Transcripts: 10-4-2021 Press Conferences 

HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY

How is the team handing losing the last three games? What are some of the things you guys are focusing on today?

"First of all, the mistakes that we made. The big thing about that is that, I've said this before many times, you always want to look and see who is the enemy. The enemy was us last night for about 24 points in the ballgame that we gave up, because of things that we didn't do correctly, the things that we need to do better at. Basically, when we go back and they come in today, we look at the video, we've got to get those things corrected. And we know that when we play good football and play complementary football, we'll be okay."

Have you guys talked about the possibility of signing another quarterback?

"Not at this time."

Where is QB Tyrod Taylor at with his recovery, and is there an idea of how soon he can return?

"I think when we put him on injured reserve, there's obviously a certain amount of time he's got to stay there before he's back. We're hopefully able to get him back here in the next couple weeks."

LB Christian Kirksey, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill and DL Whitney Mercilus, talked about being embarrassed after the game yesterday. What do you think about that?

"Well, it is embarrassing. The thing we say is to win a football game, you've got to keep from losing. We felt like we lost the football game yesterday because we didn't do the things that we need to do to play winning football, and that's protect the football, not have penalties that's going to keep drives from sustaining, and we did those things yesterday frequently."

How did you feel DB Tavierre Thomas played in the slot, and is the secondary from yesterday going to be the make-up going forward?

"Well, we're just looking to find out what the best combination is right now. We've had some injuries there, so we've moved some guys around and we're just trying to find the right combination back there just to see what gives us the best fit."

When you have a rookie quarterback that has a day that tough, do you worry about how QB Davis Mills will respond?

"I don't worry about him (Davis Mills) that way, simply because of the kind of person he is and the maturity he has. It wasn't a good day. He knew it wasn't a good day. He also understands, as our quarterback, the first thing you've got to be able to do is you've got to be able to protect the football. He didn't do that yesterday. Basically, he's just got to get better there and understand that that's part of the growing pains. But unfortunately, as I said before, to win a football game, you've got to keep from losing. That's losing football when you don't protect the football, and we've got to have that from that position."

What is your assessment of the team's red zone defense?

"It was a silver lining because of the fact they kept them to field goals, I think maybe three times down there. Shoot, the score would've been worse if it wasn't for them playing very good, consistent football down there. But the reason we put them in that situation was because of turning the ball over. Those guys have been resilient all year long moving up to this point, with just playing good defense, playing one play at a time. They forced those guys to make some fourth downs to try to keep drives alive. They actually had a stop down there in the red zone that forced them to kick a field goal when it could've been a touchdown. That was very positive, that was very positive."

What do you see from the run game and the offensive line?

"Well, I'm going to go back, it's the penalties. We were behind the chains early. I mean, we start the game with a penalty that put us behind the chains. We always talk about offensively staying in front of the chains. Yesterday, it was holding penalties. It wasn't the pre-snap penalties, it was the holding penalties. Those things, we go from first-and-10 to first-and-20. We go from second-and-seven to second-and-13 all because of penalties. Basically, that's just discipline on our part, us being fundamentally sound and guys just playing better."

Is there something that QB Davis Mills did that made it difficult to protect the ball, or was it an avalanche of issues that caused turnovers?

"Well, I think it was just bad decisions on a couple of throws that we had. And then just protecting the football with a couple of the fumbles after getting a catch. It's just about protecting the football. Sometimes that happens, but we've just got to do a better job of doing that. But that is correctable." 

You said you and the staff took some of the blame for yesterday, what do you want to do different moving forward on that front?

"Well, the point is when your football team plays the way we played yesterday, they are not ready to play. Again, I've said I take the blame, I am the blame for that. Our coaching staff is the blame for that because we haven't played that way till that point. We've played good football, winning football, to be able to have a chance to win football games and we didn't do that yesterday. We're going to sit down and look at it. Our offensive and defensive staffs are already looking at it right now and we are going to sit down and see what we need to do to go forward and get things better."

Why do you think that happened and is it a quick fix?

