Pregame photos from Week 4 in London.
2017 NFL London Games Media Conferences: Saints vs Dolphins
Sunday, 1 October 2017
Wembley Stadium, London
Head Coach Adam Gase
New Orleans Saints - 20, Miami Dolphins - 0
COACH GASE: That's what we're going to have to figure out. Just seems like we're having just too many, every time we get something fixed, something else pops up. So gotta kind of figure out what's going on. We gotta do it quick.
Q. How do you shake this offense out of what they are in?
COACH GASE: We're just going to have to watch this and kind of put these three games together and figure out where our issues are coming from. We're trying to figure out, just talking after the game, we're all just trying to figure out is it one thing that we're kind of slowing us up or is it multiple guys? Is it play calls? Is it the scheme?
You know, we're going to have to really kind of look back at these first three games and kind of see what's going on. We're at a point right now where three games in we felt like we would have had some better results. They did a good job with what they were doing against us, certainly, outside zone is kind of what they were doing. I just know we're better than what we've done the last two games.
Q. It is just one thing or multiple issues?
COACH GASE: That's what we need to take a look at. That's what I'm saying, I wish I could say it's just this, and that's why -- we've got to figure this out quick. I know there's too many good players there. And for us to kind of put the performances we put up the last two weeks is -- we've gotta get it cleaned up.
Q. Your thoughts on the first drive?
COACH GASE: The quarterback had to run 60 yards, 30 to me and 30 back. First call I had.
Q. When you're looking at so many different breakdowns, are you thinking a more widespread reconstruction?
COACH GASE: I have no idea. I have nine hours to think about it.
Q. Talk about only putting up six points in two games
COACH GASE: Everybody wants to point at the quarterback all the time. I heard that last time I got here, and Ryan is not here to blame this time.
Q. Were there any communication issues on the sideline?
COACH GASE: Yeah, we had communications before this. We had, like, a makeshift wristband, and he was running over to me to get the play call.
Q. (Have you been around an offense in this situation in your career?
COACH GASE: No.
Q. Was travel an issue for you and the team?
COACH GASE: Haven't moved for me. I haven't heard anybody say anything about fatigue or anything like that. I thought our defense doesn't seem to have a problem. I feel like they're playing well. It's just, we're not coming off on our end of the stick on offense. It's not clicking right now.
Q. Running game-wise, is the offensive line a concern for you now?
COACH GASE: I can't say it's just one thing right now. And whether or not we're too predictable or we're giving something away or we're getting beat, like, that's what we've got to figure out.
Q. Is Jay Ajayi ok?
COACH GASE: He's fine. We are not going to -- the position we're in right there, I just don't need him taking any more hits.
Q. Did the pressure of playing in London get to him?
COACH GASE: He wanted to perform well. That's the kind of passion you want from players. And things weren't going the way we wanted them to. And I think he's in the same boat. A lot of guys on offense are trying to figure out what's going on. Why are we struggling? So sometimes you get towards that part of the game it's just frustration, you get angry.
Q. Still have a shot early in the fourth quarter. There's a big fumble, Ja'Wuan recovered. Immediately after that delay of game, why did that happen?
COACH GASE: Nick thought he got it off. He said he had a second left.
Q. What happened in the huddle?
COACH GASE: I don't know, I wasn't in the huddle.
Q. Three games into the season, how do you stress to them it's not time to panic? Or is it time to panic?
COACH GASE: It's not time to panic. We've been in way worse than this. We just want to get -- we want to figure out what's going on and then fix the problem. That's really the only thing we're concerned about. 1-4, that was close.
Q. Are there similarities?
COACH GASE: No, last year we had different issues. This year it's just kind of, we've got the guys here, just gotta figure out what's going on. Why are we stumbling?
Q. Last year, they didn't know the system. This year, they do and it's still going wrong?
COACH GASE: But I don't see it as like we're busting all over the place. We're just not making the plays when we get the opportunity to make them. We're not always getting our guys covered up to give Jay a little bit of a crease.
We're no protecting the quarterback consistently all the time. And then it's just a different guy every time. And it's not necessarily a mental bust or anything. It's just sometimes I have to call the right play at the right time and sometimes you've got to make a play. And sometimes you've got to make a throw. Sometimes you've got to make a guy miss.
We're not doing that consistently enough to where we can kind of get some momentum going.
Q. How frustrating is it, the offense, first drive, you're moving down the field, you have penalties. Seemed like you got penalties offensively in the first half (inaudible)?
