Opening statement: "I think I'll just first of all start off and say, obviously things didn't work out exactly the way that we wanted them to this season. Proud of the guys and the way they fought and battled throughout the year. They continued to compete. They never gave in. I thought there were certain areas in which there was some improvement, especially over the last part of the season. I thought specifically defensively I thought we made some improvement at the end of the year. It was something for us to build on going forward. Obviously, this has been a tough morning. There's some things I had to do from the standpoint of the coaching staff that I felt like was best for this organization. Sometimes you have to make business decisions. I thought yesterday's game, I thought there was some good things in the game. I thought it was great to be able to see Terrelle Pryor. I thought he really did some nice things in the game, showed some improvement and showed that there's some stuff that we can work with moving forward with Terrelle Pryor. So that was good to see. I thought the red zone offense was an improvement. I thought third down was an improvement. Defensively I thought we played well again in the game. We had the one drive that we really extended the drive and gave up some plays. I thought our third down defense, again, was pretty good in the game. I thought our rushing defense was pretty good in the game, an area that we really needed to improve on over the last four weeks of the season, which I thought we did. Obviously I was disappointed in special teams in that we started off the game with the opening kickoff and gave up the fake punt. But I thought we responded and I thought we continued to battle and I thought at the end of the game we made a big play there special teams-wise with the blocked punt and gave ourselves a chance to get a touchdown and have an opportunity to kick an onside kick and potentially win the game. With that, I'll open it up to questions."
On why he made the coaching moves: "I think what happened is you realize it wasn't working. We weren't getting the production we needed to and I felt like we needed to make a change."
On if the offensive system isn't fitted to the roster: "Listen, I think the zone scheme running scheme is a productive running scheme. Obviously we didn't have the success we needed to have and I think there's a lot of factors that contribute into that. I'm not tied to a specific system. I'm tied to trying to find what our players can do really well and trying to put them in those positions and give them a chance to have success. I'm looking for production and I'm looking for execution and I think that's where we have to be better."
On if they'd look to bring back last year's running scheme based on Darren McFadden's success: "Obviously I thought there was some good things that were done the year prior as far as what they did, the execution was well. What I want to do is I want to get the right guy for the job and I'm not tied into the system, but I want to make sure that we're able to be a successful, productive offense. We have to have some rhythm and some explosiveness in our offense."
On when the process starts of determining which coaches get let go: "The evaluation process for everything is continual throughout the year and it will continue on into the off-season. It never stops. I think that was something that we thought about and really we're looking at the last part of the season to see if there was progress and changes. At the end of the day, I didn't feel like there was enough progress in those areas. And let me say this about these guys – I think all of them, I've got the utmost respect for every single one of them. They're good football coaches. Sometimes circumstances don't work out; things don't work out the way you want them to. This was one of those situations it just didn't work out and I think those guys will go on and have success at other places."
On if there could still be more coaching changes: "No, we made four changes and that's all that I anticipate."
On if the process was talking to GM Reggie McKenzie and then the coaches: "Yes."
On a time frame of bringing in a new offensive coordinator: "I don't have a time frame for getting somebody in. I want to make sure we get the right guy and however long that takes for us to get the right guy, that's how long that takes. We've got to identify the potential candidates. We'll start that process and we'll try to identify the guys that we think are best for this job and then we'll try to start the process as soon as we can. We'll go until we get the right guy."
On if he'd be comfortable with a former head coach in that role: "I'll be comfortable with a guy that I feel like gives us the best chance to be successful in all areas."
On if it's easier to pick a staff earlier in the off-season: "We're getting a little bit of a jumpstart in the process, but again, there's specific rules within the National Football League and people under contract and sometimes you can't get everybody that you might initially try to get. We'll see how that process goes."
On if there will be a lot of people available for the coaching positions: "Yeah, I think there's going to be a significant pool of guys to look at. I've been in my office all day talking to coaches and players so I really haven't followed exactly what's happened out there so I don't know exactly what's gone on."
On if they'll look at Al Saunders for the offensive coordinator position: "Yeah, I mean I think we're going to look at all the possible options."
On if he spoke to Saunders last time: "Yeah, he was one of the first guys I communicated with."
On if QB Carson Palmer was adaptable to the zone blocking scheme: "I think Carson was adaptable to the system. I think Carson can fit in any system you want to run."
On the long-term prognosis on Palmer's health: "To my knowledge, there's no long-term implications. To my knowledge, he's going to make a full recovery and be fine."
On if Palmer will be ready by mini-camps: "That's my understanding.'
On if the defensive improvements the last few weeks were a factor in retaining DC Jason Tarver: "Listen, I was pleased with where Jason was. I think JT does a good job for us. I think he's a very smart football coach. I think he, like all of us, he's the first time in that position. So we all go through a learning curve in that position and I think that's something we've looked at throughout this organization, guys that are first time doing that particular job. We'll learn and grow from it. Again, I said this from the very beginning, I'm not in this for a one-year deal; I'm in this for a long-term. I'm in this to build this thing the right way and I'm excited about looking forward to the future and where this organization is going to go."
