ML: “The crowd yesterday was really outstanding. I thought they did a great job and had a real effect on the game. It was great to see. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it finished off so they could go home and enjoy it. Hats off to them. Our players noticed it and commented on it. It obviously has an effect. You only get eight home-field games to begin with, and we let one get away. They were outstanding as a group yesterday. Very loud and vocal. It has an effect on the other team’s offense. I know we know about it when we play on the road a lot of times. We spend a lot of time practicing with noise when we’re on offense, because of the concentration level you’ve got to have. Even at midfield, I noticed, (Denver) nearly got a delay of game.
“I think we came out of the game pretty healthy. We may have lost Nate Livings with a knee. I don’t know if we’ll have his services this week. Brian Leonard was the other guy that got banged up in the game, but Brian should be fine. It happened toward the end when we were moving the ball down there on them. He was able to stay in, I think, for one more play before we were able to get him out. David Jones should be working his way back as he expands his rehab and gets back more into the on-field stuff. Carson seemed to come through the game well. I’m sure he was sore today.
“We will have to bring Andre (Smith) to the roster at 4 p.m. today, so we will waive DeDe Dorsey (to open a spot). As far as the game goes, as I said yesterday, there were a lot of very good plays to build upon. Before you play a regular season game, you really don’t know where you are. You kind of know, but now we know. And I was somewhat excited about a lot of that. Where I was disappointed was the execution of some of it. We shot ourselves in the foot a few times offensively. Whether it’s the dropped balls or the four penalties, that hurts. We squandered a couple opportunities. We got run by on a pass rush. We got overpowered on a pass rush. On special teams, there was our failure to have a perfect snap, handle the snap, get the ball down and kick the field goal. So it came down to a play late in the game.
“What I liked, again, is that the offense hung in there and they were able to drive the ball 90-plus yards to go ahead in the game. So a lot of the things we talked about on the sidelines in the heat of the battle, it all came true. Defense, don’t let them score and you’ll win the game, even though you’re down 6-0. Offense, score one touchdown and you’ll win the game, even though you’re down 6-0. Those things pretty much came to light until the end. All that being said, we did some good things on defense.
"Guys had some outstanding plays, but we’ve got to be more consistent. We allowed a couple of “chunk” plays that changed field position and enabled them to get the long field goals. We had a chance to keep them backed up in the one minute situation before halftime, get the ball back, and have an opportunity for our offense to have the ball. And we let them squirt out of there on the crossing route. So some correction was made today. You know, you don’t feel good. It was kind of like getting kicked in the ‘you know where’ yesterday. But it is what it is, and we have to learn from it and come back to be a better prepared, a better planned and better executing football team this week in Green Bay."
Q: Can you explain what happened when they reviewed the Andre Caldwell catch at the one-yard line?
ML: “It was a booth challenge. The mechanics didn’t make sense, but it doesn’t matter. That had no affect on the football game. Other than the fact he did not start the clock on the “ready for play.” But again, what happens in the past doesn’t really matter. Maybe call the league office and figure that out, because I’m not going to worry about that.”
Q: So you wanted to call time out to get everything squared away, right?
ML: “Yes. I wanted to make sure we had four opportunities to win the game. About eight seconds per play.”
Q: Did you get to look at the play where Johnathan Joseph may have intercepted the pass right before the big play?
ML: “That’s a booth review. It was inside of two minutes. It really doesn’t matter what we think about any of that. You can’t coach this game, nor play this game, worried about what the officials do, or don’t do. You’ve got to go play the next play. We can’t worry about it, we’ve got to play. The game is in the hands of those people. Whether he gets one foot down, or two feet down, it doesn’t matter. It’s what is called out there, and that’s what matters.”
Q: Does a loss like the one yesterday sting more than a normal loss would because of the way it ended?
ML: “Every loss stings, so it doesn’t sting any more, or any less.”
Q: Since you don’t get a chance to practice the sort of thing that happened at the end of the game, what can you tell your guys to do differently in that situation?
ML: “We do practice that kind of thing, and we have some improvement that could have been made on that particular play. But I thought the guys at the point did exactly what they want to do on that play. Leon (Hall) goes up to try and intercept the ball, and unfortunately it bounces off his hands. Guys come over to take the receiver out just like they are supposed to do, and the other guys have to do a better job of finishing it. There were some things that can be done differently, but it’s a play that happened. I don’t know what you call it, but it’s a good play by them, and a not-so-good play by us.”
Q: You guys have had issues with finishing drives and untimely penalties throughout the preseason with the first team, and it continued yesterday. Is that a physical issue? Is it concentration?
ML: “It’s not a physical issue. I can’t even point to it as a youthful issue. It’s an issue with discipline and not trying to do more than you need to do. We’re talking about guys finishing. We have guys downfield on pass plays, because they’re chasing a linebacker, they’re chasing the guy down the field they were blocking on. They have to understand the timing and the scope of those plays. Those are new plays for us. It’s one thing when you have that with guys like Jason Shirley, or whoever it was in the preseason. It’s different when it’s your regular center or right guard. And we’ve told Chad (Ochocinco), OPI (offensive pass interference) is a point of emphasis this year. You can’t have the pushing down the field by the receivers. The defense has struck back, and they’re trying to get on a level ground.”
Q: The offensive line was a point of emphasis coming into this game with running the ball and protecting Carson Palmer. How do you think they did?
ML: “I thought we did a good job. There were a couple plays where we didn’t protect him as well as we should have. I thought in running the ball, we got off to a good start. Because of some of those negative plays we’ve been harping on, it got us off track for being able to run the ball more effectively. We have some things to clean up with Cedric (Benson). We have some things to clean up with our quarterback to get us in the right runs at times. We will. We’ll continue to do that and work hard at it. It was (Palmer’s) first game of playing after a while, and I thought he came out of it pretty well. There’s some things we I‘d like him to do better. He had a couple throws that he normally makes that he missed. We’ll just keep working and be sharper with it.”
Q: You were running the ball more effectively in first half, but went away from that some in the second half. Why do you think that was?
ML: “You have to play some of it by down and distance. Some of the tendencies that were occurring in the game were them getting a lot of pressures. We wanted to take advantage of some of those things as well. The play-calling happens as you go through. If you don’t win, people are going to question what you did.”
Q: Why the decision to cut DeDe Dorsey?
ML: “We had 53 guys, and we needed a spot. We were one heavy at running back. DeDe did a lot to stay here, but at this point, where we are, DeDe was the guy we needed to release today.”
Q: Is Andre Smith progressing physically?
ML: “Yes, he’s doing fine.”
Q: Do you have any idea when he could be back?
ML: “As I’ve said, I don’t usually put a timetable on injured players. That wouldn’t be fair to me, you or them.”