Transcripts: 9-24-2021 Press Conferences 

HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY

Did you get a haircut since the last time we saw you?

"Oh no, I got the haircut before the game. I had the hat on. Now the thing is, this haircut, I don't think it had nothing to do with the game, but it was the shortest my hair has been since I can remember."

What are the advantages of having 10 days to prepare QB Davis Mills going into his second start?

"Well, the big thing more so not from him, but just for our football team, just the extra rest. We've had some knicks, we've had some injuries. It gives us a little bit more time to make sure we get those guys back that have been out this week. Won't know for sure yet what the status is until we come back on Monday. But I think with him, just him going and watching a full game of him playing, especially against a very good team, the stuff that he will learn from seeing what he did. I know there was a few plays in the game when he goes back and he watches the video, he'll sit there and say, 'Man, I had that, I should have did this.' Well, that's part of the growing process that he's had. But the beauty of that entire thing with him growing, it's easier to grow when you protect the football from a quarterback position, and he did that."

Can you say anything about the injury statuses of DB Justin Reid and LB Kamu Grugier-Hill?

"No, it's a little early."

What about K Ka'imi Fairbairn?

"Same thing on him. The thing about him is that he said this past week that he was much better than he's ever been. He didn't really feel anything. So, we're going to see when we go back out on Wednesday to see where he's at. Not Monday, but on Wednesday, to see where he's at, and if he's ready to go, we'll go with him."

What do you think the key to getting the running game back on track will be?

"When we looked at the video, basically we were the enemy and not them. In other words, we did not execute some things that we had been executing previously. We got to make some calls that we didn't get made during that ballgame that put us in some situations that put us behind the chains. We hadn't been doing that. Basically, we just got to go back and correct those mistakes, and I feel like we'll be back on track because we made a few more this game than we had in the previous two."

Why do you think you've struggled to run the ball in the last two games?

"Well, I think when Tyrod (Taylor) went out and Davis (Mills) came in, things changed a little bit with what we were doing because of Davis not having reps and whatnot. Going into this ballgame, obviously, with Davis and it being his first game getting a full-time start, is that we wanted to make sure that we kind of kept it to the vest in what we were doing for him. I think what we end up doing is, we got to the point that we probably felt like we kind of went too far with trying to protect him and just kind of doing what we feel like we need to do. What we did find out coming out of this game is that he can handle a lot more than what we felt like, because of the way he handled himself in this ballgame. Moving forward, we'll just get back to doing the things that we had started doing in that first game and a half when Tyrod was our starting quarterback."

How does QB Davis Mills' ability to protect the ball alter the way you call the game and make decisions?

"Well, when we started the game, it was important that we get him off to a good start, and he got off to a good start from that standpoint. And then once we got going, Tim (Kelly) just called the game as if he was calling the game if Tyrod (Taylor) was in there. We just did not run the ball as well as we needed to run the ball because of the mistakes that we made. Obviously, that had a lot to do with the inconsistency and what we were doing offensively, and being able to do what we would have liked to have done with him in the passing game because a lot of our passing game comes off of what we do in the running game. We weren't very good at doing that yesterday."

Do you think throwing the ball more on 1st down could help keep the defense off balance and open opportunities for the running game?

"Well, I think the thing is that when we stay with the chains, we stay in 1st and 2nd down and normally manage deals, and 3rd down and normally managed deals, then I think the run and pass thing is not relevant. What's relevant is that we got behind the chains. We had more 2nd-and-longs than we've had before because we weren't able to get started off with the run game very well. And then when we were above the chains, then we end up having some mistakes that put us back behind the chains. We're not a football team that can play from behind the chains, so we just got to make sure we can stay above the chains when we're doing those things."

There was a moment in the game in the 2nd quarter where it was 3rd and 15 and you guys decided to run the ball. What went into that decision?

"Long yardage. It's tough to get long yardage. And again, I'm going back to Davis (Mills). We didn't want him getting into a situation where he felt like he needed to make a play because it's 3rd and 15. I know with young quarterbacks a lot of times you think you 3rd and 15, I've got to throw the ball down the field to be able to get a 1st down. You don't necessarily have to do that. Basically, you throw the ball for five yards and you run, and if we don't get the 1st down, we punt it. In that situation, we didn't want to put him in a situation where he felt like he needed to try and make a play on his own. We felt like at that point the way we were playing, we were playing field position and we felt like we could get a good play and change field position with the punt."

What did you think about what WR Anthony Miller did in his first game?

"We knew he was a playmaker. He's a tough kid. Normally when you throw the ball to him, he's going to make a play. We were glad to see him back and he get that touchdown. He did a nice job on that play, on the route. It was just good to have him back because he brings a little toughness to us and what we're all about, especially in our run game. He brings that in our pass game too as a pass receiver, especially playing inside the slot."

Do you expect WR Danny Amendola to be back?

"Not really sure yet."

You mentioned the run game and said you need to make some different calls. Were you talking about the quarterback at the line, your center or calls coming from the sideline?

"Just communication on the field. When they move around on defense, we make calls and then he (Davis Mills) has to make a call and we weren't always on the same page with doing that."

What went into the decision to activate all five of your running backs?

"Special teams."

Did the struggles in the running game last week also have a hand in that decision?

"No, that had nothing to do with it. It was strictly a special teams deal because of some other people we had hurt that had been special teams players for us. Scottie (Phillips) has been one of those guys that during the preseason that did a good job on that and because of the roster spots it worked out that he was the best fit for us to move up. But it had nothing to do with the running backs."

How concerned are you with WR Andre Roberts after he has fumbled each of the last two games?

"That's unlike him. He's never had a history of doing that. Obviously, that's not acceptable for us to do that and he understands that. But as I said last night, I have the upmost confidence in him and hopefully he comes out of that."

Did you consider putting RB Scottie Phillips in the game last night on offense?

"No. It was strictly a situation where he came up simply because of what we needed on special teams." 

How did you come out of the game health-wise?

"We came out of the game very good health-wise. Nobody came out of that game with an injury that would keep them from being able to play the following week." 

When you make decisions on fourth down, who do you consult with?

"I've got guys up in the press box. We kind of talk it over and say 'If we get in this situation, what would we do?' In the end, they give me suggestions of what to do and I do what I feel like I need to do at that particular point. We've got people up at the top that we communicate with."

Do you expect QB Deshaun Watson to play for you again this year?

"It's week-to-week."

How difficult is it to create pressure with a four-man front?

"We did a good job of that last night. I go back to what I said about obviously our defensive line has been playing very, very hard. We play a bunch of guys in there. They put some pressure. As a matter of fact, they put so much pressure on him that we end up having a couple of fumbles there last night that they created. Had we been able to get those – obviously we didn't have any turnovers, neither one of us did – but those could have been game-changers. It just didn't happen or us and that's football. I thought that defensively, the one thing that we didn't do in this ballgame that we have to do a better job of, is we got them in some 2nd-and-longs, we got them in a 3rd-and-long one time, and they ended up getting explosive plays off those. We can't have that. Their football team had about eight explosive plays, we had three. That's tough sledding when that happens."

Advertising