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Quotes (11/29): Shurmur, Shula, Bettcher, Ogletree, Beckham, Collins

*Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula
*

Q: Khalil Mack. How do you stop this guy? 

A; He’s really good. One of the top players in the NFL, and the reason he is not just because he’s such a great pass rusher and he’s got all the moves a pass rusher has, and he can bull rush too with power, but he plays the run so well, he’s very instinctive. You just have to know where he is on every play and get as much help to him as you can, but obviously they’re coached very well and they understand that too, and they do a good job scheme-wise where they try to prevent you from getting to him with more than one guy. It’s going to have to be a team effort on offense, and it starts on the early downs up front with our offensive line, staying out of the longer yardage situations, keeping ourselves in the downs where are we running it, are we throwing it, and going from there. Each and every week, obviously you’ve got to know who you’re playing personnel-wise, but it’s still about us and we feel like if we’re on top of our game for four quarters, then we can keep teams off-balance, defenses off-balance, and move the ball and just got to get it in the end zone more. 

Q: Do you see a lot of situations where maybe Mack’s not making the play but he’s drawing two or three guys and it’s freeing up other guys to do damage? 

A: Every play. You see it on every play. 

Q: Given your record, there’s been a lot of talk about what to do at the quarterback position over the final five games. You’re in practice every day with Kyle Lauletta, what do you see out of him and do you think he’d be ready to step in? 

A: We’re locked in on beating the Bears and helping Eli and our offense get ourselves ready and go win a football game. We felt like we had a chance last week and did a lot of really good things, and Eli did a lot of really good things to help us, and we just fell short. That was unfortunate because we feel like we’re getting better across the board on offense.  

Q: What do you think happened in the second half with Eli that’s so different than the success he had early on? 

A: We’ve all been around games like that where you’re controlling the ball, you’re doing a lot of good things in the first half, and unfortunately we didn’t get touchdowns on a couple drives down there and that usually ends up a lot of times hurting you. That’s kind of what happened, the third quarter we didn’t have the ball very much because we didn’t make first downs, whether or not it was on an end-of-play, or penalty, or what have you. That’s collectively as a team, and then when we got going, we had a really good drive in the fourth quarter and unfortunately we were close on the third down at the end and just missed it. You even take a look at the first drive of the game, and this is what we try to impress upon our players, the third play of the game – I think it’s third-and-10, if not it’s at least third-and-eight – and we throw the ball during a soft zone, we throw the ball underneath to Rhett (Ellison) and he fights, catches it and fights, and it’s a good read obviously because they’re real soft, and he gets the first down but that much (motions small with fingers). If we don’t get the first down, it’s three and out, they got the ball. We get the first down, we go down and score. Those are the things we continue to build on, work on, and impress upon our players. 

Q: You’re part of designing the game plan. What do you think when Odell says afterwards, I’m paraphrasing, ‘If it was me, I would’ve attacked more downfield, it just wasn’t part of our game plan’? 

A: I don’t really ever worry about that. We talk here with our players and our coaches and we move on. If there’s ever any issues, we handle them one on one, whether or not it’s coaches and players, players and players, or coordinators or head coaches, and then we move on, make sure we’re on the same page. Everybody wants to win, for sure with receivers. We’d all be disappointed if guys didn’t want the ball more. Unfortunately, there’s only one football, and the bottom line for us is we want to all be on the same page and do whatever we can each and every guy, player and coach, to go win a football game. That’s what our focus is this week. 

Q: It came up in the Eagles game but I’m speaking more generally. What makes taking Saquon out for a full series right versus spelling him for one play here or there on different series?  

A: I don’t know if there’s any right answer. I think it’s important, you can wear guys out easily, especially at that position where you have a tendency to try to give them the ball, and then all the sudden at the end of the game, maybe he’s got too many carries or he’s too tired or whatever, plus he’s a young guy. I think Coach (Craig) Johnson does a really good job of spelling those guys and I think Wayne (Gallman) is a lot like the rest of our offense. He’s gotten a lot better as the year’s gone on and really played well the last two weeks and in the game last week. It’s good to have a guy like that to give Saquon a break, and just when you do it, it’s just kind of a feel thing. 

