On why the defense came out the way it did today: "We didn’t do it. We didn’t show up. We didn’t play assignment sound. Whatever we could have done wrong, we pretty much did it."
On how he can explain the way the defense played today: "You would think obviously (we would have come out well). We must not think. Who knows? Times like this, it’s just gut-check. You can say the right things; you still can say, ‘Yeah, we’ve got to work in this, work in that.’ We’re not doing it. It’s just that simple. We’re just not doing it and we’ve got to do it."
On what signs there are that point towards the product on the field turning around: "Until we show it, we’ve got to show it. We’ve got to come and do something. That was pretty bad today, right from the get-go. You can always look at things and find something positive in them. You can go through, you can look at film, there are going to be positives in it. But to take positives out of a game like this is just trying to find to anything to pat yourself on the back for."
On whether having a new defensive coordinator threw the defense off: "No. That has nothing to do with it. When it comes down to it, you’ve got guys on the field to make plays and we didn’t make plays. Simple things."
On the struggles in the running game and how much those struggles hurt: "Missed tackles, missed tackles, missed tackles. Guys in position missed tackles. You know, (when you aren’t) sound, you’re going to get beat. It’s going to happen."
On what the defense looks at first when trying to identify the struggles: "It’s nothing special. Guys, we have to get off the field. We let them sustain drives. They were pretty good on third down. I haven’t looked at it, but I’m pretty sure they were pretty good on third down. We didn’t get off the field on third down, created longer drives. Penalties kept drives going for them. Shooting ourselves in the foot; same thing. Until we get that corrected, that’s what it’s going to be. So we have to find a way to get that corrected, not shoot ourselves in the foot, get turnovers, (and) get off the field on third down. That’s the key to playing good defense and that’s what we’re not doing right now. We’re winning first and second down good, but it all comes (down) to situational football and on third down, we’ve got to get off."
On whether the problems on defense are fixable: "Yes, they are fixable. We just have to be honed up on what we are doing, attention to detail on your job and when it’s that time, you’ve got to step up and make the play. On third down, it’s big time leaders who’ve got to step up and make those plays."
On whether the defensive issues today can be attributed to the change in coordinators: "No, it wasn’t. That had nothing to do with it. It all comes down to the players making plays."
On how he feels after games like this: "I’m disappointed. Of course, I’m disappointed. I hate losing so I’m very disappointed about that. We’ve got to get it corrected."
On whether he feels the season is slipping away at this point: "No, it’s not slipping away; that’s one thing. You take this thing one week at a time. You can easily turn it around, it’s just turning it around now. The urgency, the sense of urgency has to happen right now. So, it’s not slipping downhill. We just have things to correct, things to get better at and we need to get better really quickly at those things."
On whether the team gets that they need to get better quickly: "Yeah, we get that. We get that. We understand every week is important, so all it takes is one week to turn it around and we have to make that week happen really fast."
On the Falcons’ first touchdown and whether the defensive backs were supposed to bail out: "I’m not sure what happened on that side. We were definitely in a coverage where we were bailing out and playing on top. But I don’t know what happened. All I saw was (CB) Dominique (Rodgers-Cromartie) and the receiver. So, I didn’t see it, but we were in that coverage where we were supposed to bail and then play over the top."
On what happened on WR Julio Jones’ touchdown when he was in coverage: "He just created separation and got it. It was nothing special or anything particular that happened. He just got it."
On how frustrating the loss is after waiting an extra week to play with the bye: "It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to come out and for us to put that out there like that. We’re a better team than what we showed today."
On whether there is an adjustment period with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles: "Not really. We still felt like we had the edge. We still felt like we had the confidence. It wasn’t really an adjustment period. It wasn’t too much different from what we had done."
On whether there was confusion early in the game: "I didn’t see any confusion. We were just doing things we haven’t done really all year. We haven’t tackled poorly, we haven’t covered poorly, (and) we haven’t had the issues even in the run game with those long plays. So, we’re just doing things that we haven’t really done all year."
On whether he should have jammed Jones at the line on his touchdown: "Yeah, probably. Probably, but you can’t go backwards. But yeah, probably, I would have changed it up."
On whether there is any explanation for doing things they had not done all year: "No, it was uncharacteristic of us. We’ve been tackling well, we’ve been covering well and they ran a ton of screens on us today. But we’ve still been good with that. We’ve been playing the run fairly well, but they got some stuff today. I don’t know. It was just uncharacteristic."
On whether the team is buying into what the coaches are saying: "We made mistakes. I’m sure after everyone evaluates the tape, we’ll evaluate ourselves and we’ll see that there are some things that obviously we could have done better as players and as a team. All on board."
