Q. On the interception that was returned for a touchdown, it looked like a choice route. What did you see on that? It looked like it was open to the flat where RB Ryan Mathews eventually went.**
COACH KELLY: It wasn't a choice route. [RB] Ryan [Mathews] chipped to get out; the tight end was in protection. Ryan chipped and then kind of got turned like his head was going to the inside but he was responsible to go to the flat and [QB] Sam [Bradford] just threw it behind him.
Q. Did Bradford just read what Mathews' head turn was?
COACH KELLY: I don't know. I haven't talked to Sam yet. We haven't watched film with him. It was not a choice -- Ryan was chipping and then working to the flat. So there was not an option for Ryan to go inside on that play.
Q. Bradford knew that?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I just don't know what went on in Sam's head, so I haven't had a chance to talk to him. We don't meet with him today. We'll meet with him tomorrow and go over the film with him in terms of where he was. It wasn't an option where they weren't on the same page. He was responsible to get to the flat, the running back was.
Q. WR Nelson Agholor played 57 snaps and was just targeted once. Was that just he wasn't getting open or Bradford was just going other places?
COACH KELLY: It's a combination of both, but [Arizona Cardinals CB] Patrick Peterson did a really good job on Nelson.
Q. Through six weeks, you were second in rushed yards against and now that number is to 27. In your estimation, what has happened?
COACH KELLY: Right now it's inconsistency. I think we did not play well in that stretch when we played Tampa Bay, but then I think after Thanksgiving we got things straightened out. I thought we played really well in rush defense against Buffalo. We had a really good rushing attack coming in here. We tackled better as a group. In the Buffalo game, if you just look at the last two weeks, we tackled better as a group in the Buffalo game. We didn't tackle very well yesterday against Arizona and that hurt us.
Q. What leads to poor tackling? It seems like it pops up here and there?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it does pop up. It's consistency. Right now a lot of it is just fundamental, making sure you see your target, your head is up, you're bringing with your feet, you're tackling with your arms and you're wrapping up. There's a lot that is involved in it. And it's frustrating for everybody because we have been good at it at times this year and then there have been times where we haven't been good at it at all, the Tampa Bay game and the Arizona game specifically.
Q. Is the other team's physicality a part of the poor tackling?
COACH KELLY: I think it's just we got to do a better job fundamentally in terms of getting guys to the ground.
Q. On the long run, it was the defensive backs who missed the tackles --
COACH KELLY: Well, there were some missed tackles inside, too. I think as the ball sprung through, we had a shot at him [Cardinals RB David Johnson] in the chute when we hit him, he got inside a couple times and then it spit out to the DBs. I don't know the exact number, but there were multiple guys on that play that could have had an opportunity to get him on the ground and we did not.
Q. On that fourth-down play when Arizona called a time-out, did you stick with the same play? Was there talk about changing the play?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we were motioning to a different play. So what they saw us in the original formation, we were motioning, so I don't think they got a beat in terms of what we were doing. We knew they were going to be inside and we were trying to get the ball to the perimeter on the DBs.
Q. Where is your confidence with defensive coordinator Bill Davis to get this right for Saturday?
COACH KELLY: Very confident in Billy Davis.
Q. Is it fair to say that RB DeMarco Murray is now third-team running back?
COACH KELLY: No. Again, it was a combination of we only had 19 rushes on the entire day. We need to run the ball more consistently for us to be good on the offensive side of the ball. When we get into those games where we're just throwing and not running the ball, obviously the numbers are going to not distribute the way anybody wants it to happen. But for us to be good, we need to run the ball better than that and we need to get more carries for all of our guys.
Q. If you look past the carries though and look at the snaps, you only had eight snaps. Why is Murray not on the field at that time?
COACH KELLY: It depends on where we are. We had a lot of not third-down situations, but passing situations and [RB] Darren [Sproles] is in there in that. So we got a combination of when we are calling certain personnel groups in 11 personnel where [TE] Zach [Ertz] and Darren are on the field, so they are in on those packages.
Q. At this point in the season, are you disappointed about the lack of production from Murray?
COACH KELLY: I'm disappointed in everything we are doing on the offensive side of the ball from a consistency standpoint. I'm not singling out any single player. I just don't think we have been as consistent enough as we need to be on the offensive side of the ball for us to be successful.
Q. Any thought of shutting LB Kiko Alonso down, or what are you seeing from him? Do you see any chance of him returning to form from three years ago?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think we saw it last week in the Buffalo game. I thought he played well against Buffalo. It's consistency from everybody, but I don't think there was anybody that really stood out in yesterday's game and that's the one thing that we need to get back to like we've talked about before, when we've seen these guys at times play really well. I thought Kiko played well against Buffalo, but I don't think anybody really played well defensively against Arizona last night. We need to find that team that played against New England and played against Buffalo for us to have a chance this week against Washington.
