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News

Coach Allen Monday

Posted Sep 17, 2012

Head Coach Dennis Allen took questions from the media about yesterday's game against the Dolphins and the upcoming game with the Steelers.

On the game: “I think there’s a lot of things we have to do better. We’re obviously not where we need to be as a football team and we have to continue to work to get better and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to learn from this one and we’re going to move on and we’re going to get ready for Pittsburgh.”

On if he’s surprised the team is not where he thought they’d be: “No, I don’t know if surprised is the word. I’m confident that we’re going to get better. I’m confident that we’re going to get to where we need to get to. Hey listen, it’s a work in progress. But that’s exactly what it is. We’re going to keep working.”

On what coach thinks about on the flight home after a loss: “Well, I think you’re always thinking about how you can be better, how you can better have your team prepared, how we can get to where it doesn’t slip away like that. That’s part of what you do as a head football coach. Obviously, things didn’t work the way we wanted them to there in the second half and the game got away from us a little bit, but we have to learn from it. We have to get back. We met today as a team and we watched the tape today together as a team. We made the corrections that we need to get made.”

On if watching tape as a team is normal procedure: “No, we usually separate up offense and defense and special teams. And then get some individual time with our position coaches. But we’re going to be a team. We’re going to stick together. We’re going to continue to fight and I just felt like it was a good thing for us to get together and look at it as a team and see where we’ve got to make improvement so we don’t let these things happen again.”

On if he’s seen that done in other places: “Yes.”

On whether the second half break down was personnel or scheme: “I thought they [Miami] did a nice job with their scheme and making some adjustments. We came out in the second half and started defensively with a three-and-out and then they got the ball in the plus territory. Reggie [Bush] made a run on a third-and-one, we missed some tackles and from there it just kind of got away from us.”

On why the running game hasn’t gotten going: “First of all, I think we have to do a better job of creating some movement up front. We have to get some lanes to run in. We’ve had some interchanging parts. [Stefen] Wisniewski started there at center in this game, so we have to get a better feel for what we’re trying to do in the run game and we have to execute. And that’s what it really boils down to. It boils down to the execution of the plays.”

On if the head coaching position is tougher than anticipated: “I don’t think about whether it’s tougher than I thought it would be or what it is. It’s the job. You go out there and you do everything you can to get your team ready to play and that’s what we’re going to do and we’re going to continue to do that.”

On when it becomes a must-win game: “We’re ready to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. And that’s the only game I’m concerned about. As far as I’m concerned, the next game up on your schedule is a must-win. And that’s what we’re trying to do every week.”

On if the team was tired because of the heat: “I don’t know if that was the biggest factor. Obviously it had something to do with it because we kind of wore down a little bit, we missed some tackles that we weren’t missing earlier in the game. So yeah, conditioning is a factor, but that’s not an excuse.”

On the Bush touchdowns: “It was the missed tackles on the first run. I think on the second run, I think they did a nice job of getting it into the crease. We didn’t fit it exactly like we would have wanted to fit it and then when Reggie gets out in open space, he’s a hard guy to get down. That’s what happened on the second run.”

On the injuries: “Shawntae [Spencer] has a sprained foot and Khalif Barnes has a groin. I think both of those are probably significant injuries. I don’t know the exact extent to what those injuries are, but those are two guys that could potentially miss some time.”

On next step at cornerback position: “Well, we’re going to look at it. We’re going to look at the personnel that we have and we’re going to look if there’s anybody out there that we feel like can help us. So that’s definitely a position we have to look at and see where we’re at and see if there’s anything we need to do.”

On if the issue defending Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was because he was a bigger guy or if CBs couldn’t get position on him: “A little bit of a combination. We were playing some off coverage and they were doing a nice job of understanding where the safety rotation was going and knew where they were going to be able to get the match up. Hartline did a nice job of pushing us up and keeping us off of him and then turning around and catching the ball. They threw the ball on time, so that was one of the things I thought they did a nice job of in the second half of attacking us.”

On CB Pat Lee: “Couple plays in front of him you would have hoped that maybe he could have made the play. He knocked the ball out a couple times. Overall, we would have liked for him to play better, but that was the first significant action he’s gotten so he’s going to continue to get better.”

On if cornerbacks were giving up too much cushion: “We were a little loose. We were a little loose in coverage and we’re going to look at what we can do next week to maybe we can get a little bit tighter.”

