Coach Whisenhunt's Monday Press Conference



(On the game against Dallas)

Disappointed from yesterday's performance. The process of going through that today and analyzing it and working on the corrections, we've started that. Similar to last week, you don't get too high after the win. This is one game where we didn't play our best, and we're going to bounce back and play better football.

(On not executing)

A lot of it was self-inflicted. They were prepared, they played well. I give Dallas credit, but they didn't really do anything that we didn't anticipate. We just didn't execute very well.

(On Jason McCourty's injury)

I really don't know as much yet. I'll probably know more by Wednesday about where he is. He's still in the process of getting that evaluated, but hopefully it won't be that bad.

(On players' reactions to defeats)

I don't know. You'd have to ask them. I can't speak for how the players feel. As a coaching staff, we're always disappointed when you put a lot of work into it. Players, I'm sure, feel the same way. All you can do is look at what happened and try to learn from it and grow from it.

(On issues defending the Dallas run game)

It was gap. It was really more gap than any issues. It's hard for me to sit here and say it wasn't something Dallas did, because they played well. We had opportunities, and we just didn't get it done. That's sometimes the way it goes. I don't know if there's an explanation for it. We weren't as detailed in our approach in the game, and I think that's where it showed up.

(On opponents testing the run defense)

That seems to be the trend in the NFL. That's what teams do. Some of it's a function, obviously, of our offense not performing as well. Dallas, because we were able to get some pressure on the quarterback, they went to running it more, and they were effective with it.

(On decisions on third downs)

We always have plays that have run-pass checks, but if we don't have a box to run it against, then you go with what you think's the best attack, and that certainly came up some in the first half. We had a couple of opportunities to make plays, and we didn't, so it comes down to making those plays. There were a number of factors that were involved, but the bottom line, we weren't good enough, and we've got to get better than that. We were good the week before, and we weren't good yesterday.

(On Jake Locker's performance between each half)

He completed more passes. That was a difference. There were a lot of factors that were involved. The quarterback gets the credit a lot of times, and he gets the blame a lot of times. There were some protection issues in the first half that led to some problems. It was a team effort. There were a lot of things that didn't go the way we wanted to. The one thing here that I think we learned from this, if there is a positive, is that with a little under eight minutes left in the third quarter, we cut it to a one-score game. That was probably playing as bad a half in the first half as we could. We've got to learn that when we get back to that situation, we've got to take advantage of that and get back in it. We had a chance with Bernard (Pollard) almost making a play on that one tipped ball that would have changed the complexion of the game, maybe. Those are the kind of plays you've got to make.

(On finding plays early in the game to get an offensive rhythm)

I can't speak to anything that's happened here in the past. All I can judge it by is what I've seen from our team so far. I don't have any concerns with that based off of what I've seen with our team. It's no different with some other teams that I've been on, but it doesn't hurt to say something about it to try to create a sense of urgency with it.

(On the consistency of quarterbacks in the league)

I don't know if there is a time. I've worked with some of the better quarterbacks in the league, and they have games no different than Jake (Locker) had yesterday. I think we're looking at one game over maybe a skill set. If you involve the preseason games and the first game, now you're looking at more of a set to evaluate Jake. Then it's he performed well in three, and we as an offense didn't perform as well as we wanted to in the fourth one.

(On Jake Locker holding on to the football)

It really depends. We had mistakes from our receivers yesterday that changed the spacing on some of those routes. Sometimes it was the way they came off the ball, sometimes it was getting jammed up, not being in the right spots. That can lead to a quarterback holding on to the ball. That can contribute to where it goes from there, so I think there are a lot of factors that are involved. You can't just say it's one thing or another like that.

(On using a no-huddle offense)

We did it early, and it didn't work so much so well in the first half, but it did in the second half. We're always going to have the capability to do that. There are going to be games where we use it more than we do. Other games we don't. We couldn't get into a rhythm in the first half yesterday and we did in the second half with it, and we moved the football. It wasn't a lot of plays to really base anything off of in the first half.

(On using a no-huddle approach to spark the offense)

I don't necessarily know that you need that to spark the offense. We had plenty of plays in the first half to make that would have sparked the offense. It's something that we can use. It's something that, when it's operated, it works well, just like a lot of the other parts of our offense. We'll continue to use it, and hopefully we'll have success with it.

(On Bernard Pollard's sideline hit)

It's tough. I'll have to ask the league for direction on that is what I'll do. I'll call and ask, just so I can make sure I convey that to Bernard (Pollard). I watched it on the tape when we were watching it today. I think I'll talk to the league first before I state my opinion on that.

