San DiegoChargers Conference Call
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on what he sees in QB-Peyton Manning and the Colts' offense) 12/22/04
"Well, they're extremely explosive in every regard, and Edgerrin (James) is having a terrific year again. It's just so many weapons, it's hard to try to figure out which guy you need to stop on any given play. They're a football team that can go 80 yards in a heartbeat on you if you're not careful with what you're doing."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on what his definition of an MVP player is) 12/22/04
"I think it's a guy who clearly distinguishes himself first and foremost by his play. But then I also think the other consideration is what he is able to bring to the table that enhances the ability of the rest of his football team. So, that tends to be a little bit subjective at times, but the bottom line is, if you're a top, top performer and if you have an ability to enhance the performance of those around you, then you certainly need to be getting strong consideration for that Most Valuable Player type of an award."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on LaDainian Tomlinson) 12/22/04
"What I have said is that he is the finest running back I've ever been around in the National Football League, and that goes all of the way back starting with Jim Brown. He just is a remarkable, remarkable player. He is the catalyst for us. He is the guy that makes all the difference in the world for us. He's now finally, the last few weeks, healthy again. He is a terrific, terrific player."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on TE-Antonio Gates and if he thinks tight ends are making a comeback in the league) 12/22/04
"I certainly do. We had an opportunity to acquire Antonio Gates through the draft. We opted not to do that. We were most fortunate to get him signed as a free agent. Had we known how good of a player he was, we would have probably used a high draft choice on him. He has done a terrific job, and I share that feeling that the opportunity to create matchups for you is significant if you have a tight end like that and a complimentary runner that draws some attention as well."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on the contributing factors that have led to the rise of Drew Brees) 12/22/04
"He found himself in a rather uncomfortable circumstance, obviously, when we acquired Philip Rivers. He had a choice to make and obviously, he made the one that has had a very positive impact on us and that decision came as no surprise to any of us because he is one of the most competitive young men I've ever been around. He's spent countless hours in his work and preparation. He has shown tremendous leadership ability, and from the playing standpoint, I think what's happened is that things have slowed down a bit for him. That's enabled him to be more precise in his decision making, and he's done a terrific job for us this year making plays when they needed to be made."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on what Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron has added to the offense this year) 12/22/04
"I think he has done a terrific job of installing an offense that really kind of fits the people that we have. We all have theories and we all have concepts that we believe in in terms of Xs and Os, but I've always believed what you have to do is find out what the people you have do best, and then attempt to do that, because you then, in my mind, have a better chance of succeeding. And that's what we've done. We've created situations where we could get the ideal matchups, whether it be LaDainian Tomlinson, Keenan McCardell, Eric Parker, whomever it might be, (Antonio) Gates, through various formations and movements and alike personnel groups. We've been able to get the thing going pretty well on offense. But the key to that is the quarterback, and Drew (Brees) has done a fantastic job in gathering all of his information. He's devoted countless hours in his preparation and he's a better prepared player right now, obviously, than he was in either of the previous two years that I've been here."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on better protection helping QB-Drew Brees this year) 12/22/04
"The protection a year ago maybe wasn't quite as clean as it is this year, but we didn't get sacked a lot a year ago, either. But we had some injuries that compromised us I think, and we didn't have the kind of timing in the passing game that we would have liked for a number of reasons."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on taking pride in the offensive line) 12/22/04
"I think that's the case, but we might know a lot more about it after we're done on Sunday, because we're going into a real hornet's nest there as everybody knows. I have just absolutely marveled at the skills of those guys up front rushing the passer. They are really something. I was so impressed with the way they got after Baltimorewith that rush. Of course (Head Coach) Tony (Dungy) does a terrific job. Tony, in my mind, is as fine a teacher of the game of football as anybody I've ever been around and certainly, he has those guys in a position now where they have confidence in what they're doing and they're playing their tails off. Often times, they are overlooked because of the offense and the big numbers the offense puts up and the marquee players on the offense, but I'll tell you what, this defense, in my view, is one that as I've looked at the tape, they're getting better each and every week."
HEAD COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER(on Colts' offensive coordinator Howard Mudd and his abilities) 12/22/04
"He is an outstanding football coach and an outstanding person. We were together for a number of years…a great teacher of the game and is able to communicate with players quite effectively. Typically, he'll put his arm around them sometimes and other times, he'll kick them in the seat of the pants. He has a terrific relationship with his group, as many offensive line coaches do, but Howard does a terrific, terrific job, and I was fortunate to have him when he worked for us."