Head Coach Sean McDermott
Q: Where do you think that injury lies for Marcell [Dareus] and Cordy [Glenn]?
A: Yeah, injury wise, you know, we’ve still got some guys being evaluated right now, both Marcell and Cordy, two of the guys being evaluated still, so still a little early in that process at this point. We’ll know a little bit more hopefully in the next 24, 48 hours.
Q: Any other injuries?
A: All in all, it seems like we came out fairly decent, you know your normal typical bumps and bruises and things, but right now, all in all fairly well at this point.
Q: What did you make of the offensive struggles? I know it’s a good defense in Carolina, but there seems to be a sense of whether maybe ‘was this the fallout from an offseason where you shuffled receivers, and Tyrod [Taylor] missed time because [of] the concussion and just not enough time to get on the same page’, or is it something more dire at this point?
A: Yeah, I know what we’re looking at, I mean I feel the frustration out there. I thought we got into a rhythm at times, other times we didn’t. We’re looking at everything, some of the deep shots we had up, called up down the field didn’t work out the way we wanted them to and then we get into a rhythm to start the second half. We get into a rhythm in the two minute obviously, and made some plays, so there are some good things going on, that said, at the end of the day, 3 points--it’s hard to win games in this league when you’re scoring three points. We’ve got to look at a lot of things and we’re going to do that this week.
Q: There was the thought process that, if this team can’t run, then there’s going to be trouble moving the ball. I know you want to, I mean, that’s still there. How do you rectify that issue that, if you can’t run, you’re not moving at this point?
A: Well I think that that’s legitimate, we’ve got to look at that and say, ‘What are we doing to get the ball spread around the field’ and doing different things. We’re looking at everything to change things up. You know we’ve got to obviously try and keep defenses on their heels a little bit more. That was an aggressive defense we faced yesterday, we knew that, and there were certainly things we could’ve done better, and we didn’t get it done.
Q: [Tyrod] Taylor was 17 for 25, yesterday 125, a rather pedestrian performance. You’re two games into the season with this guy, when you talk about changes, at what point are you looking at that quarterback position? You know people out there want [Nate] Peterman already.
A: Yeah, we look at every position, I’ve said that before. Look at every position, and there’s things we can do better at every position, it’s never just one guy and that’s what you have to understand. There’s 11 guys on the field and there’s 46 guys that are dressed, so it’s never just one guy. We can all do our own part and do a better job, and that’s what I expect going forward--that we’re going to look at things hard this week, and again, try and change some things up, look at some things, and that’s what we have to do. We’re two weeks into a young season, and that’s part of it. This is part of the process. Would I have loved to see us come out yesterday with a win? Absolutely. That said, there were a lot of highlights yesterday, there were a lot of good moments in the game yesterday, and we’ve got to celebrate those and came back and say, ‘Hey, what can we do to get better?’ because it wasn’t all where it needs to be.
Q: Is it safe to conclude that the quarterback also needs to play better?
A: Well, we all do. The quarterback, myself, all parts of this football team need to do a better job. Really you say, ‘Hey, regardless of the outcome, we’ve got to continue to get better’ and that’s true. That’s what you do in the process of developing as a football team. All parts of us need to improve.
Q: Why did you not take a timeout after Tyrod scrambled on 1st and 20 on your last set of downs?
A: Yeah you know, those can go either way. What I was looking at really there was real-estate. I felt like we had some real-estate, a significant amount to cover, and I felt like if we could get the ball into the medium, red zone area, and then get it down to take one more shot, so I wanted to make sure at that point, we could save the timeouts if we needed them. When you look at the film, you’d see that, what I was seeing during the game was Tyrod and the routes were close enough I felt like where we could get back and get the play snapped. Those can really go either way. Zay [Jones] is touched down on that last play. If we burn those timeouts, he’s touched down, clock runs out, so I wanted to make sure we had one in the bank for sure. I know at that point we had two, which we burned one before the 4th down play--I believe it was two, so those can go either way. Those are things I want to continue to learn and look at myself for. That’s certainly something I’m taking a hard look at as well.