"Well, I don't think it's a quick fix. I think its fixable. We just got to coach better. There were things that we did yesterday that we haven't been doing. Had nothing to do with the weather. I keep hearing about the weather, had nothing to do with the weather. It was the fact that we didn't play good football yesterday."

Will there be a little bit more pressure for you guys now against the Patriots knowing that this team is on a three-game losing streak?

"There's pressure every week. I mean there is no more pressure going into this New England game than there was going into Jacksonville, Cleveland, and Carolina. There's pressure every week. There is pressure on us and pressure on our players to make sure we're doing the right things to win football games. And again, in this league, the only way that guys get better is to feel that, because there is a way to do thing and we didn't do those things yesterday. Pressure, yeah there's pressure every week."

You said you have to coach better, what does that look like and what should you do differently?

"In practice we just have to make sure our focus and our concentration is better than what it was. Obviously, we felt it was pretty good this past week. We had some weather come in, which we felt like was good because we were going to be in weather up there. I felt like we practiced well but obviously some where along the line we missed something there as far as our focus and concentration because we didn't have that yesterday."  

How did you come out of the game injury wise?

"We were good. Other than Rex (Burkhead), I feel like everybody will be ready to go this week."

Would you say this is the worst loss you've suffered in your coaching career?

"Oh no. I've had worse losses than this. Let me tell you something about losses; they are all bad. Whether it's 40-0, 2-0 or 25-24, they're all bad."

What are some of the challenges with the Patriots and how soon do you turn the page from yesterday?

"We turned the page immediately. I mean we go right now, we are onto the New England Patriots. Obviously, in this league as we look at it, we played a football team that's a playoff caliber, championship caliber team. We are playing the New England Patriots and they are the next opponent. That's what we will focus on and that's all we'll focus on and we will put up a game plan together. They are the next opponent and move forward with it."

What do you think the Patriots do well?

"They do what they do very well. In other words, what I am saying is that whatever they are doing offensively, whatever they are doing defensively, they don't make mistakes. You have to beat that football team. That's one of the things that I felt like us moving forward, obviously we were not mistake free yesterday and when you have those kind of things happen to you, you lose football games. You don't get beat you, lose football games, and that's what we did. This football team that we are playing has a history of not doing that."

What are your thoughts on QB Mac Jones?

"Obviously, he's playing pretty well right now. So, we will just see."

You guys haven't really played to your desired identity during these three loses. Is part of coaching better reassessing the identity of the team?

"No, that's still who we are. Again, we were not able to sustain what we wanted to do in the run game because of penalties. It put us in second and long, it put us in third and long. Obviously in those kind of situations, you're not going to run the football. We had some first and tens with some good runs that put us in second and six, second and seven that ended up going back to first and 20 that puts us behind the chains. As long as we stay a head of the chains, we'll be able to be the football team we need to be and we didn't do that yesterday because of our turnovers and penalties."

RB DAVID JOHNSON

As a player, how did you feel when Head Coach David Culley publicly took the blame for yesterday's loss?

"I feel like it's more on us, the players. They can come up with a scheme, but it's up to us to execute and do our job. Especially me, personally, I felt like I didn't do enough to help out, whether it's pass protection or running the ball. I feel like it's a little bit more on the players than the coaches."

Head Coach David Culley said he doesn't think there's a quick fix, but it's fixable. How do you view that?

"Same thing, it's not a quick fix. In the NFL, you've got to take it day by day, just try to improve on the things that we mess up on and try to figure out what's going on. Today we'll watch film and correct it, and then go from there."

What are some things that you guys weren't doing well that stuck out?

"It really wasn't something constantly. It wasn't the same thing. It was just one thing after something different. Speaking for myself, I would say my pass protection. I know two of those ones I wish I could've got back. Davis (Mills) felt rushed, I didn't help him out in the pocket. He had to run out of the pocket. Then some of the runs, I just know one of them I probably could've cut and got more yards than what was there."

What is the mood in the locker room right now?

