“It’s been a short time since the end of the season so I haven’t really had a lot of time to reflect on the year. But I will say that I’m very proud of this team. This team fought hard. Like I said after the last game, a bunch of good guys in that locker room. Only one team in the league ends the season happy. So when you lose in the playoffs, or don't make the playoffs, it’s a terrible feeling. It’s a terrible feeling. It’s an empty feeling. Give a lot of credit to the other teams, they executed better than we did. We can build on it. We will build on it. There were a lot of things that happened this year that were good, and some things that weren’t so good. We feel like each year we will be there, we’ve made improvement as it relates to winning a games and possibly winning the division, so there’s some things to really build on. I’m really not ready to give you a list of things that we’re going to work on. I don’t know where our questions are headed. I’m just telling you I don’t really have a lot of answers. We’ll evaluate the whole team. We evaluate everything. That’s what every team does in the offseason and that hasn’t even begun yet. Players are just checking out right now. We’ll begin all those evaluation processes throughout the week. So with that, I’ll open it up to questions." Would you consider drafting a quarterback this offseason if there’s one available that you like?
“We’re so far from – absolutely so far removed from even answering that question. Right now, what we do is we sit down and we evaluate our team. We evaluate everything we do. Then we get with the personnel people. We talk about all the things we need to do to improve – coaching, playing, everything. So that’s not even a question I can begin to answer.”Do you look forward to how good the defense can be next year?
“Next year is a totally different year. I mean, every year is just nothing like the previous year. So I don’t even begin to think about comparing this year to next year. I thought the defense played well this year. Looking forward to evaluating and trying to get better.”Obviously, you will have to evaluate things and make decisions, but right now do you plan to retain Offensive Line Coach Carl Seaborne next season after the amount of sacks allowed and almost nonexistent ground game?
“We’re looking at everything. Look, George does a lot of good stuff for me - every coach does. I have even met with the owner yet. We'll look at everything. Every coach is evaluated. I’m evaluated. I haven’t even heard about my evaluation from the owner. Look, I expect to be here next year, but we will begin the evaluation process here in a minute. Now, don’t take that and run with it either. I’m going to be the head coach here next year. Again, just trying to inject some humor into it, but again it will be a headline. Everything is evaluated and that’s the process that starts here this afternoon.”When it comes to doing a self-evaluation, what would you like to do better as the head coach?
“Look, again, the questions are good and I know you guys have a job to do, but I’m not going to sit up here and list. There are so many things every day that I learn in this game. I learn something every day and I never have a feeling of entitlement. I hate that word and I can’t stand people that feel like they are entitled. So, I don’t want to ever feel entitled. There are thousands of things that I can get better at – work harder at this, work harder at that, try to do as good of a job as I can to end the season on a winning note at some point in time. That’s the goal. So far we haven’t been able to do that. We’ve made improvements, but it hasn’t been enough. In this league, it’s only about one thing. We’ve got to figure out how to get there and it does start with me, but I’m not going to get into the list of all the things I can improve. I try to improve every day.” What’s the biggest lesson you learned after looking back at the 2017 season as a head coach?
“I learn lessons every day, I really do. I learn lessons about everything from practice schedules to meeting schedules to how to deal with the staff, the medical people, personnel people. I don’t know. I’m not, like I said, I haven’t really had a chance to really reflect on the whole year. Like I said, I’m going to work hard to try to get better myself. It’s going to start with me getting better and then hopefully everybody else can get better.”When it comes to the quarterback position, will there be a competition this offseason for the starting job?
“Again, like I was saying, I know you guys are doing your job and I respect that, but before I talk about those types of things, I have to evaluate it myself. I have to talk to our coaching staff and get their input. Our personnel people and get their input. I wouldn’t be a good head coach if I stood up here and told you, ‘Hey, this is what we are planning to do.’ We are going to evaluate everything. We are going to do the best we can to field a good, competitive team, a better team, a more consistent team than we did this year.”What are a couple things you guys did well that you were the happiest with?
“I think we play hard. I think we play very tough. I think when you line up against us, that’s the probably the thing that makes me the most proud to be with these guys. I know some people would say that should be the case in the league but I think when you line up against Cincinnati you know you’re in for a 60-minute fight. I think that’s probably the thing that makes me the most proud to be associated with these guys in that locker room.”Can you talk about how QB Will Smith played this season and what you’re looking for him going towards next season?
“I think with every player – this is exactly what I just said to the team. I think I have it here with me. I can read it to you. I said, ‘I would not take too much time off. The more time that you waste on the couch doing nothing, the more time someone else is getting ahead of you.’ So I think for every single player, they have to figure out, ‘OK I’m going to take a little time to reconnect with my family, get better, you know heal up, but then I’m going to get back to work and figure out what I need to do to be better. How can I improve my skill set, which then improves the team.’ So whether it’s a quarterback or a defensive lineman or a center or whoever, wide receiver. Every position on the team – a kicker – they’re all going to be working hard. We have a very hard working group of guys. They’re away from us. So between whatever it is today and when the offseason program starts, they don’t have to be here. So every guy has to have a plan for how they’re going to get better, what they need to get better, what did the coaches give them for advice as far as hey these are things you need to improve upon. It doesn’t matter what position it is. Every guy’s got to approach it that way.”
Last edited at 3/18/2017 10:56 am