Q: Just to be clear, you said you’d look at every position in reference to Tyrod versus Peterman, are you saying that changing this week is a possibility?
A: No, Tyrod’s our starter.
Q: He’s going to stay there until further notice? And you’ve said too, Sean, that you’re concentrating on the now, but there’s also a bigger picture, and that is the development of players, including the quarterback. Is that all part of this equation?
A: In terms of?
Q: The quarterback position included, I mean I don’t know, if Nathan [Peterman] was ready to play right now, he’d be playing right now? You have some work to do there, too?
A: We do. I mean every position, this is about us moving forward as an organization, as a football team to get better and better and better, and that’s every position. What I said earlier I meant. We have to do that, we have to be honest with ourselves in what we’re getting and putting ourselves in the best possible position to win games. I expect Tyrod to come out this week and put in a good week’s work just like the rest of our football team, and come out firing come Sunday.
Q: As a defensive coach, you’re the head coach now, but with a defensive background, how impressed are you at how this defense has turned itself around, has played the first two games of the season?
A: They played extremely well, they played hard. I think they’ve been on the attack, and that’s what I enjoy seeing. I enjoy seeing our guys attack in all three phases and, when you do that, when you attack, normally good things happen. They’re playing well. You’re seeing guys that we’ve brought in, or guys that have been here, develop. You see Ramon Humber put another good game out there yesterday, Jordan Poyer, I thought the pressure on the quarterback, he did a tremendous job throughout the game of affecting the quarterback from a front four, but also from pressure. The complimentary part of that is the rush and the coverage working together to get the quarterback to hold the ball, so that was all good and I thought the red-zone defense was outstanding. Obviously, not giving up a touchdown, you give yourself a chance to win the game, which we had at the end.
Q: Sean, Brandon Tate last season was fifth in the league in punt returns and kick returns. What did you see in practice that made you go away from him and to a guy like Kaelin Clay, who quite frankly, yesterday didn’t look up to the moment?
A: I know what Brandon can do and understand where you’re going with that. Brandon’s a valuable member of this football team and I wanted to take a look at (Kaelin) Clay and see what he can do, from a special teams standpoint, first of all, and then also an offensive standpoint. That’s just about, again, no different with evaluating different positions, where we just wanted to look at Clay in that regard.
Q: Will you go back to Tate this week?
A: We’ll see, we haven’t had time to really sit down and talk that through yet at this point.
Q: Along those lines, you worked out at punter today, Matt Darr, what did you see out of Colton [Schmidt] this weekend?
A: I thought he had a good game, I really did. That was a tough unit to go against in terms of the returner and it was important that we had good ball placement close to the sideline. [I] thought he did a phenomenal job, gave our coverage units a chance, and really, they willed themselves into basically shutting [Christian] McCaffrey down. I thought they did a phenomenal job, I’m real proud of their performance.
Q: Sean, how did you, you know you’ve been in the league long enough, you understand that, no matter who the quarterback is, I remember a time here where people wanted Frank Reich to play quarterback instead of Jim Kelly, as Ludacris as that sounds now. No matter who the quarterback is, people tend to want the other guy. When the quarterback has been such a problem here, people tend to want the other guy. How do you resist the urge to not cave to that?
A: Well, you stay with the plan. I’ve been around a couple coaches that have had, what I consider, pretty good success in this league, one of which is Andy Reid, and so I watched when he was in a similar situation. He stayed true to his plan, and you have to adjust the plan from time to time and that’s what you do. Every decision Andy made and every decision we’re trying to make is in what we believe to be the best interest of this team and this organization, both short and long term. I keep saying that, but that’s really how you stay the course. It’s an early part of the season, and look, it’s easy to lead coming off of last week and the week prior to this week and now coming off of this week. The challenge is for the leaders, myself, to get out in front of this team and for us to bounce back. That’s what we’ve got to do, and at home.
