Postgame Transcripts: Week 5 vs. Philadelphia

HEAD COACH MATT RHULE

Opening comments

Disappointed about today. Really disappointed in the second half. Credit goes to them. I thought Coach Sirianni did a nice job getting his team ready. They played four quarters and we did not. Really not much to say other than that. We couldn't control the line of scrimmage. Gave up big plays late in the game. Couldn't protect the football. The quarterback was under duress. Couldn't make plays that we needed down in the red zone and all those areas to make touchdowns instead of field goals. Couldn't capitalize on the opportunities that we had. We did a nice job in the first half building a lead and could not sustain it. The football team that we want to be is a team that when they have the lead can run the football and control the line of scrimmage. We have not been able to do that. We were not able to do it today, and that's why we ended up with the loss.

RE: What happened on the blocked punt

They ran a pick stunt. [inaudible] came in and blocked one. The other guy came around J.J. (Jansen). He came free and blocked it. We practice that a lot. We have to make those blocks. We didn't make those blocks. They made the play. We had a fake field goal punt to pin them down there. I thought our defense was playing great. We didn't make that play. Today at the end of the day when you really look at it, they made a bunch of plays. We had some opportunities to make plays. At the end of the day, we still had the ball down three at about the 50-yard line or 45, whatever it was, with 2:30 (remaining) and then couldn't get off the field at the end. We still had the chance to get the ball back with 1:30 and couldn't stop them. But yeah, they came around, we block that, and we just didn't make the block.

RE: If the play before the blocked punt was a dropped pass by wide receiver Robby Anderson or bad throw by quarterback Sam Darnold

That was a bad ball. I think Robby came up. We have to throw and catch. We had a bunch of plays today where we had a chance. We had drops. I can't throw this on any one guy. It's on us, so I start with me and work backwards. We had a lot of chances to make plays and didn't make plays, and they did to be honest with you.

RE: Why the Panthers are struggling in the third quarter

I don't know. I thought we went down the field. At the end of the day, I don't look at the third quarter. We should have scored more points in the first half. When the quarterback gets sacked three, four or five times, getting under duress, we just have to do a better job. We have to play better football. That wasn't good enough football right there. We came in knowing that we had to limit the deep balls, we had to protect their guys up front, we were going to have to win third down on offense and hold them to field goals in the red zone. Even at the end we had a chance to hold them to a field goal. We've just got to be better.

RE: The primary issue with the pass protection

It's always hard until I watch it, but I think we got edged inside by (Javon) Hargrave. He had five sacks; now he has six. We had two holding calls that got us out of whack. It wasn't that they blitzed us. It was just a four-man rush, sometimes a five-man rush. At times they won, and when they didn't win, they pushed us out of the pocket and the quarterback was running around. We've got to get to the point where the quarterback feels good about his protection and can stay in the pocket. Credit to them. They played man, like we said that they probably would, and we didn't hurt them enough with it.

RE: How much about what happened was about not protecting quarterback Sam Darnold

Certainly, the tale of this week and last week is our inability to protect the quarterback. I thought we ran the ball well. I don't know what Chuba (Hubbard) finished rushing-wise. And they also got us with the penalties. We had the ball there just needing a field goal, having to go about 15 or 20 yards, and we get a holding call. It's just where we're struggling right now.

RE: What happened on Darnold's last interception

It's hard for me to say without seeing it. We're throwing comebacks to the sideline. When you're in two-minute (offense), you're throwing enough of those. Last week, the guy broke on it and almost picked it off. They made a good play. Certainly, maybe go to the next progression. I'll have to watch the tape to be honest with you. But we have to attack, maybe, the middle of the field a little bit more. We did a nice job of hitting Robby on the in cut, so we have to do a better job of it.

RE: What went into determining the starting offensive line

Brady (Christensen) was the next guy up. T-Mo (Taylor Moton) has got reps at left tackle, so we moved him over there. We knew it would take both those guys a little bit of time to get comfortable. I just felt like that was the best chance we had to win.

RE: If the zone read runs by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts late in the game were a surprise since those plays had not been run early in the game

Yes. Early on it was a lot of zone read pullers, throw the ball outside. I think we knocked a lot of those out. Then it kind of went to more of a two-minute game, so we're playing more man, we're rushing up the field, and he hurt us with a couple of those. It was a nice job by them. It was things that they have that we prepared for. I think kind of where the game was, we thought it would be more of a drop back game, and they would mix it in on third downs. It was good. One of the guys who was responsible for the quarterback chases the guy down. We just have to be a little bit more disciplined about everybody doing their job. Even at the end where they're running the ball, we have an edge set, and the ball is run around the left-right edge. This is one of those games, as I said, I can't point to anybody. We've (coaches and players) got to be better.

