Give Mike (Vrabel) and his crew obviously a lot of credit. They started the game better than we did, no doubt about it. Dug ourselves a hole again. We're going to have to learn how play a full 60 minutes and earn the right to win. And that's kind of where we are right now. There's a lot of things we have to do better as coaches and players and that's what we're going to focus on.
I can imagine it's frustrating coming up here in three weeks in a row like this but is it more a frustration that you haven't been able to get over the hump or that there's redundancy and some of the reasons why you haven't been able to?
I really don't think on the 'why.' We're hard at work at trying to figure out how to stop the 'why' from happening again and again. But losing gets old, fast. These guys, they compete hard. They play hard and coaches coach hard, but you have to earn it. There's good players and good coaches on the other side. We've got to learn how to start well, play well in the middle and finish well, and right now we've not figured out that formula yet.
Josh, outcomes haven't been great for teams that have started 0-3 historically. Is that something that you focus on or do you kind of ignore it?
No. We're just focused on Denver this week and get on to them, and try to figure out how to put together the right week of work here so we can go out and have a good plan and to have an opportunity to compete and try to get our first W.
Offensively, you guys made it into the red zone pretty often.
Yeah, we had some opportunities. We definitely were able to move the ball. But when you get down there, you have to either run it in if they're going to play coverage or find some single matchups because they were double teaming a couple of our guys at times during the course of the game for sure, and be able to poke it in that way. Just overall execution, you know? Had a few penalties down there that hurt us, and we've got to eliminate those obviously before we're going to be able to put it in. Situational football. We talk a lot about it. We try to work on it a lot and it hurt us today in the red zone, and we're very good on third down, obviously.
Coach, what are your thoughts on the performance of Mack Hollins was able to put together, especially what he did with that punt?
Yeah, Mack (Hollins) plays hard on every play. I thought that was a great play that he made and then being able to reestablish himself quickly to down the punt in there, inside the five. It was obviously a great individual play. Had a lot of single coverage today and made some plays in the passing game as a receiver, too. Mack always works hard. I think that's why he was voted as a captain. His effort and the way he performs has been a bright spot for sure.
Did they catch you off guard with the passes to (Derrick) Henry in first half?
I mean, we're playing a lot of zone early in the game and trying to focus on the running game and try to stop – limit that as much as we could. Then they were dumping the ball down there too when we were playing zone. I thought (Ryan) Tannehill made a few good reads just to give him the ball in some space and let him get some positive plays. I think the biggest thing with him is tackling. If they catch a short pass, the biggest thing we have to do is get him on the ground. I thought he extended some of those plays, obviously, with his running after he had the ball in his hands.
Along those same lines, were you surprised by your struggles of tackling or just what do you think were the biggest defensive issues?
Without seeing the film, it's hard to exactly pinpoint a few things here or there. It takes everybody. When you're playing a good player like that, and he's obviously a great player, you're going to need everybody to do their assignment right and to play tough and physical. You can't guarantee the ball is going to go to one guy or another. So, 11 guys are out there on defense. We've all got to be able to tackle. We've all got to be able to pursue the ball and play with great effort. I just thought they had a good gameplan coming out. They tried to mix it up a little bit. (Ryan) Tannehill made some really good plays in the first half, I thought, and those things counter the running game. Just all in all, everybody's got to do their job the right way if you want to stop somebody like that.
Josh, you made some significant changes on the offensive line. Overall, do you feel like they held pretty well?
Yeah, I did. Again, I don't want to speak before I see the film but we're trying to find the right formula, the right five guys that will go out there and play dependable and do it right over and over and over again. Good communication. Get the protection sorted out. Try to get a body on a body upfront. I mean, obviously nothing good is going to happen offensively if you don't do that first. I thought they did a decent job against a good front. I don't know, at the end of the day, I don't know exactly what the numbers were on (Jeffery) Simmons, or (Denico) Autry or some of those guys. But I thought they gave Derek (Carr) an opportunity to have some time to throw. Once again, falling behind in the game, I know we ran it 18 or 20 times. It wasn't bad in terms of the yards per carry but just want to have a chance to get control of the game and run it more. I thought they did a decent job of representing themselves and communicating and sorted out some things today, for sure.
When you start a season like this, are you someone that kind of takes the temperature a little bit and keeps an eye on guys to make sure that it doesn't slide too far in the opposite direction?
This league requires a lot of mental toughness, and nobody likes losing. You know what I mean? I know it should hurt when we lose. We all feel shitty. We want to try to do better and put our best foot forward. But the only way to do that is to come back in and work hard at it and try to put together another good week this week and try to go out there and earn a victory on Sunday. That's it. Looking at guys and doing all that stuff at this point, I mean, there's a long season to play. A lot of football left and a lot of improvements to be made and a lot of growth, hopefully. So that's what we're going to focus on.
Josh, in that same vein, you've said since you got here that the team needs to learn how to win, so to speak. How hard is that to teach that lesson? If you feel like you're doing the right things all week long and it's not translating into the win column.
Yeah. Look, there's no secret about it. You've got to do a lot of things right to win. Winning is hard in this league. I think they know that. We know that. Every week's a big challenge. Coaches, players, schemes and you're going to have to earn it, you know what I mean? We've been in three close games so it's not like we're not competitive or have an opportunity to do it at the end. We're going to have to make a few more plays as we go through the ballgame. Again, I'm looking for us to try to improve and play a full 60-minute game where we actually start well, play well in all three phases and see what that looks like because I'm not sure that we've done that yet.
You guys got the ball, an interception, a chance to score points. On the third-and-18, any thought about being more aggressive on that play?
Yes and no. No doubt. You think about that third-and-18. The likelihood of you picking up third-and-18 is very low. Trying to get into field goal range is another conversation, you know what I mean? So, that's what we were trying to do. That's what we were trying to do.
Josh, those small details have been the difference really in all three games. Something you've harped on since you've gotten here. What's that next step to translate that from practices to games?
Yeah, we're going to need to continue to do it well enough in practice, create a habit such that when you do it in a game, it's performed exactly the way that you want it, and you can execute it well. Look, there's things we've got to do better as coaches. I'll start with myself, you know what I mean? I can coach things better. We can do some things better and that's what we got to do. We're going to work together to try to get it right.
Does it seem to you that Derek (Carr) and Darren (Waller) are not quite on the same page or kind of not quite connecting so far?
No, I wouldn't say that. I think that they've had some opportunities together. But this is football. When you get your opportunities then you've got to make some hay with them. There's definitely an element of learning. You get a little bit extra attention in terms of coverage and those kinds of things. So, you've got to stay into it. Then when you get your two or three chances here or there? Bang. You've got to make them make them count. It can be frustrating, obviously, when you have your chances, and you don't necessarily come through together but they they'll work hard this week to try to fix some things and improve.