Obviously we’re disappointed that we didn’t win the game. That’s the first and foremost thing. I don’t think I’ve ever been around a team that’s given away 10 points by simply muffing a kick, and there is no excuse for that. I think when Hosley gauged where the ball was, he stepped forward a little too much and the ball came down at a little bit different angle than he anticipated. With JJ, he didn’t even have himself in the right position so we gave away 10 points which disappointed me. To be in the position that we’re in and look at it from the point of view of having a lot of work to do to improve, in a way that’s a good thing. We have no illusion about the improvement that needs to be made and I’m talking about from the top of our team to the bottom of our team.
There were some things that I thought we did pretty well, like Lawrence’s kickoffs for example. The four touchbacks were good, but I didn’t understand the three mishits. I know we can punt the ball directionally better than we did. We had one very good kick return. We had a good punt return and we had two rookies involved in that. So we had some things that we certainly can look at and correct and teach and do a better job with.
I was disappointed in the 89-yard drive by the Jacksonville offense against our defense. I was disappointed in that, but I think that our defensive players would be the first ones to come forward and tell you that they’re disappointed as well and that there’s no illusion about having to work your tail off and improve. I think offensively we had a couple of very good drives. We did have a stall out which ended up with a field goal, but I think that when we see the tape we’ll find that there’s a lot of things to look at here that we will learn from again. Whether it be in the pass game where we had a couple of opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of, or whether it be the run game where we missed just slightly a cut here or there that could’ve ended up making a big difference in the game.
I thought that we were not able to do a good job with our third down conversion and we gave away over 50% in third down conversions to the other guy. They rushed for 156 which I don’t care who’s on the field that was a goal of ours. We did rush for 126 but our thought is we could’ve had more. Pass protection once we got into the depth of our team wasn’t very good, but theirs wasn’t very good either if you look at it. There are things back and forth; I didn’t like our time of possession being only at about 26 minutes, which bothers me as well. To be plus one and still lose the game was ridiculous. The 11 penalties, you just kind of shake your head at. We were 4-for-5 in the neutral, and we were 4-for-5 in the green and the red zones.
There are obviously things to take away. We got caught in a couple things, even on their last touchdown when they went for two. We might’ve been in perfect shape just by sitting in a base coverage rather than being in the coverage that we were in. It’s just a matter of studying this stuff and understanding where you are after one game and then looking at it and saying, ‘Look fellas, we’re not anywhere near where we need to be.’
We do have games that are going to come one right after the other and we’re going to be really busy. We’re all trying to improve but we’re also trying to realize that we’re moving on into preseason games. That’s where we are and the position that we choose to take is, hey we’ve got a lot of things to correct and we’re not going to deny any of the issues that were present. We’re going to work hard to solve them and we’re going to work hard to improve our roster from top to bottom. We’re going to see that our younger guys, our guys who play later in the game might be able to be in a position to help us win.
Q: Were there any major injuries?
A: I don’t think there was anything major but I do not have anything in front of me. As a matter of fact my meeting with the staff was a little bit later than planned because of computer issues. The doctors were available at the time I finished one meeting and then I had to get to you guys. Last night as the game was finished there wasn’t anything that I would call major. However, you never know the next day and I’ll try to find that out. If there’s something important I’ll get it to Pat.
Q: We didn’t ask you last night about Hixon and Douglas. When did those injuries pop up and how worried are you about either one?
A: I just kept Hixon out of the game because he had a little tightness in the hamstring. I thought, well we don’t know, let’s watch some of these guys and get Domenik healthy again so we don’t have to worry about that. Douglas has been doing well. We were going to use him in a couple of spots but he had some quad soreness that did not improve. The decision was made by the medical people that he would not be able to play.
Q: Have you had time to reach a conclusion, at least after one week, on Mark Herzlich?
A: Well I thought he played well and he played a lot. He had many opportunities and we’re encouraged by the way he played. He wasn’t perfect, he did some things that he’s like to have back but he is physical and he will go in there. He is smart and he can get you lined up. I would say the play time helped him. There are many of our younger players that need to play. That’s something that we have to be conscious of going forward.
Q: Tom, how would you assess David Wilson’s performance yesterday?
A: He certainly did run the ball well. He ran the kickoff return back well. He did a nice job on our punt return team of getting downfield rapidly and helping to block the first defender down the field. He didn’t perform as well as you’d like in the pass game. He should’ve got out of bounds with one of his plays there towards the end of the game. He’s young and we’ve got to eliminate the mental errors. We had some mental errors there but he certainly did show the speed and the quickness, as well as the desire to play and the excitement about playing. He was not discouraged after the game; as a matter of fact he’s looking forward to the next opportunity. I think it’s a plus, I think he’s shown us some things that we can depend on going forward.
Q: Did Perrilloux play well? Did he play better than you expected? Did he play about as well as you expected?
A: Well he made a very nice throw for a touchdown. He was the victim of poor pass protection towards the end of the game. I really did think that we were going to be able to get in position for a long field goal. Somehow or another we wasted some time. That’s the time right away when the quarterback has to be really quick and decisive because the clock’s running on you. Ryan has played better this fall and he will certainly benefit from watching this two minute drill.
Q: You said last night that you weren’t too happy with the linebackers. Can you expound on that from what you saw on tape today?
