HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
"Not a lot has changed since we talked yesterday. Disappointment is still there. We can't lose sight of the big picture with what we have. I mentioned yesterday, but I thought our fans were outstanding, showing up, really involved in the game throughout. It's disappointing we didn't give them a little bit better finish to the game. I know they'll continue to show up and we'll do our part as we go forward. As far as the game is concerned, it's not the ideal position to be in with the tie. Last I checked, I guess we're still up at the top of the AFC South. You have to look at the big picture a little bit. There's a lot of good things we did to be able to get a lead like that, good things have to happen. It is about finishing an entire game. Decisions I made yesterday, I made most of them, not really looking back an awful lot on situations we made at the time. The fourth down at the end of the game, I would do that over again. Some of the other things we did in the game, looking on the offensive side of the football, I understand how many plays Dameon Pierce played. The plan of course was for him to get more. You get into the game and situations make you go a little bit different direction. You learn from those mistakes like that, mistakes of those situations that you look at the day after. Defensively, whenever you play that many snaps, it's hard to get the best effort throughout. Some of our guys played over 90 reps. That's a game and a half. A lot of that we can control. No major injuries to report right now. We'll kind of see how that goes throughout the week."
What are your thoughts on some of the miscommunication late in the game? Is that concerning or an easy fix?
"Yes, anything that we didn't do well needs to be fixed. Was there miscommunication with all our positions yesterday? Yes, there were. We're not getting into specifics. If the players were saying that, each guy is looking at themselves, all of us were. You're going to have those in the first game, that's what I'm going to say. These things we'll work to correct and hopefully not let that happen again."
Looking back on the fourth down decision at the end of the game, what made you realize you would do that over again?
"Not realizing that. That's what I did then, that's what I'd do now. I said yesterday the plan when we had third-and-1, the plan was to go two downs then. Once we got to fourth-and-3, we didn't like our odds. The way we had played the previous plays and how we were playing defense, didn't feel like giving them the ball on the other sides, so you have a decision to make then on whether a tie, to me a tie or a potential loss as I saw it right then. All week, going through that day, I felt okay with that. We'll see how it turns out the rest of the year on that decision."
What do you want to see from RB Dameon Pierce that will give him more touches? What about his pass blocking and receiving?
"It would be all of those. Sometimes though when you look back, you can't defend the amount of reps our starting tailback got in some of those situations. I wish he had gotten more and we're going to work to get him more of those opportunities but a young back, it's some of those things. I wouldn't say that just being a primary ball carrier is holding him back. Those are some things that we're going to work on to make sure that that situation doesn't happen again."
Can you talk about the decision to punt the ball away instead of having K Ka'imi Fairbairn attempt a field goal? Do you still feel the same way about that decision?
"I absolutely feel the same way about that. I realize exactly how far it was. At the time, we weren't going to kick the field goal at 37-yard line. When you say take the five-yard penalty there, that was insignificant. We had made up our mind. On that situation, we'd like to pin them down there and play defense. There as a similar situation last year against New England and we went a different direction. That was the base part of the plan. As we go forward, right at that area, sometimes we make kick it. Sometimes we may not."
What do you need to see from your team in general to make you more confident that you could close out a game?
"Play another game because you have to look that the entire picture on what happened. That weas a good football team we were playing. I look at the NFL yesterday, a lot of games came down to a few plays here and there. That's the NFL. For us, we're in the ball game now. We haven't been in a lot of situations. We're in the ball game now. Just some things that we need to do, we'll figure out how to finish games a little bit better. There's a lot of the negative. Everybody always wants to talk about the negatives, but there were a lot of positive things that we did yesterday too. How about Jerry Hughes, a defensive end coming in here and getting an interception, getting good pressure on the quarterback. There were some good things that we did also, just not enough in critical moments. It's hard to be game ready, I'm talking about being able to finish games sometimes, the opening game of the season. Hopefully, that improvement in most teams make between Week 1 and 2, that's what we'll make."
Why go with that play call on third-and-1 when it seemed very obvious that you were going to run the ball?
"We thought that was our best play at the moment. Every play that we call, I understand you say this, that, why you do that. We thought that was our best opportunity to have a successful play. Sometimes that's the answer and it's not going to change, so that's the answer for that play right there. Believe it or not, we're trying to win. Those are the things that are going to happen in those situations."
How effective was using the run-pass option and is there more that you can learn from those situations?
"We can learn from every situation, good and bad. That's what will happen. Those same packages that we've used, we've had success with those. You have to keep mixing it up, but it's not like we're going to stop what we're trying to do. The execution wasn't exactly what we wanted it to be. And some for the situation yesterday. It's not like we're going to get away from what we believe. In order to go up 20-3, we had the same mindset as far as calling plays. Just have to handle the situation a little bit better next time. That's the answer as we see it."
How would you evaluate DB Derek Stingley Jr. and DB Jalen Pitre?