Q: You’ve been an offensive coordinator for a while. They’re going into the game not knowing who’s starting. In that situation, you have the same game plan? Would you put A if this guy starts, or B if that guy starts? Would you have more plays for a certain guy, knowing those are his favorite plays as opposed to one game plan (at quarterback)? 

A: We’re worried about beating the Bears, and whoever is in there is expected to execute the plays. Eli is our quarterback and trying like crazy just like every week, coaches – I’m not the only one, but I am, the quarterbacks are, the other positions are, and when they’re number’s called, go make a play.  

Q: On the quarterback situation: You say that you’re concentrating on the current team, but obviously you have to put together a lineup. When you put together your list of the guys that are going to contribute to beating that team, do you look at the preparation of the younger guys? What goes into deciding who’s going to be part of the game plan to beat that team?  

A: All of our guys are expected to execute what’s on the game plan.  

Q: But there’s no evaluation done as far as, ok, this guy’s maybe further along in the classroom as opposed to this guy?

A: Sure there is, but if we have our game plan, then anything that’s in our game plan, anybody that’s in the game is expected to execute that. 

Q: Against these guys, how important is ball security – both fumbles and interceptions? (Khalil) Mack in particular is going to make his plays, but you try to not to make them game wreckers. 

A: Yeah, obviously we all know how important it is and these guys feed off of that. They’re as good as probably anybody is of getting turnovers, and that’s not just interceptions but stripping the ball. If it’s not the first guy, the second guy is trying to strip the ball while the first guy’s trying to tackle. Obviously it’s our number-one thing each and every week to take care of the football, secure it, and play keep away. There’s drills to do that, anybody’s who’s in there is expected to make sure they’re doing everything they can in there to protect the ball whether or not you’re throwing it or running with it or catching it or whatever. Like I said, they’re really good at it, and that’s one of the reasons they have the record they have, so we’ve just got to make sure we do the things that we can do in that regard to help ourselves stay on the field and get points.

Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher

Opening Remarks: Just came out of walk-thru and practice. Like many similar weeks, we’ve stacked two good days. The guys came in after a hard-fought loss and I’ve said it repeatedly, the thing I love about this group is they take great ownership of the work. I love about this group that no matter what is flying at them, these guys have not flinched and they’ve continued to come to work, continued to work for corrections, but more importantly, they’ve continued to work their craft, continued to work the things that individually we need to improve at so collectively we can play better. This group, whatever quarterback ends up playing, even last week, you see the same components of their offense – lots of motions, lots of ways to try to create matchups or what maybe they’re looking at as mismatches, and we’re going to have to play great with our eyes. We’re going to have to play better in the run game than we played, and get them in situations where we can dictate them throwing the ball. We’ve got to get in less third-and-four, we’ve got to get in less of those downs for ourselves on defense. It’s going to be a great challenge, our guys continue to be excited to play, continue to work the process, and look forward to this Sunday, a chance to go play.

Q: The Eagles had that seven-play scoring drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter, five of those plays were runs. Is that an effort thing with the run defense? How do you avoid that happening again?

A: I haven’t seen where we have an effort problem, I really haven’t. I’ve just seen where at times in critical situations, we’re trying to press, and I can’t press as a play caller and we can’t press as a defense. That might be the three technique, that might be the shade, that might be a linebacker, that might be a safety – there’s not one moment where you turn on the tape and it’s the same guy repeatedly. That’s the thing you see, and we continue to work that and talk about that. Some of that is youth at positions. Some of that is just maybe a vet trying to do too much, and we just can’t try to press. Just do our jobs. We’re in a single gap defense, win your gap, win your responsibility and there was certainly not good enough run defense late in the ball game.

Q: Was there something in the film that maybe you saw that maybe tipped them off to commit to the running game in that spot because of something you were or were not doing?      

A: No, I think that’s just a commitment they had coming into the game and a commitment we knew they were going to make. That was probably something they even had talked about in the media that they wanted to have a commitment to running the ball. Same this week. I don’t think there’s many offenses or offensive coordinators that don’t want to be able to run the ball and don’t want to have some type of commitment to running the ball, and we have to play better run defense. That starts with each of us doing our jobs individually a little bit better.