JAY CUTLER: Yeah, the penalties didn't really slow down throughout the game. That was one constant for us. First drive was clean. Like you said, overcome some penalties. We didn't have a headset, so we're working off the sidelines. That was something different.
Listen to Adam speaking in here and it's frustrating. I think we're all, on offense a little humbled, a little embarrassed. Two games like that. And we feel like we're better. There's a lot of individual talent on that side of the ball, but offensive football is tough.
We've got to figure out how to work as a unit and as a team. And I think you can ask a lot of people in the NFL there's no real magic bullet for that. There's no magic recipe, but the clock's ticking and we have to figure it out.
Q. Is it just about getting together and watching the tape, regrouping, trying to find it, or are you seeing similar things that happened last week happen again this week?
JAY CUTLER: You know, it's just one thing after another. If it's not a penalty, it's a bust. If I'm not getting the ball out on time, we're not ready on the outside. I think it's just one thing after another. And third-and-long in this league is hard enough. Getting 15 is about impossible especially when you have multiple of those throughout the game.
Like I said, it's hard on offensive football. We've got to figure it out. I don't know the answer. There's a lot of guys in there searching for the answer.
So it's important to them. It's important to me. Which I think is a good thing. So these guys are going to bust their tail, and we'll watch it on the way home and we'll go back to work.
Q. When you look around the locker room, do you feel you have the talent to be better than you are?
JAY CUTLER: Yeah, we've got all kinds of individual talent. But individual talent doesn't really mean a whole lot on offense if you're not working together. You've got 11 guys, a common goal doing exactly what you need to do. It's orchestrated chaos out there, and we're trying to figure out how to do a better job.
Q. How do you assess your throwing accuracy?
JAY CUTLER: There's a lot that goes into that.
Q. Do you think it is disruptive coming to London?
JAY CUTLER: Do I think it's disruptive? Yeah, I do. It's not the -- not the best circumstance for us. But we go to LA. We go to New York. It's a life. It is what it is.
Q. How do you get to the point where you're not panicking on offense?
JAY CUTLER: I don't think we're panicking now. I'm sure there's some people in this room that are panicking, but we're not panicking. We've played three games, two have been poor, one has been okay offensively.
I don't think there's any panic. If anything there's some frustration and there's a will to go back to work and try to figure out what's wrong and how we can remedy it.
Q. Given that you're relatively new to this group, you sense that there's a lot of trust in you, even when things don't go well (inaudible)?
JAY CUTLER: (Inaudible).
Q. 74 plays, pretty similar to last week, I know it's a team game, is it tough to keep going like that when your offense is struggling the way this offense is?
NDAMUKONG SUH: It's on us to get off the field. We've got to find ways to get off the field, get three-and-outs, get them more opportunities at the end of the day. So that's our own fault, and we let them drive the ball too much on us at particular positions.
Q. One of the things you guys talk about is defensive takeaways. You've had one takeaway in the three games. Is that something you guys talk about, is that something that is discouraging?
NDAMUKONG SUH: It's definitely a point of emphasis. We've obviously struggled in that certain area. It helped us in the past. We've got to find a way to get back there. We definitely had opportunities. I had an opportunity on one particular screen. There was one late in the second quarter, I don't know if it was a fumble or what, but we had an opportunity to get some there. It's an opportunity we have to capitalize on.
Q. As a defensive player, can you lift the offense?
NDAMUKONG SUH: No, I think that's definitely possible. I think we do it, but I think the best way to do it is give them more opportunities with the ball. We've got to get off the football field, plain and simple.
We've been on the football field way too long, we've allowed them to score points. So especially when we can hold them to field goals in certain situations, or really get off the field. Because I think it was especially the second to last drive of the game, drive down the field and score points.
Q. You're 1-2 now. You were 1-4 last year. If you can draw on last year, how was it that the team didn't splinter and get worse?
NDAMUKONG SUH: I think it's as simple as this: We understand what we have as a group. And obviously we're not playing our best football in any offense, defense or special teams, we're not playing our best football at all.
At the end of the day, we've got to just find a way to get it clicking, get our offense the ball, prepare our defense, and special teams make plays like we have in the past. And then go from there. We make turnovers. We can score on defense ourselves, and we've done it before. And, like I said, we've got to get the ball and capitalize on the opportunities.
Q. Any sense that your schedule going forward will get easier?
NDAMUKONG SUH: I don't think it's easy at all in the NFL. I think at the end of the day we're going against elite players. And, yes, we'll be at home the next week. And we'll be, particularly, on the East Coast, even though Kansas City is in the middle of the country.
But, like I said, we've got to go out there, compete as well as make plays on defense and go from there.