"Mood is still high, especially (since) we're still early in the season and our (division) isn't doing well as a whole, so we've still got a chance. The biggest thing is just winning your (division) and then going from there. I feel like it's still early, we still have a lot of hope, everyone's still positive. Like I said, the biggest thing is just watching film and trying to correct it."

When you have a young quarterback like QB Davis Mills who has a bad game, do you worry that will linger with him?

"No, not at all. I think the biggest thing is just worrying about what I can do to help him out."

Do you guys still view yourselves as a team with playoff aspirations?

"Most definitely. I feel like we still have a chance to make the playoffs. Like I said, our (division) isn't doing too well as a whole. I think we're tied with another team in our (division), and it's early in the season. We've only played four games. We still have a chance to make the playoffs and make a run."

For a team that wanted to establish its identity through the run game, why do you think you guys have not be able to accomplish that?

"I don't know. We'll have to just watch film and see what's going on. We've played a different team each week, so we're just trying to put it all together. Playing more unified, playing more as a whole offense together, that's the biggest thing. Especially running the ball, everyone has to do their job, me included, to help out the run game."

What is it like in the moment when you see a game like yesterday getting away from you?

"I think the biggest thing is just keeping our head up high, held up high and making sure everyone is still positive and still fighting. Still fighting to do their job, even though, like you said, the game might be running away. We've still got to come out there and play football."

How do you think QB Davis Mills handled the game?

"The biggest thing I can tell was his composure. I didn't go and speak to him because he probably has a lot of people probably talking in his ear. The thing I noticed about him was his composure is calm, he still had that fight in his eyes and his demeanor and his attitude. Still talking to us like, 'We're going to go out there and battle and continue to do what we can to keep playing well as a whole offense.'"

Will there be any added pressure going up against New England on Sunday?

"I don't think there's any added pressure. We've already had a lot of pressure on us already since before the season started. I think the biggest thing is just watching this film, learning from it and then don't look back, and get ready for the Patriots."

What does it mean to you as a veteran when Head Coach David Culley stands up and says it's his fault for the loss?

"Biggest thing I can tell is his humility, his ability to just not blame. The biggest thing you don't want to do is blame and point fingers, because then that starts getting a negative effect amongst the team. For him to do that, even though I know and a lot of the players know, it's really on the players more. It's pretty huge, and I respect him for that."

DB TAVIERRE THOMAS

How would you assess your performance and the defenses' performance for the first three quarters?

"We played pretty solid. We could have played a little better on certain situations, like being more discipline when tackling after the play. My penalty got them down even closer. So, just knock out that type of stuff and we would have been alright. We didn't come out with the win. We just have to keep sticking together, stay together, don't let it divide us offense, defense, and just keep it going."

How would you describe the mood of the team after a loss like that?

"It was disappointing, when we were in the locker room real disappointing. Brandin (Cooks) talked to us about keep getting better each and every day, not just with football but just in life period, like going with our daily routines. Everybody just got to get in. If everybody be together and stick together, we can turn this thing around. Its going everyone, not just defense, not just offense but everybody, special teams as well. Everybody just has to stick together and just keep balling and it will turn around."

You mentioned WR Brandin Cooks talked to the team, is that one of the guys that you expect to do help hold you guys accountable?

"Oh yeah for sure. He's holding everyone accountable, even himself. Everyone just has to continue making plays and doing your job and once you do that then it won't be that type of outcome."

What do you think about your Head Coach David Culley taking the blame for what happened?

"Well, I wouldn't say he should take the blame, it was all of us. As a head coach that's what he's going to do, but I feel like all of us just have to continue doing our jobs and be better as individuals each and every day and we turn this thing around." 

What was your assessment on your red zone defense?

"What I can say is no matter how fast you get down there or how slow you get down there if you're not scoring points like touchdowns, it gives us an opportunity. And that's what we were trying to do no matter how long we were on the field, we were just trying to not let them get in the end zone. If we continue to do that and the offense continue doing what they are doing and getting better, we are going to beat a lot of teams. We just have to continue letting them score three and not seven and the outcome could be changed."

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