Q: Are you concerned that, you’re a defensive coach and any coach in this league can shut down one player, that other teams are you going to start zooming in on [LeSean] McCoy because they’re not worried about getting beat in the passing game, and yesterday’s game not wasn’t just a bad game but it could be indicative of the way that other teams attack you?
A: You’re exactly right, you’re right on with that. That’s where we’ve got to look at things, we have to look at doing things a little bit differently, moving some pieces around, putting players in positions of strengths, and doing some things that we do best, which I thought at times we did. I think at times we’ve done that over the course of the first two games. We absolutely have to look at that.
Q: Charles Clay, I didn’t look at the snap counts, but the tight end position didn’t seem to be as involved in the passing attack, was that because of concerns that you wanted to keep guys in against the rush to protect Tyrod [Taylor] maybe a little bit more?
A: Well some of that, we were not in favorable third down situations at times. Our first down success I believe in the first half, for sure, in the second half it got a little bit better. Your forced to do that at times when you’re in third and long. That said, they have some pretty good players on their side of the ball, that match up well with tight ends, in Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson. Give credit [to] where credit is due, as well.
Q: You had a chance to look at the Andre Holmes “OPI” call, did you feel that it was justified?
A: Those are tough. The thing I can say, we would have liked to have been first and goal, first-and-10 from about the 20-yard line, 18-yard line, with about close to a minute to play with two timeouts. I don’t want to play the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” game, that’s not how you grow. I thought that Andre ran a good route, and the ball was delivered. We still gave ourselves a chance to win, I like the fact that our team stayed with it, and gave ourselves a chance to win with the last play.
Q: There’s a honeymoon period for new coaches when they take over a team with a fan base, for you that dates back to January, probably goes right through week one, a win against a division team, do you feel like now when you’re sitting up here answering questions that aren’t as easy about an offense that put up three points, and why you did or didn’t take a timeout, that maybe that honeymoon period has sort of come to a conclusion now?
A: I’ve never had a honeymoon. I’m not going to talk about my personal life, but I’ve never looked at it that way. When you take a job, in my opinion, you take it with more responsibility and accountability, and that was my approach from day one. I didn’t look at this job with that in mind, and I’ll never look at this job that way.
Q: How do you approach Zay Jones, who was in tears in the locker room yesterday, and what do you hope the team or the coaching staff does to lift his spirits?
A: I think there’s a couple things, number one, he needs to understand and we all need to understand it takes more than one guy. And there was plenty of opportunities to win that game before that play, and he’s going to make more of those than he doesn’t. This is a young player, yesterday on the field, we’ve got three, sometimes four, five rookies on the field and they’re getting tremendous experience. They’re out there, sometimes not starting, they’re playing special teams, other times we have three guys starting. I think we’re only going to get better with those guys playing, getting valuable experience. Next time he’s in that situation, he’ll have been there before and done that. I’m looking forward to his next opportunity, really.
Q: Looking back at that final play on film, do you think that should have been caught, do you think the pass could have been better, after taking it in again what do you think?
A: Yeah, just better execution overall. We gave ourselves a chance to win and next time I expect us to win. That’s what we’re looking forward moving forward, is that belief and the execution. You hope you’re not in that situation, you hope you’re ahead of it in that point in the game. That’s where we’re trying to grow as a football team.
Q: Zay was really hard on himself in the locker room after the game. In the immediate time when he comes off to the sideline we saw players come over and tap him and hug him, things like that. I know they were encouraging him, but even when it’s lingering after the game in the locker room, what’s your role then become as a head coach, especially one who tries to foster the culture that you’re trying to foster in that locker room, so that he doesn’t have that impacting him going forward?
A: Belief, reminding the young man that we believe in him and he’s here for a reason. He’s here to catch those balls and he will, and I firmly believe that, I really do. I believe everyone in that locker room believes in Zay Jones, and that’s where it starts, the mindset. We’re going to get that opportunity again this year, and I hope it’s Zay because I know he’ll make that play. But that’s really where it starts.
