I'm really disappointed in the way we're playing. From my standpoint there are a lot of things I feel, and I just can't put my finger on it. We've got a different set of circumstances.
I'm getting a little paranoid with what we need to focus on during the week. It seems the things we focus on blow up on us during the game. Our guys came out, and they were ready. We came out in the first half and we were accomplishing what we wanted. I wasn't pleased with our kickoff and special teams coverage units. Other than that, I felt we were doing things well.
In the second half, we seemed not to do anything right. We put our defense in bad field position with sloppy play on our coverage units. Not that the defense played an outstanding game because we could play much better. Offensively, we came out just the way I wanted. We were running the football effectively. We were controlling the ball. We moved the football, driving in the red area. I felt we had to control the whole game, but after halftime we just didn't do that and didn't play well.
We didn't come out with any serious injuries. We got a few nicks that are normal. The big question mark is Joe Jurevicius. I don't know if he will be ready this week. He'll be questionable. Damon Washington will probably remain questionable even though now he has a little better chance of playing next week.
What is the biggest difference from last year to this year?
I look at us right now and I don't fault the effort. I haven't all year. It's the same thing I've said, it's not the best team that wins, it's the team that plays the best. I said that to them. I talked to Dave Campo before the game and we were talking about it. There are a couple of teams in this league every year with their talent that they can play any way they want and still win. There are 2 or 3 teams that can play any way and can't win. Outside of that, we are all pretty much in the same boat. That's why you see teams up and down.
What do I need to do to get that energy and swagger back in us? Sometimes it takes winning. You fight to win and lay out things to win. You have to go back and keep sawing wood. It's just such a small thing. From last year, we have the same players and staff. Last year we would make the plays, win and move on. This year we're getting defeated. It's hard to turn it around and go the other way.
How do you approach the last four games?
I told them this morning that I stand by what I started the season with, we want to improve. We've got room to improve. I don't want anyone's attitude to change. I told the team that our coaching staff was going to work as hard to win every one of these last games and do everything they can. That should be my players' attitude. I'm not concerned about someone backing off and saying what's our chances. It's still the same thing. We have Arizona this week, and we've got to win.
Do you start thinking about next season over these last four games?
I'm always thinking of next year. I started thinking about next season at the start of the season. That's my job, to be ahead a little bit. However, I don' t think in the middle of the season, especially if you lose and things aren't going well, that you start evaluating. My focus right now is Arizona. I'm not focused on next year or 3 games from now or what's going to happen at the end of this season with changes. That's not my focus. I make mental notes and keep them there. It's too distracting. I'm focused on Arizona.
Re: players, especially veterans, thinking they may fall victim to a youth movement.
I'm sure they do. That's players and their thoughts. I'll be making those decisions, and I'm not going to go through that right now. I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm evaluating everything on a week-by-week basis.
Re: Kerry Collins' theory that the tough losses to St. Louis and Philadelphia may have taken something out of this team.
Some things can effect you, there is no doubt about it. If you try to search and come up with ideas, which I do. If this was an exact science that we are dealing with, I could put my finger on it, but I can't. I don't know if those losses were apart of an erosion of confidence. Or a signal. We competed real well all the way through, and since that time, we've slid a little more. Maybe that was a part of it.
Players say there is more talent here than at any time in the past. Does that make this season that much more frustrating?
Yeah, it's very frustrating because I'll take responsibility for all of it. I've done this enough years and when I make the statement that the best teams don't win, it's the team that plays the best, that's true. When a team comes together and plays well, that's their defining moment. You are what you are. I don't like when you have one hell of a record and people say that you're not that good. You are what you are. You're better than everybody else and that's why your record is that way. If not, then you're sitting in our shoes. From a coaching standpoint I don't look at that.