Eagles at Bengals Postgame Quotes

BENGALS POSTGAME QUOTES
  MARVIN LEWIS
Head coach
Initial Comments ...
        "I thought it was a good effort today. We were able to be productive when they stacked up in front. We were able to throw the football effectively, and we took advantage of the opportunities they gave us.
        "Our quarterback did a nice job too. We got some eight-man looks in the box, and I believe they assumed we may not pass in those situations. However, I thought our receivers did a nice job getting open and catching the ball.
        "The defense did a nice job keeping points off the board in the first half. Later in the game, we allowed them some fourth-down conversions. We did a nice job reducing their success on third down, but we must stop the fourth down situations too. That kept their drives alive late in the game. We just need to execute better in those situations and get those things stopped. They ended up scoring a fourth-down touchdown as well. Those are things we can not allow. Basically, it's taking better care of the football.
        "When you're up in the game, everyone needs to understand the situation. We got a couple of first downs when we took advantage of their looks. We also must hold on to the football.
        "All-in-all, it was a good effort. We'll have to take a look at the kickoff return where we were exposed and see what we did wrong there. Again, it was a good effort in all three phases of the game today. We'll look at today's film and assess the game, then we'll begin getting ourselves ready to go up to Cleveland to win a game there."
 
Andy Dalton looked much sharper today, and he seemed to hit some deep balls while also having success with one-on-one matchups ...
        "We got more of them today. We had a lead, and that opened up those looks for us. Those types of things make a big difference."
 
What does it feel like to simply win another football game?
        "It's great for these guys. For us as coaches, it's about the same. I am glad for our players. It's good for them. They have worked their tails off. We had another good week of preparation. Today, they got to enjoy the fruits of their work."
 
Over the last few weeks, you said it's been the same combination of things that plagued you. But certain statistics seemed to play in your favor today ...
        "We created some plays both offensively and defensively. However, we did drop an interception opportunity or two. We just have to keep going. We'll keep playing, learning and understanding. Executing details during important situations will only help us."
 
The Eagles started out this season 3-0, and they're now 5-7. Do you see the NFL adjusting and now understanding their quarterback and offensive system?
        "I think he (Eagles QB Carson Wentz) is a very talented player. They have good offensive skilled position players too. Their defensive front seven are also very good. Teams go through ups-and-downs. Right now, they are a little different without Ryan Mathews. He is a good runner, and a different style of runner than their other backs are."
 
You went with Eric Winston and Jake Fisher at OT, What are your plans going forward at that position?
        "We are going to keep going forward and try to put the best guys out there that we can. We need to keep moving forward offensively in every area."
 
Any injury update on Jake Fisher?
        "He's got a bruise. He took a helmet to the knee on that reception play."
 
What are your thoughts on Carlos Dunlap's consistency this season?
        "We'll see how the tape looks. We have to be effective applying pressure when we rush. He was able to get his hands up when they ran some crossing routes. When the angle of those throws is lower, Carlos can have an opportunity to disrupt those passing lanes."
 
Vontaze Burfict had a good game today. What were your thoughts on how he played?
        "From my vantage point on the sideline, it seemed he did. I thought he did a good job today."
 
ANDY DALTON
Quarterback
It has been a little bit since you guys have been able to celebrate a victory. So what's the sense here now in the room after today?
        "The locker room feeling is a whole lot better than it's been the last couple times. It's like I was saying earlier in the week, it starts with one win. We've got to just kind of continue with this momentum and bring it into next week."
 
What was the difference this week compared to the weeks when you guys were struggling, and what made it click today?
        "We just made the plays that we needed to. When we had opportunities, we executed, and that obviously helped us win."
 
You already had a double-digit lead, but how big was that touchdown right before halftime?
        "It was big. We knew we had a chance to move the ball down there, and Tyler (Eifert) made a big catch in the end zone. That was a big, big play because we knew we were getting the ball coming out of the half, too."
 
This was the second game without A.J. Green, but it looked liked the rhythm and the timing with the receivers just keeps getting better. How was the preparation this week going into this game?
        "It felt we were in better rhythm today than we were last week. When there are new guys in there it's going to take a little bit of time. It was definitely a big improvement this week, and we've got to keep it going."
 
