Safety Xavier McKinney
Q: Do you think you should have made the Pro Bowl?
A: I do. It played out how it played out. It is what it is. Obviously, things haven't worked out for our team, and individually for myself this year, but it is what it is. Like you said, it's not the only year that I can make the Pro Bowl. I've just got to keep working, get back in the lab, and find a way to ensure that next year and years to come that I don't miss it. It is what it is, just got to go back to work.
Q: What do you think happened in the second half to the defense yesterday? Did you guys just get asked to do too much? The first half was so dominant and then in the third and fourth quarters, did they figure something out or did you guys run out of gas?
A: I don't know. It's kind of hard to say. I think for us, we've just got to keep locking in on the small details. Obviously, we can't make many mistakes defensively, we know that. But I thought we played well to start off in the first half, we just kind of let some things slip in the second half and that's kind of what happened. But like I said, we've just got to focus in more on the detail part of it, and just make sure that we don't make those mistakes because the team doesn't need us to make those mistakes.
Q: (Safety) Julian's (Love) on the COVID list this week. He's usually the guy that fills in for the guys who are who are missing and picks up the slack. How do you guys cover for his potential absence on Sunday?
A: I've got to find out. Obviously, we haven't had meetings yet. We haven't talked much about the game plan about Chicago yet. We'll find out come Wednesday about how we're going to play, who's going to be in and fill that role for J-Love. Obviously, he's a big piece to what we do defensively, so we're definitely going to miss him this week, but we'll figure it out come Wednesday.
Q: Have you spoken to him? I know he was looking forward to going back to his hometown in Chicago and playing this game.
A: Yeah. Me, him, and (Defensive Back) Logan (Ryan), we actually have a little group message together. He told us about it, so we've already talked. Obviously, this was a game that he was looking forward to just because it's his hometown. We know that it sucks – the situation that he's in with the whole COVID thing. We're just praying for his safety, for his health. We told him we were going to hold it down for the week. But yeah, obviously it's a sucky situation to be in.
Q: As one of the younger players on the team and also one of the guys obviously they want to build around and a guy who has won a lot in his life. Has this been particularly difficult for you dealing with this losing? How do you deal with it? You know there are two games left, this is not a situation you've been in where there's so much losing going on, no playoffs or anything at the other end. How do you deal with it day by day and is it really troubling and difficult for you?
A: It is. It's very difficult. I think the best thing about this is everything in life is pretty much an experience. I always try to look at the positives within the situation that's going on now. Obviously, I think this is going to build a lot of character for us as a team, as individuals and especially for me – just seeing all the little things that went wrong, seeing a lot of things I could've done better to help the team out in whatever way I could have. I think it's a big experience for me. I think it was something that was much needed. Obviously, it sucks to lose, and we all hate to lose. I hate to lose, and I'm trying to be a part of this organization and change the culture, just knowing that's been kind of the culture the last four or five years, however long it's been. I want to be the one to change that culture and turn it around. I think having this experience and seeing what loses you games, to be able to fix that and come back next year and obviously be able to change that up. Obviously, we've still got a couple games left, so we just go from there and we keep getting better and keep trying to improve.
Q: The offense has been kind of decimated by injuries. When you go out there do you feel like you're banging your head against a wall because you're playing with half a team?
A: A little bit. I think this whole year, even to start off with, we've dealt with a lot of injuries on both sides of the ball. It's been a little hard just kind of creating that chemistry with each other and as a team. Obviously, it's a part of the game. Injuries are a part of the game. You've just got to know how to adjust on the fly and obviously we just didn't get the good end of the stick with all the injuries. It is what it is. Like I said, you've got to know how to adjust on the fly and keep moving forward and be able to get past it because everybody in the league is going to have injuries, so just got to figure it out. Obviously, other teams have figured it out. It's not impossible. We've just got to figure out what the right formula is for that and get it done.