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Adalius Thomas talks about yesterday

12.10.09 at 12:03 pm ET
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Here’s the complete transcript of the Q&A between reporters and Adalius Thomas that took place at his locker this morning:

Can you tell us about what happened yesterday?
I got sent home. That was pretty much it, for being late.

Can you add more context to that? Was there a reason?
I think everybody woke up to the snow yesterday. I didn’t know it was going to snow. There was traffic. I can’t run people over getting to work. I’m not going to do that. I actually almost got in a car accident. But it is what it is. He did what he thought was best for him. That’s what he did.

How surprising was it to you?
It was surprising. Just from the standpoint that you notify [them] when you think you’re going to be late and it still happens. That’s what I was told to do — if you think you’re going to be late, then notify them or whatever. And you do that and you’re still late, so I guess that whole safety thing isn’t too good.

[Inaudible]
Yes, that was the first time.

You were here or you got a phone call?
I was here.

Have you talked to Bill to clear the air?
No, there’s nothing to talk about. … I have nothing to talk about.

There appears to be a strain between you two. Sometimes clearing the air can get you on the same page.
You have to ask him about that. I have no idea. I just do what I’m told. I was told to go home, so that’s what I did.

Will you talk to your teammates about what happened?
Everybody knows what happened.

But do you feel compelled to say something to them? An apology?
No, that’s one thing about Mother Nature. You can’t control that. You can’t run people over getting to work. … I didn’t try to be late. That’s basically it. I don’t know anything else to say. Cars sitting in the road, you’re sitting there. What can you do? It’s not the Jetsons. I can’t jump up into the sky. [laughter] What the hell am I supposed to do?

How frustrating has this season been for you from a personal standpoint?
Real frustrating. But it is what it is. People just … that’s one thing about being a professional. It’s good things and it’s bad things. There’s a lot of things you can say or whatever but it’s just not a good time. I don’t want people to think … it was put out there like I just didn’t show up and I didn’t have a reason and nobody knew. That’s just not true. That’s not the case at all. If that had been the case, I was trying to be a professional and let them know that I may not make it on time. That’s all you can do.

How late were you?
That’s irrelevant. I think I came at 8:09, or something like that.

We’re you driving in with the other three guys?
No, we were all by ourselves.

It wasn’t one car.
No, we didn’t carpool.

Do you feel like they treated you professionally?
That’s a personal thing. He’s the head coach. He makes all the calls. And so whether you agree with him or not, you just roll with him. That’s why they pay him to be the head coach and he has that title. He doesn’t have to have a reason to send me home. You just have to abide by it. I was told to go home, I went home. I enjoyed my day off. Put my toes up in the air and relaxed.

Are you concerned this is a distraction to the team?
I think it’s more than what it should be. Your focus should be on Carolina, but instead, its on this whole topic of being late or not, so it’ll be determined on Sunday after the game. We play well, then it’ll be the whole great thing and this, and if he doesn’t then you guys will kind of come back to this whole thing and say it was a distraction. You might as well write it now, what you think it is. So don’t be 20/20 hindsight. [laughter] Don’t do that now.

Has this affected your preparation?
I actually watched a lot of film yesterday. I watched a lot of games. So I kind of got a jump on the film because I had a lot of free time on my hands.

Did you talk to the other players who were late? What were their reactions?
Yeah. I’ll let you ask them about their reactions. I can only speak for myself. I’m not going to speak for anybody or say what somebody else said. If they want that to be know, its only fair for them to say that.

Do you think Bill used you guys as some sort of teaching tool or example?
You’ll have to ask … I don’t know. A teaching tool? I don’t know. I really … I can’t figure out what Bill thinks or knows. I don’t know. I promise you I don’t.

[Inaudible]
Like I said, I have no idea. I just do what I’m told. Whatever I’m told to do, that’s what I do. And I try and do it in a professional manner. That’s the only thing. I try to come here. I try to be professional. I try to do what I’m asked to do and try to do it to the best of my ability.

Were the four of you here at the same time?
I was here … me and another player were here. We were told together. It wasn’t in a meeting or anything like that.

Told by Bill?
I was notified by Bill.

Have you and Bill had any discussions?
No.

You said that you don’t know what Bill is thinking. Do you think there’s a problem, that kind of disconnect?
I don’t know. I mean, I mean, I don’t know. I’m dumbfounded for … I don’t try to figure it out. I let you guys do it. You guys do a lot more guessing at it than I do. Like I said, whatever I’m told to do, that’s what I do.

You really are perplexed, though? You just said you were dumbfounded…
There’s a lot of things that go on that you’re dumbfounded by. Not just that. You know? You just roll with it. I’m an Indian. I’m not the Chief. I just roll with the punches.

Can this serve as motivation?
Motivation is for kindergarteners. I’m not a kindergartener. Sending somebody home, that’s like ‘Are you expelled? Come back and make good grades.’ Get that [expletive] out of here. That’s ridiculous. Motivation…

Did you get fined?
I have no idea. I have not received anything like that. The biggest thing is trying to get back to Carolina, trying to get back to the business at hand. I mean, you guys have questions about it and then it’s lingering. Is it this? Is it that? I want to clear my name from the standpoint that I want to be professional and letting them know that I’d be late.

Did you talk to Bill today?
No.

Any of this change your viewership when it comes to watching the weather?
I never really watched the weather like that, because they’re 50-50 [laughter]. Either it’s going to rain or its not. I don’t know. You know, it’s just really … like I said I had a chance to watch a lot of film. They have great backs, Carolina, you know, you wide receivers. We’ve got to try to get a win. That’s really the only thing that matters, now that I’ve addressed all the questions about tardiness and snow and stuff like that. You guys are all going to take off now that all the juicy stuff is done.

Do you want to clear your name with your teammates?
No, like I said, we’re on to Carolina now. That’s really what we’re trying to focus on now. We’re not focusing on apologizing to somebody. I didn’t try to do anything intentionally or try to be late.

What do you think the defense needs to do to get back to where it was?
Whatever it takes to win. You know, I can only speak for myself, as far as play better. Play better consistently, play more consistently for myself. Cover better. Tackle better. Know your assignment better and then execute it in the game. I think that’s what I have to do.

How important is it to get that pass rush going again?
I think the game dictates that a lot of times. People say ‘You need to get pass rush, you need to get pass rush.’ Some of it depends on the style of the team, what protection are they in. Are they in max protecting? Is it seven on four? All those things are dictated by the game, the calls. We let the coaches deal with how they’re going to attack the quarterback.

How much of the film yesterday was on Matt Moore?
Watched a little bit — different games. I didn’t watch like a lot, but if you watch different games, he was in there a couple of games.

Big difference when Delhomme’s in there?
Not a real big difference, but he’s a little bit more athletic than Delhomme. But at the same time, he’s not looking to just take off either, so they do what they do. They have a great running game. Their backs — I think that’s their biggest strength is they like to run the ball, and rightfully so, with Williams and Stewart, those guys are very explosive. They’re not afraid to hand it off to them in third and long, and they have a great chance of getting it.

Do they do different things with Stewart and Williams?
They have a little bit of a different style, but they still run the same plays, so it’s not like a big change or whatever. But at the end of the game, they’re probably still fresh because they rotate them and going in and out. … Then, you have Steve Smith and Muhammad and that’s a whole different beast. You just really have to be on top of your game.

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