A: During the offseason, we take a week and study opponents that we will be playing that we haven’t had familiarity with: Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta, etc. We took a week and looked at them, tried to put together some thoughts, preparation, plans, about how to defend this football team. Knowing it would be a short week, we looked at them at camp. When we had a free moment, we would look at them a little bit. Periodically we looked at them, from the offseason throughout.
Q: Do you remember when that week was in the offseason?
A: I can’t. When I say in the offseason, that was our April-May.
A: Well that’s something that we’ve seen early this year. Quarterbacks are really getting the ball out fast, quick three-step or quick five-step. They haven’t allowed us to rush them like we did in the past. We have to change our approach a little bit based on what the team’s doing. We’ll make adjustments based on what the offense is giving us right now.
Q: What do you think about your linebackers matching up with Cam Newton and Mike Vick over the next two weeks?
A: Well I do like our athletes at backer. There’s no doubt about that. When we face a guy like Cam and a guy like Michael, you have to have 11 guys, not just the linebackers alone, but I do like our linebackers and the speed of our backers and the way that they can run and be able to defend these guys. You have to have all 11 guys looking at these guys and really know where these guys are, because they can bust out at any point in time.
Q: Do you like to use a spy with guys like that?
A: If it’s necessary, yes, I’ll use a spy. Versus an athletic quarterback like Cam Newton, or Michael Vick, there’s no doubt about it.
Q: Were you confident in
A: No doubt that he’s rusty. We would’ve played him if we needed to play him. We had talked about that as we approached the game. He knew the game plan; he’s going to be rusty whether he plays last week or this week or what have you. He knows the game plan, so coach Nunn is doing a great job at trying to get him up to speed, but he’s going to be rusty when he has to play football.
Q: What are the advantages of the defense inside the red zone?
A: It’s a disadvantage to the defense to keep those guys out of the end zone all the time, whether it’s inside the five-yard line or not. Right now, I think offenses are a little farther ahead than we are defensively. I say that because they have all the new little wrinkles in, and they come out of preseason, so we have little information to go off of in that red zone area. They can kind of surprise you with a new concept or a new idea and you might not have prepared for that concept or idea. It’s always difficult, but we just try to stress play our basics, play our fundamentals, and if we do that and tackle well, and can defend the back shoulder fade, then we can be successful.
Q: What has most impressed you about Cam Newton?
A: Well we played him in our first preseason game last year. We opened up with them, and after that game I said he was a franchise quarterback. The reason I said that was because I thought he had great poise for a rookie quarterback. We pressured him a lot in that first preseason game, and he seemed to handle it, and he seemed like if he missed the pass, he knew what his read was, he knew where to go with the football, he just missed the throw. He was determined that he was going to make it right. I felt like this guy has a lot of poise. Just with some experience and some time, he’s going to be a really nice player. I think offensively they’re doing some really good things to enhance his athletic ability. I think the sky is the limit for this guy.
Q: Thoughts on
A: He had some good plays on the outside last week, he had a play or two that weren’t so good. I like his poise; I like his confidence. The game is not too big for Jayron. That’s what I really like about him. He’s gotten better each week in practice. We’re asking him to do a lot. He plays on the inside sub package, he plays outside in the base package, and that’s a lot of mental gymnastics for him right now, and he’s been able to handle that so far. I think you’ll see him improve each and every week. I just like the way he focuses in practice as well as in games.
Q: Thoughts on the Buccaneers going after the quarterback on the kneel down:
A: I support what coach Coughlin said. I just go off the head coach’s philosophy, and I support what he said. That’s what we do.