Is there anything you can point your finger to, in terms of six straight scoring possessions and why it worked?
        "I felt it's the way we were playing and the rhythm that we were in. The biggest thing that helped out was converting on the third downs — we had some third-and-longs that we were able to convert on. That's huge, just moving the chains and just keeping drives alive, and it was good enough to get points on the board."
 
Did it help the way the defense started the game, getting that three-and-out and getting good field position right from the jump?
        "That was big. Any time our defense can go and get a three-and-out to start, it definitely helps to flip the field position. It definitely set the tone for the game early."
 
You got a lot of guys involved in the passing game ...
        "Yeah, it felt like we spread the ball around and a lot of guys got involved. It's fun to see."
 
Marvin Lewis said they stacked the box a little bit, kind of daring you to beat guys one-on-one. What were you seeing out there with Brandon LaFell, Cody Core and Tyler Boyd?
        "That was kind of part of their game plan. We did have a lot of one-on-ones — our guys won more often than not. We had opportunities to make big plays and make the plays we needed to. Our guys did a great job."
 
JAKE FISHER
Offensive tackle
Did you get your foot off the ground on the fumble? How are you feeling?
        "I'm good to go. I hopefully should be good to go next week."
 
You got some extended playing time at tackle today. How did it feel?
        "It was kind of a whirlwind today, playing left and right. It feels good to get some quality snaps. I started off kind of slow, but as it went along, I picked it up. It feels good to get out there and contribute. I definitely believe in myself and my talent, so it was good to be out there."
 
What's your preferred position?
        "I'm going to do whatever it takes, whether it's right or left or center."
 
How different are Conner Barwin and Brandon Graham to play against?
        "Graham's a great player. He plays hard. We just have to study his tape. I was a little antsy at the start of the game, getting those first reps. I was trying to get in and get out."
 
When did you find out the rotation was going to be the way it was?
        "We found out early in the week on Wednesday. From there, I had four quality days to prepare."
 
Whit's injury threw you in there as well ...
        "That's when you fall back on your preparation. I trusted our line, and we did a nice job of communication. Andy stepped up too."
 
ANDREW WHITWORTH
Offensive tackle
How big was the touchdown before half?
        "It's always a big momentum swing in the game if you can do that to a team. It's not often teams can pull it off, so when you do, it's a punch in the gut, especially when you're getting the ball back."
 
Do you finally feel that the team is rounding into form?
        "I think we played well. This week, we really pressed hard to get this monkey off our back and go play a big game. I think we're ready to build off that.
 
Is that the best you've seen Andy throw the ball?
        "As a whole, everybody worked well today. They tried to bring a lot of pressure, and we were ready for it."
 
VONTAZE BURFICT
Linebacker
What was the key to stop Eagles QB Carson Wentz?
        "Stop the run and play with good technique. We had to trust our technique."
 
Ever had two picks before?
        "Yeah, in college."
 
You came close to scoring on the second INT, but the QB got you ...
        "Yeah. Karlos didn't block for me (laughs.) That quarterback is fast."
 
You blitzed more than usual, and it seemed to get Wentz out of the pocket ...
        "We were blitzing for most of the time. I feel like everybody did a good job of keeping him out of the pocket."
 
Have you ever seen anyone with all the pass deflections like Carlos Dunlap? He leads the league among linemen ...
        "Yeah, he's huge. That's pretty good. My coach used to say, 'If you can't get there, get your hands up.' "
 
The defense seems to be hitting its stride the past few games ...
        "We're tired of people saying we start off slow and give up scores on the first drive. We did a good job this week focusing on the little details and route concepts."
 
Is it nice to celebrate a win after it's been a while?
        "Any win is good, no matter how long it's been. We're on to the next one. That's the motto."
 
Dre says the team feeds off your passion. What is it that stokes you every game like that?
        "It's competing. It's like a test — you practice during the week, and on Sundays you have to pass the test. That's my competitiveness."
 
Was it a lift to get them off the field on the first drive without scoring?
        "Yeah, we wanted to start fast. We were tired of people saying we start slow. You can't dip your toe into the water — you have to jump in."
 