Q. What did you say to Thierry Henry before the game?
NDAMUKONG SUH: Just said hello. Good friend, met him in 2011, and just wanted to catch up quickly before the game.
Q. How disruptive to your routine is it to be playing a game like this?
NDAMUKONG SUH: I wouldn't say it's disruptive. This is my third time over here. So I'm used to it. I know how to get prepared for the games. And there's really no excuses on my part or really anybody's part. I think everybody on this team has been over here before.
Q. What was the key to keeping the offense under control?
RESHAD JONES: Lose a guy (phonetic) out there today. We had a good game plan coming in. And we followed the game plan, I guess.
Q. What are your thoughts on turning this around?
RESHAD JONES: We'll definitely turn it around, man. I don't think it's the time to hit the panic button right now. Just gotta find a way. We've got to finish. It's a game of inches, and that's what it comes down to.
We got a couple of close calls at the end, like the measurement, the fourth down play, the first down, couple of close calls. We've just got to find a way to finish.
Q. Did you think that was a first down?
RESHAD JONES: I can't be a player and a referee. The referee said it wasn't a first down.
Q. Takeaways, something I know you guys have been working on. How do you get to that point where you keep working on them when they keep getting away?
RESHAD JONES: Gotta keep working at it throughout the week, during practice. I think that's when you work those kind of things as far as takeaways and turnovers, or fumble, fumble recovery. We've just got to keep working.
Q. Do you think the defense is doing enough to win games?
RESHAD JONES: No, we're moving. So I think we've gotta do more on our side of the ball also. All three phases of the game, really. But definitely defense, we have to step it up, too. When the offense is not doing good, I think we have to raise our play. When we're not doing good, I think the offense has to raise their play also.
Q. You guys turned around last season, 1-4 now you're 1-2. Do you draw on that now?
RESHAD JONES: Definitely. Like I said, we've got resilient guys in this locker room. We've got a great coaching staff. We've got a great leader in Coach Adam Gase.
I think he'll find a way to get this offense going and this whole team. So, like I said, I don't think it's time to hit the panic button right now. We'll find a way to bounce back.
Q. How frustrating was the game for you?
JAY AJAYI: Didn't put any points on the board. Frustrating.
Q. Seems like over the last two weeks, by the time you got the ball, there was somebody in your way, had to make things happen. Had the hole not been there for you, that you had a chance to see on a pretty consistent basis last year?
JAY AJAYI: I just know that we have a standard of running the ball. We know how it's supposed to look when we're playing up to that standard. And for the past couple of weeks we haven't been doing that. And so whatever we need to do to get back to that standard of what we believe we can do on the ground, we need to get there.
Q. How frustrated are the guys in that offensive room right now -- how frustrating is it for you?
JAY AJAYI: I think everyone's frustrated. Two games, really -- I mean, to put it, three games. And even in Los Angeles, we didn't, like, score in the red zone. We're not putting points up. It's frustrating.
It doesn't make sense, because we have the talent. So we have to figure out ways to put points on the board. Our defense is playing well and they're keeping them not scoring, and we're not helping them out.
And I know that sucks for the D, because we're supposed to play together as a team. And we're not helping them out.
And on offense we need to have some pride in ourselves, have some respect for ourselves, put points on the board. We're not doing it. We need to get back to what we know how to do.
Q. You looked upset on the sidelines.
JAY AJAYI: From the part of us not scoring, obviously I'm frustrated. Unless you're talking about a certain incident, maybe on the Saints sideline, where I got hit, or out and got hit when the play wasn't even around. Other than that, just frustrated at the game, period.
Q. Does it hurt more that it was a special game and you were coming home?
JAY AJAYI: Definitely. I mean, I would have loved to have a great game for my family, have a great game to be able to come back here. Even all of that being said, this is our next game. This is our next opportunity to get a win.
Whether it was here in London, Miami. We lost last week. We needed to bounce back this week. And we didn't. And that's frustrating. And we didn't score any points. So that sucks even more.
Q. Will it be good to get back home and back to a conventional routine?
JAY AJAYI: Regardless of whatever the routine has been, we shouldn't -- it shouldn't have mattered that we should have zero points on the board.
Wherever we're playing, whoever we're playing, we still need to put points on the board. It's going to be good to get back to Miami and get a home game in. But what happens if we go to Miami and don't score points? So we need to do whatever it takes to do our job on offense.
Q. No rest in this league. You've got Tennessee next week. A very good football team. Is there some way you guys can go from where you are today to be a better offense next week when you need to put points on the board against another very good football team?