Q: Have you noticed that teams are attacking the run differently than earlier in the season, more so up the middle as opposed to on the edges?

A:  There’s probably statistics that there’s been more runs inside or outside. One thing I’d say is people are trying to zone cut us. They’re trying to zone and then cut down the gaps, I’d probably say I’ve seen that a little more. We’ve seen a lot of pull plays in terms of the run game, whether that’s gap scheme runs or zone scheme with pullers, but all of those – whatever the scheme is – we’ve just got to execute a little bit better. You can see at times how close we are to being very good and correct in our run fits, and then some of those are we’re there, then it’s a last-second because our eyes or our body takes us out of the fit. We’ve got to continue to play better in those moments, and it’s all of us. Play better, coach better.

Q: How do you teach these guys to close out games and seal them up?

A: That goes to not pressing. That was a big part of our message this week, and we kind of talked about that for a couple weeks now. We don’t have to press, you don’t have to do more than your job. If your responsibility is being A-gap, then you need to be in A-gap. Now, there’s obviously more that goes into it than that, that’s very simply stated, but at the end of the day, that’s really what it amounts to. Tough moments where you feel things pressing on you, when you feel the pressure of the game, that’s when you have to fall back on fundamentals and technique. When things feel like they’re haywire in a game, when a game’s not going good, you have to fall back on something and that’s fundamentals and techniques. We just have to continue to work the process to continue to improve in that way, so in those moments, we play better.  

Q: Is that something you can teach? That’s something you have to experience, right?   

A: I think it’s both of those. It’s teaching, it’s coaching, and it’s execution in the moment.

Q: When you prepare for the Bears, you have one game plan, but do you tweak it a little bit depending on whether it’s (QB) Mitch (Trubisky) or Chase (Daniels) in there?

A: You certainly have some things that you like versus each of those two quarterbacks, yes.  

Q: The numbers say you are blitzing less than you did in the past. Obviously it’s two different teams, two different personnel, is that related to that, Giants personnel vs. Cardinals personnel? Or did your beliefs change over the offseason?

A: I have never looked, that’s a great question, but I have never looked at a percentage and said, ‘I’ve got to blitz this many percent.’ I couldn’t tell you if we’re blitzing whatever percentage was there or here, I just know each and every week, we look at what we need to do from a scheme standpoint, what we feel we need to do to give our team the best chance to win and our defense the best chance to play well, and that’s what we try to do and that’s what we try to hang our hat on each and every individual week. To be honest with you, the last place I worked, we did it the same way.

Q: On the pass rush: You’re getting some pressures but you’re not getting to the quarterback. What do you think is the hump holding them back?

A: It is exactly the same thing that’s in the run game. There’s four guys in a four-man rush, five guys in a five-man rush, and there’s one-on-ones that are going to be had. It’s just execution in those one-on-ones and there’s calling some calls better. Let’s get a free run at the quarterback. When we’ve got a one-on-one, let’s beat the back. When we’ve got a one-on-one, let’s beat the tackle. There’s no one person it falls on, it’s collectively the four guys that are rushing the quarterback working together, then it coincides and you have to understand that – and I know you do – the coverage helps the rush, and the rush helps the coverage, and they have to coincide. You see it on tape with teams, sometimes when the coverage is breaking down, someone up front makes a play and changes it and it doesn’t matter if the coverage broke down, you go fix it on the sideline. When the coverages or the rushes get held or are getting blocked, and the coverage holds them up and the quarterback has nowhere to go with the ball and has to throw it away, and that’s where we’ve got to play complementary football between our rush and our coverage.

Q: You mentioned asking younger players to do more, you’ve been relying on them all year. A guy like Tae Davis has gone from first half (of the season) really just spot duty to now it seems like you’re asking a lot of him. With the lumps he’s taken, what are you seeing of his growth as a player?

