Rivera: We didn't capitalize

Coach Rivera Postgame Press Conference vs Falcons

RE: Taylor Heinicke’s performance today

I’ll tell you he had some moments. He did some good things. A couple of valiant effort things and unfortunately down in the red zone we didn’t have anybody able to make a play. That’s probably the way I would characterize it. I thought that first drive really was well orchestrated, a really nice job and unfortunately we had some other opportunities that we didn’t capitalize.

RE: Any discussion on taking Heinicke out in second half after injury?

No, he was gutting it out. I looked at him a couple of times and he would kind of give me a nod that he was okay. So, we left him in there and he tried to do some things out there.

RE: Any indication that Heinicke could be the long term back up?

We will find out. We are going to evaluate it. There were a lot of good things that he did. It’s early to talk about that or not. But we will see how it all looks on tape.

RE: Does it make the Heinicke evaluation more difficult when he is injured?

It will make it but again at the same time he did some really good things. We have the opportunity to watch it to see what he is capable of and again, if you want to judge, you can judge him on how he moved the ball up and down between the twenties. I thought that was very well done. But again, we have to be able to make plays.

RE: How tough was today’s game on Ryan Kalil and other players like him?

It was probably really tough. I can’t speak for those guys but it was probably very tough and unfortunate too because they deserve better.

RE: How tough was today’s game on you?

It was tough. Again, you are watching an opportunity to win a football game and you give up a play opening the half. That was beyond me right there. That was unfortunate.

RE: What happened during that play?

Well they ran a play action pass and one of our safeties came out of his half. You can’t do that. You are a deep back safety. You have to hold your depth and stay deep. That was unfortunate.

RE: Did Rashaan Gaulden come in for Mike Adams because of that play?

No. We were planning on rotating Rashaan so to begin with that had nothing to do with the play.

RE: Christian McCaffrey breaking records today

The young man is a tremendous football player and we have to make sure we shore up a lot of things. There are some things that we could do most certainly on the offensive side to help him out and to help our quarterbacks out as well. We have some young wide receivers that have to continue to learn and grow as football players. Those guys are dynamic; they are playmakers but we have to continue to help them grow so they can become playmakers down the field. We have to be able to put the ball where they can go after it as well. There are some things we have to grow into and we are most certainly going to work that way.

RE: How did you feel calling plays today?

I felt pretty good about it. I thought we had some opportunities and unfortunately we missed them. Defensively we had some third downs that we should have converted. We will go back and look at it and maybe I could have made a different call but we will see. Again, I have to look at the tape before we start talking about what we can do and do better.

RE: When drafting McCaffrey did you expect the performance you have gotten from him?

We expected him to be a playmaker and make plays and that is what he has done for us. Whatever the numbers are, they are. But for the most part he is the type of guy that we thought he was. We felt he could carry a good load. We are asking a lot of him. I think going into next season, we will have to take a look at some of the things we can do to help him take a little bit of the load off of him.

RE: Bright spots this season

Well, some of the development of some of the young players. Again, the young wide receivers. These guys are getting a lot of opportunities to play, probably a little bit more than we anticipated. The young defensive backs are playing a lot. Some of the young linebackers have gotten opportunities to play. It’s about really kind of finding our footing as these guys continue to grow and I think become good players for us.

RE: What has caused the seven game losing streak after starting 6-2?

Well, it’s a mix of things. Again, we will go through an evaluation process obviously, once it is all done. That will be the biggest thing obviously is we have to take a look at being able to make plays in all three phases of football. That’s the truth of it. You look at it and we have to be able to make plays when we have opportunities.

RE: Is the team going to be prioritizing the offensive line this offseason?

We will have to see. There is a lot of things. We are going to lose obviously Ryan [Kalil] so we are going to have to take a look at our center position. We like Tyler Larsen. He has done some really good things for us. He had an opportunity to play guard today because of Trai [Turner]. For the most part, we have some guys we have to look at to see how exactly they fit in and where they are fitting in. I do feel good about who we have but again, we do have some holes to fill on both sides.

RE: Is there added pressure on you and your staff because of new ownership expectations?

There hasn’t been any added pressure. Mr. Tepper has been very good about it. He is not going along slinging anything around. He has been great. He really has. Again, the disappointment obviously is that we haven’t one. I get that. I understand. We are in the business of winning.

RE: Has it been communicated to you from ownership that you are coming back in 2019?

No. Again, guys at the end of the day I’m not going to talk for the owner. You can’t ask me questions that I don’t know the answer to. I don’t know where Ian [Rappaport] gets that. I can’t talk about whether or not he has or hasn’t. Again, the thing we all have to understand, more so than anything else, is that its his decision and Mr. Tepper has been great about everything. So again, we are going to just continue to more forward and continue to work.

RE: Will it be a big talking point with the team to win next week since it will be Ryan Kalil’s last game and potentially Julius Peppers and Thomas Davis?

Yeah, it should be. You want to send guys out on the right note. These guys are the types of guys that deserve it. They are good football players. They have had great careers here for this organization. As far as who is and who isn’t, you’ll have to ask those guys. But as far as, something like that, yeah. It’s important we do that.

RE: Do you want to have Kyle Love back next season?

Oh yeah. Again, we have some guys in place that we feel really strongly about. We have a good list of those guys. Again, we will go through the evaluation process and figure out who we think fits as the right kind of guy for us. Guys that can help as we try to get things re-established and win football games.

RE: How much are the big plays over the top going to bother you?

Very much so. That’s probably the biggest thing I’m going to have difficulty with just because we have tried to put ourselves into position to keep everything in front of us and we have been doing for the most part a pretty decent job. It’s just one or two flare ups. Today it was really disappointing most because of what the call was. I thought that was a call that was built for that type of play and unfortunately we didn’t execute it.

RE: Was the discussion between Captain Munnerlyn and Thomas Davis a result of losing streak?

It probably was a symptom of the frustration more so than anything else. It was a little bit of a debate and discussion about what happened on the field and guys were trying to get it straight. If you don’t have passionate guys, then it’s too bad. Guys are going to get heated and upset about things if they want to win. That’s why. I’d rather have guys who want to compete. At the end of the day, they made up. They are teammates. They are friends. They understand what it takes. Again, if you want guys who just sit there on the bench and be a lump then so be it. At least those guys are passionate. They want to get it straight because they want to win. I’ll take that.

RE: Did you see guys continuing to fight for the win today?

I believe so. I’ll watch the tape and make a determination on that.

RE: Reasoning for lack of production in red zone

There is. There are things that we are working on. As I said, once we get through with everything, we will have the opportunity to analyze, talk about it, discuss it and get the correction going. We are trying to correct it right now. We are trying to do things that we can to put the ball in the end zone. Unfortunately, we haven’t.

RE: Do you have confidence in Kyle Allen in going into last game of season?

I was happy with what we saw from Kyle. You could see a little bit of the rookieness in him. One thing he doesn’t have to do is he doesn’t have to walk to the sidelines to get the signals from the coaches because he has the headset on so he could stay closer to the huddle. They would give him the play call and he would have to walk all the way to the huddle and it would take about four or five seconds. A little bit of things to learn but I thought Kyle handled his situation well.

RE: Plans to get a look at Cameron Artis-Payne in next week’s game?

I think it will be an opportunity to look at a few other guys as well. We will see as we are going forward. For the most part we do want to play to win. That’s pretty much it.

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