Q: Talk about the maturity a little bit too, where you realize that when you’re young the plays get maddened by [the ones] you don’t make, you forget about the third down drop in the second quarter, which could be just as big, they don’t understand it when they’re young?
A: There’s a lot that’s going on, there’s a lot on their plate when they’re young. There’s something to be said for experience in all walks of life, football no different. A rookie football player in the NFL, experience is a benefit, so now he’s been there before, and like I said, I look forward to having him in that same situation again, I know he’ll make the play. The part I love about it, going back to Sal’s point, is that he cares. The amount of care, the amount of disappointment that was in that locker room yesterday, these guys care, and that doesn’t happen everywhere, believe it or not in this league. Those guys put it on the line, and it meant something to them. I can live with that.
Q: Not to say that you’re pleased with the loss, but you seem to be relishing the opportunity to see what this team does coming off of its first real test of adversity?
A: I am, I think we’ll find out a little bit more about our team. This is us getting to know our team, them getting to know me. It’s the first time I had to go in after the honeymoon and address the team. It’s there first time, ‘Hey what’s coach going to be like after we come up short.’ I’m looking forward to seeing them after the situation, how we hit the rest button, learn from it, grow from it, and develop. That’s really what the vision is all about, that we stay on the attack in terms of what we’re doing on the field and off the field.
Q: You targeted Jordan Poyer early in the free agency period, you obviously saw some things you liked about him, is there anything now, now seeing him on the field for two weeks being extraordinarily productive, that maybe you hadn’t anticipated that is a pleasant surprise in what he’s brought to your defense?
A: I think he’s a complete player in terms of what he’s done. The exposure that we had on film of Jordan was a little bit limited. That said, we have Coach [Bobby] Babich who worked with Jordan at Cleveland, so we had some inside knowledge of what Jordan brings to the table, or brought to the table back then now, and now what we’re seeing him bring to the table for this football team, for our football team. Really love his toughness, scrappy player, puts in a lot of time in terms of preparation, instinctive football player. The things you look for, our DNA, two games in, I couldn’t say more about the way he’s played. I would say the rapport he’s building with Micah [Hyde] as well [as] our linebackers, they’re doing more things in between plays that are helping our defense. The growth from week one to week two defensively I thought, was phenomenal.
Q: When you say in between plays, are you talking about hey check for this?
A: Communication, disguise, things of that nature, yes.
Q: To be totally crystal clear on the quarterback situation, making a change didn’t even cross your mind, it’s not going to happen, Taylor’s the guy, could you just completely clarify?
A: Yes, clarity, Taylor’s the guy, not making a change.
Q: How did Shaq Lawson come out of the game, looked like he was limping pretty bad?
A: He had a little bit of a nerve contusion that they’re still evaluating. He made a lot of progress between yesterday and today, so we’re still going through that evaluation. We’ll know a little bit more in the next 24, 48 [hours], he’s another guy like that.
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Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier
Opening Statement: Good afternoon everyone. Tough ball game for us yesterday, guys played hard on the road, hostile territory, we fell short. Finished watching the tape, move on to the next opponent, get ready to play at home and get us a home win. That’s where the focus has to be. We went through the tape, made the corrections that needed to be made. Now we move forward, and get ready for the next ball game, which is a very, very important game against an AFC opponent. We’re looking forward to that.
Q: Was there any adjustment from the first half to second half you made, you guys came out there and it seemed like even though you’re doing a nice job on defense in the first half, the second half you guys really got after it?
A: Yeah, there were some things that we talked about in the second half, at halftime, things we wanted to do a little bit different. They were putting together some drives, and we wanted to be able to limit some of those and make some adjustments to some of the things they were doing. Our guys really bought in to what we talked about at halftime, and they really came out and stepped up another notch, it was good to see.
Q: What did that defense show you to be as consistent as they were throughout the game, and holding them to three field goals?