A: I love the growth that he’s had so far. The question was kind of asked previously, does experience matter in getting through those tough moments? Experience definitely matters in that, but experience also matters in ability to grow as a player. Sometimes guys just need to get a chance to go out and play, and you’ve seen that with Tae, you’ve seen that with Grant (Haley), you’ve seen that with Sean Chandler, B.W. Webb is a first-year (here), there’s quite a few guys there that you’re seeing them progress. Some of that progression is their play on the field of making a play, but then a lot of it is just in the classroom, the behind-the-scenes things you don’t see with a young player, learning how to watch tape, learning what to look for, being able to eight-nine-ten-eleven weeks into the season, where’s that individual at in terms of, ‘now I go out onto the field and now I see the formation, I see where the tight end is and I recognize some things, and the game starts to slow down for me’. The experience has a lot to do with all those guys’ growth. They need the reps.

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Q: Another week, another change at punt returner?

A: Welcome to our world. It is what it is. You just – like I told you guys before, it’s just one of those deals, you’re just always ready to expect the unexpected and just roll with it. Good thing we got options, so nothing to sweat about it. Just go out there and play.

Q: I know Pat (Shurmur) was kind of lamenting not getting a chance at the field goal at the end of the game. 63 yards, is that in Aldrick’s (Rosas) range?

A: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. I coached Graham Gano and Aldrick’s leg is every bit as strong as Graham’s, if not stronger. That’s definitely in his wheel house.

Q: One thing that I thought was interesting was we asked Aldrick if in pregame he tests his range and he said, not really, wherever Zak (DeOssie) puts the ball is where he kicks it from. He’s not trying to max it out in the pregame?

A: No. For him, and he’s different than a lot of kickers because his leg is so strong, we try and temper him down and just make good contact, be smooth. He’s strong. This kid can hit it from – just this is my personal opinion, I’ve seen him hit it from 65 and barely miss it from 68 and just a nice, smooth, easy swing. He’s a talented kid, has a really strong leg. His upside is tremendous. 

Q: Is that different in terms of the warmup process of a lot of kickers. Do others go out and say okay I’m going to be good from here today and this is my range?

A: Yeah, a lot of them do. A lot of older, veteran guys will do that. Thank God, Aldrick is just himself. He knows himself and that’s a good thing about him. He knows that, ‘okay, just put the ball down wherever they snap it. I’m going to kick it’ and he knows we’ll keep him in his range, so wherever the ball is put down, he’s going to hit it. 

Q: You say his mindset is kind of unique because it seems like a lot of kickers are very particular? He kind of seems like, Pat Shurmur called him a football player, just kind of seems a little more carefree than a lot of kickers.

A: Yeah, he’s different, he’s definitely different. I’ve had guys kick in the league for 25 years and I’ve had rookies. He’s different and I like the way he thinks. I like his mindset and put the ball down, I don’t care what hash it’s on, I’ll just kick it. 

Q: Do you watch the other team in warmups and say, ‘okay, this guy he can make it from 58’?

A: Absolutely. That’s something that we communicate to the defense, like what’s the yard-line and all that good stuff. We definitely keep an eye on that.

Q: The Carolina game did you say –

A: Graham – yeah we talked about it. 

Q: Going back to the punt returner thing, how much easier is it to plug a new guy in there now that the unit seems to have stabilized a little bit more?

A: It’s still not easy. At anything – at the quarterback position, at the left tackle position, at left corner, middle linebacker, you want some continuity. It’s the same thing for the punt returner because when you get different guys back there, it’s different. Guys got to kind of re-adjust to who’s back there and what their strengths, what their weaknesses are, so it’s just a little different, but you just make the adjustment and keep on.

Q: Do you have to change up what you do as far as blocking schemes and all that stuff?

A: For the most part, we keep it the same. I might call one return more than the other, but for the most part, we keep it the same just depending on who’s back there. 

Q: Kind of come full circle now. Guys who have kind of lost the job are coming back now.

A: You stay in this league long enough, that happens. When guys get nicked up you get opportunities and it’s up to the guy that gets the opportunity to take advantage of the opportunity. That’s what it is, you just got to take advantage of the opportunities you get and hopefully it’ll work out for the best.

LB Alec Ogletree

Q: Are there certain things that you would like to do if one quarterback is in and other things you’d like to do if the other quarterback is in?

