HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
"We had some disappointing losses this year. We had a chance to win. Not many games I don't think we've been in this year where they were better than us pretty much from start to finish. I thought defensively we did some good things early on in the first half. Offensively, when you start off the first drive like that, that's tough duty. Their defense dominated us up front, and it's pretty hard to get a running game going. It's hard to pass the football when it's that much pressure and, again, the takeaways. Normally those games aren't that close when you play like that. Our fans deserve a lot more than that. We have to put a better product on the football field, and we'll keep working towards that. Some of your questions, 'Did you consider changes' We're trying to do what we thought we needed to do to give us the best chance to win throughout. Take your questions."
This year you guys have scored under 18 points in the majority of games and a lot of that does start with the quarterback. Will there be any consideration towards changing the quarterback position?
"Are you asking me am I going to change the quarterback position right after the game? As I said, we consider all different things during the course of the game on, whether making a move at any position will give us a better chance. When you say it starts with the quarterback, no, it starts up front. That's where it starts. Today with that type of pressure, I don't know how many quarterbacks could have had success."
Did you consider bringing in QB Kyle Allen?
"We consider all guys that are dressed if they will give us a better chance during the course of the game. If we made a move, we thought that was the way we should go. If we didn't, that's where it is."
Is there any chance you're going to eventually make that change this week?
"I'm going to watch the video is what I'm going to do. We're going to evaluate it like we normally do. We don't make those kind of decisions 30 minutes after the game, no, before I get a chance to talk to all the coaches, no. I think most of you know that."
What are more you looking to see from QB Davis Mills?
"Production. What I want to see first is Davis Mills in front with protection, with a good running game to back him up and with protection when he is passing the football. That's what we need to see first. All of this is a base part of it all. It's just not one position. Guys, after a game, I'm going to talk to the guys. If there's something we're going to do, I'm going to talk to the guys first at all positions. Right now, there's disappointment throughout. It just wasn't two positions that we're talking about."
You mentioned the fans deserve better. I look out on in the stands and they're mostly empty. This has been happening all year.
"Let me stop you. It hasn't been happening all year. I'm talking about the fans booing us, all right?"
You guys have been booed.
"Yes, and every time something is bad, fans are going to boo, and they have a right to do that. What is your question?"
How does this get better? How do you improve this?
"By putting a better product on the football field."
Why didn't you make any changes today?
"Because I didn't think I should do it today."
Why were you guys not better today?
"I'm not going to tell you that, all right? What do you expect me to say right now? We just got beat. Now, if there was something that we should have done right away, we would have done that right away. We're working with our football team. We're searching for answers is what we're doing. We'll keep working on different combinations."
Every week you're telling us the same thing. You haven't made any changes. Why do you keep doing the same thing and get the same result?
"Change for what? Just change to change? I think leave that up to us, all right? Right now, we don't think we're in that position."
On the opening three drives, how much of the game is scripted with Pep Hamilton?
"When we say scripted, we have an idea of what we want to do at the start of most games, absolutely. But sometimes things happen in that script that can get you off. An interception for a touchdown can get you off a little bit. But I'm going to go back on today when, you know, you just make one little change, and everything is good. We're talking about today's game. We're not going to bring in last year or anything, just today's game. When we were dominated up front, it was hard to get anything going. Was there a script before? Yes, there was a script before. But, again, when you can't get movement up front, everything is going to be pretty much the same. That's going to be the answer in the NFL any time any game as I see it.
What confidence has Pep Hamilton given you that he can turn things around?
"I'm not going to change. Right now as a football team, there's not a whole lot that we're doing well right now. We're building. We're not quite there yet. We're not a good football team right now, but that's how most teams start off. You're not a good football team. You keep working on things and eventually get a little bit better. We did not play this way last week. We didn't. We were down in red zone six times and didn't score a touchdown. We didn't play this way last week. It hasn't been like that always. Today it was. In those games you just have to kind of take it that the other team was a lot better than us and hope that won't be the case next week."
Is there anything that you could have done in terms of trying to get some edges in the run game?
"Yeah. If we look at it right now, what we did today didn't work. We tried to hit the edge a few times. We tried to hit up front. We have been able to run the football each week. Even when there is disappointment, change the quarterback, you're not passing enough, we've been able to run the football. Today, we weren't able to run the football. Nothing else is really going to work when you can't do that."
