Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt talks about how penalties hurt his team, the struggles during third downs and how to go about encouraging his team after a demoralizing 41-7 loss at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
"It was a disappointing game for us today. We made a number of mistakes early in the game and that definitely hurt us. We didn't respond well, and obviously we have a number of things to work on. That is what we plan on doing."
On penalties during the game:
"I don't think it had an effect on our game. Penalties happen from time to time during a game, and this has happened to us before and it had little effect on our game. The penalty on the next kick-off return was unfortunate because it changed the game. It made the game 7 to 7. They're a good offense. We had opportunities to get them off the field and we didn't. We will continue working."
On the total number of penalties:
"There were too many penalties. I was very disappointed in that, and it is something we must work to correct. We can't win a game on the road, against a good opponent, if the team has penalties like that."
On talking to the team after a loss:
"It is the second game of the season. We played a good team on the road. We have to play better than that, but we will get in there and correct it. We will work on it this week and play better next week."
On Atlanta's physicality:**
"I need to review film, but we just didn't get it done today. It was disappointing, but the Falcons played well. However, until I see the film I can't give an accurate assessment."
On factors that contributed to struggling on third down:**
"We had some mistakes on the routes. We didn't protect as well as we needed to at certain times, and we didn't make some throws. It is a combination of all of those things. That is an area where we have been pretty good, and we will continue to work on that. We plan on getting better next week."
On substituting quarterbacks at the game's end:**
"The end of the game was more about getting Max [Hall] a few snaps, based on how the game was progressing. Unfortunately, the quarterback is going to take some shots when the opponent is bringing those kinds of blitzes. We have to do a better job of protecting our quarterback and getting the ball out. That will be our focus."
On positives from the game:**
"It was only the second game of the season. We still have a chance to correct it and move forward. We are a better a football team than what we showed today. These growing pains we are going through are due, in part, to having new faces around and young players. However, that is not an excuse. We have a game next week, at home, and it will be good to be at home. We have a chance to get better."
On encouraging the team after losing:**
"Keep your heads up. The reason we lost this game today was because of mistakes we made. The Falcons are a good football team. But if we don't execute and we continue to get penalties, those are the things that will make us lose the game. But we can't get so wrapped up in this game that we lose sight of the fact that we have another game next week. If we eliminate those mistakes we can be a very good football team."
On RB Tim Hightower:
"Tim's run was big and put us back in the game. It was nice to see a player responding after a tough loss last week."
On the Falcons kneeling on the ball:**
"It was something we would have done if we were in that situation. It was the classy thing to do because the game didn't mean anything at that point. The motivation that we have as a team is about correcting our mistakes. Today's game was about what we did and what we have to do to get better. Fortunately, we get an opportunity to do just that this week."