LB CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY
What were some things you saw in the last game that are correctable?
"To be honest, it's just as simple as everybody doing their job. You wish you could have plays back. I know I say this time and time. Everybody wished they could have done something better, but it all just comes down to everybody doing their jobs to the best of their ability and making the tackle. We've got to tackle better. I know coach stresses it a lot, when we are at the point of attack it can't just be one guy there. It's got to be a bunch of guys there to tackle the ball carrier, knowing that we played an elite running back. I think we all can say this he's top-three in the league, so we've got to do a better job of tackling."
What worked early in the game against the run?
"We always talk about doing a better job to start fast. To start the game, we did some things well. I think what we have to work on is doing what we do well and maintaining that throughout the whole game and not get broken down as a defense or get sloppy in technique or don't wrap up at the point of attack. I think going into it, we started fast. We've just got to work on being a second half team. We all know that games are won in the fourth quarter. Right now, I don't think we're that good of a team in the second half. We've got to figure it out and just keep working at it."
What are the things you do well?
"When we started the last game, I thought that everybody was doing their job in the beginning. I thought that we were playing with a lot of intensity, a lot of energy. I thought we were tackling well, and then it broke down towards the second half. I don't really know why. That's something that we as a defense have to figure out. I thought we did some good things, but obviously not good enough to win."
Do you think the defense has enough energy in the second half?
"I think we have the energy. We just have to figure out why we're not winning games in the second half and that's that part we haven't figured out. We have talent on this team. I love this group of men. I would go to war with this group of men. We just haven't quite figured it out, and we will. It's the National Football League. There's no time to sit, pout and complaining about it. We just have to go back to work."
How do you process in-game adjustments?
"When our unit is called, we're called to go do our job. The offense does their best they can do to do their job. Special teams does their best to do their job. So, we can't really complain if we get a short three-and-out and don't have time to dissect what the Giants are doing. We just have to go out there and play our defense and try to find a way. I wish I had a special formula to see what we can do to win these games. As a defense, we take pride every single time we're out on that field. We've just got to get the job done. There's no way around it but to get the job done."
How do you dissect what the opposing offense is doing with short time on the sideline?
"In that short time, we have to see and look at the plays that were positive for them on that drive and very quickly see what it was we may have missed or what went wrong for them to get a successful play. Then you have to go out there and stick to the script of what we practice throughout the week, what plays we said they we're going to run and thought they were going to give us. We've just got to execute."
What has stood out to you from the Washington Commanders attack?
"Tip our hat off to them. They played last night and had a good game. They beat the Eagles. They play with a lot of intensity and a lot of aggression. I think that we have a team that never backs down and is always looking to get an edge. That's when you become successful, and we saw that last night against the Eagles. We're going to expect them to bring their best and try to run the ball against us. For this week, we just have to stop the bleeding and be a better run stopping defense."
What comes to mind when thinking about how you're two tackles away from 700?
"To be honest, playing linebacker in this league, yeah, you look at the tackles and say it's a good milestone, but I'm worried about winning. What good is it if you're making tackles and you're not winning. For me, where I can really excel in my game is the big plays, the takeaways, the game-changing plays. That's what I'm concerned about. It is a milestone, and you never want to overlook anything, any type of success you have. I give it up to god, and thankful to play a long time to get to that milestone. I'm more worried about winning games and seeing where I could be the best fit to help my team."
What have you learned through you career and what can you share?
"You've got to stay consistent in everything that you do. This game has a bunch of highs and lows. You have times when you're winning, and everything is going good. You want to pat yourself on the back, everybody loves you. You've got times when you're doing bad where things are not going well for you. It's frustration, everything else is upside down. You just got to stay level-headed and just keep chipping away, keep chopping that wood, and brighter days will come ahead. For me, just going through my career, always try to remain myself, always working at something whether it's creeping up on 700 (tackles), how can I get to 800 (tackles). How can I tackle better? It's a bunch of missed tackles that I probably had, I could've been at 700. How can I improve on that? I think that's the key to having longevity in this career is always try to work and get better at something, stay level-headed and keep grinding. That's what I'm continuing to do, do my best to turn this thing around. At the end of the day, we still got more games ahead that we can get this thing turned around. You've got to still have faith and believe. That's what I'm focused on, being the best asset to the team."
DL OGBO OKORONKWO
How do you feel like you played last weekend?
"I think I played pretty good. We didn't get the win, so it wasn't really what I was focused on."
What is the most frustrating part in these particular loses?
"I think the most frustrating part is we know we're a good team. We compete really well with these teams for big chunks of the game. We're not getting the outcome we want, so I think that's the most frustrating thing."
When things don't go well, what's the leadership like in the locker room?
"I think we just try to keep everybody together and make sure everybody's heads are up. Just try to stay as positive as possible. Just try to get back to work and just try to do something different or try to do a little bit more. Just try to encourage everybody."
How much of the Commanders game did you watch last night and what was your impression of QB Taylor Heinicke?
"The d-line watched it together last night. He's a gamer."
What do you see from RB Brian Robinson?
"He's a good player. I think a lot of teams will try to run the ball, so I don't think we're going to stop seeing that until we stop it."
What's your communication with HC Lovie Smith and how you've progressed?
"Not a lot. I'm just doing what the scheme is asking me to do. That's what we want everybody to be doing, just your job. It's no secret recipe or anything. We're just trying to play hard and have everybody be on the same accord."
TE JORDAN AKINS
Aside from your long play, what are some things that stand out about your performance on Sunday?
"Pretty much just doing my job whether it's special teams, kickoff return. I think I had some nice blocks that sprung number one (Tremon Smith) open a little bit. Open it up a little bit for the kickoff game. As far as the one play, just doing my job, blocking. Whenever I get an opportunity to make a play and then as well in the run game."
You've almost been exclusively passing in the fourth quarter. What's contributing to that?
"I think at that point in that game we're playing catch up. Of course, we air it out, try to make big plays happen. As far as that, we just have to execute and do better in the red zone. That we stay away from third downs, just more the ball more and get down the field more."
It seems like you're able to move the ball throughout those sections. Are those things you can apply to the first half?
"Definitely. We definitely established our running game. We just have to execute better on that as well as opening up the passing game for some. We feel we can do better at getting open and executing, doing our jobs really. We just have to take what we do in practice and bring it to the games."
How strong is that front seven for Washington?
"Good front. Definitely, create pressure, puts pressure on the quarterback. They do good in the run game as well, so we're going to have to set some pads, move some D-line, and open up some lanes for Dameon Pierce."
What's the mood in the offensive room like since Sunday?
"You get frustrated when you're not winning. We're trying to do more, come together, do more off the field, come together as a team and just push each other more inside the building as well. Practice harder, study more, do just a little more."