off on his own or was carted off. There are a lot of things you can get from television that ordinarily teams would get by sending an advance scout. So, we'd have to wait until the advance scout gets back with the information, but in this particular case, you can get it right away. The other thing I'll add to it, nowadays with HDTV, it's unbelievable how much you hear. It is pretty pronounced. You pick up quite a bit if you really pay attention, and then add TIVO/DVR to it."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on rookies WR-Austin Collie, P-Pat McAfee and DB-Jerraud Powers)
"Collie has really come in and filled a void that we had, just in terms of someone being able to play and play effectively in the slot. It was a position we weren't quite certain of how it would end up. We knew we would have a pretty good player there, but to have a rookie perform the way he has performed is pretty unique. I think that's because of how he works at it, he studies, he loves it and he's been able to adapt. He keeps getting better. I think early in the season whenever we talked about him I'd always add a little caveat, 'But, he has to keep getting better.' He's continued to do so. He catches the ball. He's been good in terms of his run support blocking. All around, he's been a good, solid player, and he keeps getting better. That is key.
McAfee has been tremendous. He's handling two duties for us (punting and holding on FGs and PATs). That is very difficult for a guy in his first year to do what he has been able to do. You look at our numbers in terms of kickoffs for example, our numbers are a lot different than they were previously. He's had a lot of touchbacks. That certainly does indeed help our defense. It makes a team have to drive 80 yards to score. The more often you can do that, make them go the long haul, it's going to help you get them stopped. He's helped a tremendous amount there. His punting has been very good, solid. He's certainly made a lot of big plays, placing the ball inside the 20-yard line on numerous occasions. He's a guy that doesn't get nervous. He loves what he is doing, and he continues to get better week-in and week-out. I think that is key. Neither one of those guys or Powers hit the proverbial wall, the rookie wall as we oftentimes say. They continue to get better.
Jerraud Powers, I think has a real unique quality because he is a guy that is mature beyond his years in every aspect. He is a very settled individual, very focused. He's conscientious and obviously skilled physically. But a guy that is always thinking and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He, too, followed the classic example of an individual that keeps getting better week-in and week-out. He's had a little bit of a setback here as of late (with a hamstring injury), but he'll back, and we anticipate he'll play even better than he's played previously."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he will keep two kickers on the roster for the Buffalo game)
"Yes, we are. There would only have to be something catastrophic that may occur, but right now the answer would be yes."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on any possible roster moves)
"Right now, as it looks and appears, we're in pretty good shape, but like you say, 'Never say never.'"
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on QB-Peyton Manning's 33-yard TD run in Buffalo in 2001)
"When I first came, we might have played Buffalo early, and we saw it. Not only that, I do recall that we played the Patriots up in New England, matter of fact I think it might have been the same day that Edge (RB-Edgerrin James) had had a pretty good rushing day. We had a third-down-and-one or fourth-and-one in their territory, and Peyton keeps it on the backside and runs down the field, it might have been close to a 20-yard gain. So, we've seen him use those wheels before."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the possible practice schedule next week)
"It's a very delicate balancing act. You certainly want to be able to give your team (rest). That's one of the advantages of a bye week, you have some guys that maybe would not play that upcoming weekend, would play the following week because they have the opportunity to recuperate and rehab and etc. You have to make certain that you're not getting them beat up during the course of that week, but yet, you don't want to lose your edge either. That's the thing we've always talked about, making certain that we keep our edge. I think that comes from good, solid practice with speed and great purpose. We'll try to make certain our practices reflect that next week. We'll try to make them challenging when they go out on that field and they learn something every day and get something out of it every day. We're not just out there to be out there, but it is with intent and purpose, and we're able to keep our sharpness."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on practice intensity increasing during the playoffs)
"There's no question about it. For a number of reasons, obviously, but it's kind of like when you were young playing basketball on the court. You'd play make it, take it, but also if you won, you stayed on the court, and if you lost you were off the court. Oftentimes, the line of teams behind you was so long it may take you another three to four hours to get back out on the court. There was always a heightened sense of, 'Hey, you have to get it done, otherwise you're off.' Well, that's what happens in the playoffs. There is a certain understanding that it is do-or-die. That in itself adds a little flavor to the preparation."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he'll tell the media how much he plans to play guys before the Buffalo game)
"Well, it depends. If I know, I'll share it with you. If it's still up in the air, because everybody is going to be a little bit different, and for me to go down every guy and say, 'This guy is going to play, that guy is not going to play much, this guy is going to play two series, that guy is going to play one,' that can get monotonous. But you do know that there will be some starters that will not play the whole game. That you do know."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if the weather in Buffalo will have any bearing on playing time)
"No, our league does a great job wherever we play of keeping it safe for our players. I don't feel that will be an issue."