On the mood of defense after past two games: "The guys are ready. It's just like anything else, they're not happy about it, we're all not happy about it. So we've got to fix it. Two weeks ago, three long runs; last week, some passes. We have to make plays when they're there, that's number one. The three weeks before that, we made a whole bunch of plays – nobody got over 300 yards. We need to find where our consistency level is. Like we say, 'tackle the guy with the ball, and get him on the ground.' That's been the issue. You can't be a one-phased team or defense in this league, because they can run and pass, the good ones."
On defending the middle of the field: "Most of that was just simply guys doing their job. What I thought [Ravens Head Coach] John [Harbaugh] and the Ravens did, was they found the guy pretty quickly. I thought [Ravens QB] [Joe] Flacco did a good job that way that was doing our job."
On communication issues: "That wasn't a lack of communication. Calls were in. That was guys doing their job on a play. Sometimes there's a guy out of whack on a play and the ball doesn't find him. Last week, the ball found him, on all three phases – not just on defense. That's what happened. So when that happens in a game, you have to get your mind right and do it. Most of the time that was the case. It was one guy being slightly out of whack on whatever happened and the ball found him. So we have to fix that. That comes down to doing your job. The only way out of anything is to do your job. Life, football or whatever."
On if Drew Brees usually finds that guy: "Oh yeah. He's pretty good."
On waiving CB Pat Lee: "Pat did his job for the most part. We just felt, and Coach [Dennis Allen] gave you the explanation, that the other younger corners were a little bit better on special teams than Pat with Ron [Bartell] back. So that's why he made the decision. Pat did some things that were very good for us this year – the interception against Kansas City, did some things that were good. There were times where he could have tackled a little better. But I'm happy Pat is on a roster and I'm rooting for him."
On DT Richard Seymour's injury: "I don't know. I know Seymour is pretty good. But I don't know what percent or how he is. I don't know the injury situation, but we'd love to have him as soon as we can, of course."
On S Mike Mitchell stepping up: "Mike gets better every week. Mike likes contact. Mike loves the game of football. Mike really wants to get it right. He takes good notes and he's attentive. He works on things. If he has questions, he brings them to us. He needs to slow his heartbeat down, which you may have heard from Coach [Allen]. He needs to slow his heartbeat down and do his job at times. He's so anxious to make a play. Well, there's times where – especially this quarterback [Saints QB Drew Brees] – he'll look over here, and throw over there. So you need to be in the right spot, and that's what Mike is learning. He's definitely progressing and we're excited with where he's going."
On if LB Aaron Curry also needs to slow it down: "Yes, that would be a good way to describe Aaron as well. He's studying, he's getting better and he's working. But he needs to slow it down and do his job. The thing that guys do, in any situation and sometimes it happens, is pressing. And you press in life too. When something is wrong, our job is to turn bad into good. But what you have to do is this: the only way out of anything is to do your job, you can't think outside of that. What happens is they start saying, 'Oh well, I feel this, and I'll try to make a play.' Then when they try to make a play and go over here, that ball runs over there. It's human nature, so that's why we have to break it. You have to do your job, that's the only way you get out of things."
On if his tone changes in his teaching methods after a difficult game: "There's 16 games. Your job is to go 1-0 every week. That's what you do. So at the end of the week, you figure out what you did wrong and you better fix it. For example, after Tampa Bay, we ran those same run plays and Baltimore tried most of those same run plays and they didn't work. That's what you have to do is fix your problems. So the methods with which we go about fixing our problems stay within our personalities as a coaching staff. There is times where they might be tired, we got to get on them. We've got to get them to go. This is football, this is the greatest game on the planet. Why? Because you can run and hit and you're totally dependent on the 10 guys on the field with you. There's times where it might be whispering – 'do your job and here's why.' There's times where it might be – 'hey look, what's wrong?' The only times you're really going to get after somebody is if they are out of their own minds or if they're about to hurt themselves. When they're about to hurt themselves – like dropping their head on contact – I've talked a lot about tackling with you guys. You don't want to ever see a football player or anybody in that position. But the message changes where we need to go, but not out of our personalities."
On handling Coach Williams' tragedy as a coaching staff: "It puts what we're doing into perspective. But also it tells you what you get to do every day when you walk out on this field is an honor and a privilege and we tell the players about that. You don't know when that's gone. You don't know. So, you had better take advantage of every day. The staff, great ones, adjust to things. You don't know what's going to come at you in a 16-game NFL season. You don't know. You don't know about injuries. You prepare who you have as good as you can, to the best of your ability, and you go fight."
On if there is a snowball effect with bad plays: "I think, against Tampa, they got shocked that a run actually went through us because we fixed everything after Miami. Really, besides two halves of football this year, we've played good run defense. I think what happens is you want answers, but you're not exactly sure. When something happens over there and you're over here, you don't know as a player. There's a little bit of shock, like, 'I wonder what happened over there.' But you have to stop thinking about that and move on to the next play. It's still the next play. Your next play is your best play – to quote Takeo Spikes. You just have to keep building that in your head and in your mindset. You can't let it enter. You can't. That's your job, you're a professional. You can't let it enter your head as a player, coach, or whatever."
On whether he thinks his players pressing got in their heads: "Sure, like I was giving an example of jumping out of the gap. You can't. All you can do is your job. That's the only way out if you want to fix something in anything that you do. You have to do your job."
On if he's still working on the fundamentals of tackling: "Yep, today we did. We work fundamentals of tackling. We have a tackling thing that we do every Wednesday, and we have takeaways that we do every Thursday. Every week, regardless, that's how we start practice because those are the two things that you've got to do. You've got to tackle the guy with the ball and you've got to take the ball away and get it back in the hands of the offense. We've done that well at times, and we can still improve on that. We've got to improve on our ball-searching. We've got to catch the ball. We've had times where it's thrown up; we had a couple last week. We should have come out of that game with a few more. In the Denver game we had our hands on a lot of footballs. We've got to catch them. That's our job. It hits our hands, we catch it."
On if he's had time to improve the team's mental state this week: "It's what you guys hit at. Before the Tampa Bay game, all we talked about at this press conference was our run defense is getting better, you're 11th in the NFL and 9th on yards per attempt. What they've got to remember is here's who we are. Now we've got to put who we are on film and do it right one play at a time every play. That's it, that's all you have to remind them. Here's who we are. You've done this. You do this. This is what you are. This is what we do. Now put it on tape consistently."