Does this set the tone for the rest of the season?
        "Yeah we're on to the next one."
 
When you're making plays, does it up your own energy level?
        "Yeah we all feed off of each other. Vinny makes plays, Karlos makes plays. We feed off that. I thought I personally started off slow, and then Vinny and Karlos made plays, so I had to rise to the occasion. He gave me energy and I just passed it along."
 
As the game went on, did you start to feel better?
        "Yeah. I had the flu when I woke up. It took a little bit of time, but I got my energy up in the first quarter."
 
Why do you change on Sundays?
        "It's game day. We come in here every day and practice. Sunday's are different. We just have to feed off each other."
 
BRANDON LaFELL
Wide receiver
How much did this team need a day like today?
        "We've been needing this day since London. Forty days. For the longest time. Everybody is smiling and that's great. It means a lot and hopefully we can continue it."
 
Can this start something momentum-wise?
        "It definitely can. We have guys that haven't played a lot of ball. When they get a chance to go out there and make plays, they can get their confidence up and continue to roll."
 
Tell us about your cleats ...
        "It's my foundation for speech therapy. My son had a speech delay, so us going through it ourselves. The treatment and insurance is crazy. Most families can't pay for that. Me and my wife decided to get into it. I've been doing it since 2013."
 
How's your son doing now?
        "He's great now. The therapy sessions have been great."
 
What does Burfict bring to the team?
        "He's a fun guy. He thinks he's the best at everything. He thinks he's the best running back, the best catcher. With these two INTs, I'm going to hear about this for the rest of the season. He backs it up with his play though."
 
How good of a throw was Andy's pass to you for the TD?
        "I got the right look. The safety was trying to come down, and I was wide open. I took advantage and Andy put the ball right where it needed to be."
 
Did you do a double-move?
        "They were trying to in-and-out me. I was supposed to attack the inside guy, but I'd rather play one-on-one than two-on-one. Andy put the ball perfectly there."
 
Is that an example of you two being on the same page?
        "Yes that's a perfect example. We've been running that play a lot."
 
Is this the most complete game the team has played all season?
        "It's hard to say because we put together some good games that we just didn't pull out. Offensively, I think so. We scored on our first six possessions. We preach about it every week, and it was good to go out there and execute that."
 
Did you see a difference with so many people getting involved?
        "It's a big difference. You can't just go to one guy. When the ball is shared, people are happy and everybody is out there having fun. It's great."
 
TYLER BOYD
Wide receiver
How did it feel to win a game after losing several in a row?
        "It's just love. To see guys like this, that's the best part of this game — winning, smiling (and) having fun. Just getting back on track, it's real fun and exciting. It makes everyone louder and the whole program is just pumped up. We're just going to cherish this win and then move on to the next (game)."
 
Today it seemed like the entire offense was clicking noticeably as a whole more than in recent weeks ...
        "(Bengals quarterback) Andy (Dalton), he did a great job of just controlling our offense. He was in rhythm early, and they couldn't stop us at all from going out there and putting points on them."
 
Was it just a relief to win today after such a tough month?
        "Definitely. We were really eager for that. We've been really thirsty for that win, and now that it finally came, I feel we'll have a pretty solid rest of the year. That's the game that we needed to elevate our game — to take it where we should have been before. We just want to cherish this win and game plan for next week."
 
Did you notice a difference today with Andy in particular?
        "The biggest difference was starting fast. The past couple of games, we haven't started fast. We haven't come out and scored consistently. There were a couple games, we came out and scored first and then (went flat), but Andy was just throwing and throwing, and all the receivers stepped (up) and beat their one-on-one battles and made it 10 times easier for Andy."
 
BRANDON LaFELL
Wide receiver
You had a season high in receiving yards with 95 and the touchdown. How did it feel to have the entire offense clicking as it did today?
        "It felt really good to just get this win, man. We've been having that bad taste in our month since we left London, and to get back out here and get this win, and for the offense to get back on track ... just to go out there and put together drive after drive, it felt great because we haven't been able to do that (recently). Normally, we'll put together a drive (or) a (good) quarter and then go flat, but today, we just kept pounding."
 