RE: Darnold's overall performance

Just like everybody else. We've all got to be better. There are guys that are open. We've got to make those throws. You guys have heard me say a hundred times. We're going to try to push the game in the fourth quarter. We're going to try to make one more play than the other team. They made one more play. They blocked a punt. We have a chance to stop them; they score. They get the two-point conversion. At some point, we have to make one of those plays to win a game. That was my challenge at halftime. I told them the plays are there to be made. You have a lead. Anything from falling on the fumble in the end zone to making a tackle to catching a ball to throwing a ball. We've got to make a play. Play within the scheme but make a play. I'm sure if you ask the guys in the locker room, I'm sure they're disappointed. We had chances to sack the quarterback. We didn't sack him. We missed a sack. We said we had to keep him in the pocket (or) he would escape to his right (and) he did that a lot today. This is one that when we watch the tape it should bother us. They didn't do anything. We prepared for this. It's got to bother us, and it's got to spur us on to be better.

RE: If running back Chuba Hubbard was a bright spot

I thought Chuba was excellent. It looked like a couple of times he was going to break it for a big one. I thought he caught the ball. He caught screens, ran the ball. I was pleased with him.

RE: The status of cornerback Donte Jackson

I don't have anything.

QB SAM DARNOLD

RE: Describe your emotions after the game

Obviously tough loss, did not play well enough today. That's just what it boils down to for me personally. Didn't play my best football.

RE: What is the biggest difference in your play the past two weeks versus the 3-0 start?

Yeah, I think for me, I just have to keep staying patient. I think that's the biggest thing, is pressing too much.

RE: Constantly under pressure

I know a couple of those throwaways I was scrambling, more of a coverage thing than anything. I think that they did a good job in coverage but I thought, credit to them, they did a good job today. We just have to execute better.

RE: Do you feel like you've been pressing a lot?

When I go out there, I just have to make sure that I understand to just let the game come to me. That's the biggest thing for me.

RE: Can you identify why you have been pressing?

I just have to stay within myself.

RE: What happened on the pass to Robby Anderson right before the blocked punt?

Just missed him, just missed him, have to put the ball on him.

RE: Did you have the read that you wanted on that play?

Yeah, it was a perfect call, just have to put it on him.

RE: What Robby Anderson was frustrated about on the sideline

I am going to keep that between Robby and everyone that was involved.

RE: Third quarter offensive struggles

Just have to come out of the locker room firing. That's the biggest thing. I felt like, we got a first down and we had a little bit of momentum, but we just have to execute. I know we had a holding penalty, I think, on that first drive that just kind of set us back, we can't hurt ourselves. We can't hurt ourselves with penalties and turnovers.

RE: Why does this loss sting a little bit more?

Every loss stings, I think that's the biggest thing for me. It stings just as much to me, at least, as last week. I think we just have to, this week in particular we didn't execute the way that we wanted to. There were some good things in the Dallas game but again a loss is a loss. It's always frustrating when you have a lead at halftime and things are kind of going well and at least offensively, we couldn't get anything going, couldn't find a rhythm, it's always going to be frustrating.

RE: How many of the interceptions and your overall performance do you think were a result of pressure?

I felt like some of those I was holding on to the ball too long. I think that can also lead to pressure. There are a bunch of things that kind of go into it and I have to watch the tape to really tell you the truth on some of those.

RE: How much of not having Christian McCaffrey as an outlet or down field hurts?

Obviously Christian is a great player, but we have guys who are able to do that. I thought Chuba (Hubbard) stepped up today. I thought Chuba was a bright spot today, in what he did, and Royce (Freeman). We have guys who can fill his spot, but obviously you guys know that Christian is a great player.

RE: How much of an adjustment was it with moving Taylor Moton to the left side and bringing Brady Christensen in?

I thought T-Mo (Taylor Moton) did a great job over there, at least it felt like it. Brady (Christensen), I thought did really well at right tackle. I felt they did a good job, again there were just a lot of instances where I felt like I was hanging on to the ball too long, have to get it.

(inaudible question)

I think the biggest thing, it's ourselves. Obviously, we are going to give credit to the teams who beat us. Dallas and Philly, they're really good teams, but we can't go out there and makes mistakes, make penalties, and can't go out there and turn the ball over and expect to win. So that's just that. We have to be better that way.

