Initial Comments ...
“Obviously, we didn’t start the football game off well enough. We let them go down and score the first drive like that. We had some things going on offense, and we don’t finish it off. And then again, we end up getting the ball back again and scoring, and then unfortunately we have the turnover. That’s about all I remember at this point here. We’ve got to settle down and just do our jobs. That’s disappointing, no question about it. Just settle down and do our jobs. The plays are there, everyone’s just got to make them. Defensively, we’ve just got to settle down and execute and do our jobs. We’re really struggling with that.”
Why do you think the team is struggling to do that and making mental errors?
“We’re just pressing to make plays instead of just relaxing and (doing) your job. We relaxed more and did a better job of that defensively in the second half, and things are going to come to you. They went four wide receivers and we were a little off balance there for a bit — then we fixed it, and we’re good. We’ve got to just understand that things are going to happen in the game that are going to be a little different. We’ve got to make the adjustment and then play to it.”
What about the mental errors, like the false starts on the last few drives?
“Again, I can’t tell you what happened in that area. The communication — whether it was the center or whether it was the line, I don’t know. I can’t help you with that. That’s the point. It was huge. Billy’s (Price) got to wait for the signal — we’ve got to get it from the quarterback — and we’ve all got to be on the same page, no question. We can’t have (those mistakes) in the critical moments. Those are the things that we did very well to open the season. We didn’t have those things, and today we had too many.”
Did you have an issue with effort from the team in the first half?
“No. I did not have any issue with that.”
Is there any concern that Andy Dalton’s injury is serious, and might cause him to miss the rest of the season?
“On first look and everything, it’s not. But they’re going to do some further tests.”
Did he have an MRI during the game?
“He’s had some scans. But again, they’re going to continue to look.”
Why do you think you’ve had to come in here week after week and say the same thing about what went wrong?
“It’s three weeks in a row. It’s unfortunate, so that’s the bad thing.”
Is the slow start a preparation issue, or a discipline issue?
“I think I said it about three or four times over — it’s not. Our guys just need to relax and do their jobs. Just execute your assignment.”
The season’s not over. Are there any adjustments that you can make, and are they more difficult to make at this point of the season than they are earlier?
“We’ve got to bear down. We’ve just got to bear down and relax. We don’t have to press. We’ve just got to bear down and relax and get it done. I’ve got to do my job. I’ve got to do a better job. I’ve got to prepare them better. They’ve got to go out, and they’ve got to execute their jobs better. Okay? It rests squarely on me.”
Did Billy Price say anything about what happened on the snap that got away?
“No. I haven’t talked to Billy.”
Was that pretty much when the game got out of hand?
“Well, we don’t want to give up the score there right at the start of the third quarter.”
Is it possible to get a team to stop pressing and relax when they realize the season is basically on the line?
“We’ve got to right the ship. We will.”
You said they came out with four wide receivers ...
“Four wide receivers in the first half, and the defense had adjust to it. We talk about it on the sideline, and then just execute. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wide receiver, back or tight end, we’ve just got to execute things.”
If the team can’t relax at home against an opponent it has been traditionally pretty good against, when might it relax?
“I don’t know that the opponent matters. You’ve just got to do your job. Whether you’re on the road, whether you’re at home, they’re playing football. It’s just the execution of football time and time again.”
Does something like that fall on the team leaders and captains?
“It falls on everyone. This is not the time for them or anybody to point fingers at this or that. It’s time to self-correct and get it done correctly.”