A: That’s a pretty good offense, with the quarterback that they have. He puts a lot of pressure on your defense, he’s such a multi-talented guy. For our guys to defend the run as well as they did, [Jonathan] Stewart’s a very good back and [Christian] McCaffrey’s on his way, to limit them to 2.8 yards per carry was good in a lot of ways. The consistency, as you mentioned, just to keep fighting and fighting, and just trying to keep us within striking distance. It was good to see the resiliency of our guys, as they continued to play through each situation, whether they made a play. You’re in the NFL, other offenses, they’re going to make some plays, and you have to be able to weather the storm and handle what you have to handle. The fact that they were 0-for-3 in the red zone, not scoring touchdowns, that was a big deal for our defense. It was good to see them battle, and continue to battle throughout.
Q: When the offense was having the problems they were having yesterday, what was your message at halftime, and throughout the game even, just with the defense in trying to keep that game close?
A: The message never really changed as far as what our approach was and what we were trying to get done on defense. Personally, I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what’s happening with our offense in between series, I’m always looking at us and trying to figure out what we have to do, based on they’ve done in previous series. I never really follow our offense, other than when we go back up, I’ll take a look and see where we are time-wise, what’s the situation score-wise, and so on. The message really never changed on what we had to do on defense, and that was to play consistent football, stop the run, and things we talked about, preventing big plays, we talked about that. The thing that we didn’t get done and we wanted to get done that was a part of our criteria to win this game, was to take the ball away, we didn’t get that accomplished. From our perspective, that had a lot to do with [us] not winning the game, the fact that we came up short on takeaways.
Q: How much discouragement did you sense from the defense not having won the game, given how well they played?
A: You’re in it to win it, and when we don’t win, there’s not a whole lot you can get excited about in our business. It’s all about winning the games, that’s what we work so hard for, going all the way back to the offseason program, training camp, and these practices that we have, it’s all about winning. If we have a poor performance and we win, that’s a happy locker room. It’s all about winning.
Q: To make all the changes you’ve made, especially in the back end, and have the defense play, you talk about consistency, to give up less than 500 yards in the first two games, is there a sense of wonderment as to how good this defense could be given what it’s gone through?
A: I know we have really good leadership on defense, and we have some guys that have really been busting their tails all the way back to the spring. The coaches and I, we were talking about it in training camp, that the high character we have on defense, and how hard the guys work, we’ve always been hoping all along that they would be rewarded for their hard work in practice and their preparation. They’re going out and executing their assignments on Sunday. Now, in our business, every week is different. We’ll have a different opponent this next week with a different style offense and different requirements. But our guys, they’re working hard, they’re binding, everything we’ve asked them to do from a game plan standpoint, and how we want to approach things. We have tremendous leadership in that locker room on the defensive side and that makes a big difference when you’re trying to get guys to buy into something that’s a little bit different than they’ve done before.
Q: Did you expect Jordan Poyer to be this good this fast in this defense, he seems to be blowing everybody away with how well he’s played in the first couple of weeks?
A: Yeah, I don’t want to say we’ve been surprised because he’s our starting safety. It’s not by default, he earned the position, he’s a smart guy, he’s shown some athleticism, you’ve seen what he’s done when our blitzes are forced, he’s gotten his hands on some balls. He’s really playing well, he does a good job of helping to run things with our secondary between he and Micah [Hyde]. But we’re really pleased with the way he’s played, and hopefully he’ll continue that, and continue to maintain that, and even up it a little bit as we go forward. He’s done a really, really good job for us, really good.
Q: How much will you talk to Rick [Dennison] this week knowing he spent so much time there in Denver? How much of a help can that be to you?
A: For sure with personnel, they’re scheme has probably changed a little bit from when he was there. But with their offensive personnel, we’ll definitely sit down and talk throughout the week about how he’d like to use those guys when he had them versus what they’re doing with them now. We’ll pick his brain for sure on personnel.
Q: As far as Poyer, going back to Jay’s question, there was limited film on him for you guys, so what specific traits stood out that you targeted him so early in free agency?
