Quotes from Jim Schwartz's Monday press conference.
On the most disappointing aspect of the loss to Arizona: "Well, we've had a lot of games this year that came down to one play. You know, one critical play in the fourth quarter that you look at and say, ‘Hey, if we made that one we would have won the game.' We can't be naïve to think that this was one of those games. Even though we have a chance to pull within seven with six minutes to play, that really wasn't the case in this game. There were way too many errors in this game to have a chance to win and it showed on the scoreboard."
On not having TE Brandon Pettigrew in the game: "Well, we missed playmakers in general. They doubled Calvin (Johnson) on just about every play. They used punt coverage to try to handle him and the fact that he still had 121 yards says a lot about Calvin, says a lot about Scott Linehan's ability to still be able to get him the ball. But we severely lacked other playmakers on the field. We didn't have very many other guys to step up and make those plays. That's something that we're going to have to have because everybody's going to double Calvin. Early in the season we were facing defenses that were more prevent-type defenses where they were just trying to prevent a big play. They had respect for a lot of other players. This, they took the approach of trying to say if Calvin can't make the play then we'll challenge all the rest of the guys. You know, it's the equivalent of a box and one in basketball."
On why the defensive line has not been able to dominate: "Well, I mean, in this game, I won't necessarily see our defense being the culprit, for lack of a better word. You know, 17-percent on third downs, it's hard when you're starting drives on your own 3-yard line and 1-yard line and stuff like that. I mean, we can certainly play better and we want to but, you know, there were a couple rushes when the quarterback escaped. One, he found a receiver for one of the only two first downs or third down conversions in the game. Another, he scrambled for a first down. So, we can do those better. But, you know, you look at the game the way they played, they ran the ball and they threw real quick passes. You're not going to see a whole lot of sacks in those situations."
On making the playoffs last season to going 4-10 so far this season: "Well, you know, if you look at this game I think, like I said in the beginning, we can't be naïve enough to think that this was a one-play game. But realistically, a lot of the other ones were. We still have a lot of confidence in what we do and where we're going to go. We need to do a better job. We haven't done a good enough job this year."
On if the team's confidence is shaken with the 4-10 record: "I mean, your confidence always goes from week to week. You know, we work really hard to try to win games. It means an awful lot to our coaches, it means an awful lot to our players.
"I mean, the Giants are in a situation where they're trying like crazy to win. They're coming off a Super Bowl. They got beat 34-0 yesterday. I mean, Drew Brees threw five interceptions in a game. Does he do that because he's not trying? No, he's trying to win. He's trying to do everything he can. Sometimes, you know, you can try too hard. It can work against you. I think it means an awful lot to the players, it means an awful lot to the coaches. We're going to continue to work hard and we're going to try our best."
On how long it will take for the team to arrive at where it needs to be: "Yeah, we're not going to make any predictions. We're going to do our very best for Atlanta this week. Our mantra's always been the same when it comes to that stuff. But we have, I don't want to say set back, but we have been sidetracked this year. We have gone off the rails a little bit, sidetracked. Got to get back on track."
On if the mistakes on the field have been mental errors: "We had very few mental mistakes in the game. You know, we had a couple false starts with crowd noise. I mean, we need to do a better job with those, but we had very few times where guys weren't in the right position or stuff like that. I'm never going to get up here and say that talent's our issue. I have confidence in our players. If we put them on the field, we have confidence in them. You know, you might not always have a full complement of players, but it's our job as coaches to put those guys in position. Try to find the combination of guys and try to find a way to get it done. We were short a defensive lineman this week. We went to some three defensive lineman packages. We've always adjusted and that's just our job as coaches, and it's players' jobs as players to make those adjustments."
On QB Matthew Stafford telling the team the loss was on him: "That's what quarterbacks do. I think that he is accountable. Like I said, quarterbacks have days like that; talked about Drew Brees throwing five interceptions. Matt cares an awful lot and winning means an awful lot. This losing streak has hurt an awful lot. But good quarterbacks are always going to put it on their shoulders and obviously turnovers had a lot to do with this game."
On if the coaching staff is preparing the team well enough: "We're all in this together and this team goes out and works hard and prepares every single week. We haven't always gotten it done on Sundays, particularly these last six weeks. And we're going to work hard to get that right."
On what he would call the four turnovers if not mental mistakes: "I mean, they're errors. But mental mistakes I mean guys blowing a scheme or in the wrong spot or something like that."
On what responsibility he takes as coach: "One hundred percent. I appreciate it when a quarterback wants to take blame for it, but ultimately it's the head coach's responsibility. I mean, head coaches always have a record. Other than playoffs I don't know if I've ever seen quarterbacks have records. Usually it's playoffs, ‘Hey this guy is whatever in the playoffs.' The ultimate responsibility of the team is the head coach and I need to do a better job, 4-10 isn't good enough."
On how he salvages the season: "I don't think we salvage the season. There's no salvaging a season. We can salvage each week and we have to look at each week and come up with a good game plan, practice it and come out and deliver on Sunday. If we do that we will have done our jobs."
On how disturbed he is by a six-game losing streak: "Well, we're not happy about it. It's been a long time since we've won. We'll work hard to get that right but it's certainly not something we're happy about."
On LB Stephen Tulloch's comment about players on one-year deals having that on their minds on the field: "I don't think that has anything to do with our coaching staff. Players, I mean, it's a real dynamic as far as the business of the NFL when it comes to players. I think all our players are professional and they leave that aside when it comes to playing in the game. I don't want to speak for Stephen but I haven't seen any sign of that. I think we have a lot of guys that are on the last year of the deal that are having some of their best seasons."