(On how players should approach plays like Bernard Pollard's hit)

You've got to play. You've got to play football. If he's obviously out of bounds, then we don't want that happening. One of those things that you have to continue to work with them. It happens fast. It's part of the game, that's tough.

(On Blidi Wreh-Wilson's hit)

Those happen in games at times. There was a lot of contact going on on both sides of the ball during the course of the game. It's just unfortunate that that happened at that particular point.

(On Delanie Walker's speed)

I tell you what, he had more speed than I thought he did when he had that long run. Delanie (Walker's) always impressed me, and I'll tell you why. If you think about the kickoff returns that he's done in this league, you've got to have pretty good speed to be successful at that. He's done that, so I've always thought of him as a fast player.

(On the pass-rush this season)

We've been close. All preseason we were close. We've been close to a couple others in these games that we just haven't gotten yet. I think we're doing a good job with our rushes and our techniques. Giff (Smith's) working with those guys on their hands and how they're rushing, and some of our schemes are working pretty good. They didn't work well against the run yesterday. I think that some of it's your plan of attack and how you're going about it, working on the little things.

(On the secondary)

It's a little bit like what we've seen on offense last week. Obviously, not so much yesterday. It's going to depend week to week. There are going to be different guys that have a bunch of opportunities, just like there's receivers that have a bunch of opportunities. It's going to go from week to week. As long as everybody's involved with it, it's a good thing.

(On the defensive back blitzes)

Pretty much every defense in the NFL. We had a number of them that Dallas used yesterday. It's a part of the normal scheme of this league.

(On the risk of using defensive back blitzes)

It can always happen, you don't have to get beat over the top when you're blitzing, but I think the important thing here is it helps keep you versatile, and that's what you want to have. You want to be able to do different things to make teams prepare on them. I know, for us as an offense having to face those, you've got to account for them.

(On Mike Martin's return)

Mike (Martin) did fine. He hadn't played in a while, so he has to work his way back into playing. It was good to see him out there on the field.

(On players' performances)

Nobody played great yesterday. It's hard for me to sit here and say after yesterday's game anybody played well.

(On the size of the defensive front when stopping the run)

When we did it right yesterday, we stopped the run. When we didn't fit gaps right, it doesn't matter what size you are, you're going to have problems. I think that's the message today. We're plenty big enough on the defensive front.

(On Leon Washington's hit during Jackie Battle's kickoff return)

That's a football play. That's part of this game. It's a collision sport. Leon (Washington) did what he thought he needed to do there. It looked like it was a pretty tough hit, but Leon's fine.

(On Dexter McCluster's injury)

His foot was a little sore coming out. I'll know more by Wednesday about the overall injury status of our team.

(On other game injuries)

We got a few nicks coming out of the game, which is normal. Once again, Todd (Toriscelli) does a great job, and I think we'll have more information on that Wednesday.

(On the challenge of getting a team to play consistently each week)

We've got a lot of things that we've got to experience as a team. That's not making any excuses for the way we played yesterday, but consistency is something that you're always trying to get. If you look at the number of teams from yesterday that flipped just like us, Atlanta won the first week, they lost yesterday. There was a number of teams that that happened to in the NFL. That's part of this game. You go play against a team like Dallas that lost the first week, and they came in and played well, and we didn't play as well. That's part of the game. We're striving to have better consistency, and hopefully we'll learn from this game.

(On Justin Hunter's receptions)

I've never placed an emphasis on targets and completions. I don't even pay attention to targets. We're working to try to get guys open, and the quarterbacks go through their reads. We didn't have enough completions yesterday, regardless. We were certainly pleased coming out of the Kansas City game with everybody's completions. Yesterday Delanie (Walker) had a number of the catches, and there weren't a whole lot of other ones to go around because we weren't very successful.

(On Shaun Phillips' performance this season)

I think when you're basing his statistics in the past, it's off playing a full game, and now he's been in a rotation with us, so his number of snaps are down, but Shaun (Phillips') doing fine. He's a veteran player that's doing a good job for us. You'd like to see all of us play better defensively. It's hard to say anybody's doing a good job after yesterday's game.

(On the Bengals offense)

I haven't really studied Cincinnati that much yet. I'm trying to work on that. They're a good football team. I know that after having played against them a number of times. Going there to play them, they're 2-0, it's going to be a tough challenge, no question.

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