Linebacker Lorenzo Carter
Q: If you look at your defense, you have a lot of the same pieces from last year, and you could say even you made some upgrades maybe. Why do you think your unit's not playing as well as a year ago?
A: I can't really speak for everything that happened a year ago, who was here, or what happened. It's just we've got to come out and just keep playing ball, execute better, prepare and just do what we do. Last year was last year, this year is this year. We've got different problems and different teams that we play. It's just different. But we've just got to keep focusing on this year and correcting the mistakes that we made.
Q: Let me take last year out of the equation. What do you think this year is the problem? What do you guys need to do better?
A: I think we've just got finish. We're putting ourselves in good positions. If you watch the games, we're not just getting our ass beat. We're fighting. We've got a lot of fight. There's no backdown from anybody in the locker room. That's not expected from anybody, but we've just got to keep executing, execute and take advantage of situations that we can take advantage of.
Q: On the positive side, how good did that interception feel, especially in that stadium after what you went through last year?
A: That was great. Just to be able to get out there and make plays, just to play football again. Especially in Dallas, understanding that it was basically a year to the day at the same place, but that's just what it is. It's football. It's the ebbs and flows of life, really. You've got to keep fighting to get back to that point.
Q: The whole edge group, you're the one we're talking to. Crazy as it is, you're the veteran, but when I look at the whole edge group – (Linebacker) Quincy (Roche), (Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari), you, (Linebacker) Oshane (Ximines) – you guys just didn't get there yesterday. I think the edge group had one pressure. I assume that you would tell me that's not good enough. How do you guys go about changing that? I'm sure you expected to be a much better edge group than you've been through five games.
A: I mean, it depends on what you're looking at, perspectives –
Q: Pressures, sacks, quarterback hits, literally any metric.
A: Honestly, if that's how you rate football players or edge groups, then that's one thing. But we do more than rush the quarterback. We affect the game in multiple ways. We try set the edge, play the run and do different things. We drop, we help in different ways more than just sacks and there's different ways to affect the game. Yes, of course, sacks are the pretty thing that people like. It's the popular statistic, but we've got to – like you said, we've got to get pressure. That's a part of the game. But I feel like as long as the guys you named, Azeez, me, X, Quincy, and even our practice (squad) players, we have the ability. We've got the guys and we know what we can do, so we've just got go out there and like I said, it all comes back to execution.
Q: I know it's early in the season and you guys have got 12 games left, but if you look at the standings, you're three games out of first place in the East. Is it getting to the point where you guys are in trouble?
A: Was that a question?
A: Is it getting to the point where we're in trouble? I wouldn't say so, I would say that we have everything in front of us. Like you said, we have 12 games left. I've been here for four years and I don't think – we've had way worse starts and I don't think we've been out of at the end when it comes to December and at the end of the year, January, playing those football games. As long as we keep fighting and keep getting better as a team each game, that's the main thing. I'm not worried about being out of it or anything. I know the guys in this building, the coaches, everybody in this building is – of course, it sucks to lose. We put in a lot of work and way too much work to come out and not come out on top. But that's not going to change, we're going to keep putting in the work and we're going to keep coming out putting up a fight, and whatever team we play next is going to have to deal with it.
Q: Just when you were watching the film today, it seemed like they had a lot of success on those runs around right edge. What did you see there that was allowing them to have that success?
A: First of all, they're a good team in their selves. They have good coaches, they schemed – they had it. There were some we got beat on. We've got to play better on the edges just trying to set it and get the guys to run back to the defense, run back into the teeth of the defense. Yeah, like you said, they had success on a few plays running off that right edge for them, but we've just got to get in, correct it and just make sure it doesn't happen again.