HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
"When you get dominated on both sides of the football, I'm talking about, up front, it's going to be a tough day. It was bad football today we played, and you end up with a game like that. You look at the score and you say, 'Hey, you had a chance to win.' Never really were in it. Early on, of course, the interception was big where we had a little momentum to be able to get something going then. Good play on the punt return to get the ball out. Good play by Steve Nelson to intercept the ball. But besides that, just not a whole lot to talk about. Defensively we haven't been able to really stop the run all year, and today that definitely showed up. And on the other side of the football too. We say we want to run the football, and it's hard to get anything going when you can't run it."
Where do you go from here on defense after what happened today?
"Just like we've been doing after other days where we haven't played as well. Short week, so it's not like you can do an awful lot. Going to heal up. Hopefully get a few guys back. We're a little shorthanded now and try to do a better job. We knew who we were playing. One of the best backs in the game. That physical brand of football, we weren't ready to play that today."
Where did the penalty issues in this game come from?
"It would be hard to say exactly. That's not something we've dealt with. It's not like we've been a team that's been penalized a lot. Today we had too many, I acknowledge that."
When you are unsuccessful running the ball, how does that impact the way you approach play calling?
"It's just tough all the way around. Part of the game plan was to get in favorable third down situations, but that kind of started up front. When you can't run the football, it's pretty obvious down and distance on what we have to do. That's just tough. We weren't set up today to be able to handle some of that."
With so many missed tackles, how do you get back to fundamentals?
"We've been getting back to the fundamentals. Sometimes it just doesn't happen, simple as that. We practice each week. Believe it or not, we go over the fundamentals. Some days you miss tackles. Today was one of those days."
Where do you think the offensive issues came from today?
"It starts up front, you know, my initial statement. When you get dominated up front on both sides of the football, part of the game plan, I mean, it's hard to get any game plan going. Offensively for us, if they're in our backfield every time, you can't run, you can't pass the football. So every question you can ask me, it's going to come back to that. We're dominated up front, can't run our pass in those situations. And defensively, when it's easy, we have a starting quarterback out, when you can turn and hand the ball off and you can't tackle, it's going to be a game like that."
How do you go about setting the tone at practice on a short week ahead?
"There's not going to be a practice, not much practice. Philly's not going to practice much either. We're going to have a walk through, and we're going to play the game. That's what happens when you play a Thursday night football game. We knew a Thursday night game was coming, so you prepare for that as best you can. They're going to be in the same situation as us except for they're traveling. It's not like we can put a whole lot of new things in. What we need to do after a physical game like that is try to heal up as much as we possibly can and get ready to play."
How tough is it after an emotional loss to play an undefeated Eagles team?
"It's tough. It would have been tough any team we play coming in right now. But a team that hasn't lost, they look pretty good. I had a chance to watch some of the game today. It's going to be tough. Maybe arguably the best football team in our league right now, just that in itself if we were playing our best ball. But you also seem like, when you play the top team, that should bring out the best. This should have brought out the best, when we're playing the top team in our division. We put a big emphasis on it, and we've played them a lot better than we did today. But we're a little shorthanded, and we didn't play our best ball."
How do you talk to QB Davis Mills about his performance today after playing well last week and struggling this week?
"That's what I'm going to say. I'm going to say it's tough duty when you get dominated up front. It's tough duty for that. Davis (Mills), I know we want to pick Davis out, but it's everything. We didn't run the football the way we've been running it. So that was a part of it too. We did not, the Houston Texans, our football team, under my leadership, did not play well today in all areas. That's the good thing about playing a Thursday game, as I see it, back to that Thursday question. When you play like that, you're anxious to get back out there. I know we're better than that."
With the trade deadline coming up, have you received any calls?
"You know what we've been trying to do right now? All of our effort, didn't look like it today, but all our effort has been toward playing the best game against Tennessee. As you probably know, we're not looking too much at that right there. There's enough to keep us busy based on what's happening on our football field with our football team right now."
