Frustrations rise following lopsided defeats, sometimes impeding clear analysis.
Other times, frustrations lower inhibitions, leading players to speak truths they might withhold under different circumstances.
I tend to think Kevin Kolb's comments following the Arizona Cardinals' 34-10 defeat Sunday fall into the second category. They were too specific to qualify as something he wasn't really feeling. They carried additional credibility coming from a quarterback than if they'd come from a player with a less global view of the team's preparation.
"Our head coach hit the nail on the head -- we have to get more detail oriented," Kolb told reporters at the Metrodome. "It starts with meetings, showing up to work on time, getting in early, getting your work done, and all the stuff a professional is supposed to do. Maybe it takes a game like this to figure that out."
Those were telling comments and ones I'm hoping reporters will follow up at the team's facility Monday. If players are showing up late, not getting their work done and conducting themselves short of professional standards, that's a problem.
Ends justify means in the NFL. Winning teams can credit whatever they'd like for their successes. Losing teams are powerless in preventing others from declaring what underlying factors are leading to defeat.
It's not clear to what degree the Cardinals' attention to detail is holding them back. Kolb's comments stood in stark contrast to what San Francisco 49ers have consistently said, and reiterated Sunday, about how much the team's attention to detail has improved under coach Jim Harbaugh.