You’ve taken a lot of hits this season. How has that affected your performance and the offensive performance overall?
“It’s just part of football. I think that’s the thing, you get hit and you get back up. The one the other day where I had to come off for a play, your knee gets put in that compromising position and the first thing you think about is ACL or whatever. Once I realized it wasn’t that, my back just really tightened up. I tried to stay in. The ref said I had to come out for a play. Then you just go back in and finish the game and play through it. That’s just part of football.”
Is there something you tell a guy after he drops a pass as a quarterback? Is there a back and forth there?
“In the past you go up to him and say, ‘Hey don’t worry about it, I’m coming right back to you.’ That’s the one thing is this is our team and those are my guys. I don’t even have to say it. They know I’m going to come back and throw it to them and keep throwing to them. We all have to do better. I have to make better throws, they make the catches. It’s all about, I know we’ve said it for four weeks now, but just executing when the time comes.”
Do you feel that’s something that will fall into place with some success and some confidence?
“Yeah. Like I said, you go out every week and you try to improve. The one thing with us is it’s not like we’re going out there and getting our butts kicked. We’re moving the ball. We hurt ourselves with some penalties, some negative plays. We can see what we’re capable of. We’ve just got to go out and do it. When you get down in the red area you’ve got to score touchdowns. I think that was the biggest thing when you go back and watch the film from this past week is one touchdown was the difference in the game. We have to figure out a way to obviously score touchdowns instead of field goals. Obviously [K] Robbie [Gould] did a great job. Basically, we get in there and you know you’re getting at least three. Now it’s our job to make sure we figure out a way to get the other four.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that when a team is struggling you look at the tape and that’s how you keep frustration at bay. He was encouraged. What encourages you from what you saw offensively on tape?
“There were a lot of big plays. You go to the first drive out of halftime, I think we had four plays in a row over 12 yards or something like that. It’s there. We just have to put it all together and then execute it when it comes down to it. I know you guys are probably sick of hearing me say it, but there’s really no other answer to it. It’s just coming out and getting it done. Because we show that we can do it. And then, whether it’s a penalty, missed throw, a drop, we pull ourselves back and we just can’t overcome it. When you’re having issues like that, you can’t miss the opportunities that are there.”
Other than the Rams game, really it’s the red zone where this offense has struggled. Do you see anything collectively that kind of creeps up in those situations?
“No. I don’t think it’s anything collectively. It’s just one play at a time, execute that play, get as many yards as you can and then go onto the next one. I think that’s really what it comes down to.”
You had a lot of success last season in Chicago and you had some success with Shanahan in Cleveland as well, won seven games. How do you explain some of your struggles so far this season?
“Like I said, it’s lack of execution. Some missed throws, missed reads. You just learn and try to get better. Thankfully here we are again on Wednesday, it comes around quick and you move onto the next week and just try to be that much better next week.”
Coach said that you guys are about a handful of plays away from being 3-1. Do you share that sentiment? Does that sting at all?
“Yeah, and sometimes that’s tougher. It’s encouraging because you can see that you’re only a few plays away. But, it’s also tough to swallow because you know that you’re that close. And, we’re not. We’re 0-4. It’s a results business. No one’s going to care that we almost won that game, or almost won this game. You only care if you win. It’s tough, but you can either go in one of two directions. You can say I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing, or are you going to work that much harder to get that extra edge to win that game.”
What’s your impressions of the Colts after watching film on them?
“Kyle kind of pointed it out in our meeting today. The first game of the year it looks like a blowout because of the Rams, but really they had two pick-sixes. They had a lot of turnovers. It wasn’t necessarily maybe how the score looked. Then you go and watch their past game against Seattle. Up until the middle of the third quarter it’s almost a tie game. Sometimes the end result doesn’t always tell the tale. A lot of the points that they’ve given up, some of them have been on offense. So you can’t really credit the defense to that. They have a good scheme, played against them last year, they’ve added some new players, drafted a first-round safety. He looks exactly what he’s built, he’s athletic, good ball skills. Then you’ve got other guys up front and in the secondary that are young, playing around, playing fast. It’s going to be a test just like it is every week in the NFL.”
You mentioned results-based business. Now coming into the second quarter of the season, is it time to kind of put the growth stuff behind everybody and get down to results or nothing?
“Yeah, for sure. I don’t think anyone’s used growth as an excuse. I don’t think that’s come up. I know it hasn’t come up for me. As simple as it is, and I’ve said it four weeks in a row, it’s just about execution when the opportunities are there. Sometimes the opportunity’s not there. You chalk it up to the defense having a good call or a good play. But, sometimes when those opportunities are there, you have to hit them, you have to execute them. Whether it’s pass, run, whatever it is. When you have that opportunity, 11 guys have to work together and get it. It can’t be 10 guys and one guy off.”
In that same vein, obviously first couple weeks of the season teams are working through stuff, especially with the new CBA and the shortened training camp. Is it now apparent to everybody in this locker room that results need to happen or changes are going to be made?
“For sure. I think every week everybody knows. Results, that’s what it is. Look around the league, whether it’s coaching, players, if you don’t give the results people are going to make changes. That’s just the way it goes. That’s how life goes, really. If anything, we just know that we have the capability to do it. Now we just have to go out and do it.”