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What Steve Wilks Said Following the Loss to Baltimore

Carolina Panthers head coach Steve Wilks met with the media after Sunday's loss.

Opening statement

“All the credit to the Ravens. They made plays down the stretch, and we did not. I thought we played a great half of football. But just not enough. We have to learn how to finish, that’s the key thing with us. We have to protect the football down the stretch, too many turnovers in the fourth quarter. Defensively right here we had a takeaway, but it wasn’t enough right here. We’ve got to find a way to get off the field on third down. I think they were 6-for-15.”

On the Ravens’ third-quarter adjustments

“From what I could see from, the sideline and again, all credit to them. But when he [Lamar Jackson] got out we got too far up the field a couple of times. We had to make sure that we level rushed, and then we didn’t set the edge. So, I think it was more lack of execution on our part.”

On trouble getting yardage

“Again, credit to them. I thought they did a great job up front. We knew coming into the game they were going to have a great front seven. Offensively, our whole thing starts up front, and we didn’t do a great job really creating that extra yardage we needed coming off the ball. Again, credit to them”

On going with QB Sam Darnold

“Not at this particular time. I felt like at the flow of the game, it would have been a disadvantage to him, and trying to throw him into that type of situation to try to go down and win a game for us.”

On who his starter is next week

“It’s too early to say. We’ve got to evaluate the tape, and then from there, I’ll make a decision.”

On the passing offense

“We didn’t win the game. So, it wasn’t good enough.”

On the job Baker Mayfield did

“Well again, we didn’t get anything in rhythm in the offense which starts for us in running the football. We’ve got to do a great job in the passing game as far as executing. It wasn’t a great job on our part offensively today.”

On if he was surprised with the number of sacks they pulled off on Lamar Jackson

“I felt like we had an opportunity to get to him because they were going to try and press the ball down the field. I think we did a good job upfront as far as trying to create and beat the one-on-ones as we did. From that we got too many sacks on our part [on offense]. We’ve got to get rid of the ball and most importantly, we’ve got to protect our front.”

On limiting the Ravens’ offense

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“As a defensive coach, yes. But as a head coach, looking at the game in all three phases, you just have to execute. Yeah, I love the way the defense played. It gave us an opportunity and a chance. Offensively, we have to be able to convert and get some things going offensively. And most importantly, the special teams. We’ve got to come up with an explosive play. Kudos to the defense in the first half. We didn’t make enough plays in the second half.

On if it's tough to keep coming up short against the good teams

“It is tough. Regardless of whoever the opponent is, when you don’t finish and make the plays down the stretch as you need to, it’s definitely frustrating. But I think the key thing with us is really going back and emphasizing the fundamentals and technique. We’ve got to execute in critical situations. We are beating ourselves also with a lot of penalties.”

On how big the Shi Smith fumble was 

“At the time I talked to the officials about it, and I thought they blew the whistle dead. But he said they had an opportunity based off the review to overturn it, and that’s what they did. They made the call on the field, and we lived with it. It was definitely a turning point in the game. It gave them momentum, and they went down and scored.”

On how the weather impacted calling plays

“I don’t think it was a big factor in the way we called the plays. It had an issue in whether or not we were going to go for certain field goals and certain yardage. But offensively, no.”

On what his evaluation process on the QB position going forward

“It’s tough to say right now. I will say it wasn’t good enough today across the board. We’ve got to do better.”

On what the Ravens did to take DJ Moore out the game

“I don’t really know what they did to take him away. I know he got doubled a couple of times based off of what they were doing defensively. The other guys have to find a way to get open. We’ve got to spread the ball around.”

On how Terrace Marshall Jr. played

“Again, he had a nice catch – a critical catch right there. Until I evaluate and see the tape, I can’t tell you.”

On how tough it is being on the road

“I think it's tough to win in the NFL period. Winning on the road is critical for us. We wanted to try to come here and get our first win on the road. We played tough, but we didn’t play well enough. We do have to find a way. But, next week we’re at home, and that’s a critical thing, and that’s the most important thing for next game.”

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