Q: What’s been going on with the defense the last two weeks?
A: I thought Monday we just didn’t play well. We were outplayed, outhustled. They’ve played with more effort, more energy. We got outcoached. We just didn’t play well last week. So for whatever reason, I can’t explain that, I don’t think any of those guys can explain that either. We prepared well. We didn’t perform well – bottom line.
Q: Do sacks accurately show how well you get to the quarterback?
A: I think sacks and pressure. More hits, hits on the quarterback defines the effectiveness of a pass rush and the effectiveness of your pass defense what you can do and how you control the football game.
Q: Your sacks and hits are down the last three games. Is it entirely because of what teams are doing to you? Are you seeing a lot more max protection?
A: We’ve just seen some more max protection. I think teams are really doing a good job of camping out on our defensive ends and they’re doing some things to neutralize them and they’re getting the ball out quick. The quarterback that we faced on Monday really got the ball out fast and he was efficient in what he did and what he saw.
Q: If all of your defensive linemen are being double-teamed how do you beat a max protection?
A: Sometimes you have to will yourself to win. You can’t always scheme an opportunity for them to come free. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you just have to beat a double team. I’ve seen that many times. Some of our guys are able to beat double teams and we just haven’t been doing that.
Q: What have you told your defense about what needs to get cleaned up?
A: Obviously we need to play with more energy. We have to play with more passion. That was a game against a playoff football team, we have aspirations of being a playoff team. Sometimes it’s just the will. It’s the will to get it done. We didn’t will ourselves to get it done. That’s what I can’t explain, why we didn’t will ourselves to get it done because we prepared well enough to get it done and we just didn’t do it.
Q: Did you ask the players what was wrong? Did they give you any answers that made any sense?
A: No. And they can’t give you any answers.
Q: Has that been a problem in the past? Is that the worst effort and energy you’ve seen from them?
A: It was so disappointing from my perspective as I watched it on Monday and then watched it the next day. It was one of those games that you wanted to bury. The energy level and what we did, it baffled me. It baffled me. Are you supposed to have answers, but sometimes you can’t explain something like that.
Q: Have you experienced anything like that in your two years here?
A: Not in my two years here, but that happens in football. That team was fresh. They were hot. They were in their home environment. They got on us and they hit us in the mouth and we didn’t respond. That’s what I’m more disappointed about than anything else. We didn’t respond. We had an opportunity to stand up and respond to a team that came out and was on fire and we didn’t do that. I expect us to do that this coming Sunday.
Q: Coach Coughlin said that in man-coverage, ‘We were just a step behind.’ Is that step the difference in the effort that you’re talking about?
A: Sometimes it’s not the effort when you’re a step behind in coverage. The quarterback obviously saw it, he made the decision quick. We might not have had a good leverage on it. We might have been a step behind on it sometimes and the quarterback delivered the ball quickly and accurately so I’m going to give them their props. The quarterback was really good on Monday.
Q: Is there something in the nature of a player that makes that will disappear or did it just happen that one night?
A: You want to say it happens that one night. Again, I use that term the will to win. We have to will ourselves to do things that we don’t want to do. That’s in all of us. That’s in each and every one of us, in any walk of life. We didn’t collectively will ourselves to do the things we needed to do on Monday.
Q: Sounds like you’re trying to get them going this week.
A: I was pissed, okay. I was getting them going Monday night and we’re getting going this week. Player friendly or not, it’s all about winning. It’s all about being successful on the football field. I think that they got the message and we all understand what’s on the line for us.
Q: The Packers are a team that can embarrass a defense. What’s your confidence level that your defense will be a different product on Sunday
A: We look forward to the opportunity to play these guys. That’s my confidence level. We’re going to show up and we’re going to play on Sunday.
Q: Coach Coughlin said that, ‘We have to start bringing more.’ Is this something you’re going to have to look at more?
A: We’re going to get to the quarterback. Period. We’re going to get it done.
Q: What are you seeing that you’re so sure of it?
A: I’m going to coach better and they’re going to play better. That’s what we’re seeing.
Q: Do you question what their motivations are?
A: No. I know what their motivations are. Their motivation is to win. The motivation is to advance ourselves to win this division so we can have an opportunity to play more in January. So I know what their motivation is. We all know, collectively, what we need to get done. We have to do that again as a group. We have to do that in all three phases. We have to work in harmony together as an offense, defense and special teams and we have to grab energy from each other and collectively play as a unit, as a football team. Obviously we didn’t do that Monday night, but we’ll get that done.