How are you able to keep a team positive moving forward when you are in a tough stretch like this?
"The stretch, I think you have to group it today. We're just going to look at today. Today, I mean, we were never in the game today. There's total disappointment on the effort that we had, not the effort, but just how we played today. That's what we're going to do. You can't group them all together. As a coach you keep talking you about one positive play, one positive game. That's what we have to continue to do. Again, we have not been dominated the way we were dominated today, so that's what's giving us hope."
I know a lot of disappointment, but there are some positives. You made fourth down conversions today.
"When things are kind of cloudy like they are today, that's kind of good to bring up some of the positives that we had. Our guys are fighting hard right now, but I think it's kind of obvious a little bit. When things don't go well, you have to acknowledge those things that didn't go well. But what keeps us going, to your question a little bit, is that it hasn't been the way it was today. Today they were the better football team. We couldn't do anything. It hasn't been that way. That's what keeps us going is that."
QB DAVIS MILLS
What is your assessment of today's game?
"Turned the ball over for a pick six on the second play of the game. Can't do that. Sets you behind to start the game. That's tough. After that just couldn't really get much going. Tried to start with the run game. Props to their D-line, their front seven. Handled it pretty well. They kind of dominated today. We were having to play from behind the chains. A lot of third and longs that were just pretty hard to convert. Just couldn't get much going."
How much of the opening of the game is scripted, and of the things that are within your control, what do you think the problems are?
"We have situations and plays that are scripted for pretty much every play in the game, but if you can't win your one-on-one matchups up front, that's tough. We have to execute better, find ways to be creative and just make some plays."
What happened on your first interception?
"Good play by the defender. Might have left the ball a hair inside, and he had a really good jump on it and ended up getting away and making a good play. Not many emotions after the play. Got to flush it really fast and go back out there because you're about to get the ball right back."
How did struggles in the run game make the game difficult on the offensive side of the ball?
"When you can't run the ball, if it was vice versa and you couldn't pass the ball, it makes the game really tough. Like I said, props to their defense. They had a good game plan and won a lot of matchups up front on different plays throughout the game. But, yeah, it's tough when you can't run the ball, and you have to rely on a lot of pass downs, and the defense knows you're going to pass the ball. So they can play coverage and cover up your guys. So, I mean, just makes it tough for you."
Do you feel like you guys are struggling to make adjustments over the course of the game, especially during the first half?
"Not necessarily. I think that's what we mentioned before. Especially plays in the first half, we kind of have the first 15, first 20 that are kind of scripted based on what we've seen in game-planning all week, what their defense has shown. We weren't really caught off guard with what they were doing on defense. We just have to find a way to execute better and win our matchups."
What was the Commanders defense doing today that closed off the run game?
"The past two weeks, the defensive lines, they have extremely good players. There's a reason they get paid too. They're making plays, and we have to find a way to be creative and find a way to get the advantage on those guys so we can make plays as well."
You guys talked this week about taking some calculated shots early in games. Were those opportunities available?
"Not much available. It's tough to run the ball. A lot of those shots will come off of play action and different ways when they start bringing guys down into the box to help with the run game. They were pretty much able to stop the run while still playing coverage behind it, and it's tough to find shots when you are getting that kind of defense."
After a game like this as the leader of this team, how do you go about staying positive around this organization?
"Mentality is the same when you come to the building each week. Any team is capable of winning in this league. We have a lot of really talented players that know what to do to win games. We just have to put it all together. It's right foot before the left one. We're coming in to get to work, and we're going to go find a way to win games."
After the last couple of weeks where can you have the confidence that the offense can rectify this and get it going again?
"I think the confidence we've gotten from just all the work we've put in throughout the year. Our guys know what we're capable of. We know how well we can execute when we're doing our jobs right. So, we just have to keep doing it, keep pushing forward, and we're going to find a way."
Is there anything you can do differently to avoid defensive pressure and give yourself more time?
"Yeah, we want to continue to sit back in the pocket when I can, find as much as I can down the field or check it down, and then if the pocket collapses too much, find scramble lanes to push up in the pocket or escape on the edge and make a play. I tried to do that a couple of times today. We had a couple of penalties on different situations. Then other times they had everything covered, and they ended up getting to me. So, I want to continue to eliminate that and find a way to make plays."