It's not on the coaching, Marc Bulger remains the starter, and much, much more. Highlighted transcripts of today's Jim Haslett press conference...
Head Coach Jim Haslett
"Injury update: (DT) Adam Carriker came through ok. (LB) Chris Draft probably will be out another couple of weeks. (QB) Trent Green hurt his elbow making a tackle on the interception but he should be ok. (CB) Tye Hill is down in Birmingham today and we will see how he is when he gets back. (RB) Steven Jackson will be day-to-day. (DE) Leonard Little's hamstring and back came through ok. (DE) Eric Moore is still questionable with his neck. (RB) (Antonio) Pittman actually came through ok and (WR) Derek Stanley was the worst one. He had an MRI today because he has a high ankle sprain and he will be day-to-day."
(On if QB Marc Bulger will start this week against the San Francisco 49ers)
"(QB) Marc (Bulger) will start."
(On what he tells the team after a loss like this)
"Well, you can't really say because there's cameras here what I said, but basically, I'll break it down in phases for you. Special teams, the coverages were awesome, the return units were just awful. On defense, the coverage actually was ok, us (against) the run game, they took it to us up front. I thought (C) (Nick) Mangold and (G) (Alan) Faneca and those guys beat our defensive line up pretty good and we didn't line up right and we didn't execute as the linebackers, they didn't do a very good job.
On offense, there was a break down on every single play and add all that up with five turnovers and four in the first half that led to 27 points and then two opportunities on defense that we didn't get. (CB) Fakhir (Brown) dropped the interception, they scored a touchdown on I think the next play and (CB) Jason (Craft) drops the interception and they kick a field goal two plays later, so you give them 27 points and you get nothing in return, coupled with all the other stuff that went on with the breakdowns and it's probably the worst half of football, I think the third most points ever, but it was bad football. It was a combination of a number of different things."
(On if there was a breakdown on every offensive play)
"Every single one there was something, either the quarterback, the running back, the (offensive) line, the tight ends, the wide outs, it was something."
(On how there can be a breakdown on every offensive play)
"It happens. Every play there was something bad."
(On if he thinks the problem is the team can't get better or won't get better)
"What I said was they either didn't want to do it or they're just not good enough to do it. Maybe a little bit of both, probably a little bit of both."
(On how he is going to improve the team's performance)
"That's the million dollar question. We have to make sure when we come back here Wednesday that all of the mistakes...we came in today and looked at the film and all the corrections were made and we have to make sure we go out and don't make all the same mistakes in the next seven weeks and we'll see how that goes, but it was an interesting meeting today to say the least. I'm sure you guys will talk to the players and I think they understand where we're coming from.
It's not on coaching, this is not on coaching, this had nothing to do with coaching, it had nothing to do with the scheme, it had nothing to do with Xs and Os. On the defensive side, there were plays that I saw run in practice 15 times last week that we didn't execute in the game and the same guys that ran the same defense for the last three years, so I don't want to hear that they didn't know what they were doing or whatever because we've run the same stuff for a long time."
(On if he thinks anybody wasn't trying)
"On the defensive side, there were a lot of mental breakdowns. On, the offensive side, I think it was more physical with a combination of some mental breakdowns. Guys just get beat inside, technique errors, just a number of different things on that side of the ball."
(On if he thinks this team gets down or defeated easily)
"When you're on a team that loses as many games as we've lost over the last couple of years, that has something to do with it. When things aren't going well, things fall apart fast. I thought we overcome some of that early in the first couple of games against Washington and Dallas.
I'll say this, you can overcome adversity if it's maybe one or two turnovers, but if you turn the ball over five times, you aren't going to overcome that. There's nobody in this league that good. Nobody is that good in the NFL to have five turnovers and think you are going to come back and beat a team, or think you are going to be in the game. I don't know any team. Adversity, teams that are fragile, when you turn the ball over five times, yeah you are going to be fragile. It's bad football.
We had a rookie running back that we just brought up, first time in the league, put the ball on the ground twice. A rookie wide receiver put the ball on the ground once. You have a quarterback that throws an interception, another veteran one that throws one and more because of the pass rush on Marc (Bulger). To sit here and say that you're fragile and all that, I think it's bull-(bleep). I think it's just that you had five turnovers. You add playing bad on defense, not lining up right and doing the things you have to do and tackle and then you add that with the mistakes you're making on offense, and it comes out to be bad football.
Even if you line up right on defense and you do a great job and you line up right on offense and do everything right, and you still turn the ball over five times, it's still bad football. There's going to be 40 points scored. You don't turn the ball over five times in this league away, in a visiting city, against Brett Favre and a good football team, you're not going to beat anybody. You can say it's the psyche, you can say it's adversity, you can say whatever you want to say, it doesn't make a difference. Five turnovers are five turnovers. You add that you don't get any, and you have a chance to get two of them at least, and you don't' get them. Call it whatever you want to call it. To me, it's just bad football."
(On what Ken Darby and Derek Stanley can do to hold onto the ball)
"Just hold onto it. The guys were punching. They were punching at it the whole day. You punch at it if you have rookies out there running around. Derek (Stanley) is kind of loosey-goosey with the ball like he was on the touchdown the other day, the 80-yard touchdown. The ball popped out, they were grabbing for it. Their safeties were grabbing and punching at the ball all day. With (Ken) Darby, they just knocked it out. One guy grabbed it out and he did a good job and ripped it out, the other guy punched one out on him."
(On if they have to sense contact coming and hold the ball tighter)
"You have to cover it up, it's always coming. When you break through the line of scrimmage, they are not going to let him score a touchdown. There are usually guys coming. You just have to hold onto the football. That's why they make that point on it."
(On if Orlando should have turned on the blitz where the safety came free)
"Was that Orlando's (Pace) one? No, That's on Marc (Bulger). They took the protection out the other way. Marc (Bulger) has that guy. Marc (Bulger) has to get rid of the ball."