What does the fact the offense scored on each of its first six drives say about how the offense was clicking?
        "We were clicking — we were clicking really hard. All week, the coaches have said we need to go out here, put our foot on their throat, make plays, put together drives, and try to have a quality start to the half and continue to do it. The games that we've been in, we come out here, we'll score first, and we'll have a rhythm and just go flat. To go out here and score on these first few drives — (though) we should have had more touchdowns — was great."
 
Andy had a lot of great passes, including a deep one to you in the first quarter. Was the ball just in the absolute perfect spot for you?
        "That's one of those plays (where) we go fast and on that play, everyone has their routes and we throw balls to spots on that play. So I had to beat my man and get to a certain spot to get that ball. Andy, man — you can't throw that ball any better. I was right here, my defender was behind me, (and) 'Me, man (and) ball' is all we teach around here."
 
TYLER EIFERT
Tight end
Andy Dalton has had a lot of great days, but his passes seemed near perfect today ...
        "He threw a lot of really nice balls, and guys got open and the offensive line gave him time. When he's got time to stand back there and step into his throws, he's money."
 
On your touchdown catch, you had to leave your feet a little bit, but he put the ball in a spot where only you could catch it ...
        "Yeah. I didn't get a whole lot of separation, (but) he put it where it needed to be and I came up with the catch."
 
He had great protection all day as you mentioned — that was pretty telling of their performance, would you agree?
        "They played great, and we did a lot of different things to account for their (defensive) line and try to give them help when we can, but obviously you can't do that every play. But yeah, they played great."
 
Did you feel the offense was clicking as well today as it has been at any point this season?
        "Yeah, definitely. It felt good to get back to that feeling we're used to of moving the ball and putting points up."
 
It's been 42 days between victories — what emotion comes to mind?
        "It just feels good. You kind of forget that winning feeling. You put in that work all week long and when you win a good amount of games, you forget how hard it is. You've got to enjoy every single win and be happy about it."
 
CODY CORE
Wide receiver
Talk about the offense's performance today ...
        "We worked hard all week and we've been wanting this win. We don't have anything to (lose). We just put all our chips in (in saying) 'Let's go.' "
 
Anything that Andy did today that was different from earlier this season?
        "Like I said, we work hard week in and week out, and this week it clicked. We had good plays in like deep balls — we were throwing them, and we executed."
 
How did it feel for you personally to get a little more involved in the offense today?
        "It felt like I was getting back to my normal self. I've been working in and out on special teams, but it felt good."
 
DRE KIRKPATRICK
Cornerback
Despite the win, you don't seem to be too happy as you said you were critical of your own performance. Is that a go back to the film room situation and see what you can improve?
        "Absolutely. I'm working for something right now, something special, so right now it's all about being a pro. We're losing right now, so this win, it's big but to me, it's not pleasing to me like that. I want to win out."
 
How big was the play of linebacker Vontaze Burfict today with those two interceptions?
        "That guy was an animal today. He came to play today. But like everybody says, we feed off his energy. He's a great teammate. (He's) very emotional and we love him. He got me going today."
 
The Eagles have never won in Cincinnati. How did it feel to keep that streak going?
        "I've never lost to the Eagles. I'm 2-0, so it's pretty good to us."
 
I saw you walk in with a smile on and a souvenir hat on — is this just one of those days where you take a breath and just try to enjoy it?
        "I just want to interact with the fans. I took a little kid's hat — I don't know who he is, but shout out to him — but I just go out there and try to give them what they need to see, showing them we've still got passion for the game, we're still trying to win games for them.
        "Today was fun. It was fun to get the win, but we still left a lot of things out there that we've got to correct as a unit. Everybody can be happy for about 24 hours, but next week, we need to be ready to go."
 
