Transcripts: 10-25-2021 Press Conferences 

HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY

Opening Statement

"Really no update on the injuries right now. We'll wait till later on this afternoon to get an update on Christian (Kirksey) and everybody else that had a little bumps and bruises."

Does QB Tyrod Taylor coming back and practicing this week mean he will be available to play against the Rams?

"I don't know if he will be able to go, but he will practice on Wednesday and we are just going to take it day by day on Wednesday and decide as we're moving forward. But he will practice."

What has been you evaluation of QB Davis Mills these first couple of games?

"Davis has been fine. I've been happy with Davis. When he has protected the ball, he has done everything we have asked him to do. Yesterday we had a sack fumble that happened that he has to be able to protect the ball on. But other than that, he's been handling the offense the way we want it handled. There's been somethings that we needed him to do that he hasn't done, but that's what some rookies do. For the most part, I've been very happy with how he's handled things."

What's the biggest thing you're looking for your team to improve this week?

"There's actually three things and I got them right here. The first one is the penalties. It's been a deal with us from the start. We're working on that every day that we are on the field, to concentrate and get that taken care of. We haven't done a good job of getting that done yet. That's the first focus that we are going to make sure moving forward that we find exactly what that is, our coaching staff, and get our players to where we are eliminating those. It's killing us on first and second down on offense and we've had some untimely penalties on defense. Speaking of that, I'll say this about yesterday, the roughing the passer penalty that Maliek (Collins) got yesterday, there was nothing he could do on the play. It was a play that I feel like he was just playing football. I guess the body language of what happened with their quarterback made it look like he hit him. He had no choice but to do what he did. The second thing is just eliminate the big plays. The question is, 'Well how do you eliminate the big plays? Why are the big plays happening?' They are happening sometimes simply because that we've had some miscommunication. I go back to the penalties. We got to eliminate those kinds of things. We got to keep working on it. We know what the process is in doing that. We're going to continue to do that. We're going to look at what we are doing and how we are teaching it and make sure we get that corrected. But the big plays are a big deal that we have to stop moving forward. The next thing is tackling. We have not tackled very well. Whether it's on special teams or on defense, we have to be better at tackling. Some of those big plays are happening, we're having them for short gains, and they are getting big gains because we are missing tackles. Those three things are the big three things moving forward that we're going to make sure we take care of."

Is it frustrating to you that week after week you still have to address the penalty issue?

"Yeah, it's frustrating, but we're going to keep addressing it. We're going to keep addressing it till we get it corrected. The only way to get it corrected is just stay after it. We're going to stay after it and it's going to get corrected. Unfortunately, it's taking a little bit longer than what we want and it's keeping us from what we need to be on offense and keeping us from keeping them out of the endzone and giving up the big plays."

Have you seen progress with WR Nico Collins as a rookie?

"I've seen progress with him. He had a drop yesterday that's uncharacteristic of him. But overall, he's doing exactly what we expected from him. Hopefully as we move forward, he becomes more involved in doing the things we want him to do. As we get better offensively, all across the board people we start to play better and be better for us."

With the trade deadline coming up, is it hard as a head coach to block out the outside noise?

"Well you just said a word that we use all the time, 'block out the outside, what's happening and what's being said.' Basically, the most important thing is what's inside this locker room. We don't ever talk about it. We basically just try to do the things that I just mentioned that we have to get better on. Eliminate the penalties, eliminate the big plays and tackling and we do that. That's all our discussion is and that's all we ever hear about in our dressing room."

If QB Tyrod Taylor is able to come back this week, how much of a boost is that for this team as you try to end a losing skid?

"He was our starting quarterback, and when he's healthy, he'll be our starting quarterback. Obviously, they knew that. Obviously, it will be a boost if he's healthy and ready to come back. Hopefully, a lot of these things that are happening right now, not because of him, but we need a lift right now. If that lift comes from him coming back, fine. If not, if he's not back, then that lift's going to come from us doing the things that we just said that we've got to do to eliminate the bad things that are happening to us."

Obviously, you're not happy with the defense overall, but did you like how they got after the quarterback yesterday?

"Well, I do, but speaking of not (being) happy with the defense, I'm not happy with anything we're doing right now, offensively, defensively or special teams. It's a three-phase deal. When you're winning and when you're doing the things that you should be doing, it's all three phases doing their job. Right now, all three phases aren't doing their jobs complementary the way we need to be."

What are some of the challenges your team is facing this week against the Rams?

"Again, the challenge is more so not them, but us. For us to get our stuff right, to get our tackling right, to get the penalty stuff taken care of, to eliminate the big plays, that's the big thing for us right now. Not so much who we're playing, because it doesn't matter who we're playing if those things aren't corrected."

What is your assessment of DL Jonathan Greenard, with him being a bright spot in the losing streak?

"Well, I think he's been a bright spot. He's making some plays, he's playing hard, and I think that whole group is playing hard there. Basically, he's been the one that has been able to make a few individual plays, but I think for the most part, that whole group has been playing well. He's just been the guy that's been able to make a few more plays."

Are you expecting to make some changes in the backfield, whether that's calling on RB Scottie Phillips or changing up the offensive plays?

"Each day and each week, we feel like we do what's going to be best for our football team. We'll look at it and we'll evaluate it, and we'll see if we feel like some kinds of moves will help us moving forward, and we'll make those moves. But right now, we're moving forward with the way we are."

Does it weigh on you as the losses keep piling up?

"It does not weigh on me, because I've been there. I know that if you stay the course and you get the things corrected that need to be corrected, it will get turned around, and I believe that. I believe that simply because I've been there and I've done that, and this football team knows I've been there and done that. They believe in what we're preaching, they believe in where we're going and I feel like that's not an issue at all."

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