A: I don’t know if I said that. I said that we didn’t have as many linebackers available to play in the game. If I said I wasn’t happy with them, I’m not too sure what I would’ve meant by that. We had a lot of young guys that played an awful lot as soon as the starters came out of there. Rivers showed us his quickness, his abilities, his athleticism, his ability to be physical. We like that part of it. Herzlich, we like what he did. Mathias made a couple of plays. Chase got out of the game relatively early, so we did benefit in a way from some of these people playing more snaps than you would like to have them play. I think ‘disappointment’ might be a little strong of a word. Can it improve? You bet it can.
Q: It may be outside your control, but do you have any concern about the replacement referees during the regular season?
A: You’re right, it is something that’s totally outside my control, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time worrying about that. Taken that these people try and as a matter of fact when I stand on the sideline just watching them work, they’re trying as hard as they can to do the best job they can. Is it emblematic of a preseason game? Probably. There are certainly mistakes made. There’s nobody at this junction, having played one preseason game, coaches included, who haven’t made errors. I’m not going to worry too much about that. I can’t afford it. We have to get a team ready to play.
Q: Can you talk a bit about what you saw from the tight ends?
A: Bennett made a couple of plays; a nice catch on the touchdown that was well done. He showed speed down the field. I think he’ll be a guy who people have trouble covering. Bear Pascoe’s a multipurpose guy who can play a lot of spots. He played fullback last night. He played the second tight end. He played the point tight end. He played on special teams. Bennett played on special teams. The young guy, Robinson, has a ways to go, and Donnell. Those two kids are really talented, but they really haven’t played enough to say a whole lot. Purvis came in and played pretty well for 10 plays and had that particular opportunity. We did alright at that spot, but there’s a glaring need for the younger ones to play.
Q: We you impressed by D.J. Ware, or is that what you expect from him?
A: He ran hard. He ran powerful. He really did make a couple of very, very nice decisions with the ball. There were some that were so-so as well. I think he could have scored without running into trouble by just being a little wider on his touchdown run there. It wouldn’t have been as difficult. But he’s playing well for us, he’s playing hard. He’s often on special teams. He has a very good attitude. I kind of like what I see.
Q: We’ve seen flashes from Adrian Tracy, but I don’t think we’ve seen anything like how he played last night. What do you attribute that to?
A: He’s a guy, that again, we have so many of these guys: Marvin Austin, Adrian Tracy. They got to play. When Adrian played, you can see the power. You can see the things that he can do well. You can see also there are things that are happening out there; he’s not in as good of control of himself as he would like to be. The bull rush, the power rush, he’s good at that. The edge, he’s good at that. He made some nice plays in the run. He made some nice plays from behind. But I’m encouraged, and I look forward to him gaining a little more sophistication and knowledge about what we need for him to do and his recognition and reaction from what the offense is trying to do to him. It’s encouraging.
Q: I know you said you haven’t spoken to the doctors yet, but are there any plans for the PUP guys to see any action this week?
A: First, I would start with the guys who were in the game. Like I said, I haven’t had that opportunity this week. I’ll have to get that done when I hang up with you.
Q: Can you clarify the ruling at the end of the game?
A: Let’s not get too technical here. There was an explanation. I can’t tell you what it was at this time because to get another snap was all I was concerned with. At that point of the game, there was not time for a lengthy explanation. The only thing we knew is that the ball was brought back. They said something about a 10-second run off, but it didn’t take place.
Q: Is it also true that a game can’t end of a penalty, correct?
A: Depends who the penalty on.
Q: In this case, an offensive penalty?
A: Draw your own conclusions there.
Q: How would you assess Will Hill?
A: He was very aggressive. He was in on a lot of plays. He made plays when he was being used in a blitz. He made plays when he was on special teams. He did some good things from the safety position. He had a couple of spots where he was out of position and gave up plays on the run. The run at the end of the game, which was not only his fault a bunch of people were involved on that one, but that could’ve been played better. I have to be encouraged by what he did last night and let’s hope that as we go along playing against better people and seeing more opportunities, he can continue to grow.
Q: Were you disappointed with Prince Amukamara and how he played?
A: I was disappointed, obviously, that he gave up the play when he was playing outside end on man coverage and got beat to the outside. He made an outstanding play when he knocked the ball out and we were able to recover when Justin got the ball back for us. You know, he just got a taste and he’ll have to play a lot more going along. We need to put him in situations that he hasn’t been too often, and it’s the play-in-and-play-out, it’s the ability to decode what the other guy is trying to do. Have a sense and instinct about what’s coming. That only comes with more time. He’s another one that needs to play.
Q: Were you pleased with how hard the players played? Did you think there was any Super Bowl carryover?
A: I don’t think any of that existed at all. I didn’t see any of that at all. Matter of fact, the one thing that I could say, with the exception of a few spots, I thought the effort was good. I thought the guys did play hard when they were in the game. It wasn’t a great performance, but we did play hard, and we do know where we’re at, and we do know what preseason is about. There was not one spot given, nothing that I could possibly detect about them not looking at this game for what it was worth and having any illusion of where we were from last year. The bridge part is yet to come and we’re working on it, and we’ll see if we can’t make a little more progress this week.