 


EAGLES POSTGAME QUOTES
DEC. 4, 2016
PHILADELPHIA AT CINCINNATI


 
DOUG PEDERSON
Head coach
Do you still believe this team is heading in the right direction?
        "Obviously we're very disappointed in the way we played. It's a collective effort through all three phases. Something that we pride ourselves on is to play better, not turn the ball over, get off the field on the third downs and rush the passer. All of the things we're not doing right now are the things we've got to get back to doing. I spoke to the team after the game. Myself included, I tell you this every week that I'm the toughest critic on myself. I'm with that group in the locker room, and they all have to take a collective effort individually and just look at yourself in the mirror. Look in the mirror and see if you're doing enough. See what we need to do to put ourselves in positions to not make the mistakes that we're making. Penalties have got to stop. Obviously, the turnovers and things like that too. It's just not characteristic of how we coach and how we play."
 
Do you think the effort is still there?
        "It's not for a lack of effort. It's just the discipline of your assignments and jobs and collectively focus on that one play at that one time. It's not for a lack of effort."
 
What's happened since the team's 3-0 start?
        "There are probably a lot of factors. One, you can look at the adversity. We've lost our right tackle there, and things started going the other direction (with) some injuries thrown in there. Teams have film on us and film on Carson (Wentz). They've attacked differently. It just all begins to kind of snowball. It gets us obviously in the situation we're in."
 
Did Carson Wentz take a step back in your mind today?
        "I've said this week in and week out. You don't want your quarterback to throw 60 times, because that means you're coming from behind. We put ourselves in a bind early in this football game, and it's a learning lesson for him. We have to take a hard look. The fact that he stood in there and still led the football team — he took some shots and still stood in there — it shows you the kind of character and toughness he has."
 
Wentz is still sailing passes down field, and it hasn't gone away. Is it still strictly mechanics, or is it something else?
        "It's strictly mechanics. It's the fact that we have to get him off his back foot and get him stepping into the throws and trusting the decision down the field. There were opportunities, obviously. Again, he's a young quarterback who missed a lot of time in the preseason, but now we just need to keep cleaning these things up."
 
How upset are you that this team has gone down this road?
        "I'm hurting like the players are. I'm obviously disappointed that we're where we are. I felt like we've had some opportunities to win some of these games and put ourselves in a better position, even with all the adversity we've faced in the last couple of weeks. We still have a month of football left, and obviously three of the next four against division opponents. And we've got some challenges. I told the guys at the end that this can go one of two ways, and I only know one way it's going to go and that's up. We have to dig ourselves out of this hole, and it starts next week."
 
Have you noticed a lower arm slot with Carson after all the batted passes today?
        "There's times when he adjusts his arm slot and drops just a little bit for some of those underneath throws. With this defensive line being as long as they are and as tall as they are, they kind of pride themselves on batting passes. And when you're the quarterback, you've got to slide and find lanes. And if you have to drop your arm, down you drop your arm down. It's something we'll have to evaluate."
 
What's the mood of the team right now?
        "The mood is obviously that everyone is dejected and down, and we'll be this way for a little while. The fact of the matter is we're coming back to work on Tuesday, and we're on to our next opponent. We've got to put this one to rest and learn from it. That's the thing with young players putting them into these types of situations right now. It's just a learning experience for them. I know this is going to make us better. Again, we have a month left, and we're going to continue to work harder."
 
What's the issue with the defense right now?
        "It's disappointing. Obviously, we have to continue to get pressure on the quarterback. Sometimes it's hard with just four guys. It's something we'll have to look at as a staff and make sure we're doing the right things there. The other thing is third-down conversions. Teams have been able to stay on the field with third down conversions, and we have to find a way in those areas to make a play. It goes back to every one of us in a collective effort doing your job and doing your assignment and focusing on that one play with technique, and try to make that play work."
 
With the amount of penalties today, is it a lack of discipline or focus?
        "Some of it is focus, and some of it is anticipating the snap count. Some of it is a little on the quarterback, because we're using so many snap counts and cadences to get indicators from the defense to tip their hat a little bit. Guys are geared up. We've got to focus in on that, because it's something we work on every single week. Obviously the silent count we work on every week."
 
Do you need to blitz more?
        "Jim (Schwartz) and I will visit and figure out what we're going to do going forward. Again, if you're going to get pressure, you're going to give up something somewhere else. So you're damned if you do and damned if you don't."
 
