Head Coach Adam Gase, 12.14

Opening Statement…
Injury update: Saquan Hampton, after we got back, just going through everything, he ended up rupturing his Achilles, so obviously he will be out for the season. Outside of that, we are fairly clean coming out of the game, there are some guys with some bumps and bruises, things like that. No update on Jordan Jenkins, as far as what his ability will be this week. He is the only guy that I would really say is a question mark going into practice next week.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Two-parter Adam, with Sam (Darnold), are you surprised that he’s been performing at the level he’s performed at this year?
You know, going back and watching this game, it’s frustrating to see, especially early on in the game, a lot of the things that he’s doing, he’s doing the right things, we’re having breakdowns around him. I’m sure at the end of the year when we go look at the big picture, there’s going to be things that we definitely need to do better and get corrected. But, this game, just looking at this, it’s frustrating to see him turning the ball loose on time, going to the right spot, he made one mistake on the third down where basically Jamal (Adams) should have had a pick, we needed to go to a different spot with the ball. You know, early in the game, especially, probably until late third quarter, he was making the right decisions, we just got to help him.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: And just to follow on that, what will it take to get him back to the level, and I’m not even talking about the last three games, I’m talking long term, but what will it take to get him back to performing at a high-enough level?
Well, I mean, it’s not just him, it’s got to be the guys around him. Everybody’s got to do their job, we need the linemen to do their job, backs do their jobs, tight ends, wide receivers. He can make the right decision on his reads, but he can’t catch it, can’t make the guys be in the right spots. Right now, I look at it going, if you’re looking at this from outside in, you’re not sure who’s supposed to be doing what, he’s the easy guy to blame, but we need everybody to be doing their job better.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Adam, I get that are some breakdowns around Sam, but I mean, you look at the numbers that he’s put up, they’re bad. I mean he’s under 60% completion percentage, again the quarterback ratings not there, he only threw for 132 yards, so I mean he does deserve some of the blame too, no?
I mean that’s who’s going to get it, the quarterback and the head coach get all the blame, that’s just what it is. The quarterback rating changes when we catch the ball in the red zone, we either get a first down, we got another chance to try to score a touchdown. We got to figure out ways to make plays, not only for him, and when he has his opportunities to go to the right places at the right time, he can’t have those hiccups. That’s what I’m saying, I’m not saying, ‘Hey, he played perfect,’ I’m saying we need everybody to do their job for us to even be in the game throughout this game. We didn’t take advantage of anything, especially towards the end of the game, guys started doing a couple of things that we just got to get cleaned up.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Adam, I have three players I’m looking for an update on. Denzel Mims, is he back in the protocol, could he go this week?
Yes, he is back in the protocol.

Brian Costello, New York Post: What happened with (Jamison) Crowder, it looked like he was questionable on Friday, how did he get cleared and is there concern going forward this week or is he back cleared?
On Thursday, we were in individual and I didn’t see exactly where he did it, but I kind of saw him kind of messing with his calves. He’s a guy where I’ve been around him long enough to where I can tell by his body language something’s not right. We pulled him out of practice, took him to get an MRI. He thought maybe he could go on Friday and then he didn’t feel as good as he thought, then we got on the flight, we’ll see how treatment goes and then once we got to Sunday, we worked him out before the game and he said that he was good to go. It was one of those situations where if he’s not shooting us straight here, this could be a series and that’s it, but he did a good job of telling us exactly how he felt, he was able to get through the game.

Brian Costello, New York Post: And then the last one I had was Sam Ficken. Is there any chance he could come back with the uncertainty about Sergio (Castillo) right now?
Yes, there is definitely. So, hopefully we get him and possibly (La’Mical) Perine out at practice this week.

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Yeah Adam, going back to Sam, what you talked about at the end of the game and then we see him afterwards obviously he looks crushed all the time. Do you think he needs a break because I mean he’s been just like you said, he’s getting the blame for everything, do you think he needs like a mental break.?
Well, I mean, the injury, him being knocked out with the injury for a few weeks, I know he was itching to get back in there. This is the tough part of our profession, these are the things that sometimes you have to go through, especially as a player, especially as a quarterback, where you have to find a way to help your guys get better and find ways to put points on the board and find ways to move the football. I don’t think him basically stepping away is going to be helpful. I think he’s got to keep pushing, keep fighting through, the guys need to see him keep fighting through and we got to get all our guys to rally around, especially offensively, and start doing things better as a group.

Greg Joyce, New York Post: Adam, what kind of a mental strain do you think the last few weeks have taken on guys, you know at this point in the season with the record being what it is?
Yeah, I mean, two weeks ago I would say that one hurt, for sure. I thought guys did a good job of trying to bounce back and come back to practice and refocus and handle the trip well and go out there and just, you know, it’s hard for me to get into everybody’s head. A lot of guys are very forthcoming as far as expressing how they feel about certain things and kind of where their mindset is, you know, for the most part. That’s the hardest thing about being a head coach is trying to decipher whether or not it’s the truth or it’s what you want to hear. The majority of guys that I’ve spoken with, the focus is coming back, getting better at practice, figuring out a way to execute the game plan that’s presented to them and figuring out how to play three phases together for four quarters.

J.P. Pelzman: Adam, after Frank Gore was injured in Las Vegas game, your team had by far the best game during your tenure in rushing, in terms of individual and team success. Yet yesterday, you chose to go back to Gore before garbage time as your primary ball carrier, even though, arguably, the younger backs will give your team maybe a better chance to win. What was your reasoning behind that decision?
Well we got three backs available to us, like I said, you can never predict how many plays that you’re going to have in the game. I felt like we had it mapped out as far as how we were going to rotate them. We had too many three-and-outs, didn’t put us in ideal position. I mean, yeah, we had our best rushing game against Las Vegas, I mean there’s a reason behind that, just kind of the way they were playing, I think young guys did a good job of taking what was given to them and how it was blocked. But I mean this was a different team were playing and they handle things a little differently. And, you know, we have some good runs there early and it just kind of flattened out for us.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Adam, kind of building off a bit of what J.P. (Pelzman) said there, I know you love Frank Gore, I know what he means to the team as far as a leader and things like that, but at 0-13 you eventually need to turn focus in the future, I mean Frank’s 37, he’s not going to be around for forever, while Ty Johnson, (La’Mical) Perine, when he gets back out there, potentially Josh Adams, I mean these are guys that can potentially have a role in this team moving forward. Do you consider sitting Frank to get these other guys reps in the year that clearly isn’t going to the playoffs?
We’ll play the guys whenever they’re available. When (La’Mical) Perine comes back, we might change the way that we’re doing things, but you know as for right now, we’re trying to give all those guys touches, that’s the decision that we’ve decided to make.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Adam, in your coaching, have you ever been involved in a season like this and I’m talking like back to high school, is there anything like remotely close to this type of season that you’ve been through, what’s been the closest and could you draw anything from that?
No, I think the most games I ever lost in a row was like six or something like that, that was in Detroit. I have nothing even close to this. To be able to say that I can draw from anything from the past, you know, going through this, I can’t say that I’ve been through anything close to this.

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