After Paris Lenon departed Sunday's contest with a hurt knee, the immediate question on everyone's mind following the game wasn't necessarily the severity of his injury (he'll be fine), but whether or not rookie Jordon Dizon would replace him at middle linebacker.
The answer? There wasn't one -- which might be a clue of things to come.
"I think, especially on Monday, we evaluate everything," said head coach Rod Marinelli during his well-publicized media briefing. "We'll go back to our tape again tonight and evaluate everybody and we're going to get the best players on the field, no doubt about that.
"We look at playing time."
Lenon struggled significantly against Atlanta, including a handful missed tackles, whiffed tackles, bad angles, and poor management of the defense. Fortunately for him, that applied to the 10 other defenders (and occasional substitution) that shared the field with him. Including Dizon.
"I saw it (the game), you saw it," said Marinelli. "There's nobody that I can come out and say played very well on defense."
Before the game ended, Dizon had been a part of five tackles to Lenon's three.
Marinelli didn't stray from his post-game commentary, blaming the team's ills on Sunday on poor tackling and taking poor angles at Atlanta's running backs. As per the usual, Marinelli referenced the "film," and the tale of the tape suggested what he had told the media previously: if tackling is corrected, the defense will live up to the standard he had put them at during the exhibition season.
He also said his defensive seemed "tentative."
"I just think the factor was a lack of execution by coaches and players together, just a lack of execution," explained Marinelli. "Doing the things that we drill every day, we didn't do. We didn't do them effectively, and obviously, we didn't do them consistently. That's the first (thing) you look at. They're in there watching it right now, evaluating themselves with their coaches. We grade every play; every player is graded. They got a grade sheet; they know exactly what their grade is: effort grade, tackling grade, plus and minus every snap, so that's how you get things corrected."
Added Marinelli when asked about the run defense: "(It's) critical. I've said that from day one. To win in this league consistently, you have to stop the run. And we didn't do that for various reasons, which I've pointed out. But we have to get better, point of emphasis go back into this week and (that's) something we have to do."