"First game regular season game they were active, (Jalen) Pitre was. What he'll tell you is that he probably missed a few too many tackles but made plays throughout. The same thing with (Derek) Stingley, there was some good. Everybody that played yesterday, all the NFL players, there are some plays you would like to have back. Probably played both of the guys a little more than the initial plan was for them. How many plays did we play yesterday? Over 90, right. How many did they play? Over 90. Probably a few more than we wanted them to play, but they were ready to go. Already talked to them, they're excited. Both players will play better this week than they did yesterday."
Do you think the safeties had too many tackles yesterday?
"Safeties shouldn't have that many tackles, yes. But keep in mind, I wouldn't just look at positions. Sometimes the safety has a primary run fit where he is supposed to make those tackles, and that was the case a few times yesterday. Did we play our best ball with our front seven? No, we did not. Later in the game, the way they were able to run the football, had to play better than that. When you have a defensive lineman say that, I'm going to go with what Jonathan (Greenard) said. If he is making those statements, that's probably the case and that's another thing we need to clean up, and we will."
What happened on the Colts LB E.J. Speed strip sack?
"I'm not going to call out guys like that. A breakdown in communication. That's the answer. You've talked to all the players, some kind of told you specifics on what they did right or wrong. But we had a breakdown in communication, I'll say that. That allowed it to happen."
What did you see from DL Maliek Collins on how consistently he gets penetration?
"Consistently, what Maliek (Collins) would say is how he wish he'd gotten a little bit more. Maliek, he's got a great motor. He's quick and all of that. We expect that from our three technique, to be able to get off the ball. It all kind of starts with that position a little bit."
Will you have to rotate players more going into the altitude in Denver?
"Without going into the details of our gameplan, that's a good assumption to make. We're going to change it up a bit. 90 (plays) is too much so we do need to rotate a little bit more. When you go into a game, you have a set amount of plays you would like everybody to get, and then you get into the game, things change. That happened a little bit yesterday. Our plan wasn't to play the defensive guys that much. You had a lead in the first half. Now when they're making a comeback, you want your best guys in there. We understand where we're going with the altitude and all that stuff if that matters. We will be rotating more, especially defensively this week."
How did you feel about your interior pass rush?
"I felt okay yesterday. What did we have, three sacks? Later in the game we didn't get the type of pressure we needed to get. Simple as that. For me to talk about anything good that we did at any of the positions, coaching, players, we didn't do our best job late. When you have a lead and the opponent is passing the football, that's when you need that pressure. Whether it be from blitz, four-man rush, we rely on the four-man rush an awful lot, so it needs to be better."
What did you see out of OL Kenyon Green yesterday?
"What we saw was improvement as he played. He did some good things yesterday. We've gotten that first game out of the way too with him. Kenyon (Green) is going to play more and more. We don't go into starting lineups this early in the week, of course. I liked a lot of the things he did yesterday."
Can you talk about the first offensive possession you had in overtime with the good field position?
"You tell me what happened. I can't remember that. I'm kind of on to Denver now. Is there a specific play you want to talk about?"
Can you talk about the sacks and the penalties on that drive?
"That's what happened, sacks and penalties during that time. I'm not trying to run away, but you answered your own question a little bit. Big sack, now I know what you're talking about now. Big sack, can't do that. Penalties are always a bad thing if you do it. First-time game, we had too many penalties yesterday. We didn't have a whole lot of sacks but the sacks that came were untimely throughout. I will say that."
What do you teach DB Jalen Pitre after his penalty on the hit?
"You teach him not to do it. That's kind of (bang bang), just like that with the play. You want to stay away from that head and neck area the best you can. Jalen (Pitre) turned around and the guy was there. Somethings like that are going to happen, lower the target, all those things you talk about, that's what we'll be talking about. There was a lot of other things in the game I was really upset about, pre-snap penalties and things like that. Sometimes in the heat of battle some of those are going to happen."
Is TE Brevin Jordan your main option when you go four wide right now, with where WR Tyler Johnson and your wide receiver depth is at?
"He (Tyler Johnson) wasn't active last week. We're starting back over again. Tyler (Johnson) just got in and hasn't had a chance to get into the offense as quick as some players have been able to, like O.J. Howard. No one has asked about him. How about a positive from yesterday? How about that O.J. Howard guy? Just been here a couple weeks. Two big catches. Just gave a little bit more to add with Pharaoh (Brown) and as you mentioned Brevin (Jordan). You just look at what the tight end position was able to do yesterday, that's something to build upon too."
What do you guys do for QB Davis Mills' consistency going forward, specifically after the sack yesterday?
"I think the answer to that is you have a first game. In the first game, players haven't had that many plays and snaps. There are some things you don't really know. You have to get to the first game and see. Then you start working on those things. I know Davis (Mills). For all the things he did wrong, already the process has started right away. And that's what we'll do. As coaches you get into the first game and you see what we're able to do, what we did well, what we didn't do so well. All of those things come into play. That's why we talk so much about Week 1 to Week 2. We kind of know where we are right now. There were a lot of good things that Davis did. Even the first throw, Davis would tell you, the one to Chris Conley coming across, he'd like to have that one back. Brandin (Cooks) would probably tell you about the first third down. There were some plays that we had that could really change the outcome a little bit, and hopefully the second game of the year you see a lot of those things that we do a little bit better."