On if DB Philip Adams should have fielded a punt at the 2-yard line and if he has hard rules on fielding punts: “Yeah, and he made a poor decision on that one and that’s one of the things we have to do a better job of. We have to play smarter, make better decisions. Obviously, we have to do a better job as coaches of stressing those things to make sure our players fully understand what they’re responsible for and what they’re supposed to do in different situations.”

On the coaching staff on the sidelines: “Ultimately, I’m responsible for the whole thing. But I, at no point, have ever felt like the coaches were out of control at all. I think the coaches are doing a good job of coaching the players, trying to help them, trying to get them better and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

On yesterday’s effort: “It wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t good enough; we have to be better. We’re going to continue to strive to get better in that area.”

On whether that correction comes from the coach or within the locker room: “It comes from both. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility, but I think overall we all have to do a better job and we will.”

On why the run game is struggling: “Well, like I said earlier, I think we have to do a better job creating some movement on the line of scrimmage. That’s where it starts. We have to do a better job of getting our reads and exactly where those cuts need to be made. And then we need to get out to a lead where we can really stay with it.”

On the lack of pass rush: “Part of it, you have to give them a lot of credit. I thought they did a nice job of blocking us. What they did in the passing game – they got the ball out quick. Pass rush and pass coverage work together. From a pass coverage standpoint, we have to make them hold the ball a little longer and then from a pass rush standpoint, when we do make them hold the ball, we have to get to the quarterback. So those things work together.”

On T Willie Smith: “He would be the guy if Khalif isn’t ready to go. I thought he did some nice things coming in only being here for, I think, 10 days now. I thought he did some good things. We’ll continue to work with him and I feel like he’s somebody that we can work with that can get better.”

On if having injuries on the offensive line prevents o-line from becoming a cohesive unit: “That’s a big part of it. Obviously, Stefen [Wisniewski] coming in and playing center and starting at center for the first time in a while, really since the Dallas game. And then we lost Khalif after about play number 25, so our ability to get a cohesive group together where they can work together and understand what the different line calls are going to be and how everyone is going to fit up certain fronts and certain stunts, it takes some time to get used to that and working together.”

On Miami’s defensive tackles: “They’re pretty good. And like I said before, Miami has been that defense, even though it’s a different defensive coordinator, a lot of those players are the same, and they’ve been a top five run defense for the last three or four years. That was obviously a challenge from a run standpoint.”

On the decision to change to zone-blocking scheme: “I believe it is a matter of time for it to get going. Part of the decision was I’ve seen this system of offense work and be very successful. I believe in this. As a defensive coach, I spent a lot of time defending different offenses and I think this is one of the more difficult offenses to have to defend. Obviously, we have to execute it better because we’re not getting the results in the running game that we’re looking for.”

On if the system is best suited for the current roster: “I don’t think it’s an issue as far as a personnel misfit with the scheme. I don’t believe that to be the issue at all.”

On how much time Spencer could miss: “I don’t, but it’s a sprained foot and I would expect him to miss some time.”

On if he’s in desperation mode for cornerbacks: “We’re not in desperation mode. Obviously we’re going to look to see if there is anything we need to do to help us get better, but I wouldn’t say after two games we’re in desperation mode at all.”

On if moving FS Michael Huff to corner is an option: “Potentially, we’re going to look at all options.”

On if the run defense can be fixed with current personnel: “Yes, we have to do better. But yeah, I believe it can and it’s all about discipline, doing your job, being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, and then playing fast and physical. We’re going to do that.”

On if he looks at the big picture and feels pressure as head coach: “I’ve got my eye on Pittsburgh. That’s the only place I’m looking. I don’t concern myself with a lot of those big picture things. I’m working one week to the next…how can we try to develop a plan that’s going to give us a chance to be successful against Pittsburgh.”

On what needs to be done to improve offensive field position: “I think it’s a matter of a lot of things. This is a team game. It’s not one phase or the other. We’ve got to get something in the return game from special teams, which we got a little bit the other day, but obviously we made a few plays that cost us some field position too. So we have to get those things corrected, improve on the positive plays we were able to get and eliminate those negative plays. Obviously, defensively we’ve got to be able to take the ball away to create some field position. We need to make them punt from backed up situations, some more three-and-outs to give our offense a chance. It’s hard in the National Football League when you’re starting drives from inside your 20. Offensively, we had yards, we threw the ball very well, that was the way the game dictated that it needed to be played. But we’ve got to get shorter fields for our offense and then we do get down in the red area, we’ve got to convert.”