Q: How much are you concerned that the coverage is right as opposed as bringing blitzes? It seems like sometimes you rush three up front and then have guys covering.
A: I change based on down and distance. I change based on some tendencies. We try to give different looks. Basically I think we didn’t play very good technique on Monday and that lead to some of the problems that we had. But we try to concentrate on all phases of that so that we’re not just vanilla in certain areas and we’re not only pressuring certain areas. We try to give the quarterback different looks as we prepare for different quarterbacks.
Q: Do you think this team has ever seen you this angry?
A: I don’t’ think so.
Q: If I play for you and I don’t have the will can you get that out of me or does it have to come from me?
A: We all have an internal drive. That’s why we play this game. It’s nothing that I do or I say because these guys are professionals. They got to this level and they’re competing at the highest level of competition because they have something within them. Sometimes you have to give them a kick in the ass to get that motor going, but they have that. Sometimes you have to give them a good shake to remind them of what’s at stake and what we’re playing for, but they all have that will. You just have to stoke that will up a little bit.
Q: How did you get that message across this week?
A: I won’t say, but I think we got that message across.
Q: Were their ears ringing?
A: Sometimes if you walk soft and carry a big stick the message is heard.
Q: Do you have enough weapons to get pressure this week?
A: Yeah we have enough. We still have enough in the room.
Q: Tuck has said that he likes to lead by example, but this season he hasn’t been able to do that. Do you kind of talk to him to do things in the leadership role or do you think he’s done what you’ve wanted him to do?
A: Justin’s a seasoned vet. He’s a very smart guy. He can look at the film and he knows exactly what he needs to do in order to help lead our defense. Sometimes I do talk to Justin about some of the things that he needs to do in order to help lead our football team, but I think Justin captured it just right. When he leads us by example, that’s the best thing that he can do for us and I’m very confident that he will come out a different player and be a good player this coming Sunday.
Q: How do you take Rodger’s mobility into account?
A: That makes it a lot tougher on us because he is very mobile. I can recall, he can move around, he can scramble. We have to be very disciplined in our rush lanes, but more so, we just have to get after his ass. If we do that and he scrambles, then that’s the price he’s going to have to pay because we’re going to hit him. We’re going to hit him.
Q: What’s different this week?
A: I probably can’t explain it the way it should be explained, but I think after we talked on Wednesday and you looked them in the eye and the way that they responded on Wednesday and the way responded today, I think it was a different attitude. It was a different mood. It was a different preparation mindedness on their part. There was not a lot of talk. We said, ‘Actions speak louder than words. So we’re going to put into action what our words should say.’ I think they took that thing to heart more so than boasting and bragging about what we’re going to do. I think the way they prepared today in practice showed a lot about what we can do.
Q: Did you see players stop short on a couple of plays?
A: No doubt. Monday, no doubt. And that was disheartening. As me being the coach and the leader of the defense, that was disheartening. When I say it was disheartening, it was disappointing more so than it was disheartening because we don’t coach that.
Q: It seemed like once the score got, guys stopped on plays, things like that?
A: Well I’m going to say it like this, we don’t coach pulling up short and we’re not going to accept pulling up short. So we won’t pull up short again.
Q: Why did we see it in so many guys?
A: I can’t explain that.
Q: What are you thinking about doing at linebacker?
A: Boley practiced a little bit today. We’re very hopeful about him. It’s the next man up for us. That’s the way it’s been all year for us, the next man up. We’ll just have to see practicing on Friday and practicing on Saturday and see what Michael can give us.
Q: Has Greg done anything tangibly since he lost his spot? Have you noticed a kick in the butt to him?
A: He had to come in and play some Monday. Even though he didn’t get all of the reps, he did tackle well for us. Greg has to get better in pass coverage and do some things in pass coverage to help make him a more complete football player. But his head has been into practices and he’s been into it. Even though he lost his job, he knows that at any moment in time you can get called up to service. He’ll be fine. We have confidence in him.
Q: Did you point out JPP’s play to the team?
A: Tom did it in front of the team and when you saw one guy that was hustling throughout the game, not only on special teams, but on defense, I think that spoke volumes. I didn’t have to say anything because everybody knew.
Q: Did Coach do a whole clip of JPP?
A: No. He just pointed something about Jason. All you have to do is look at the tape and the eye in the sky doesn’t lie.
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