A: They both are good quarterbacks and you predate having change as much as their offense from either one. Of course they both kind of play a little bit different games, but for the most part they do the same stuff, so we’re preparing for either one. You never know which one is going to play, so if Chase Daniel plays we’ll be prepared for him. If (Mitch) Trubisky plays, we’ll be prepared for him as well.

Q: They’re a team that’s fundamentally sound, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, they don’t beat themselves, so what is the philosophical or mental approach as a defense you have to have going against a team of that nature?

A: Like you said, they don’t beat themselves and we have to go out there and not make mistakes ourselves and get on the field and get off the field. We have to create turnovers, give our offense extra possessions to score points and just bring energy to the team. If we do our job, we should be fine.

Q: When you talk about getting the takeaways and the turnovers, you must be aware they’re plus-14, I think, tied for the league high, in turnover ratio. Does that become even more imperative knowing that they are good at going to get it themselves on their defensive side?

A: They’re a good defense and like you said, they’re top of the league in turnovers and for us it’s going to be key for us to take care of the ball and as a defense we have to create those turnovers to give our offense those possessions that they tend to give their offense possessions as well. It’s going to be a good battle, but we just have to handle our business and like I said, create those turnovers and give our offense the time that they need to score points.

Q: What’s the challenge with a back like (Tarik) Cohen with that kind of speed and being aware when he’s on the field and covering him in pass plays?

A: He’s a guy that they use all over the field. Sometimes he’s split out as a wide receiver, sometimes he’s at the running back position, so he’s a versatile guy and he has a lot of speed, like you said. He’s pretty small so it’s hard to see him behind the line and he does a good job of finding space and using that to his advantage so for us, it’s just making sure we get all 11 guys around him to condense the space around him to make tackles and like you said, we just have to kind of hopefully make him try to block or something, I don’t know.

Q: Or even his lack of size can kind of play with your eyes a little bit?

A: A guy that’s that small can get lost in the mix for sure and squirt out somewhere where you’re not expecting him to because he has that ability to stop and start at any moment and get outside or hit it up inside, too, so you have to be disciplined and make sure you can hold your lanes and stuff like that.

Q: How do you get this defense to be able to finish games and finish teams off? You won the Bucs game, they were able to come back a little bit and then obviously last week that was a problem. How does this team find that instinct, that killer instinct?

A: Just executing at the end of the game and we start out well, but we just have to find a way to finish the games and like you said, we work really hard. We know what we need to do. This week is a great opportunity for us to do that, to get up and get the lead and if it comes down to the defense being out on the field the last possession, we have to step up to the plate and go out there and make those plays that need to be made.

Q: Coach (James) Bettcher said he thinks that some guys are trying to do too much in those big situations. Do you feel that on the field?

A: It can – things are just, like you said, when you don’t execute at the end of the day, you’re going to find yourself making mistakes in crucial moments and like I said, last week we had an opportunity to be out there and win the fourth down, we didn’t do that. That’s just guys, all of us not doing our job, and like I said, not executing at the critical moments, so you have to find those moments and make sure you execute at the end of the day.

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Q: The past couple weeks, the offense has averaged close to 30 points per game. Does that give you all a renewed optimism about the rest of this season?

A: I think we just started to put it all together. Unfortunately, it was during the time that it was. It was a little later in the season, but we all put it together now. There’s definitely something there. We just got to continue to grow it and develop it.

Q: Is it a little taste of what you and (QB) Eli (Manning) are capable of?

A: I don’t really know. Just like I said, we’ve been putting it together lately, besides the last game. That’s definitely something to look forward to.

Q: Did you have to talk to Eli at all about the second half of the last game?

A: We’re all on to Chicago. Any questions about anything yesterday, or two weeks ago, or a year ago – I’m here to talk about Chicago.

Q: When facing a great player like (Bears DE) Khalil Mack, what can you do to help Eli in the passing game?

A: Just try and make plays. I felt like I was so prepared this year. Not to say I feel like I’m having a bad year, I just don’t feel like I’ve done as much as I can. Just the little things. Working on the little things. Get open fast. He’s as advertised, he’s worth every penny, he’s a force. Run, pass, while he’s sitting on the bench – he’s a problem, wherever he’s at.

