Another Wednesday, another Jim Mora press conference. I will say this: if this season has driven him to the point of anger, frustration or even cynicism, he hasn't shown it.
He did admit that he can't help but take the problems of this team home with him. No matter how hard he tries to leave some of the issues at the office, he admittedly can't. And his wife and four kids are understanding of that mindset.
"I like to think I have some perspective in life," he said. "I do the best I can when I go home to be a good husband and good father, but it's always in the back of my mind, always.
"We take great pride in what we do and we work extremely hard at it, so you want to be good at it," he said. "But it goes a little deeper for me because this is my city, my people. It's always there. You can't turn it off completely."Yet, he still remains unfailingly optimistic and upbeat. Tony Robbins has nothing on him. I don't think it's fake like the frighteningly white veneers in Mr. Robbins smile. I really think Mora's genuinely carries a positive attitude. Maybe not after seeing his field goal kicker miss a couple kicks, but for the most part. He really does believe in that idea. Of course, the positive mental outlook and the upbeat and inspirational coach-speak has seemed to be a bit much at times, to the point where some readers on here feel its pretty hollow.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
You wonder if the players every get tired of hearing it, or if they are just tuning it out.
Here's the best quote typifying that attitude.
"You just gotta forge on," he said. "You just gotta to forge on. You have no options. You need to embrace it a little bit. And realize that at the end of the day when you get through it you are going to be a better person, a better man, a better team for having gone through it."
"I know that stuff sometimes sounds really corny," Mora said. "I realize that."
Well, I wasn't going to say it, but I know a few readers that might.
"But you know what? It's true. All of us had to overcome things in our life, some more than others, and when you do and persevere and push through it, you know come out on the other side and if you do it the right way, you're better for it. You're more learned. You've got experiences to draw upon. WhenI look back on my career, some of the greatest lessons I've learned have been learned in the toughest of times and they've shaped my personality and who I am. That's how I like to live. That's how I like to think. That's my mindset."
Perhaps, it's time to change subjects.
Deon Grant will have his hand casted and will play on Sunday. he cast shouldn't be that bothersome Mora said, because it will still hallow his thumb and fingers should be free for movement. It shouldn't be the giant Q-tip looking cast that some players have to wear.
"As long as he can grab, he should be able to play," Mora said.
Julius Jones won't practice today. He's still fighting his way back from a lung contusion. But Mora said that he still expects Jones to play on Sunday.
"We did tests this morning and he's just not ready to go yet," Mora said.
If Jones can go on Sunday, he will be the starter.
"If can play, he's our starting halfback," Mora said.
But Mora was asked how much can reasonably be expected of Jones in terms of carries and workload.
"That's a good question. And one I think we are going to have to monitor through the game on Sunday, where is his conditioning is. I don't think we'll have the answer to that question till we get to the game. We'll watch him practice and we'll have a general feel. But until he starts getting popped and has to run a play every 30 seconds with 11 guys trying to hit him, we won't know for sure."
CB Josh Wilson (concussion) has been cleared to practice and play on Sunday. He'll participate in practice today and will move back into the starting line-up, and Kelly Jennings will move back to the nickel back.
DT Red Bryant will be out of practice today. He should be back either Thursday or Friday, and Mora said they will see where he's at after those practice to see if he's available for Sunday.
Mora was asked to talk more about rookie linebacker Aaron Curry and his progress. After such a strong start, Curry has seen role his reduced in the last few weeks as the coaches try to take a few things off his plate and let him focus on being a solid linebacker on first and second downs.
"We're not completely eliminating him as a third down player, we're just reducing it a little bit," Mora said.
While I'm no expert and I don't have all the game film. One thing both Eric and I noticed at times in earlier games was Curry's difficulties with his pass drops and playing in space. He seemed to not be able to get his drops at the right depth and at times it seemed like he was second-guessing himself when it came time to get where he needed to be -- all of which led to completions for the opposing offenses. He wasn't make horrible mistakes, but some minor ones.
Eric asked Mora if they had possibly put too much on Curry too early.
"No, I think it's just very natural that rookies at a certain point in the year (deal with that)," Mora said.
Mora pointed to everything that has changed with Curry personally listing off the changes - getting drafted, getting married, having a baby, moving to Seattle and adjusting to the NFL life.
"There's a lot of life changes, sometimes that builds up on a young man," Mora said. "He's never played this many games in a season, never in his life. It can build up on you. You can see it every year. Every rookie goes through it. So you just have to help him. Sometimes helping them means dialing it back just a little bit to allow them to regroup and then you push them on."
Mora was adamant that there was no level of disappointment with Curry in his attitude, his effort or his play.
"What we want to do is give him the best chance to have success not only in this season but in his career," Mora said. "We're not going to limit him or hold him back from anything he shows us he can do. But there is a learning curve that all these rookies go through. We're going to make sure we do it the right way with this guy so he can have success."
Of course, Curry isn't the only rookie starter. Max Unger is starting at guard.
"It's a different position, a less visible position," Mora said. "He has his ups and downs, but he's just like Aaron, he's committed trying to push through it. I don't see either of them relenting."