Head Coach Dennis Allen
Opening Statement: No injuries to report. I’m sure there will be some bumps and bruises but nothing significant to report. I’m obviously very discouraged and disappointed in the outcome of the game. I thought our guys were well-prepared. I thought our guys were ready for this football game. I don’t think the travel out to the East Coast had anything to do with it. I think our guys were focused in and wanted to come out here and win a ball game. We just couldn’t get it done, and that’s really what the bottom line is. We’ve got to figure out ways that we can put ourselves in position and we’ve got to execute in these situations to win football games. It wasn’t good enough. Things that I thought went well in the football game: It was great to get off to a fast start – opening kickoff of the game to force the fumble and get the ball into their territory. Then on top of that, to be able to capitalize and get the touchdown to go up 7-0 was, I thought, a huge momentum swing in the game. Our defense came out and held them to a three and out and made them punt. The blocked punt for a touchdown again takes away all your momentum, so I thought that was a huge play in the game.
Q: Any idea on what happened on that interception that Terrelle [Pryor] threw on the third down that came back?
Coach Allen: I’m not sure exactly what happened. I’m not sure exactly what he saw. Obviously their nickel player slid into the window and made a great play, but I really hadn’t had an opportunity to talk to him just to see what he saw.
Q: How would you assess Terrelle’s day today?
Coach Allen: Listen, we’ve got to be able to throw the football to have success. That takes everybody, so all of us included need to do a better job of being able to execute the passing game. I thought we ran the ball exceptionally well today. That was a point of emphasis that we wanted to be able to run the ball and they’ve done a great job of stopping the run, so we wanted to be able to run the ball. But there’s times when we’ve got to be able to throw the ball and when we do, we’ve got to be able to execute it.
Q: [Pryor] didn’t look completely healthy out there. Was it the knee still bothering him?
Coach Allen: That wasn’t anything that was much of a factor during the week with practice. I think we all could watch from the sideline and tell that it didn’t look like he had the same explosiveness, but that wasn’t something that we noticed going into the week.
Q: Defensively, it seems like you guys rebounded from last week pretty well. The defense kind of kept you guys in the game.
Coach Allen: I was proud of the defense. I was proud of the way they responded after last week’s performance. I thought they responded positively. I wish we could have held them out when they got the ball on the 5-yard line and make them have to kick a field goal right there. That would have been a huge momentum swing in the game. Then obviously at the end of the game we’ve got to do whatever we’ve got to do to get the ball for one last shot for our offense. That was disappointing that we weren’t able to that.
Q: Did you think your run defense was adequate?
Coach Allen: I would have liked to see us stop the run a little bit better, but we got in a situation where we weren’t really allowing them to really throw the ball, and we weren’t giving up explosive runs per se, so I thought our run defense did a nice job of limiting what they could do offensively. I think they had about 230 yards total offense or something like that, so a solid day by our defense.
Q: What were you expecting from them? Their run game has kind of struggled with people in and out, and Andre Brown back in, so what were you expecting them to do in the running game?
Coach Allen: I thought they were going to try to run it. That’s what they’ve done over the last couple of weeks – made a bigger emphasis and try to run the football. I just thought there were a few times when there was a little bit of leaky yardage that we could’ve shored up a little bit, but overall I was pleased with the defense.
Q: Is getting yards through the air the missing link for this team?
Coach Allen: Listen, it’s not always going to be exactly in sync all the time. There’s going to be times in the passing game that we’ve got to be able to execute and make some plays. Third down is one of those situations. We’ve got to be able to execute the passing game, and like I said before, that’s everybody involved in that – from route-running to the protection of the quarterback to everybody. That’s going to be something that we’re going to work at and continue to get better at.
Q: How is your knee?
Pryor: My knee is banged up.
Q: Is it something that is likely to get better soon or is it going to take a while, or is it hard to say?
Pryor: I don’t know. It got worse during the week. I want to play and help the team, but I just didn’t feel well today.
Q: How frustrating is it that you came so close? This really was a very winnable game.
Pryor: It was very winnable. We were very close. We’ve got to find a way to finish. It didn’t help that we had a blocked punt and an interception taken all the way down to the (five)-yard line. With things like that, you can’t win a game. We’ve got to learn. We’ve got seven games, so we’ve got to learn and try to put it forth for the next seven games.
Q: Every season is up and down to an extent, but this season is up and down for you. How are you now? Are you discouraged?
Pryor: I’m not discouraged, but today my leg was very sore. I was out there trying to do my best and it wasn’t doing anything. I wasn’t able to and I wasn’t myself. With more treatment, hopefully this thing cures up fast.
Q: The football quote is obviously you play when you can. Were you ever at the point where you said okay maybe I’m not helping the team or I should ask out?
Pryor: No. I knew when I had pressure I wasn’t able to move the pocket and get up and move well. That’s a thing that I knew going in and especially when I woke up this morning, I knew I was going to have trouble. It was definitely confirmed in the game. It was confirmed in warm-up sessions.
Q: It seemed windy and cold out there. That’s got to be unproductive for a passing attack.
Pryor: It caught me a couple times. I saw it caught Eli [Manning] a couple times as well. You just have to get your rhythm going and understand when to take your shots. The wind got me once today near the end zone and we got a false start as well. That’s part of the game. It is what it is.
Q: On the near pick-6, what happened there?
