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Postgame Comments - Players

Posted Jan 9, 2011

G RYAN LILJA
On the adversity of today’s game
: “We dealt with adversity pretty well. We didn’t do it today, unfortunately, when it counted.”

 

What was the difference in today’s game? “To be honest with you, I couldn’t pinpoint one thing. This is a tough pill to swallow right now. We didn’t play well offensively, we turned the ball over. We don’t do those things. We didn’t convert on third down or fourth down. We didn’t stay on the field – our defense fought hard. We had to get out there and we had to stay out there and we didn’t do it. Unfortunately we didn’t convert when we needed to.”

Scheme-wise, did they do anything different in that third quarter? “No, no they didn’t. They didn’t really do anything that we hadn’t planned for. We just didn’t execute unfortunately and made some mistakes and just got beat.”

You grew up watching this team. What does this season mean to you: “I don’t know. It’s disappointing to end like this. We had high hopes for this team, win the division and get in the playoffs. We didn’t finish the season like I think we all had hoped for, planned for and we put a lot of effort in all season long, all off-season and didn’t finish like we wanted to.”

WR DEXTER MCCLUSTER
The offense didn’t seem like it was able to sustain drives
: “It’s very disappointing. We wanted to go out there and execute, do the little things right. We weren’t on the field a lot but we need to capitalize when we do have the ball, make touchdowns or field goals or what it had to be. The defense, they played a tough game. They were out there pretty much the whole game and they stood strong.”

Was the Baltimore defense all it was cracked up to be? “They’re very experienced. They’ve been in the league for awhile, they’ve played together, so this is not new for them. They played good, can’t take anything away from them. I think we still had some opportunities to expose them.”

You guys came through so much; no one expected you to win the division. How hard is it to end it like this? “It’s very hard to end like this but you can’t let this overshadow how far the Kansas City Chiefs have come. It was a great season. We achieved one of our goals, winning the AFC West. It was a disappointing loss today but we just have to keep our heads up and just come back stronger than ever and remember this feeling.”

What did Coach Haley say to you after the game? “He just told us to keep our heads up, don’t let this game overshadow what we’ve put in all year. Come back strong, remember how this felt and use this as motivation in the offseason.”

You were only down three points at halftime. In the third quarter, penalties, sacks, turnovers seemed to really hurt you: “Penalties, sacks and turnovers, they’re a recipe for disaster. They lose games. We have to be more consistent on doing the little things right – hanging on the ball, reading your keys and just protecting the quarterback. They played a great game overall.”

LB DERRICK JOHNSON
On defending Baltimore
: “They capitalized off of our mistakes. When they needed to make a play they made a play on third down. As a defense, we have to get off of the field. It is a tough loss to swallow. We have to learn from it. It is hard to keep your head up but we will. We pride ourselves on being tough but I couldn’t find an example of that today.”

Did you do all you could defensively today? “No, I can’t say that. When ever the defense is out on the field, regardless of any kind of turnover, the defense has to come up with a play. If you want to be a great team, you have to demand that of your defense. We didn’t get the job done.”

Can you explain why TE Todd Heap was so effective? “They had a good game plan. He made some tough catches. There were a couple of times where we had him covered and he made a tough catch. He is a feisty veteran that helps his team win.”

On the performance of QB Joe Flacco: “He did a good job of staying in the pocket and avoiding some sacks. It was hard to get him down today. His feet helped him stay on the field.”

What does it feel like to get to the playoffs and end the season like this? “It’s hard because you never know when you are going to get this chance again. I don’t think we took advantage of our opportunity today. We will learn from it. We will start the offseason on the right foot. We did a good job but we are a young team this year. My hat is off to my teammates. We showed toughness this whole year. Nobody thought we would get this far. That is not an excuse for loosing today. Looking back to recap the year, I think we did some special things.”

S JON MCGRAW
On the game
: “Some things just didn’t go our way and we couldn’t recover. At the end of the day we made some mistakes and we can’t do that against good teams like Baltimore.”

What makes TE Todd Heap so good? “Everything. He is a big body, he has speed and quickness. He is a savvy route runner and they do a good job of scheming to get him in space.”

On using multiple defenders to cover Heap: “We were trying different defenses to find what would work. We knew after the first few series we had to get out of the zones. We were having some problems underneath with backs getting open. We tried to get some man coverages to tighten it up but that creates some tough one-on-one situations and Todd did a great job of getting open today.”

DE SHAUN SMITH
On the game
: “We let the game get out of control. We played a good first half but didn’t finish. My hat goes off to them. They wanted it more than us and executed better. That’s a good team we played. They have been here before and we are still a young team, still trying to develop. It is going to be hard to get back to where we are now and win ten games next year. Hopefully I come back, they bring me back.”

What did Baltimore do that surprised you or they did better than you thought they would do? “It’s a good football team over there. We sucked on third down and we didn’t play a complete game. Offense, defense and special teams, if you don’t play a complete game you can’t win the big games. We got a taste of it, hopefully a lot guys keep that hunger in them and understand that in the postseason it is a different season.”

Why was third down so difficult today? “I can’t pin-point it. They made plays. They get paid to make plays just like we get paid to make plays. They just made more than we did. My hat goes off to them. We tried to contain the run. We did a good job of that. We still have to wrap up and make the tackles. When we had the opportunities to stop them we should have taken advantage of them. Hey, that’s how it goes sometimes.”

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