When I listened to the postgame chatter yesterday, I was struck by how much everyone stuck to the “execution” line that Coach Zorn established — and that he restated at the start of today’s press conference (noting, in fact, “I know you all are sick of hearing about that”).
Yesterday and this morning, though, the non-player reaction was so concerned with the schemes and playcalling, it seemed surprising that the players almost entirely elected to blame themselves. It continued today, though: when I saw a couple of the defensive linemen in open locker room today, I asked them about the seeming lack of pressure on Eli Manning, and execution was what they focused on.
Lorenzo Alexander summed it up fairly simply: “When you’re one on one, you’ve gotta win.” He shrugged. “We’re getting pressure on the QB, we’re getting hits, we’ve just got to finish a few more plays. They did a lot of play action to slow us down, a lot of screens to slow us down, so obviously we were getting some pressure on the guy for them to go to those things.”
Anthony Montgomery was, if anything, the most straightforward. “You know what, honestly, I believe each of us has to look ourselves in the mirror and see what’s there,” he told me. “It’s about accountability. We’ve just got to do a better job. Each one of us has to do a better job, plain and simple.”
So would you say, then, that it’s just about executing better?
“That’s what we get paid to do,” he said.