RE: Where do you think the turning point was today?

I think, I should have hit that throw. Where I rolled out to the right, I should have hit that throw to Robby, and who knows what happens after that.

RB Chuba Hubbard

RE: What do you take from today's game?

I mean anytime you lose it sucks just got to bounce back, figure out what we didn't do right and come back and get that W next week 

RE: Was it frustrating to not break off a couple of those big runs?

Yeah I've just got to do a better job of breaking tackles and making big plays, I mean that's what they drafted me for so I've got to execute.

RE: What was holding the offense back on scoring?

Beating ourselves, like I said, we've just got to watch the film, come back tomorrow and hope for a W this week. 

RE: What did the Eagles do well to put pressure on you guys?

They played well. They played hard and made the right play at the right time.

RE: What was going on with the protection?

We had a protection plan, executed to the best of our ability. Haven't seen anything, just have to watch film and go from there.

RE: How much does the offensive line shuffling make an impact?

It's the NFL people got to step up. Obviously there are injuries. Like I said, I'm not quite sure what happened. I felt like everyone stepped up and did their job, just got to figure out what we did not do well and come back and fix it.

RE: Was the way you lost a bigger gut punch?

We've just got to find ways to finish games and put it away.

RE: What was said in the locker room?

We'll be back.

CB DONTE JACKSON

RE: How are you feeling?

I'm feeling alright, just got a stinger in my shoulder but it'll be alright.

RE: Frustrations on not being able to turn turnovers into points.

There is no frustration. We all got work to do. Offense, defense, special teams. We are just going to get back in the building tomorrow and get better but we don't point the finger. Just working every day to play complementary football.

RE: What happened when you needed a stop at the very end?

We have to be more physical at the point of attack. Have to set the edge. Know what kind of quarterback we're playing against and that he's capable of pulling the ball and being explosive on his feet. But yeah man just back to the details I just think as the game goes on you slip away from the small details and things that got you playing as well as you are. I think that's what happened, we just got away from the details at the end.

RE: Being better at run support

I wouldn't say it's one of my focuses I just knew if this defense was going to be dominant I have to turn my game up and be more dominant. I got that mindset after I came back from my toe injury last year. That's been the mindset since last November. It's nothing different. I'm doing just trying to play great ball for the team and that's the product.

RE: What is going on with the injury?

Went in there wrong trying to punch the ball out and my arm got caught extended but I'll be fine.

LB HAASON REDDICK

RE: What went wrong at the end?

I don't know what went wrong. Just not good enough. I don't know what else to say, got to go watch the tape and see what happened toward the end. Just not good enough.

RE: What emotions are you going through right now?

I feel like it was a game we definitely should have won. We didn't get the outcome we wanted and I'm definitely frustrated about that. Missed a few plays myself. Mad about that.

RE: What was different after the blocked punt?

Changes the momentum. Still doesn't matter defense has to go out there, if it's a short field, keep them to three points at the max. Go out there and get a stop. I got so many emotions right now I don't even remember what happened after the blocked punt.

RE: What happened on the last possession?

I got to go back and watch the film just to see specifically what happened. Evidently we weren't good enough in that case. We should have went out there and stopped them and we came out short on that goal.

RE: How big a factor was Hurts keeping on the zone reads?

Really big factor. Mobile quarterback and we knew that coming into the game. Seemed like we were stuffing it at first when he wasn't keeping it and then he started keeping it. Had a couple plays off of it. Some of them hurt us. That's about it on that.

T TAYLOR MOTON

RE: How you CAN fix all the pressure allowed in this game

We just have to do our job better. Personally, I got to look myself in the mirror and see what I can do to make sure that I'm better for him, wherever I may play in the future.  

RE: How comfortable he was playing left tackle

I felt I got more comfortable as the week went on. I've  got a ways to go after playing one side for so many years but comes with preparation and reps. Doing a lot of extra work all week. Doing everything I could do to be as prepared as I can be for the opportunities. 

RE: If QB Sam Darnold showed any frustrations

No, he's not that type of guy. He just rolls with the punches and ultimately I want to be better for him. He's a great dude, I just want nothing but the best for him. 

RE: How much he thought the pressure impacted the three interceptions by Darnold

I feel like it all starts up front, personally. The offensive line has a huge task and it's important for us to make sure that we're at our best for the quarterback and the rest of the team.

View photos from the field during Carolina's Week 5 game against Philadelphia at Bank of America Stadium.

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