Safety Xavier McKinney
Q: The tackling has been a big issue for you guys the last two games. What's going on there for you guys and how do you deal with it?
A: Just need to be better tacklers. It's something we've got to practice, but then most importantly on Sundays, just got to be better. I think it's pretty simple.
Q: You guys have played three games now, and 1-2 I guess isn't what you wanted, but it seems like in those three games, you've had maybe one good half. Why haven't you been able to put anything together?
A: Like I said, it's kind of, to go back to what I just said, we've just got to be better all around. I think a lot of us know that. Individually, we've got to be better, we've got to have faster starts, and we've got to execute a lot better, we've got to be a lot cleaner, be a lot sharper. I think it's pretty simple. There's only so much talking you can do about it. We've got to go out there and do these things and execute and be able to execute at a high level. So, once we do that, we'll be fine.
Q: Obviously, you want to put the past in the past, but I'm just kind of wondering, what's the mood like having just gotten back? How do you kind of pull the lessons from the past while not dwelling on the past, if that makes sense?
A: I mean, in this league, you've got to be able to move on to the next week pretty fast. You've got to take each day, you've got to be present in the day, but once that day is gone, you've got to put that in the past. Obviously, we can learn from our mistakes, but we can also keep growing from the positive things that we've done in these past three games. Just keeping that mindset, continuing to move forward, understanding that it's a long season, understanding that we're only in Week 4. Just got to kind of put all the other things aside and be able to move forward when that time comes. Obviously, after every game, we've got to watch the film, see what we did wrong, see what we did well and then move on to the next week for the next game.
Q: You guys have a pretty long break before Monday. What's been the focus on how to spend this time? What are you guys really dialing in on this week, besides tackling?
A: Just making sure everybody's healthy and ready to go. Then obviously, just watching the film, like I said, going over the things that we did positively and going over the things that we didn't do so well. That is kind of the mindset right now. Obviously, we did that today, and then that's over with. Now it's on to the next week, on to the Seattle and that's kind of what it is.
Q: What did you see specifically from the tape? You mentioned the positives and the negatives. What stood out to you?
A: Yeah, just not good enough execution. We've got to be a lot better. We've got to tackle. We've got to get turnovers. So, it's a lot a lot of different things that we've got to be better with. We're going to stick to the script, regardless of what's going on. We're going to keep doing it how we've been doing it, keep preparing how we've been preparing, and it'll pay off for us.
Q: Do you still talk to (Seahawks safety) Julian Love? What has it been like without him and what will it be like being on opposite sides of him this week?
A: Yeah, I was actually just playing a game with him yesterday. We were on 2K. But yeah, man, I mean, I miss him, playing next to him, he's a good friend of mine. We were teammates. He's a great guy. Great dude. It's going to be fun being able to play against him. Obviously, I was able to play alongside of him. So now, we're going to be competing and going against each other this coming Monday. It's going to be fun, but at the end of the day, we're still brothers. We talk. It'll be good though.
Q: I looked yesterday, and offenses everywhere are putting up crazy numbers. It's almost like defenses are handcuffed. After going up against your offense, they haven't shown it yet. How confident are you that your offense can hold its own in today's NFL? Because it looked explosive in training camp, and I don't think people have seen it yet other than those two quarters.
A: Yeah, like I said, sticking to the script. I can't really speak much on what they're doing on the offensive side, but I trust in the coaches, I trust in the players that we have. I know that it'll come. As long as we just continue to stick to our game plan, and like I said, keep preparing how we prepare and practicing how we practice, Sundays, they'll be better for us. Just sometimes things take time, and I think it's one of those things right now. But I think we'll be a lot better, though.
Q: When people bring up tackling, and you talk about the idea of what you need to focus on, through your career in the season when you have a bad game collectively, what works that following week, from what you've seen, to kind of get back to where you need to be and where you believe you will be? In terms of those fundamentals as far as being able to make those tackles and not miss them.
A: I mean, obviously, we've got to tackle, but that's not why we lost two games. We've got to be better with it, but that's not the reason to us having last two games, in my opinion. The fundamentals matter, and we've got to be a lot better in that aspect, which we will. But that's not the reason why the games are going how they're going. (There's) a lot of other different things that we've got to correct and be better with, and like I said, fundamentals matter and they're always going to matter, and we'll be better with it. I'm not going to stress too much over that, because I know that we're a good tackling team. Obviously, we're just going through a little hiccup, but like I said, we'll correct it, and we'll keep moving forward. Not going to stress over it, though.
Q: Just to play off what you just said, in your mind, why have you lost two games?
A: Didn't start fast, defensively, at least. I don't think we've started fast. I don't think that we've gotten—we don't have any turnovers. I think those are two of the big keys in my mind. Right now, we're just trying to figure out a way where we can be able to force these turnovers. For me as an individual, that's something that I'm constantly trying to figure out, is how to be able to force turnovers and get the ball back for our offense. I think that's two of the reasons. Even the game that we won, we still didn't have any turnovers that game. So, really in the three games that we've played, I think that's the biggest thing for me and for our defense.
Q: Do you and the defense rely on (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) in times like these, or would rely on Wink not be the proper wording? Is it more team based in terms of player-to-player based? What I'm referring to obviously is that you guys haven't gotten off to the start you've wanted.
A: I mean, we all rely on each other. I think that's how our building works. I think that's how this team works. I think that's how this organization works. Just relying on each other, depending upon each other to do whatever you've got to do to be able to do your job at the highest level. We hold each other accountable at all times. I think it's a collective. A collective thing as a team. It's not just players to coaches; it works all the way around throughout the whole building, team meetings, whatever that is. I think it's always been like that for us, and it will continue to be like that for us. We'll be able to fix a lot of the things and issues that we're having problems with right now. Like I said, we all work – this is a team game. We're all in it together regardless of the situation, win or loss. So, that's what it is.