Opening Remarks: "For three quarters, I thought we played good football until we hit that 5:58 mark in that third quarter and then we went turnover, turnover, turnover, with the interception for a touchdown, the fumble for a touchdown and another fumble, they were able to get a field goal from that, and then the muffed kickoff. They ended up scoring a touchdown on that. Four out of five plays, they put points on the board. So we went from 13-10 score to 34-13 in just a matter of minutes. It’s a shame. Turnovers destroy you in this league. There’s one thing that if we didn’t know it before the season, we surely know it now that sitting there at minus-22 in the giveaway/takeaway area, it’s tough to win football games. I know you guys have done your homework on this but you have 123 points scored on 34 turnovers and you’re only getting 33 points on your 12 takeaways. That’s a bad stat. So, what do you do? You continue to work at keeping the ball high and tight. You keep emphasizing it for all positions. It’s important that you don’t let anything slide during practice, keep trying to get yourself better as a football team, which we’ll do. This has not been an effort thing. You saw our guys playing their hearts out all the way to the end of the game. But you’ve got to take care of this business here. The young guys have to grow up quickly and the old guys that had the turnovers have got to make sure that they detail their work, don’t try to do too much (and) make sure that you take care of business when you have the football in your hand.
"Then, when we’re in the red zone, again, we’ve got to make sure we put our guys in the right position to make plays and when you’re in those positions that you make them. This is my responsibility. Completely my responsibility. It’s my football team and my coaches and my players; we’ve all got to do a better job here. We’ve got two games remaining. We’re going to battle our tail off against two good NFC East opponents and make sure that we take care of business on the practice field."
On how serious CB Brandon Hughes’ injury is and how it occurred in the game: "He got sandwiched out there. He left here and it was hard to tell what his symptoms were. It was tough, so we made sure we kept him here for a little bit longer period of time, made sure we evaluated him and then sent him home. He coughed up blood, so they were able to get him to the hospital; send a trainer over, got him to the hospital and they kept him overnight for observation. Everything checked out okay."
On whether he expects QB
On whether he would like to see what RB Chris Polk can do at running back in the final two games: "He had been doing some good things on special teams and the limited amount that he had to play at running back, we felt comfortable putting him in. We’ll see how it goes here. Again, I haven’t sat down and put together the game day roster for Washington yet. Just getting through this one and seeing how these guys healed up and where we’re at with them and then we’ll go from there."
On RB LeSean McCoy’s status in terms of seeing the independent neurologist: "He hasn’t been to the independent neurologist yet. That’s the last step, so he’ll go to that when we feel like all of his symptoms are gone and that’s when he’ll (see the neurologist)."
On whether or not McCoy has seen the independent neurologist at all: "No. LeSean has not been cleared by the independent neurologist. He has not gone to the independent neurologist. No, he hasn’t seen the independent neurologist. He’ll end up doing that, most likely, on Tuesday. We’d like to get him through the Monday workout before we do that."
On whether S
On clarifying what happened on the blocked punt: "On the blocked punt, (WR Marvin) McNutt ended up getting beat. McNutt was supposed to be in the game. That was his spot. He was replacing (WR)
On whether he considered using a timeout to get the right personnel on the field prior to the blocked punt: "No, because Clay was okay. Clay knew what he was doing. It wasn’t Clay that the problem was on. It was on McNutt. He was in the right spot."
On what happened with LB
On whether having younger guys on special teams is the reason for miscues and mistakes: "I don’t think so, no. That’s where you’re going to play some of your young guys. They’ve got to step up and do their thing and make sure they play the right techniques. I mentioned this at the beginning of the year – are there going to be mistakes with your rookies? Yeah, there are going to be mistakes. As you go on, you’re going to have to limit those. The one thing we’ve had is an influx of rookies as we’ve gone on here throughout the season just due to the injuries. We are late in the season, and we have guys who are learning on the job here, and that is good experience for them. If there is a positive, it’s a good experience for them to so they can do better when they have the chance to be the full-time guy."
On whether Reid is happy with the makeup of the roster: "That was the way I wanted it to be."
On whether Reid thinks that he should have made the major defensive staff changes sooner: "There are two parts to that. I think the defense played well yesterday for the most part. Are there some plays that we’d like to have back? Yes, there are. I didn’t think that was the problem. On the other side of that, I did what I thought I had to do at that time. That’s how I felt. The rest of it is hindsight, and I can’t go back on that."
On whether he now notices a difference in the effectiveness of the defensive scheme: "It does look different. (Defensive line coach) Tommy (Brasher) has done a nice job in there. (Defensive coordinator) Todd (Bowles) has done a nice job."
