Q: Is this what you envisioned when the team traded for Javon Walker?
JP: Yes. I had seen him make those plays when he was with the Packers. We needed a guy to come make big plays for us. You never know who it is going to be, really. His plays were really big. There were some other big plays made by some other guys, but they werent touchdowns. The first one, he made a great catch and the second one he caught it. I just threw it out to a spot and let him go get it. He has come up big these last two weeks for us.
Q: At any point during the game did you say to yourself, I'm on?
JP: Not really. I just go and play. I dont think I have ever said that in my mind. I just want to go out each series and make sure I am making the right throws, the right decisions and leading the team and managing the game. It never crossed my mind that I was on. It just felt good. I was just throwing the ball and completing it. When that is happening you just keep going and dont think about it.
Q: After the offensive struggles in the past two weeks, did it feel good on third-and-one to air it out and get a touchdown?
JP: It felt really nice. I kind of forgot the feeling of what it was like to score. It had been a while, and in this offense that is a sin if you arent putting it in the end zone. So, it felt really good. The call came in, they were in the right defense, and all I had to do was throw it up there and let Javon go get it. So, it felt really nice.
Q: You aren't afraid to argue with your coach on the sidelines about once a game, it seems.
JP: (laughter) It happens. You know, it wouldnt be a bunch of grown men playing football and doing things out there if sometimes you didnt need to argue back and forth. It was a little bit of an argument and a little bit of getting things squared away to make sure I knew what he was trying to convey. I didn't want to go back in the game without knowing what he was trying to tell me when he was actually telling me through my helmet on the field. So, that is why I came off and I kind of yelled at him and said, What are you telling me? I dont even know what youre telling me,because out on the field it is hard to hear if he is saying a lot of things. So, we just got on the same page. It happens. It is never an insult to anybody. It is just what happens on a football field. You go after some guys, and if you are a fighter and a battler and you have a good, tight-knit team, those things happen sometimes.
Q: Did you like this game plan better? Coach talked about playing it safer last week and this week you opened it up a little more.
JP: I liked the game plan a lot. Obviously we went out there and executed it well and took our shots when we could. We got some guys open. The one thing was, we knew on this defense sometimes they were going to give us some things and sometimes they were going to be in the right defense. So, as you saw, a few times I just threw the ball away. My line gave me a lot of time back there. When you are dropping back in the opponents end zone going out, that is always a pretty nerve-racking experience, and those guys did a good job of giving me time. Even when stuff wasnt open, I could still go through my reads and then was able to throw it away a couple times. That is a testament to those guys just battling all game.
Q: Were you conscious of going after their backup safety when he came in?
JP: Yes, we had a look that if we got Tony [Scheffler] matched up with a safety, regardless if it was Rodney [Harrison] or the other guy. We happened to have that in when Rodney goes down and he had gone out there and we didnt have the play called, but when the next guy came in he just happened to be a safety and that is the matchup we wanted. It is man-to-man.
Q: In the long run, the way your defense is playing, it has to help the offense, right?
JP: Well, obviously. Those guys over there are playing really hard. I went and told Ian [Gold] and D.J. [Williams] and those guys I haven't seen two linebackers fly around like them in a long time. Those front four, they were rotating them in. Those guys were playing really hard and the [defensive backs] are out there; everyone is battling for each other. The defense is playing great. They are dominating. It is really nice. If we can keep picking it up slowly each week, improve upon this week and next time we go out after the bye, things are looking up for us.
Q: Can you explain the read on the long touchdown?
JP: if a team is playing cover-2 and theres a hole there, and it obviously isnt supposed to be there if the safety plays over to his responsibility, but throughout the game sometimes they get a little lazy getting off the hash and there is a bigger hole there. So, we had called it earlier and it wasn't there, but we called it that time and I threw the ball into a spot, really. I didnt even see Javon. I just knew the spot where I was supposed to throw it and he cut back and made the catch. I was on my back and looked up and he was running down the field. So, it was good.
Q: Did you consciously look off the safety on that play?
JP: Yes, you have to look a little bit off to the side obviously to keep them to hold their ground. That is a big play. Javon stepped in and pretty much did the rest after the throw.
Q: Much has been made of defenses trying to keep you in the pocket, but you were in the pocket for both of those touchdown plays.
JP: Yes, they were both in the pocket.
Q: Is that gratifying to you?
JP: Yes, teams are trying to keep me and it's not keeping me in the pocket, it is trying to stop our boot game. That is a whole different thing. When I make a handoff and carry out my fake, sometimes those defensive ends are crashing down to the run, but sometimes they guess right. They guessed right one time going into the red zone today, and then the last one there to [Stephen] Alexander, they had a guy coming, but we had Kyle [Johnson] coming underneath and got a body on the guy that was free for me and gave me that little extra time for me to look back and get it to Steve. But, if teams start taking that away it should help our run game. Today we ran the ball really well. Those guys up front did awesome. Tatum [Bell] did everything he could and ran really tough. He got some really tough, hard yards. Those guys were awesome.
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