Q: After showing so much progress the past two weeks, what happened out there today?
Nolan: What we showed we could do last week and what we showed today were just complete opposites. You have to continue to play well, and you have to stay focused and you can't get ahead of yourself. I don't believe we necessarily got ahead of ourselves, but something – and I'm not exactly sure what it was – but led us not to play very well today. As poorly as we did play, it was surprising for it to be an 11-point game with five minutes to go and we had a chance. Because we didn't do a whole lot of good things – offense, defense or special teams.
Q: What was the problem in trying to stop a New Orleans passing offense that repeatedly beat you down the field?
Nolan: That was disappointing, especially the fact we were there and we don't make the play. I don't know how many guys we had deep on the flea flicker, and we don't make the play. Some of the other ones, they got on us, we busted some coverages, we didn't use the right technique, and then we put somebody deep on the safety without somebody assisting them short, they got behind us. Our secondary, which has typically been a strength for us, did not have one of their better days. There's no question about that. And neither did our offensive line.
Q: Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan took a lot of hits out there and made some crucial turnovers. Is he the kind of guy who can bounce back from a game like this?
Nolan: Oh, I think he is. As long as he doesn't get bumps and bruises in critical spots on his body. I think we're OK on the injury report on him, but he took some hits. All those sacks and hits are shared among different people. Sometimes it's the quarterback or the receiver, but obviously it starts with the line. The have to do a better job. Naturally, nobody likes to see the quarterback get touched.
Q: How much of that had to do with the offensive line and how much with just general breakdowns, since you allowed six more sacks?
Nolan: I'm not sure specifically who was responsible for them until I look at the film. But, as I told the team, we all share this loss, coaches and players alike. The way we played in every phase, nobody gets a free pass on this one, and says, ‘Well, I did mine.' That's not going to happen.
Q: Tight end Vernon Davis did a lot of blocking today, then was seen screaming at the sideline after making his only catch of the day. Did he get benched after that?
Nolan: As is the case, everyone is emotional down there, especially when you're losing. He made a big play, and his adrenaline's flowing. He got a little excited, yes he did, and I told him to go sit down until he cooled off. But obviously, there wasn't a whole lot of offensive plays left in the game at that point anyway. So he didn't come back in. I think his emotions got the better of him, and rightfully so. The only time guys do get emotional is when something's important to them, so it's a lot better than somebody just sitting back and thinking, ‘Well, shoot, I'm good not playing.' It's important to him.
He said it: Mike Nolan after loss to Saints
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