On whether he thinks DE
On Reid’s evaluation of QB
On how difficult this season has been personally for him: "Listen, that’s not the reason that the season has gone the way the season has gone. You handle your personal things separate. Nobody wants to lose a son. I think that’s obvious. That has nothing to do with how this season has gone."
On the disconcerting signal penalty on the field goal: "The officials said that one of our guys said, 'set.' They called that. The problem was we jumped. I was trying to put that together how we said, ‘set’ but we jumped. I wasn’t sure how that worked."
On whether the red zone struggles against the Bengals had anything to do with the short week: "I don’t think it was the short week. We have to do a better job with what we dial up there. We had no timeouts at that time, so we were trying to make sure that if we don’t get the touchdown, then you have enough time for the hurry-up field goal as you go. We felt it was best to throw the ball. These are plays that we have had in there for most of the season, and it’s not a bunch of new stuff. They did a good job of covering them. We could have done a little bit better job executing them and dialing up the right ones at the right time."
On whether CB
On whether dealing with Rodgers-Cromartie’s unique approach was an adjustment for Reid: "I don’t care. He has green hair. I don’t care that he has green hair. I don’t care about all those things. I just want him to play. When it’s time to practice, practice the right way. When it’s time to play, play the right way. There are some unique characters in this business and there are some unique characters in this room right here. I really don’t care about all that as long as you get your job done and keep your nose clean."
On whether the secondary has improved since the elimination of the wide-nine technique: "It takes a bit of pressure off the safeties in particular, but in all those toss-cracks that you were seeing, it takes it off the corner in that particular play. It allows them to do a little bit better things with what they can do physically."
On the play of LB
On whether Kendricks will continue to play at the WILL linebacker position: "Yeah, we think that’s what he would be."
On how the defense has gone eight games without intercepting an opposing quarterback: "That’s a tough deal. We were close yesterday on about three of them. I come out of the games and I’m saying that over and over so somewhere we’ve got to make those plays."
On whether he was upset that the Bengals attempted to convert a 4th down late in the 4th quarter: "I figured (Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis) wasn’t going to kick the ball. I figured he was going to do something safe (but) at the same time not allow us to have an interception or a fumble there with the run. Once he put the personnel group out there I knew exactly what he was going to do."
On whether he was surprised the Bengals lined up in the personnel group they did on 4th down: "No, I thought it was a safe (play) for them. That’s the way I looked at it. It was a safe play for them. I knew our guys kind of knew what they were going to do at that time with what they showed us with personnel."
On why turnovers have been so difficult to alleviate the past two seasons: "When it comes to the fumbles we’ve got to make sure that we (hold onto the ball). That’s an obvious one, just keeping the ball high and tight. Not trying to make things happen past the point (of) letting the ball get away from your body. The interceptions, we’ve cut them back a bit from what it was early but still one is too many. We’ve got to do a better job there just making decisions. We’ll keep working on that."
On what has changed on the defensive line that sacks are now coming in bunches: "The guys are playing the combination game. They’re playing both the run and the pass and doing a good job of transitioning from their gap responsibilities for the run into the pass game, but still being able to hold your ground on the run. They’re still being put into a nine technique in pass situations but they’re being kicked down in a couple different looks in situations where it could be run or pass."
On what goes into the decision making of activating two or three quarterbacks on game day: "I’m just literally going to look at how many guys I can have active and not active and then see how the numbers work out there and see how (Vick) feels this week."
On why the team put Kendricks at the SAM linebacker position the majority of the season if they thought he was better suited to play the WILL: "It was (that) where he plays in nickel, and the SAM linebacker position, are both the same responsibility. So he wouldn’t have to learn two positions as a new player. We felt like he was at the point where we could move him over. He had a pretty good grasp of what he was doing there and move him over after he learned the defense a little bit better."
On whether RB
On the play of FB
On what Mathis has meant to the offensive line this season: "He’s a tough kid and he’s worked through the ankle situation and I’m sure he’ll continue to do that. There will be some tweaks here and there with it but he battled through it and I’d say he’s had one of the better years of his career. I know the young guys feed off of that and look up to him."
On how long they expect Brown to be a raw player before he becomes polished: "You see improvements. You see most of it in the pass game, the routes, and the protections, and you see some subtle little things in the run game. He needs to play. That’s why I haven’t sat him down because of the fumbles. I felt like he did miss a lot. He missed a lot of football. The thing he needs most is to be out there and playing and learning the game. So he’s wired the right way. This is a kid who doesn’t want to make mistakes and drop the ball and that stuff. He’s a responsible kid. (He) just has to get better with it."
On whether Polk and McCoy will have the opportunity to carry the football once healthy: "Yeah, we’ll see how all that goes. Right now LeSean is not ready to go. I would play LeSean when he is ready to go. Not that I wouldn’t play the other kid."