JAY AJAYI: Sure.
Q. Can you do that in that week's time?
JAY AJAYI: We figure it out. We look at the film. We figure out what is inhibiting us from doing what we need to do. And we figure out what those issues are and we fix them.
Like you said, we're playing against a good Tennessee team. But even last year we were 1-4 going into a couple of weeks. And we figured it out. We finally got it to click.
Whatever we need to do during this week to get our offense to get going, that's what we need to figure out. And we need to get that done on Sunday.
Q. Is everything ok with your knee?
JAY AJAYI: Coach's decision.
Q. Can you give us thoughts on this trip as a whole?
JAY AJAYI: I mean, yeah, it was a good trip, got to see my family and all that stuff. This was the main objective of the trip, this was all that mattered for the trip, was this game on Sunday.
Regardless of anything else I did these past couple of days, this was the primary objective. Get a win today. We didn't get that done.
Q. Is there a little feeling of helplessness that the things that you know need to be fixed from last week aren't necessarily fixed?
JAY AJAYI: we need to figure it out. Someone has to make a play. Number gets called on at any given time, we need to make the play. We need those moment of truth blocks where you just need to hold on just a second longer so we can spring to the second level.
Or if it's a guy that needs to get off of a defender and make that big play, or if I need to do better and make sure I get the first down when it's a third and one, whatever it is, however the play is blocked up, I need to get the first down, keep our drives running.
Everyone needs to be held accountable on our offense, because we're not doing what we need to do. It's very frustrating because we're very talented. We have the skills but we're not putting it up there. So we need to figure that out.
Q. Cam, trying to evaluate this before looking at tape, how does this team turn things around?
CAMERON WAKE: There's only one solution that I know of: That's hard work, perseverance and dedication. You gotta be honest with yourself, be honest with the men around you, take a good, long look at what's going on. Film doesn't lie.
So all three phases, you gotta do that. And be a man about what's going on and address it, fix it.
Q. Is there a situation with your offense struggling out there, I would imagine your mindset going, saying we've got to pitch a shutout, we've got to pitch a shutout, that's what's going to take to win.
CAMERON WAKE: Obviously it's the Miami Dolphins, not offense/defense. We've got to make sure they score less points than we've been giving up.
And at the end of the day, whoever has more points wins. So if we've got to keep them to zero, we've got to keep them to zero. And that's just the way it is.
If the offense isn't having a great day, we have to turn it up on defense. If things are switched, they go and score 40, we've got to score 40. That's just the way it is. We have each other's backs and that's the way it's going to be.
Q. How do you keep them uplifted when they've been struggling so much in the past?
CAMERON WAKE: I think it's been times where we've had games where they've done the same for us and gotta go out and say, listen, get me one play, get the ball rolling, get me a spark somewhere, whoever it may be. If that's what it takes, that's what it takes. And so I'm not panicking.
Urgency is there, of course, but we have good players. We have hard, tough, mentally strong individuals on that side of the ball as well. And I think those guys know what's going on and what's needed.
And I wouldn't expect that all of us as a group wouldn't be able to attack the problem and fix it.
Q. What did Alvin Kamara do to allow him to be so effective?
CAMERON WAKE: I don't know if it was anything that he was able to do. I think on defense, we've got to play more consistent. I think they say more games are lost than won. Some things that we might have done to ourselves that allowed certain players to have certain plays, but I wouldn't say it was anything spectacular.
Q. Is there any sense that it's easier now that you have a more conventional schedule going forward?
CAMERON WAKE: Anywhere, anytime, that's the mentality. Put the ball down. Play. London, the moon, LA, New York, doesn't matter. That's the mindset we have. So the situation doesn't matter. Time doesn't matter, the time zone, country. Put the ball down.
Q. Is this disruptive to you at all, your routine and preparation, traveling to get here?
CAMERON WAKE: No, just another day. Another day at the office. I put the ball down anywhere. We can do it right now. Doesn't matter to me.
If you were allowing that to affect your game, you've already lost. So for me, and I think I speak for most of the guys, it's just another day at work.
Q. Is there still great trust in the locker room?
CAMERON WAKE: I believe so. I hate to bring up old stuff, but last year, it was situations where people wrote us off, panicked. It was: The sky's falling, oh, no. And obviously things went differently, because the group of guys we had. The guys who believe in one another and continue to work and continue to work. And make sure at the end of the day you get your job done.
So I don't think this situation is any more different. A lot of guys are the same guys who we've been counting on from years ago. And we've been in tough spots and we fought our way out. I wouldn't expect anything different this year.