C Nick Gates
December 14, 2020
Q: Coming off such a great performance in Seattle, especially running the ball for you guys, what was different in either a commitment or lack thereof to the run in this game against the Cardinals, or your guys’ execution of it?
A: We just have to get better at moving double teams and displacing the d-linemen and getting them moved off the line of scrimmage. From the film we watched, we didn’t do that very much yesterday. We have to continue practicing and getting better at that.
Q: Wayne Gallman said a couple times last night after the game that Arizona did something different things that you guys weren’t expecting on defense. What did they do maybe to jam things up for you?
A: They were doing like a 4-4 heavy package, where they brought four linebackers and four d-linemen in. We weren’t expecting that. We had some game time adjustments. We just have to do better. We have to execute better in getting everything going.
Q: Did you guys feel like you got a little bit away from the identity that had been working so well for you in the last four games?
A: We just couldn’t really get anything going. You saw, there was what, three, four, five three-and-outs. We just couldn’t keep moving the ball and couldn’t keep executing. When you’re not going long drives, you usually don’t run the ball well, and that’s just something we didn’t do well yesterday.
Q: What was the biggest difference in blocking for Daniel (Jones) yesterday? Obviously, he wasn’t up to his full mobility. Was that a bigger challenge for the offensive line?
A: We were just focused on doing our job. It didn’t matter if Daniel was healthy or hurt. We were going to try to keep him as clean as possible and try to keep everybody off of him. We were focused on just doing our jobs.
Q: With Daniel, he’s such a running threat for you guys. Bails you out sometimes, sometimes designed runs, all that stuff, you guys work together. How difficult is it when he cannot run? What does it take away from the offense?
A: Like I said, we just have to do our job and try to keep him clean no matter what, whether we’re doing good with him or not. It’s on us just to try to keep everybody off of him, and we just didn’t do our job yesterday as you saw. We gave up eight sacks. We just have to do better in protection.
Q: How are you holding up? You play every snap. This is a grind for you coming down the stretch here. You have not done this in your NFL career. You did it in college. How are you holding up physically?
A: I’m doing good. There are bumps and bruises here, that’s just typical from playing 13 games so far. But I feel good. I feel ready, trying to get prepared for the Browns and trying to do that.
Q: Did you feel like from what you saw from the Cardinals or maybe from some of the things that are said among players on the field that they knew Daniel couldn’t take off and run, and that’s kind of why they pinned their ears back against you guys? Did you get that sense on the field?
A: They ran a lot of T/E’s and stunt games and twist games inside. We just didn’t do a good enough job up front as a line passing those off and giving Daniel the ample amount of time to throw the ball. That’s just on the offensive line. It doesn’t matter if Daniel is healthy or not healthy. That’s up to him to answer those questions, and Coach Judge, but we have to do our job better.
Q: Going against Markus Golden who was obviously in your building and knows your practices and knows your tendencies, did you think that was a factor? Did you think maybe the Cardinals had some inside information?
A: Definitely. Anytime that happens when a player from your team goes to another, they’re going to give him everything they’ve got that they know. We just didn’t play well. We just have to play better. It doesn’t matter who they have on the other side of the ball or what they know or anything along those lines. We just have to play better.
Q: You’re personally a very emotional player. I’m just kind of curious what your emotions were after the game, whether this team collectively was ticked off at just not being in that game for most of it, and what that will mean going forward for these last three games?
A: Yeah, of course. It’s always not a good thing to go back into the locker room with a loss, especially with the performance the offensive line gave. It was not good, and we have to do better. I can tell you for me personally, we weren’t happy with the way we played. We can always do things better. We have to keep executing and keep going back to work in practice this week, and we have to get ready for the Browns.