How do you not get discouraged from this loss, knowing that you may play them again soon?
“It’s tough, right now. I didn’t think that we played very well, in any facet of the game, certainly not good enough, especially on offense. We didn’t have the production and with the turnovers, you make it about impossible to win. We’re going to have to learn from it. I mean, right now it stings, but we’re going to have to sit down and watch the film and look at it and get better from it. But yeah, right now (it’s) frustrating.”
Did you feel like you were beyond a game like this?
“Yeah, I mean, especially the way we opened it up, the opening drive, marching down the way we did; it felt like things were going to be kind of the way they have been. We really couldn’t get any rhythm after that. We couldn’t execute very well in any area. And then, the turnovers really hurt you.”
Do you feel like the preparation was there this week?
“I think so, yeah. I never felt anything through the week. I thought the guys prepared hard on the details. We certainly didn’t match their emotion and execution today. I felt like especially, when we came out there and got the touchdown, I don’t know if we thought they were going to lay down or lay over or what; we certainly weren’t able to respond like they were.”
How do you match up with them next time? Were there some things today that surprised you?
“I don’t know if they did anything that surprised us. They mixed coverages really well, I thought. They mixed personnel well on the defensive side and then just one-on-one. Their one-on-ones, across the board, they beat us. I wish I had the answer right now, but that’s the name. If I had it right now I certainly would have set it up. I have to review this and look at it.”
With things pretty set right now, how do you approach almost an “exhibition” game next week?
“Yeah, it’s not my decision. I certainly haven’t thought about it. We will have to see what coach says and the staff and how they want to treat it. To a certain extent, I think yeah you want to have some good rhythm, a good taste in your mouth, headed into the playoffs. I’d like to get this taste out of our mouth. Like I said, I don’t get to make that decision and it’s tough to even think about, right now.”
Talk about the ball protection today.
“Yeah, one good hit. The second interception was just underthrown. I kind of lost vision and didn’t get it out there. I was trying to give him the chance to go up and make a play, but it was just too underthrown, a poor pass. Then the fumble, from myself, there at the end, I felt like I had done a good job all year with fundamentals in the pocket, as far as two hands; I didn’t do it there. I was trying to run out of there and trying to make a play and got careless. You can’t have those, especially in good games, against good teams.”
Was there anything in specific that was keeping the offense from the flow it has had in the past few games?
“I think if anything to point to right now, it is exactly that. I thought they rolled coverages well; there wasn’t one thing that they were doing all day to any one of our personnels. I thought they just did a great job of mixing their personnel, mixing their coverages, their pressure and it was tough to get a read on.”
It didn’t seem like you went downfield as much today; was that just because of the play calling?
“It did feel like that at the end there, maybe. We let them get aggressive and we just didn’t stretch the field like we have been in the weeks past. (It’s) tough to say right now. Once you get behind there, late in the second half, they were pretty one dimensional. They had the good rush there, so, (we were) just trying to get the ball out. You’re trying to pick your shots to take shots.”