Coach Wilks - 'We Needed A Spark'

Head coach Steve Wilks meets the media after the tough loss to the Bears on Sunday 16-14.

Opening statement:

“Started out pretty fast tonight. You know, was able to move the ball, put some points on the board. Third down early was good, we were able to convert, came up with a big play with Christian (Kirk). Same thing on the defensive side of the ball. We were able to get off the field, coming up with some big plays. The biggest thing is we have to learn how to finish. Penalties were an issue tonight, sort of hurt us at certain times, sustaining the drive for them. We’ve got to find a way to come up with making plays, getting an opportunity right there to have an interception in the red zone, we’ve got to come up with that particular play. Great job, at times, stopping and holding these guys to field goals. Again, we’ve got to come up with the plays when necessary to win the game.”

On replacing QB Sam Bradford with QB Josh Rosen:

“I felt like we needed a spark. We got off to an early start, 14 points, got a little stagnant there and wanted to try to spark the team. That’s the reason why I made that decision.”

On how Rosen played:

“I thought he looked pretty good. Inconsistent in the end. We’ve got to do a good job, forced protection, giving him time. But under the circumstances right there, being thrown into the game at that time, I thought he did well.”

On if Rosen will be the starter moving forward:

“We’re going to evaluate Josh as well as Sam. We’re going to watch the tape and we’ll see exactly what I want to do as far as moving forward with that.”

On RB Chase Edmonds getting the ball on third and two:

“We have total confidence, number one, in Chase as well as David (Johnson). We thought the call right there was good. I don’t think it really was who was in the game, I think it was penetration up front. Got to do a better job blocking for us in that situation.”

On RB David Johnson not being in on third and two:

“As I just stated, right there, we felt very confident in Chase and the call that we had, alright? We felt like he could get the yardage that we needed. We didn’t do our job up front, it was leakage up front, we’ve got to do a better job up front blocking.”

On the change on offense from the first quarter and the rest of the game:

“Stopped making plays, very simple. We’ve got to be able to come off the ball, create a new line of scrimmage and, number one, we’ve got to protect, give the quarterback time. We’ve got to make plays when given the opportunity.”

On holding back Bears’ OLB Khalil Mack:

“For the most part I thought we did a good job with the plan that we had coming into the game, trying to neutralize him a little bit. Dynamic players, we know, can take over the game at any time, so I thought we did a good job in slowing him down.”

On if he had any hesitations putting Rosen in the game late:

“No, no, just his character, his demeanor, things that I know about him, he can handle the situation. Again, I felt like we needed a spark and what’s the right time to throw a rookie in there? So, I had total confidence in him in that moment and that’s the reason why I put him in the game.”

On if he scaled back the playbook in this game:

“We did certain things that we wanted to do to try and move the offense around a bit and get in a position to be successful. Early on, we did that. We just have to sustain drives, make sure we convert on third down and we have to do a much better job of protecting and coming off the ball up front.”

On not getting points at the end of the first half after getting a turnover:

“You can see right now based off how the game ended it was extremely important. We have to convert in those situations and find ways to at least get three. Moving forward, we are at a situation right now where we are 0-3 and we have to do a good job circling the wagons, staying confident in what we are doing. Believing in the system, believing in one another and finding a way to win one football game.”

On if this was more of the defense he envisioned:

“The way we played early on, yes. We hurt ourselves with the penalties and foolish things like that. Not being able to get off the field, not being able to take advantage of getting our hands on the ball in the red zone, having an opportunity to intercept. I think the biggest thing is one word, we have to finish, in all three phases.”

On what he weighs in making quarterback decisions:

“It’s a lot that goes into it and it’s too much to go into right now. You have to look at every situation. How we are playing up front, how are we doing, all of that just from a stand point of execution and trying to get the guys in the right position to be successful across the board. I’m going to look at everything to make sure I make the right decision for this team.”

On if he has a sense of where the players are mentally:

“Right now I think we are still together. I think guys believe and they understand that we are close. You can see it from how we played tonight. We just have to find a way to come up and win one football game. We have to take it one practice at a time and once we get in the game we have to take it one play at a time.”

On if something happened to CB Jamar Taylor:

“Again, just felt like we needed a spark at that position, so we made the change.”

On Johnson not getting to the second level:

“A couple of times you saw that. I thought we were doing some good things early. I think consistency is key. We have to continue to sustain our blocks and allow him to get to the second level. You saw once he got out in space a couple of times what he is able to do for us, making guys miss. And that’s what we envision with David.”

On if the Bears did anything special to limit WR Larry Fitzgerald:

“Not at all.”

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