Q. How do you think DB Jaylen Watkins did jumping into the spot for DB Eric Rowe?
COACH KELLY: Jaylen did a nice job in coverage. They tested him a few times and I thought he held up in there. I thought [CB] E.J. [Biggers] was solid.
Q. Bradford took some hits on some delays and stunts. Is that pre-snap communication?
COACH KELLY: No, twists and those things, that's post-snap communication because you don't know if they are going to twist; there's really not a communication that goes on. It is just a matter of how we are passing things off on the inside.
Q. Do you have any updates on CB Byron Maxwell?
COACH KELLY: I don't have any updates. They come in for treatment at one o'clock, so they are just filtering in right now.
Q. As far as you know Rowe is in the concussion protocol?
COACH KELLY: Yes.
Q. When Bradford took the hit that knocked him out for the one play in the spot where he had been injured before, obviously, and he's tender there, did you consider holding him out a little bit longer just because --
COACH KELLY: I defer to the doctors in that situation. So I don't -- they said he was good to go, he said he was good to go, so they allowed him to go back in the game.
Q. You talk about the fundamentals with tackling. Are guys going for the ball too much?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I think at times when you look at the film from yesterday we were probably trying to knock the ball out a little bit. And, obviously, what we are teaching and what we have got to get accomplished, and we are not going a good enough job teaching it is that we have to secure the tackle first before we ever go for the strip. That's kind of how we practice it, but we have got to do a better job, and we talked about it this morning as a staff, if that's what they are doing, we are not doing a good enough job coaching that. We have got to coach it better.
Q. When you see a play like Maxwell getting dragged 18 yards by the tight end or Cardinals RB David Johnson running 43 yards and breaking seven missed tackles, how frustrating is it for you in week 15 to see plays like that?
COACH KELLY: Again, I think it's frustrating because I've seen us do it the right way and I've seen us play well. I've seen us tackle well against good teams that run the ball well and that's what we've got to get back to this week. We have to learn from it, teach it and coach it better. Like I said I don't think we are doing a good enough job coaching. We have to coach a lot better this week because you have another big back coming in in [Washington Redskins RB] Alfred Morris, and we need to make sure that we get hats on him and get him to the ground.
Q. This game Saturday, I guess is a must-win game now. Is that part of your message to the team yesterday that now it all comes down to this and this is a game we must win?
COACH KELLY: I didn't really talk about what we were going to get forward to. Just kind of what our schedule is, where we are, what we've got to get accomplished. We'll meet with those guys tomorrow morning. But I think everybody is aware of what's at stake and how this thing is going to shake itself out at this point in time.
Q. Bradford seems to be throwing receivers open a lot quicker than previously, and then he had a really good throw in the end zone with a guy in his face to WR Josh Huff on the out. What is he doing better in those situations?
COACH KELLY: I just think Sam's more comfortable in terms of everything we're doing right now.
Q. With Murray, how do you ensure that you don't kind of lose him? You're invested in him beyond this year, and while you have to worry about winning games, you have a big-money guy who you have here for a little while.
COACH KELLY: Our concern is beating the Washington Redskins, and that's what it has always been on a weekly basis. So what are we going to do to beat a team we play this week? All of those guys are going to play again this week and hopefully, as a group, we get more than 19 carries so that we can distribute between those three guys.
Q. Why sign Murray to that deal if this is the way you're going to use him?
COACH KELLY: We don't have any thoughts or plans going into it. This is just how this season has expressed itself. We would have hoped we had carries to go around with everybody. We would love to have 35 carries that we can distribute between our backs. Again we are not running the ball consistently enough in anybody, whether it be Ryan, whether it be DeMarco, whether it be Darren, for us to be successful on offense and that's why we've been up-and-down. When we can run the football and get those guys carries, then we are doing a good job but we also have to be successful doing it. You're just not going to run it for the sake of running it and average two yards a carry and say, 'Well, at least we ran it enough and everyone got touches.' It's not about getting touches; it's about winning and productivity.
Q. You were moving the ball well early, and it was still, I think, 21 minutes off the clock before Murray got into the game.
COACH KELLY: We were throwing the ball a little bit more. A lot of it has to do with the front that we were going against and Sam was throwing the ball well but I think some of the things we did, game plan-wise, also lend itself to that also.
Q. How has Murray's demeanor been these last three weeks or so? I know you met with him from time to time --
COACH KELLY: He has been good. He has been good when we've been in meetings and when we're on the practice field when we're around him.