Why were you not able to find WR Brandin Cooks until late in the game today?
"When you have a hard time protecting, it's kind of hard to get the ball to many people today. When you have a hard time blocking, it's kind of hard to get a running game going today. When you have a hard time getting off of blocks and missed tackles, you have a hard time to getting their big running back down. That was the day. Any question you ask kind of starts with that. As we transition from there, when you play that bad, you can't wait to get back and get that bad taste out of your mouth. That's the good thing about having a Thursday game."
QB DAVIS MILLS
When the offense feels you can't get a run game going, does that put a little more pressure for you guys on third down?
"Yeah, definitely. I felt like we just couldn't really get the run game rolling today, which is obviously what we've talked about all year focusing on. Put us in a lot of third-and-extra longs that are hard to convert. Just felt like that was the story of the day, couldn't get much rolling."
When you look at this week, being a short week, how do you reset?
"We've got a good team coming in this upcoming week at home. Got to watch this film early tomorrow morning, tonight. Flush it, get the corrections, make the corrections, and then move on to next week. I think a lot of us already kind of know what happened this game and what we need to correct. We're ready to move on and get a jump start on this upcoming game."
As one of the captains on this team, how do you go about keeping the confidence level high in the locker room?
"The mission's the same every week. You've got to come in with that same mentality. I know I do. When it's hard, that's when you have to work the hardest. The record is not what we like right now, but everyone's coming in the building every day to put their best foot forward and display what they can to the best of their ability out there on the field."
HC Lovie Smith mentioned how things weren't going well offensively because there was a lot of pressure in the backfield. How do you try to address that throughout the game?
"It's tough. A lot of it, we were trying to run the ball on first and second down. We might pop a run and then get some sort of penalty on the play that gets us pushed back. Just not much going for us today. They can bring pressure when they know it's a passing situation, and it's tough to defend some of those guys. They have some really talented players on the other side of the ball. Obviously we'll see the film. I can't make all the corrections and tell you what went wrong right now. Ready to see it tomorrow. We've got this game circled for later in the season when we go to Tennessee and see them again, so be ready for that. Like I said, see the film, make the corrections, and then move on to the Eagles early this next week."
What was happening in the first half with some of the penalties and miscues?
"It was tough. Some of them, I know two of them had it popped up. I got hit as I was throwing, so just tough. Then the interception, I've just got to put it on his body. It was a lack of execution of what we were trying to do, but still you've got to be smart with the football and not throw it to the other team. Can't do much there."
Knowing this is a national game and you're facing the only undefeated team in the NFL, does that give you something positive to hang your hat on?
"Definitely, yeah. I think it provides a lot of hunger for the team to move into this next week. Obviously everyone in the league has the Eagles circled right now being the only undefeated team. We're ready to obviously make the corrections from this game, but play a really good football game this coming Thursday."
As you take a look at your performance from last week compare it to this week, what changed for you?
"I feel like last week just stayed efficient. We were able to be dynamic and efficient on offense, running and passing. This week just shot ourselves in the foot too much. Got in bad situations that are tough to get out of.
I felt like that was kind of the story of the game. This was one of those games, can't do much. Flush it and move on to next week."
With the trade deadline coming up, do you feel like that causes a little miscommunication with guys in the locker room?
"I don't think so. Everyone is focused on what's going on in this building, not too much with what people are saying in the media. We're focused on what we got to do to win games."
How do you feel like this game shows or identifies you as an offense? What can you all do for the rest of the year to try to define it better?
"We know what we've got to do obviously. I don't think our focus is going to change. We're obviously still going to try to run the football. Got to be better in that regard. Then other plays will happen as we continue to develop the run game. If we notice we can't run the ball, we'll be able to mix in some different completion concepts and some just 11-personnel run game to mix it up that we'll be able to pop some plays. We'll keep moving forward and do what we need to do to execute our own stuff. We're looking forward. We've still got a long season ahead of us, so a lot of winning football can be played."