OPENING STATEMENT: “We didn’t play very well, to say the least, and ended up with a loss. After looking at tape, the conclusion is the same. But I’m still confident that we have ability on this team, that we can do better, and we have to work and get started on getting better sooner rather than later. Anytime you lose it’s disappointing, I don’t care what your score is. When you lose, you lose. What we do have to do is, we have to find a way to make some plays and not give up plays because that’s what we’re doing. We’re giving up plays, and then we’re not making plays. That causes you to lose. That’s been the focus. That will be the focus this week because we do have a tough team that we have to play, and we have to get ready for. It’s a tough place to play. That’s what we’re going to focus on, trying to fix problems and get better. I think that there are some capabilities. We have capabilities of being able to make plays and do some things, but we’re just not consistent enough. Some of that is when guys try to do too much, and we had some of that. Guys were trying to do too much, and a negative play ends up as a result of it. That’s part of football. You deal with it, try to get it corrected and go forward. So, that’s what we’re going to try to do, is go forward.”
BOB FESCOE (610 SPORTS RADIO): Did
CRENNEL: “He got banged up a little bit, and then we decided not to put him back into the game. He wanted to go back. He was on the bicycle a little bit, but the other guys were doing OK. So, we left the other guys in.”
FESCOE: Banged up in what way?
CRENNEL: “On his knee.”
FESCOE: Same one?
CRENNEL: “Yes. We all saw it. He came down on the turf and came up limping, so we took him out of the game at that time.”
FESCOE: Any future concerns with him moving forward?
CRENNEL: “No. I talked to him after the game, and he said he wanted to go back in. He felt OK, he’s getting treatment. I think he’ll be ready to play this week.”
ADAM TEICHER (KC STAR): How about
CRENNEL: “Kevin took a pretty good hit to the head. They evaluated him in Buffalo, and he came back on the plane with us. I think it’s probably going to take a few days to clear up, so we’ll see how the week goes. It will be a couple days before we know what he can and cannot do.”
FESCOE: Where is your confidence level with
CRENNEL: “We don’t like turnovers at all. We had two of them during the course of the game. I think Matt could have held onto the ball. He should have put two hands on the ball because he felt the pressure. He had it in his right hand and then shifted it to his left hand to try to get away from the pressure, but he didn’t tuck it into his body. Then the guy came around and hit it and the ball came out. He should have had both hands on the ball to secure the football and not created a turnover at that point. Other than that turnover, Matt delivered the ball to the receivers and made some plays. We were able to get us into some of the correct plays that we wanted to be in at the line of scrimmage. If you take that turnover away, then he didn’t have a bad game.”
DANNY CLINKSCALE (610 SPORTS RADIO): There seems to be some getting pushed back at the line of scrimmage. How much of a concern is that and do you see that?
CRENNEL: “Sure you see some of it. On the offensive line, sometimes those defensive guys, if they can time it up and come across, they can get on us before we can get on them. Then we end up getting pushed back a bit. Defensively, the nickel package, we had a little trouble in the nickel package as far as a running game goes yesterday. But the 34 package did a pretty good job with limiting number of plays.”
FESCOE: How concerned are you with your defense right now?
CRENNEL: “I am concerned because we’re giving them too many points, but also I can say there is some talent in the room and they show that during other plays during the course of the game when they do what they’re supposed to do, they are an efficient defense. The thing that we have to do is get it to be an efficient defense more consistently and the majority of the time.”
FESCOE: How do you get guys to have the ability to play consistently?
CRENNEL: “Just keep on harping on them and repeating to them their responsibilities and putting them in positions in practice that they are forced to do what they’re supposed to do. And then in the game, hopefully they’ll be able to get it done.”
FESCOE: Last year you were pretty good on defense. Why doesn’t it seem to carry over?
CRENNEL: “Every year is a different year in the NFL even though people don’t believe that. You always add new people to your team, you always lose people off the team. So you have to rebuild your team chemistry, and that doesn’t happen overnight. This team is a relatively young team, so I think we’re going through some growing pains with a new offense and some new people. Some new people who are not here anymore, so we have to work through it and work it out to get it better.”
TEICHER: Are you going to do any lineup changes?