Q. You're privy to much more than situational statistics. So when you're in a fourth-and-goal situation, how much do you consider the situational stats compared to, say, the game plan?
COACH KELLY: We consider everything. And that's why we had our biggest back in the game. Ryan is our biggest back, he's 230 pounds. That package that we were going to run on that play, he's our back on that play. We kind of got the look we thought we were going to get. We thought it was going to be crammed inside. We had to get the ball to the perimeter. That's why we brought the receiver over to get to the other side to get to the DB. If we didn't bring him over, he would have been unblocked off the edge, so we brought a receiver over to do that. But we had our biggest back in the game.
Q. Where was the breakdown?
COACH KELLY: We got some penetration inside. We got a little bit of penetration inside and then didn't do a good enough on job on the perimeter.
Q. You have allowed as many passing touchdowns as you did last year, 30, and you made changes in terms of coaching. What has been the biggest problem in that regard?
COACH KELLY: Again, passing touchdowns are all a combination of everything. It's the rush, it's the coverage, it's a combination of everything on that side of the ball.
Q. I assume CB Denzel Rice has a good chance of being up. What's he showing you in practice?
COACH KELLY: Denzel has done a nice job. I think the difference with bringing Jaylen and him in is that Jaylen is a multi-position player, where Denzel is just a corner. I have no idea if we will bring him up. We don't have any information in terms of where we are with those guys, but he has done a nice job. He has been active I think for one or two games and in those games, he didn't play on defense but he contributed from a special teams standpoint. We think he has got a bright future, but we'll see what happens for the rest of the week with those guys.
Q. Did they do anything specific to limit Agholor's availability?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, they had [Arizona Cardinals CB] Patrick Peterson on him the entire game.
Q. On the film, it wasn't clear when Rowe suffered the concussion. Do you know when it happened?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't.
Q. What has Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins been doing that has been making him so effective over the last couple of months?
COACH KELLY: He has got a high completion percentage, throws the ball extremely well and has a pretty good command of what they are doing.
Q. You have had good production out of Ertz the past couple of games. Has he kind of stepped his game up?
COACH KELLY: I think Zach's getting healthier. He started the season off with that core muscle injury where he had surgery and literally wasn't cleared until late in the week of the first game. So that's not something that when you're cleared, you're 100 percent and you're going to jump in. But I think you've seen him improve and I think you've seen him get stronger as the season has gone along.
Q. Technically you have a short week, but it is only a day earlier. How much does it change the week of preparation?
COACH KELLY: A day changes everything, so tomorrow will be a Wednesday for us and everything just gets accelerated by day. Tomorrow instead of -- today is really like a Tuesday for us. So tomorrow is a Wednesday for us in terms of what our schedule will be, what will be on the field, meeting-wise, walk-through in the afternoon and all those other things that we normally don't have two days after a game. But we moved the schedule up so tomorrow is a Wednesday, Wednesday is a Thursday, Thursday is a Friday, Friday is a Saturday. That is just kind of how it works.
Q. Does the holiday affect the schedule at all?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, we'll adjust, but we don't practice, train, or meet very long the day before a game. So the holiday has fallen on that day, so we'll just adjust the schedule and give those guys some time to be with their families on Christmas.
Q. Have you had much of a chance to look at the Washington Redskins and their game against Buffalo yesterday?
COACH KELLY: I just finished the first half of that game from a Redskins defensive standpoint. But that's what the rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to in terms of getting that all broken down, getting that in and game plan is a day ahead in terms of where we are. We have to move a little bit faster than we normally move, but that's what the schedule dictates.
Q. From the outside, it is a tough thing to figure that you could go up to New England, win that game and also give up 40 points twice at home in the same stretch. For you, have you ever had a team this unpredictable and how tough is it to coach a team that's all over the place?
COACH KELLY: I don't think it's tough, that's just what we have. Again, I still think we have a good football team and when we play to our capabilities, I think we are a really good football team and that's what we have to do. We have to do a better job, from a coaching standpoint, of putting those guys in position to make plays so that we can have that team that played against Buffalo and played against New England play on Saturday against Washington.
Q. Going back to Alonso, what do you point to to the fact that he has not been able to hit the level he was at his rookie year?
COACH KELLY: I think he missed an extended period of time here. So that was the biggest thing with him that I look at right now. We felt like he was getting better. I thought the game he played against Buffalo was really good. He did a really nice job in terms of what we were asking him to do and that's the one thing with him is I know he can do it, he knows he can do it. We just need to do it on a more consistent basis.
Q. Does he need to get stronger in the off-season?
COACH KELLY: I mean, I think he's pretty strong right now. I don't know exactly what his numbers are, but I don't think that's the issue.