A: Well we had a little inside information. One of our secondary coaches, Bobby Babich, who works with our safeties, had some inside information because he had been on the staff with Cleveland, prior. He knew a little bit about Jordan, talked to us about him, thought he’d be a guy, looking at our situation here, we were so thin at the [safety] position when we arrived after we evaluated what was on the roster. Jordan was a guy we wanted to take a look at, who he thought might fit what we were trying to get accomplished, so we made the decision to bring him in. Boy, it was a great decision, he’s really stepped up like we were all hoping that he would.
Q: Did it seem like with him and Micah, they’re not guys that scream their names off the page when you look down on an NFL roster, it seems like they really fit a piece of the puzzle, can you go over how they fit together in your defense?
A: We’re always talking about 1/11th when it comes to our football team, our defense. To have two guys that are on the same page mentally, they understand what we’re trying to get done physically. You can see some things yesterday from game one to game two where you’re beginning to see the maturation when it comes to the looks that we’re trying to give offenses. The matchups, there were a number of times where we were matched up Micah on [Greg] Olsen when he was in the ball game and that’s because of his skillset. The fact that the synergy between the two of them has been so good from day one, it probably goes back to who they are as people, neither one of those guys are big ego guys. They’re more concerned with the team and doing what they can do to help the football team. When you have a couple of individuals like that, then you have a chance as opposed to making it about me, am I going to the Pro Bowl, am I starting. They’re not those types of individuals, they’re team-oriented guys and they really want to do what’s best for the team. You get that type of comradery, you have a chance to have a pretty good pair.
Q: How do you feel Shaq Lawson has played these first two weeks?
A: He has played really well, he had a really good game yesterday for us. One of the reasons we were a able to do as well against the run as we did, was because of his play. He did a great job of knocking those tight ends back and shutting down their close-side run game. He’s doing well, he was able to get some rushes also, and as he develops as a pass rusher, that’s going to make us even better. His run defense is a strength at this point, and his pass rush is coming, he’s done a very good job in these first two ball games.
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Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
Q: The first 57 minutes of the game, there were only three completions to wide receivers, that’s coming off a week where you only had four. Why is the offense continuing to struggle to find ways to get the ball to the receivers?
A: I don’t know that you could say it that way, that’s a different statement ‘we haven’t completed a ball, as many balls to the wide receivers.’ You know, we’re trying to get the ball, spread the ball around, do whatever we need to do to move the ball. We didn’t execute very well early on for 57 minutes as you said, we just didn’t move the ball very well. It wasn’t just the wide receivers, [it was] everybody.
Q: What do you attribute that to? Why weren’t you able to move the ball as well?
A: They played better than we did, right? We didn’t execute. The consistency, you watch play after play, one play we’re doing well, one play we’re not. It’s not any one person, it’s us as a group. We’ll go back, they’ll be corrected on the mistakes they made. We as coaches correct our mistakes and try and get a better plan going and moving forward.
Q: What were some of the problems, do you think, with getting the ball down the field?
A: Just execution in general, again.
Q: Do you want to be more specific than that?
A: I’d rather not.
Q: You don’t have to give the entire game plan just…?
A: Well, you don’t have to, it’s just execution. Whether it’s a wide receiver creating separation or a protection, there’s many things. I don’t have to go through play-by-play for you, we just didn’t execute. We didn’t get the ball down the field. We gave it a try a couple times, the ball went out, didn’t make those plays, so we’ll move on.
Q: This game seemed that there was a perception or a fear or a concern that, if this team couldn’t run the ball, the offense would have problems moving. This game didn’t seem to change that perception?
A: I don’t know that’s exactly true, we had our chances and we didn’t make any plays, running or not. I think we have a talented group that just has to get better at what we’re doing, hone in on our techniques and, like I said, be consistent play-in play-out.
Q: Sean McDermott said that that is a legitimate concern, and something that you guys are looking at?
A: We’re trying, but I still think we have our abilities to push the ball around and a lot of people make plays.
Q: Rick, at the end of the game, in that hurry up situation when you guys were on the Panther’s side of the field, Tyrod [Taylor] scrambled twice for short gains. How did you feel about him doing that and keeping the clock running?
