New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins - Mercedes-Benz Superdome - Monday, Oct. 8 - Redskins Head Coach
On Josh Norman not playing in the first series of the third quarter tonight:
"That was my call there for the first series. He finished the game and played a lot better in the (rest of the) second half."
On explaining the loss today after the team had an extra week to prepare:
"We got behind early. We have not been a very good team when we get behind, for whatever reason. We weren't able to make any plays to get ourselves back in the game. We had three penalties on defense on third down that kept drives alive. When we give Drew Brees extra snaps, he is going to make you pay. Offensively, we didn't protect very well. We didn't have open receivers. We didn't call very good plays. It was just a total team debauchery. I am the one in charge of it. I take responsibility for it."
On the early penalties changing the game in favor of the Saints:
"They're huge. You can't put a finger on how important they are. Imagine if we had three third downs and they (the Saints) had the penalties. I guess they never had penalties. It's critical in the game of football. I mentioned many times how important third down is when you have a chance to get off the field, you've got to take advantage of it. We didn't do that."
On the poor performance of the entire team and staff:
"I'm not up here to point at anybody and say that they played poorly. Overall, I think that our whole team played poorly. I think that's a reflection of myself. I think that everybody in that locker room, hopefully, will say that they have to play better. I absolutely understand that coaches on this staff have to coach better. That is one way that we can look at it. Looking forward, we have Carolina coming in. We are 2-2. There is a bright outlook. We are still right there. And we will continue to be. We have to get some things fixed."
On if the Saints did anything defensively that surprised the team:
"I have to check the tape. I don't know if they were blitzing a lot. It didn't look like they were blitzing. I think that we just couldn't handle the four-man rush. They blitzed back a couple of times. I don't think that they did anything that we weren't prepared for."
On needing to get the ball to Jordan Reed more:
"Coverages dictate where the ball went. We tried to get Jordan free a few times. Sometimes we had pressure. We couldn't get him the ball. It was a number of things. We lined him up outside; the coverage dictated that we go somewhere else. We've got to do a better job of getting him involved to get him out on the field. He is one of our biggest playmakers, so we've got to make sure that we get him more involved."
On giving credit to the Saints:
"Got to give credit to the Saints, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, (Mark) Ingram coming back (and) played well. The offensive line protected Drew very well. First of all, they (Saints) deserve a lot of credit. Also, we had a little hand in it. We gave them too many freebies,
QB Alex Smith
On his analysis of the game?:
"Hats off to them, obviously they came out and were rolling from the get go and continued with that all night. And certainly, offensively, couldn't get started early and found ourselves in a hole and were one-dimensional and still couldn't get much done."
On Jay Gruden saying he has to call better plays:
"I appreciate him saying that. Certainly there were a bunch of plays out there that we should have made some plays. Myself included. We've just got to just learn from this game and get better and move forward. It's a short week. We have to take this for what it is, get better, yet at the same time move forward. Each week is a completely different challenge based on the personnel and matchups and structure you're going to see. Sometimes there's arrows and sometimes there's not. Like I said, we've got to continue to improve from this. We've got the tape. As bad as it is, as much as it hurts, you have to try and improve off of it and try to move forward."
On the pressure New Orleans brought:
"I think that's one of those things that the way the game plan lends itself to that. We didn't have much success early. All of a sudden, it becomes a pass only situation. So it becomes worse, and it's one of those things where if you have success early, you keep the game balanced. You can handle it better. I think certainly we didn't help that offensively."
CB Josh Norman
On if he wants to elaborate why he didn't start the second half:
"Not really, It's pretty much whatever coach said. I don't think I have anything else on that, you know. If that's what coach said, I just want to go with that."
On if he feels like he was made a scapegoat for the team's play in the first half:
"Nah, I mean it was just a play that happened, and you know, it was just one of those plays. The defense as a group, we have to look at that and see what we did wrong. Everything we keep in house. I don't think anything I've got to say that's going to be a type of derogatory comment or anything that I think that's wrong. I don't have anything else to say on it. That's something that he chose to do. He felt, that in his heart, that's his decision and that kind of how we've got to roll with it. "
On his thoughts on Drew Brees and what he said to him after the game:
"Yes, I did spend some time with him, because he's been doing this for years. And that guy is a tough, tough competitor. He really is. It's great that he has come back in and out each week, to see what he is able to do. Like I said earlier, in a week man, he'd throw it 5,000 yards just like he's sleeping. And it's crazy to see that and actually be able to play a legend like that. I played so many great quarterbacks and he is at the top of them all right now. Leading in passing and completions and that's something to be said. As soon as he came in to the league with the Chargers and now with the Saints, he has (had) a historical career. I just want to congratulate him. That's their moment right there, and you want to cherish those moments. I told him to pretty much keep going strong and he's not done yet."
DT Daron Payne
On What wasn't working:
"I really can't say, I've got to watch film and see. I know we could've played harder as a whole and we've got some stuff to improve on going in to next week."
On being more consistent as a team:
"Just go out there and work hard. Have everybody focus on what they need to focus on. Execute their job and not worry about everything else."
On what it's like to lose a game like this after having not lost one at Alabama like this:
"It isn't a good feeling at all. So hopefully next week we get better."
On how the third down penalties killed momentum:
"We definitely need to get that out of our game. We can't do anything with plays like that. We have to get off the field."
On some of the penalties and the rush-related ones and how they can stop them:
"Yes, but we've got some stuff to improve on. So we will look at the film next week and get better."
DB Quinton Dunbar
On the emotional reaction of today:
"Obviously nobody showed up today, nobody. Cornerbacks, safeties for sure we didn't show up. We've got to get better."
On if he took it personally that Drew Brees set the passing yardage record against your group:
"Not really. Coming in to this game, I wasn't really focused on what Drew Brees had, or the yards he needed to get for the record. I was just focused on the defense getting prepared to stop him."
On the season for the team being a rollercoaster:
"It's definitely been up and down. We've just got to find some consistency. We, in all groups. Offense, defense, special teams, (we) can't keep going up and down.
On the third down penalties:
"I'm out there playing. I'm not a ref. I definitely felt like some of those calls were bad calls."
On accountability for avoiding penalties as a defense:
"Players play, the refs ref. We only control what we can control. It gets frustrating when we continuously get calls (against us). You can control only what you control. That wasn't the reason why we lost. We obviously didn't show up."