Pryor: They made a good play. It was a cover-two, inside the read, and the guy faked like he was going in. There was a green alert to go ahead to the outside guy. He faked me out and made a great play.
Q: Did you have one of those moments where as soon as you let the ball go you were like “oh man” and you knew right away?
Pryor: Yeah. He faked it as if he knew it all along. I really don’t know. I’ve got to go watch the film and see how he reacted. I saw him tuck in and he gave me a little fake. He did a good job.
Q: The theme this week was leadership. You addressed it earlier in the week. I know
Pryor: It’s our chance to go lead and take this game over. We’ve got to finally finish. Defense finish for us and it’s our turn. But we didn’t finish.
Q: How does it work inside the team now? Will you try to pick your teammates up or will they pick you up? Do you guys pick each other up?
Pryor: We’ve just got to go back to work and stay with each other. Don’t listen to the outside influence. Obviously I didn’t have a great game, but the defense played well. A lot of fingers could easily be pointed at me and I understand that. We understand that. I just think we continue to move forward to next week. It’s a learning process and a new experience. Sometimes you get tired of saying that, but it’s the truth. Next time you get in that situation, you kind of know how to react. Whatever went wrong, you know how to play off of it.
Q: Your thoughts on that third quarter first and goal situation and how that all unfolded?
Pryor: I believe that’s the difference in the game. We have to punch that in. We got three points and we lost by four. That’s the difference in the game. They made a play, they stopped us on the goal line. We’ve got to punch that in.
Q: Do you think the passing game is just a little bit out of sync?
Pryor: I don’t know. One day we have good days and the next day it’s inconsistent. I thought today fell a lot on me. I just couldn’t get a good push off on my leg. I put that on myself.
Q: It didn’t appear from our vantage point in the press box that you were running quite as hard as you can run, and sometimes it looked like you were affected by your knee. Correct or incorrect?
Pryor: Whatever you saw, you saw. I couldn’t explode off the (knee).
Q: Is it frustrating when you look at the schedule and know there’s so many games you could’ve won? Is it frustrating knowing that those games are adding up with how difficult it is to win games?
Pryor: We could talk about that a lot – coulda’s, woulda’s, shoulda’s. That’s the easiest to say, but it’s time to stop going to that. We could have got it done. Easily. Even if not easily, we could have gotten it done. Mistakes, myself, punt block, things like that, on the road especially, it can come back and haunt you, and it did today.
Q: Was your knee fine in practice or was it an issue all week?
Pryor: I felt good early in the week, but as the week went on I was a little sore. I just think I need to rest and try to get back as fast as possible and get healthy.
RB Rashad Jennings
Q: Do you think you should have run the ball more?
Jennings: At the end of the day we didn’t come away with the (win). Could of? We always can. We can do anything we want if we execute. Hats off to them. They played well enough to win, so we’ll take this long ride home, go straight to the film room and get ready for next week.
Q: Did you feel like you were able to establish a good rhythm early on?
Jennings: Yeah. The offensive line was putting hats on hats and leaving holes for the (running) backs. Hats off to them. That’s what we expect from the backfield is us to run physical.
Q: You had 17 points off of turnovers, yet you couldn’t get the win. Is that disappointing in that respect?
Jennings: It’s disappointing when you lose anytime. The stats, the numbers, statistics, however it goes… We leave those up to the guys who deal with statistics. But at the end of the day every time we had the ball we had an opportunity to score and move the ball and if we didn’t score, put the defense in a better position and for whatever reason, we didn’t execute. That’s why we have a film room. We’ll go see what it is and what we can do to get better.
Q: How frustrating was it to be on the goal line and not get a touchdown?
Jennings: It’s frustrating. I think it was first and goal, I believe. You want to think that you can punch it in. We’ve got a physical group. We’ve got a physical group up front. We’ve got a talented quarterback and talented receivers who can catch. For us, there are no excuses for not being able to get in the end zone and that’s starting with myself just being the running back out there.
CB Tracy Porter
Q: Take us through the pick that you had on Eli.
Porter: It was just zone coverage and reading the quarterback. He settled to get the ball to Cruz. I just made a good read and he let the ball go and I made a great break and I ran it back for a touchdown.
Q: Charles Woodson spoke to the team at halftime. Did that inspire you guys?
Porter: Definitely. Anytime a guy speaks, especially a guy such as Charles, his words are definitely taken in by everybody on the team because he’s had so much success in this league. He’s going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, so he’s been around the block a few times. He’s played this game for a very long time, so he knows the ins and outs and he speaks volumes. He knows what he’s talking about, so guys really take heed to what he says.
Q: What will your thoughts be on the plane ride home?
Porter: We let a few slip. It’s an annoying thing when you let things slip through the cracks like that, you go back and you look at certain plays that you could have had and know you could have made a few plays. You still left plays out there on the field and that’s not what we’re put here to do. We’re here to execute. Though we’re human and we’re going to make mistakes for the most part, we’re here to execute and we just flat out didn’t execute. That’s the thing that’s going to puzzle me on this five and a half hour flight back.
Q: You guys had 17 points off of turnovers. Was not taking advantage of that frustrating or a loss in general is frustrating?
Porter: A loss, period, is frustrating. First and foremost, wins are tough to come by in this league. They’re hard fought and when you don’t come away with one, when you fought so hard and a team capitalizes on your mistakes that you made, it is frustrating. Knowing the potential that we have on the team and where we can go and when we don’t win, it’s a very frustrating issue.