A: Well, I think at that point in time, I’d be okay with one of them, one of them he had no choice. The other one, he could’ve dished the ball. We did have timeouts, I thought we had the clock in control with timeouts and with how the clock was moving. I think getting positive yards is more important than anything, especially with the two timeouts we had in the pocket. We end up with one at the end of the game, which we, throw and catch, would allow us to put the ball in the middle of the field, catch, call timeout, and have a couple shots at the end-zone.
Q: Is this in part the fallout from the changes that you made at receiver throughout the offseason and the fact that Tyrod missed a critical period with that concussion?
A: I don’t know that, that would be complete conjecture. We just didn’t execute, I’m not looking for excuses or whatever. We didn’t execute, we’ve got to do better next time and that’s what we practice for.
Q: What would make this passing offense successful in your opinion?
A: Complete a lot of balls, just keep working at it, keep completing balls. I think certainly some of our shots will come off of play action and off the run game, we have to be successful there. Like I said, there’s still plenty of talent and the ability to push the ball around.
Q: Rick, where is your confidence level right now in Tyrod Taylor?
A: High, I have complete confidence in him. I think he did some good things, even though he did some bad things. He did some good things. [He] managed the team when things weren’t going well, but kept us in the game. Some people might’ve gone south, he kept us all rolling. Had to move, make some plays with his feet when things weren’t there. He’s coachable, that’s what I think. You tell him to do something, he’ll do it right, he’ll fix it.
Q: What was the route that Zay Jones was running on that final play, or the route he was supposed to run?
A: You want me to tell you the exact route? It was a corner route. He was running to the corner.
Q: Was the ball where it needed to be?
A: I think it was execution on both, let’s just put it that way. We have to be better as an offense.
Q: There was a play in the third quarter on a third down where Zay, the ball got him in his hands, maybe the throw was slightly ahead of him, but he did get two hands on it. That one, and then also the final one, are those catches that you need Zay to make?
A: Yeah, we need to make catches, we need to make throws, we need to make blocks, we need to make all the critical [stuff]. Every ball in the NFL is going to be a little contested. That’s just the way it is, guys are really talented. In that particular one, Tyrod was hot. Protection was such that he had a free runner, so he’s going to try and make that throw. We’ll make it, hopefully we’ll all learn from that, both thrower and catcher.
Q: Sean [McDermott] mentioned a couple of times that the confidence didn’t quite get into the rhythm that he was looking for. When you guys are averaging 2.5 yards per play on first down, how tough is it to get into a rhythm when you’re struggling on first down?
A: That is a little bit tough. We have a series of things that we want to start to play with, we had to shoot the first fifteen, we couldn’t quite get into those even. We started the second half with plays that we still had in the first fifteen, plays that we as a staff kind of designed as ‘hey, this will get us going, this is our momentum, this is what we’re going to check with formations.’ We just couldn’t get into that rhythm. From that, we’ll learn. Maybe we need to do something a little bit different, but that’s on us and staff.
Q: How did you feel that Dion Dawkins played?
A: I thought he played well, he had some things that he will grow from, but I thought he did a good job. Certainly, he will give you everything that he has.
Q: Rick, you know this Broncos team and defense well from your time there, just your initial impressions of going up against them?
A: Well, they’re a talented group obviously. They rush the pass very well and they’ve got great DBs, they all have great ball skills. Put the balls around them, they think it’s theirs, so you’ve got to be careful. Like any other defense, they’re loaded with talent. We have our work cut out for us, but just like we did last week, we’ll find a way to move the ball.
Q: What did you say to Zay Jones and what message did you give him after that last play?
A: We’re going to make the next one. Learn from it, make the next one. Hopefully, he will. He’ll keep moving forward, because we count on everybody over there.
Q: Did they take away those cut back lanes a little quicker, or in any way that you didn’t expect them to maybe fill those lanes?
A: No, I think, like I said, you can’t say ‘this is exactly it’. Each play is just a little bit different. They were filling it at times, we didn’t do the right thing at times on the backside. I think we just keep working and learn from there.