What do your players need to show you in the next game to show they are still with you?
        "I can go in that locker room and talk to them individually and look at them in their faces and see how they feel. They're all dejected. That tells me enough that we're still together and they're with everything that we're doing. It's going to be a great test for everyone who's on the team (to) rally. Myself included, we have to demand excellence. Is it going to be perfect every time? No. But you have to go in with enough pride and want that perfection, and nothing less than that."
 
On that second-quarter play where Wentz handed it off to Smallwood, was that supposed to be a pass play?
        "It was a pass-run option. I believe the snap was actually snapped quicker than what we wanted. I believe it was one of our cadence plays. I haven't talked to Jason Kelce or Carson about the play yet because we moved on from it. I think it could've been a communication thing, where somebody heard something and snapped the ball early. It was an opportunity to throw the ball with a run-option in it."
 
You've been a quarterback in this city and seen a team struggle. What do you say to Carson to make sure he doesn't get too dejected?
        "In Carson's situation, he's won a lot of games in his career. This is the first time he's lost this many games. We keep coming to work and keep the conversations going. It's about us in that building and us in this locker room. We control it, and that's the beauty of it. We control how we play, how we act, how we talk to you guys. That's the great thing about it, is we still have opportunities left this season to prove ourselves and to prove we're a good football team and to be very competitive."
 
CARSON WENTZ
Quarterback
Do you feel like this was a step back for you today? Statistically, it's going to look like your worst game ...
        "Hard to say. As a team, we obviously didn't play well. They came out and beat us. We got down early and didn't help our cause out early in the game. We dug ourselves a hole and it was hard to come out of."
 
When your throws are inaccurate, they seem to be high. What is the reason for that?
        "Bad throw. Just like last week."
 
You had a lot of passes batted today. Why was that?
        "I think it was just part of their scheme. Up front, some of their defensive tackles kind of slow-rushed some things and had their eyes on the quarterback, and they made some plays."
 
How do you avoid getting dejected?
        "You just can't get down. You've got to stay optimistic. Obviously the results are tough as of late. We're kind of on a skid. Like I've been saying, this is a good group of guys, a good locker room. Guys are in it until the end. Obviously we don't make plays, we have a lot of mistakes, we've got to clean up some of our discipline. I think we lack some of that at times. There's no quit, and you've just got to stay positive."
 
Do you feel that you're pressing in some ways?
        "I think, when you're down in a game like that, it's natural for a lot of guys to feel a sense of urgency. Maybe call it 'pressing' — we just felt that sense of urgency. I think we did OK, but it led to some mistakes as well."
 
Do you feel the same mechanically now as you did earlier in the year after Week 3?
        "Yeah."
 
Is there anything in particular that's affecting your mechanics?
        "I don't think so. You throw the ball 60 times, you're going to miss some. That kind of happens."
 
What do you attribute the lack of production now compared to then?
        "I don't think it's the mechanics. You make mistakes. Things happen, and that's just the bottom line."
 
Do you see teams doing this differently to you as the season progresses?
        "Maybe a little bit, but not a ton. What we see on film throughout the weeks is what we're generally getting. I don't think teams are scouting us much and changing the way they're doing things. They just do what they do, and we've just got to execute better."
 
Are you surprised that things are where they are right now, losing seven of nine after starting 3-0?
        "Yeah, without a doubt. We didn't expect to go on this skid like this. You don't plan for it. Obviously we had a hot start, and things were looking pretty optimistic, looking pretty positive. But that's the nature of this league. You've got to come out to play every Sunday, and we've struggled."
 
Vontaze Burfict had two of the interceptions. Was he disguised, or was there something with their scheme that you didn't see?
        "The last one I think he was blitzing and he kind of read out of it, and made a really good play. The first one the ball got tipped. He made good plays, though. He's a really good player."
 
Was the inability to establish the running game more of the situation with you guys being down, or do you guys need to make a more concerted effort to balance things out?
        "Hard to say. Obviously I think the fact that we were down coming into the second half, we were kind of in a pass-first mode there for sure. Hard to say early on. Obviously we started slow, and especially the run game didn't get going. Hard to say, but obviously in the second half, we were airing it out."
 