On if he wishes they'd used Pryor more in the red zone throughout the season: "I know this – I know that we had some effectiveness in the red zone [in the game yesterday]. I thought he did a nice job in the red zone. I think his athleticism brings an extra dimension that makes it difficult on defenses down there. So yeah, I think his athleticism can help us in the red zone."
On if the team was more dynamic on offense with Pryor yesterday: "Again, I think his athleticism gives us a unique element at the quarterback position. I thought you saw that in the game the other day. I thought his ability to get outside the pocket and make some things happen gave us a little bit of a spark."
On Pryor's passes yesterday: "There was some inconsistency there in the way that he threw the ball, but again, I thought he made some plays down the field because he was able to buy some time and move around and he was able to find open receivers down the field in doing that."
On how many players he believes will remain part of the core of the team: "I don't know what that number is. I do know that we have some guys that are going to be the core of what we want and the type of players that we want. I also know that we've got some work to do this off-season to try to get more of those type of players. I think we have a clear idea of what type of player we're looking for in building this team for the future."
On if McFadden is still one of those core guys: "I like Darren. I think he's a good running back. I think he's an explosive player. I'm hoping that he can continue to produce into the future."
On if he has started to identify their existing free agents they want to keep with McKenzie: "We've identified those guys that we're trying to be able to get back. We're in the process. How long that process takes, at the end of the day, Reggie will kind of handle that part of it. But we've met a lot over the last few weeks on where we're going as an organization and what we're looking to do and I think we've got a clear plan of what we're trying to get done."
On how many guys they want to bring back: "I'm not getting into the number."
On if he'll give names: "Not getting into names."
On if he's interested in coaching at the Senior Bowl: "That's obviously something that we would consider if we're given that opportunity. That's something that Reggie and I have talked about, but really nothing's been done in that regard yet."
On what ways this roster is closer to the type of team he wants than it was at the start of the season: "I think we began to identify ourselves or began to develop an identity defensively of kind of what we want to become and how we want to play the game. I think our guys really understand what they're going to be accountable for and the things that we're looking for in a football team, the things we're looking for in players. I think they also understand that we've got to develop that leadership within the locker room that's going to allow us to be able to sustain success over a long period of time. This is a player's game. Players make plays and the best teams are able to, at some point in time, hand the keys to the car over to the players and they're able to run the program the way it needs to be run. We're not at that point yet, but we're developing that every day."
On what he learned about himself as a coach and about offense: "I learned we have to score points. I think overall what I learned is there's a lot of decisions that go into being the head football coach and a lot of things you're in charge of and accountable to. And also learned there's a lot of tough decisions that you have to make and you have to make the decisions you think are best for the football team, no matter how popular or unpopular those decisions may be and regardless of personal feelings. This is a business and we have to make business decisions. I think every day that I get an opportunity to coach this football team, I learn a little bit more about the team; I learn a little bit more about myself and I learn a little bit more about what we have to do to be successful moving forward."
On if there was hesitancy in bringing in a new offense because of the learning curve: "Obviously I believe in continuity. I think that's the way you're able to sustain success in this league is through continuity. But I also know that at some point we're looking for the results and we have to have the results. This is a win-now business. No matter how much patience we're looking for, this is a win-now business and that's what we're paid to do and we have to do that. So continuity I believe is important, but yet, we have to be able to put in a new offense, special teams schemes, and we've got to be able to do that in a timely manner and we're going to play the season, so we have to be ready to go."
On if he still feels he had a better team than the 4-12 record: "Listen, at the end of the day, you are who you are. You are what your record says you are. Do I think that we can play better and have enough talent on this team to be better than we were? Yeah. And we fell short in that area, but that's the past. I'm looking for the future. We're looking to build this team the right way. We're going to get the right players. We're going to get the right coaches and we're going to build this organization the way that it's supposed to be done. We're going to get back to the glory days of the Oakland Raiders."
On if he should have left the offense the way it was: "I'm not going to look back and try to say what could have, would have, or should have been. I'm looking forward to what we need to do to try to get this team better in the future."
On the difficulties in the return game: "I think not having Jacoby [Ford] back there hurt us. Obviously, he's an explosive factor back there. I think it's a combination, just like I've talked about in the run game, it's a combination of the scheme, the blocking, as well as the returners. I think that's an area that we have to look to improve on as we move forward."
On his plans for LB Rolando McClain: "I think we're going to let that play out as the off-season goes along. Right now he's part of this football team. There's been no move made there and we'll see how the off-season goes."
On the effects of the injuries and roster moves: "Well that's a factor. I don't think there's any denying that injuries are a factor in pro football. I think we said going into the season that we felt like we had the front line players but we were limited as far as the depth is concerned, so I think that was a factor. Again, this is a bottom line business and it's a next-man up philosophy and we have to get the job done. As we move forward into next year, that's what our charge is. Our charge is to get the job done and we need to win."