On what he saw on the interception that he threw which was negated by a defensive penalty:
FOLES: I didn’t see much because I was on the ground. We were trying to run a naked out there and I was looking for the over route. When I tried to pull the trigger on it, I got hit. It wasn’t a smart decision by me. I didn’t see the [penalty]. It was a holding, but I didn’t see it. It definitely was a mistake by me, and I was happy that there was a penalty that kept our drive going.
On getting the tight ends involved in the passing game:
FOLES: I felt like we had good matchups with our tight ends against [Arizona’s] linebackers. Their linebackers are very talented, but they’re bigger guys. They are very good at stopping the run and they have a big defensive line that really wants to generate pressure. I liked our matchups with our tight ends, and I thought they did a great job today.
On the offense not putting up points during its last couple of drives:
FOLES: That’s something where we’ll have to look at the film and see what happened. I know that throughout the course of the game, Arizona made some really nice adjustments, and in those situations, we really have to execute. I missed a little flat throw to LeSean [McCoy]. We had our opportunities, but in that situation when the game is like that, you have to put a dagger in them. You have to execute. It’s really important to come away with points on the board to help our defense out. They played tremendously once again. That’s a really talented Arizona team through and through. They have a great team that is going to win some games. Hats off to them, but I’m really proud of our guys for sticking in there and playing a good team game.
On the consistency of his play during the last four games:
FOLES: That’s what’s important. A quarterback has to be consistent, especially in this league where there is so much talent. These defenses are very good, so as an offense, you want to get the ball into your playmakers’ hands. Doing that means getting the ball out quick, if you have a shot take it, recognize when there is pressure, and be smart with the ball. If you go back to film study, you’ll see there are mistakes that I need to get better at. That’s why I love this game. There’s always an opportunity to get better. We need to play better in the second half. That’s obvious. We didn’t play well. We need to help our defense out. Special teams played tremendously. I think [punter]
On why the offense has struggled recently playing with fourth quarter leads:
FOLES: I think [opponents] are sort of playing like a zero coverage where they’re bringing more than we can handle. But we have blocking schemes that can take care of it with our running game. That’s something that we’ll assess as a team. I know the coaches are going to look at it. When we’re in that situation, we have to take advantage of it. If we have some man coverage out there, I know [head coach] Chip [Kelly] will notice it. In those situations, it’s great to have a big play and go play-action and take a shot to really just get them off and get them out of that zero coverage. It’s hard to run the ball in that. At the same time, we have to fight deep down in our heart in that situation when the defense gives us the ball back with the lead to run the clock out. We have to take that up on our own as an offense, and we’ll work on that this week.
On why it is hard for the offense to play with a killer instinct when it has a big lead:
FOLES: When you have a team down, you really want to keep going. It’s important to keep putting points on the board. That helps the defense out. When we put points on the board and there is separation, our defense can dial up more blitzes and they can do some tough things to pick up because there is some room in there with some points, and it might be a three or four possession game. The biggest thing is just the mentality of it. You don’t want to let up. You want a mentality of go, go, go. There will be a time when we do slow it down, but at the same time we have to be smart, we have to block it well, I have to read the play well, and the running back has to find the hole. I think that is just the mentality of our team.
On the team having good fortune during its recent winning streak:
FOLES: That’s just the game of football. It’s a crazy game, and things happen. I’m definitely happy that [the Arizona defensive holding penalty which negated an interception] happened, because it could have changed the course of the game. In that situation, I need to be smart with the football and maybe just take a sack there. I put the ball in harm’s way, and as a quarterback, that’s something you never want to do. I was trying to make a play, but it didn’t work out, and I’m thankful that the call happened. At the same time, during the course of the game I felt like there were some calls that went against us too. It’s football. They had some big calls, we had some big calls, and that’s why it levels out. It’s a football game and that’s going to happen. That’s the beauty of it.
FOLES: I know that Mike would be proud of me. A lot of that goes to Mike helping me and being there with me, and just watching me play, and me just picking his brain. We talk before the games and have our conversations, so he’s been a great veteran for me. That’s what’s so great about Mike. I might have broken his record, but he’s going to be proud of me and he’s not going to hold that against us. It just shows that our receivers are making great plays and our line is doing a good job of blocking so that I can throw and be accurate with the ball. The most important thing is for the quarterback to be smart and to get the ball into the playmakers’ hands.
On whether he is naturally inclined not to throw interceptions:
FOLES: It just comes from learning. I don’t think I threw many interceptions in high school. I didn’t throw many in college either, but in college I probably made some dumb decisions where I took shots, but I had a great receiver who went up and got it. I learned through making mistakes and throwing interceptions in high school, in college, and in practice. I try to push it in practice and test my boundaries and see what throws are capable against certain defenses. It’s through a lot of mistakes that I’ve learned that. I have to keep working and staying away from a mistake like the one I made today where I was off balance and threw it across the middle. That’s a no-no. I can’t do that, and I have to keep working at it.
On facing Arizona’s pass rush:
FOLES: I thought we got the ball out when we needed to. They got to me a few times, but they have a really good defensive line. Our offensive line did a great job all day. It’s my job to get the ball out when I feel pressure, and I thought we did a good job. They are a very talented defense and they did get to me. But we stayed together and we didn’t let it rattle us, and we just kept moving.
On whether Chip Kelly stressed not turning the ball over immediately upon his accepting of the head coaching job:
FOLES: The [University of] Oregon teams that I faced in college prided themselves on not turning the ball over much. I knew that when he came in here, that would be something that he would really stress. The key to that is preparation and really being in rhythm and on time with your throws. If it’s not there, just check it down. If it’s not there, it’s not bad to throw it away and live to play another down. That’s something that you just have to keep ingraining in yourself. It’s easier when you can really see the defense and recognize what they’re doing. Then you really know where to go with the ball and you can be smart.
On whether he would be inclined to take more chances if he were playing in a more conservative offense:
FOLES: I just trust my preparation. You have to feel the game, but at the same time, you have reads on each play. It could be a man read, a zone read, a half field read, a one-safety read.…there is a lot of stuff that goes on. Staying within the offense and not trying to get too fancy is the key. What I’ve learned through playing the game is that where you get in trouble is when you force shots. Take [shots] when you get a great look because then you have a better percentage. Shot plays are shot plays. You try to get a big play, but you want to take advantage when you get the perfect look so that you can give your receivers a great opportunity to make a play without throwing into double or triple coverage.
On lining up as a wide receiver during the game:
FOLES: I wanted a fade route or something [joking]. I liked it. I think I had [Arizona CB] Patrick Peterson over me, so I was ready for him to come at me [joking]. That’s a great football player right there. It was fun getting into a receivers stance.