CRENNEL: “We’re discussing everything, evaluating everything. We will discuss that later on tonight. We looked at the tape, we talked about the game a little bit, and if we decide to make changes, we’ll talk about that tonight and tomorrow.”
FESCOE: Are you more worried about the defense giving up too many points or the offense not scoring enough points?
CRENNEL: “The offense, they have scored some points in the two games that we’ve played, but the defense, they’ve given up too many points. Defensively, we have to find a way not to give up the big plays that we’re giving up to hold the score down. I think yesterday there might have been six plays that they gained over 100 yards, the total of six plays. That’s a touchdown just in yardage, but some of it was on a short field so it ended up being more points than six.”
FESCOE: How as a coach do you keep their confidence up?
CRENNEL: “They are concerned, and they are looking for answers just as we are looking for answers. I think that they feel that they have some ability in the room, and that, like I tell them, if they do their job the way they’re supposed to do it, then we’ll be able to make plays. I think that they see that when you put it on the tape and show it to them, where issues are happening and problems occur. They see where if they do what they’re supposed to do, that they can stop a play, and then they can make a play. So, I think they’re still encouraged about the ability in the room and about their ability to maybe improve and get better.”
TEICHER: Do you have the ability to be both the defensive coordinator and head coach?
CRENNEL: “Yes. I think so, yes, definitely. I’ve done both jobs before. I haven’t done both of them at the same time before. I’ve been a defensive line coach and a defensive coordinator before, so I’ve done dual roles in the past. I kind of understand what it takes. I think that going forward, we will get better. If we play the play that we need to play the way we need to play it, then you wouldn’t even be asking the question.”
FESCOE: Are guys not doing what they’re supposed to be doing?
CRENNEL: “No. Let me give you an example. I have run support. I’m the force guy on the edge. I’m getting blocked, and I peak inside to see the run and just what’s happening. The ball breaks outside and it gets outside of me. My responsibility is to make the play on the outside and not let the ball get outside, and I’ve peaked inside to see where the ball is. So, now that’s just a matter of discipline, but it turns into another play because it gets outside of the defense. If I stay outside and force the ball back inside, now then it’s on somebody else and not on me. But in trying to make a play, I peak inside because I want to make the play, but then the ball goes outside. So, sometimes you have to go through that experience to know to stay outside when you’re the force guy. If you’re not the force guy and somebody else has force, then you can go inside. Same thing occurs in the passing game sometimes. A guy takes a read on the quarterback, and he goes where he thinks the ball is going to go, but the ball goes somewhere else. Now you’ve got a void in the defense. Some of those things are occurring, and I think that those things are fixable.”
DANNY CLINKSCALE (SPORTS RADIO 810): Are you doing anything different this week due to the 0-2 start?
CRENNEL: “We can only have one day in pads, so we will decide whether that’s Wednesday or Thursday and go to work with it. I don’t know if it will be more hitting or anything we haven’t scheduled. We can determine whether we want it to be 9-on-7 or whether we want it to be team run or if we want it to be third down, and decide what we want to put the emphasis on. Then we’ll go ahead and do that during the course of the week. It depends on your game plan, the team that you’re playing and what they’re doing.”
DAVE SKRETTA (AP): Did you see this slow start coming?
CRENNEL: “No, not really. You go through training camp – and I know everybody wants to make a big deal about training camp – but half the time in training camp the guys that are playing in those games are not even here. I can’t put a whole lot of stock in those games because the guy who played in them are not even here. Now we’re playing in the regular season, and we’ve got our guys. They have to get it done, and we’ve not been able to get it done for the first couple games.”
CLINKSCALE: Do you think this next one is a must-win?
CRENNEL: “I would like to win, definitely. I don’t know if it’s a must-win. I know we will try to look at it as a must-win because we want to win it, but we’re not going to fall off the earth if we lose it. But I really don’t want to tell those guys that. I want them to feel the urgency that we need to get better and we need to start quickly getting better.”
FESCOE: What do you say to the fans?
CRENNEL: “Same thing. I tell the fans that we have ability on this team, and we’re trying to get it right. I think if we can do what we’re supposed to do then we’ll get it right and we’ll make plays and then this team will be better going down the road.”