Obviously, you had a slow start for the first four possessions. Any sense what caused the rhythm to be off?
"Other than the first series where we had the third and short, the rest of them we were killing ourselves with penalties. We had second-and-long, third-and-long — we're making it tough on Adam (Gase, offensive coordinator). It's hard to dial up plays at that point. Offensively we've got a lot of room to improve."
How do you put this whole preseason in the proper context, being shorthanded a little bit on the outside?
"I thought the guys on the outside did a good job when their numbers were called. They got open and did what they're supposed to do. We've got a lot of stuff we need to clean up inside. I know the offensive line's not happy with their performance. Any time it seemed we got a little rhythm going it, seemed like we pushed ourselves back, so it makes it hard."
We're you a little disappointed with the way you ran the ball tonight, because you had run the ball well this preseason?
"Yeah, we have. We were having some trouble on the backside and trouble on the front side. We couldn't get in a rhythm, and then second-and-long, third-and-long. Those aren't real desirable downs either. We'll take a look at the film on Monday. We've got to get some stuff cleaned up before we start up."
Are you itching to have a full complement of guys?
"I don't want to take anything away from the group out there tonight. What we asked them to do, they did well. Those guys went out there and played hard, they made some catches when I put the ball on them. We had a little bit of rhythm in that two-minute drive, and they did well. If we get guys back, great, and if not, I think all the guys we have right now did well."
What did you think of your first defensive drive tonight?
"We'll have to watch the film to know for sure. We made some mistakes and we can't do that. As we're learning how to play this defense, we have to know when we can take chances and when we can't."
This was the third preseason game, usually seen as an important one. Were you disappointed in the way things worked out?
"I think consistency is where it's at. And the first team didn't get any takeaways; that's something we need to concentrate on. When a team can run the ball for five, six yards at a time, you can't force them to be one-dimensional. We answered halftime with a three-and-out; so that was good to see. And the second team got some takeaways. We had a good drives in there. Unfortunately, it wasn't what we needed consistently throughout the night, especially when you're playing on the road. Your defense has to show up."
At outside linebacker, Lamarr Houston had a couple of sacks ...
"We take a lot of pride in our room to push each other. We want to be better. We'll all look at this and think, ‘What can we do better?' We all expect to play well. We're all going to compete to push each other. I think we have a lot of depth at that position, but I think it's still new to us. So we've got to keep on grinding, keep on pushing it. Take coaching. There's always highs, there's always lows. Again, we'll learn from it. It's better it happened now, then let it happen when the games count. It's a learning tool. For me, personally, I just wish we were more consistent."
Again you played well tonight ...
"I felt like I played all right. I could've done better. There's always room for improvement, always room for improvement."
Now it's time for you to really step up, with Jeremiah Ratliff going down with the ankle injury and Eddie Goldman with the concussion ...
"(Ratliff) is going to be out anyways, for three games. You know Eddie. Eddie is going to bounce back real quick. We don't have any doubts about him coming back. We didn't think it was that bad, but it's always the next man up. It happened last year with Ratcliff going down and I had to step up. So I'm not worried; I already know my role. I'm just going to go out there, execute and make plays and play to best of my ability."
Jared Allen said consistency was the biggest issue for the defense tonight ...
"Yeah, I agree. I felt like we just hurt ourselves today. A lot of plays had miscommunication and not being in the right spot at the right time. We know what we have to do, it's just guys weren't executing. We hurt ourselves."
Is this part of learning a new scheme?
"To tell you the truth, no, it just has to do with guys focusing in. It was a little hot today, so probably weather was a factor. You've got to be mentally tough. You've got to go in there, remember your drive. Nobody's perfect, but it's better to be almost perfect than going out there and keep messing up."
When training camp started, people said Will Sutton is not going to make this team because he is undersized for this type of defense, but you just keep making plays on the field. Did you hear what people were saying about you?
"You know what? No. I made the mistake my senior year at (Arizona State), no offense to you guys, listening to the media and everything. So I just tune it out and just play. I know I can play this game. Nobody can tell me I can't. I'm out here just making my family proud and just trying to be the best I can be."