Postgame Quotes: Coach Marty Schottenheimer

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Jul 6, 2005
San Diego Union-Tribune

Schottenheimer: "This may sound trite but this was truly a team win; a team victory. We did the things that we had to do offensively."

Opening Statement:

"This may sound trite but this was truly a team win; a team victory. We did the things that we had to do offensively. We capitalized on our opportunities in the scoring zone. On defense, we stood up through the first half and kept them from making a lot of progress against our defense. And in the kicking game, we tried to counter with Darren (Sproles). They, arguably, have one of the very best returners I’ve ever seen in Dante Hall and he’s always a threat. But at the end of the contest, the thing that stood out to me is that everyone on this football team competed today with one thought in mind and that was to win. And we did it."

Can you comment on your linebackers today? You were missing the two starters and fans probably had to check the roster to see who these guys were, but they did quite well.

"Yes they really did. They have a little bit of experience now. Stephen Cooper has had some time. And of course, Shaun Phillips is a terrific pass rusher. He is excellent as a pass rusher. I have said since the time he got here, and I’m not saying he’s Derrick Thomas, but he has some of those qualities that Derrick had. He has that great initial step which gives him the advantage. And, of course, Shawne Merriman did a nice job. Donnie continues to play extremely well for us. We have a good group there; a good core."

Was Merriman’s hit one of the hardest that you’ve seen?

"I saw it, but people were talking about it behind me. I didn’t really see the true impact of it but it certainly got the attention of everyone on our sideline."

How’s Merriman’s progress as a linebacker?

"He’s making really good progress. He’s a very bright young man. I had a discussion with him the other day asking him about a blocking scheme. I put it up and asked him who blocks him in a certain play and right away he knew who blocked him, so he’s done a really good job in that regard."

Is he similar to (Antonio) Gates in the sense that once he figures out what he’s doing...?

"Well, lets not put him in Gates’ class just yet. He has the kind of skills you look for in a professional football player on defense. He has size, he has speed and he has a relentless nature about him and those qualities make terrific defensive players."

It looked like your defense was having fun out there, didn’t it?

"In the locker room, I commented to Luis Castillo that I thought he did a really nice job on some of those pass rushing plays. And he said that he had fun and that he is starting to understand what it is. That isn’t verbatim but that’s the kind of approach he had."

As a teacher, do you see this out of these young guys?

"Sure you do. If I didn’t get that gratification, I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you."

Are you concerned about the injuries to your offensive line?

"Well, we’ve managed to this point and hopefully we can overcome the most recent one."

What’s the extent of Oben’s injury?

"He has, what they call, plantar fasciitis. Interestingly enough when it’s damaged, post swelling, it’s really not much of an issue. Once the fibers are detached from one another, there is a very minimal amount of pain. I’ve never had one, but that’s what I’ve been told. It becomes more problematic when the fibers don’t tear all the way because you have some fibers that are still in tact and it makes it even more painful."

Did he tear them on that play that he went down?


You know both of the tight ends in this game quite well. Can you talk about the day that your guy had (Gates)?

"We came in with the idea of trying to get the ball to Antonio. We were anxious to see what they would try to do, and early on Greg Wesley was up there bumping and running him. But, Antonio Gates is growing as an accomplished NFL tight end and receiver. It’s fun to watch him progress because it’s obvious he’s going places that he’s really never been before."

What does this win tell you about the season?

"We’re 4-4. We’ve won the first of a nine-game season as I’ve identified it to our football team. We have a nine game regular season and right now we’re 1-0. And those other seven are gone."

Are there any other injuries of significance?

"Kiel has an ankle injury, the extent of which I don’t know."

How was the field playing?

"I think its fine. It looked a little ragged today but I think it played out fine."

After knocking out their running back where they decided to start throwing it, were you disappointed with the speed at which they moved the ball in the second half?

"Well, they have the skilled people to do that between Gonzalez and Kennison, who has really developed into a terrific receiver. We would rather not see them take the ball and drive it down the field, but this is the NFL and that’s the way it’s set up."

Was stopping the run a major focus today?

"They run the ball as well as anyone in football and that was absolutely the key going in, and they got the huge 47-yarder which skews the statistics a little bit. But more importantly we will look at the total running attempts against us and how many we won and how many we lost. And I would think we did a reasonable good job in that regard."