You played with the third team offense throughout all of training camp, and you played a lot with Paul Turner. Do you feel you have a connection with him?
        "Yeah. I think going back to the offseason, the spring, throughout the summer, being around Paul, I had a good connection with him. He's a good player. We've all seen what he's been doing on the practice squad for a while now, and we know the kid can make plays. It was good for him to come out here today and make some more plays."
 
So how do you fix this?
        "Obviously we're on a skid. There's really nothing to change. We've just got to lock in, and we've got to be more disciplined. At the same time, you don't get down. That's what I've been saying. This locker room, guys aren't going to get down. We've just got to be better with our discipline and just keep attacking. Obviously we're in a tough spot, but we've just got to take it one game at a time."
 
BRANDON GRAHAM
Defensive End
What are your thoughts on today's game?
        "Nobody wants to look bad out there. It just happens sometimes. The penalties hurt us. A lot of stuff started happening and we couldn't get off the field. We've just got to make sure we do everything we can to get by this hard time and just stay together, just keep coming, keep playing. We've got four games left and we all want to end on a good note. I think that's going to be the mindset moving forward."
 
Does this feel like the end of last year at all for you?
        "No, no, this is a new year, man. We just can't beat ourselves. We're not that team that can go out there and make mistakes and let our opponents get away with it. We've got to shore them up these last couple games. We've just got to make sure we get off the field, as far as the defense. We were killing it on first and second down, just third down we just couldn't get off the field."
 
JORDAN HICKS
Linebacker
What are your thoughts on the game?
        "We dug ourselves in a hole. We continue to dig ourselves in a hole. We fight until the end, but too little, too late. We've got to come out from the start and play with that type of intensity to give us a good situation coming down the stretch."
 
What has happened to the defense?
        "Third downs. Mistakes. Mental mistakes. Being disciplined. You've got to be disciplined. It's simple as that. This entire team, we've just got to be more disciplined — not shoot ourselves in the foot, quite frankly."
 
Do you feel like the fight is still there with this team?
        "You look at the end of the game, nobody gave up until the end. Nobody gave up until the last whistle was blown. That's the fight in us. This team's going to fight. We've got guys who are going to compete, going to fight, come with energy. Execution, at the end of the day, it comes down to execution. It's discipline. It's doing what we did so well that first half of the season."
 
FLETCHER COX
Defensive tackle
The defense had four personal foul penalties today. Is that a sign of frustration?
        "It's not. The way that we rush team, the aggressiveness that we play with, it's kind of hard to slow down. That's how Brandon (Graham) is. He was on all fours crawling. He didn't mean to do that. It's just out of toughness and aggressiveness."
 
Why did it seem like every drive in the first half was pretty easy for them?
        "Just simple stuff, we couldn't get off the field on third down. At one point we had been one of the best teams in the league getting off the field on third down. We just have to be better as a group."
 
Why didn't the defense get any sacks today?
        "It's definitely not a problem. Obviously, we aren't getting to the quarterback the way we should. When teams have success of dinking and dunking us, they see the previous teams. It's a copycat league. Teams are going to that and get rid of the ball quick. When they're ready to go deep, they seven-man protect. We're rushing four, so you do the math."
 
LEODIS McKELVIN
Cornerback
How can you explain what's been going on with this team the past few games?
        "There is no need to explain. I'm upset. We lost. We made mistakes. You all see it out there. We can't expect to win when we have those type of mistakes and (not) executing plays. When you play, you've got to execute them to your best and I know that we're not. We can't go backwards. On both sides, we can't go backwards. We can't go backwards as a defense, we can't go backwards as an offense. We've got to make those plays and just play ball."
 
What did they do on offense that you guys weren't expecting?
        "Nothing. They didn't do anything that we weren't expecting. Plus we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times, not being able to get off the field. When we get off the field, we had shot ourselves in the foot and put ourselves in a situation where we were behind and we weren't in the game."
 
It's got to be disappointing for the offense and defense to be struggling at this point in the season?
        "Yeah it is disappointing. This is my ninth year in the league. It's my ninth year of supposedly not going to the playoffs. How do you think we feel about this situation? Our goal is to get into the playoffs and give ourselves a shot to get to our ultimate goal of the Super Bowl. As you see right now, it's not happening right now."

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