On whether the breakdowns on defense can be attributed to the switching of defensive coordinators during the season and whether that change is difficult for the players: "I wouldn’t say that. We kept the majority (of the defensive scheme) the same."
On what went wrong for the defense in the first quarter: "We had some penalties that were on us, we had some guys that were not in the right spots and there were mistakes that we shouldn’t make."
On whether he feels that the defense took a step back under Todd Bowles this week: "We did it to ourselves. They didn’t make us make mistakes. We knew what they were going to do and we had practiced it. We just didn’t execute."
On Eagles head coach Andy Reid calling the game “embarrassing” and whether he feels the same: "Oh, it was definitely embarrassing. It wasn’t like it was a close game."
On the head coach challenging the team in the locker room and what it says about that particular team: "We didn’t execute. We went out there today and we didn’t do what we had practiced. The sad part was that we had a great week at practice. (We had) one of the best Wednesday and Thursday combinations because that’s where the meat and potatoes of practice is done, and we didn’t show it on the field."
On whether he feels that the expectations for this team were too high or whether he feels that things are correctable: "Obviously we think it is correctable. Nobody is throwing the towel in and nobody is quitting. We’re taking responsibility for what’s happened out here. No one is blaming anyone else. We’re together, we’re a team and we’re a family. We’re going to keep fighting. No one is giving up and no one is quitting."
On whether he’s concerned that things can snowball into something worse and whether the team is at a point in the season when they have to sure things up: "To answer your first question, I don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet. And the second question, we’re going to keep fighting. We don’t quit no matter what."
On whether he was surprised with the game’s outcome after coming off the bye week: "Of course we were surprised. The way we’ve been playing, we want to get back out there and play harder."
On the result of the game coming off of the bye: "(We were) very surprised. You have your backs against the wall going into a must-win and you go out there and play like that. I can’t explain it."
On not winning the game under Todd Bowles’ debut as defensive coordinator: "It was tough. For us to go out there and play like that, that’s not acceptable. All you can do is look at yourself. You can’t look at (coach) and say, ‘Coach did this. He called that.’ No. You have to look at yourself individually and point at yourself."
On what has to happen to get the team back on track: "Stop worrying about the schedule and start worrying about everything that goes into the games. Just look at yourself, man, and go out and play."
On what went wrong in today’s game: "I definitely look at the first half. It definitely wasn’t our new coordinator. It really came down to getting off the field on third down. I don’t know how many penalties we had as far as defensive holdings and whatever else we had. We were shooting ourselves in the foot and allowing them to get first down after first down on penalties. That’s an area that we have to be disciplined. We have to be able to play ball and not hurt ourselves. When it came down to it, in the first half, we just shot ourselves in the foot too many times. In the second half, we played a lot better but obviously they weren’t trying to go down the field as much. Their game plan kind of changed. We have to find a way to win. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and every man has to do their job so we can find a way to win if that’s what it takes. We have nine games left and we have a big game this week. We have to come back. I’m not giving up on this team and I still think we have what it takes to go forward. We have five division games left, so we have time but the time has to be now."
On whether there was confusion at times with the defense: "Early in the game, it’s a feeling out process. Atlanta was giving us a lot of different looks. I don’t think, if I remember correctly, that it hurt us. We were not in the right places and we just didn’t make the plays. That was the disappointing thing coming out of the first half. We have to find a way to win."
On what happened on with the defense on Atlanta’s first touchdown pass of the game: "They (went) fake rocket and go. Through the film study, I hadn’t seen them do that 15 (yards out) and beyond. They did that from five yards out but not fifteen. I think it was just that (CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) saw it one way, (CB Brandon) Boykin saw it another way, and I saw it another way. We just weren’t on the same page there."
On whether the Atlanta offense did a good job mixing up their play calling: "They had a good game plan, but let’s not kid ourselves. We had them in third-down on several situations. I don’t know what the stats say but we had them where we wanted them. We knew what they were doing most of the time. Then, the penalties. I don’t know how many penalties we had, but we can’t hurt ourselves on third-down. We have to figure out a way to get them off the field."
On whether he felt that the defense was more aggressive than they had been so far this season: "Yeah, we wanted to get after them. I think we wanted to free up our d-lineman and free up our linebackers, and really get in Matt Ryan’s face. I thought, for the most part, as far as being able to stop the run, with the exception of a few big runs, we really did a nice job of doing that. We brought pressure, and they countered it with screens. I think with any aggressive team, that’s how you do that. With that being said, we were in positions to make plays and usually it was one-on-one. That one person has to make a play, and if he doesn’t, then obviously that’s a big play. I have to go back and watch the film, but I’m not going to look back and say they were that much better than us. They played better than us today. Hopefully we’ll have another chance to play them again in the playoffs."