Q: Do you feel like it’s not quite the year you wanted to have?

A: Yeah, I don’t feel like it’s quite there. Each year I come in, 1,000 yards is a minimum. I don’t look at it like, oh, I need to get 1,000 yards. My season starts after 1,000 yards. Trying to see how many yards I can get after 1,000. Ten touchdowns minimum. That’s just the goal. For me, this year I came in with a mindset of being efficient. When I was in college and making plays. It’s third and 11 – being able to hit this first down, keep this drive alive. Just being effective and efficient. Like I said, it’s not like a down year. My numbers are still my numbers. I guess that’s where my mindset is different than everybody else. I expect way higher of myself. I’m trying to reach 2,000 yards. I’m trying to go for 20 touchdowns, 100 receptions is tatted on me. Those are goals that hopefully in my career, in my future along with championships, winning, because numbers really don’t mean anything without winning. You can go home with 300 yards in a game with an L (loss). It’s not going to feel good. So, it’s really all about winning, and I just feel like I could’ve had a better year so far, but this is where I’m at. I just got to deal with that and just pushing to keep getting better day-by-day, working your craft. That’s all I can really do.

Q: Is it fun to go against a former teammate in a game? (Bears CB Prince Amukamara)

A: I haven’t really got a chance to go against any former teammates, but I love Prince. Prince was like a brother when he was here. I honestly can say I love Prince. That’s like my guy. I have to try to stay focused while I’m in the game with him lined up across from me. He’s always been a good corner, but it’s just Prince. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s Prince, and he’s there, and he’s just a goofy guy. I’m going to have to snap that early in the game, and just be able to compete against him, and I know he’s excited as well. So, it should be fun.

Q: Has he talked trash to you? (Amukamara)

A: No, I’m sure he will when we get out there Sunday. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just like I’ve been in this locker room with him. Like I said, he’s like a brother to me. I’m going to have to take all the joking aside when we get out there, and just go out and play.

Q: His goofiness is actually an advantage for him on Sunday.

A: I guess so (laughter). I guess it is. It’s a tactic. I’m just going to have to just rid that early in the game, and just be able to compete and have fun.

Q: What’s your thoughts on the amount of interceptions they’ve been able to accumulate?

A: They’re 8-3, they’re playing at a high level. They got one of the best defenses in the NFL, in the world. He’s a problem. You got (Bears S Eddie Jackson) EJ back there on the back-end. You got (Bears CB Kyle) Fuller, you got Prince, their linebackers are good. (Bears DE Leonard) Floyd is over there. They’ve got a team, they’ve got a squad. Their offense is playing at a high level. They got some guys making plays. It’s not easy. Also, they only punt the ball only 2-3 times a game. They’re playing at a very, very high level. I think in the division, they’re obviously first, but on that side, they’re first. It’s definitely not going to be easy.

Q: Do you have some plays to get open early?

A: To be honest, when you’re playing receiver, the race isn’t between you and the DB. It’s always between you and the D-linemen, and once I can learn and understand that, it helped me conceptualize more what was really going on. If he’s getting up the field, you don’t have to cut the route shorter, but you do need to be sharper, and you do need to be there on time. If not, getting open just a hair second earlier, but making sure you’re at where you’re supposed to be at. We got a tough task on our hand. We got to deal with 52 and the rest of those guys.

Q: What’s the mindset now for the rest of the season?

A: Keep winning games, that’s it. You never know what can happen. I wanted to win all eight. That’s not what happened, but there’s no giving up. There’s no quit, not from me or anybody in here. We just got to win these last whatever games, and see what happens.

Q: What do you cling to for hope that this organization can turn things around?

A: This is a winning organization. They’ve won in the past. We just got to trust the process, and at some point in time, the goal is to obviously hang a banner, and raise that trophy. All you can do is be optimistic and keep pushing forward and getting better.

S Landon Collins -- November 29, 2018 

Q: How can this defense improve with closing out games?

A: We just have to remember our gap assignments, fundamentally be sound technique wise, and running to the ball as fast as possible.

Q: Is there a mentality this defense has to have to get that done in the end?

A: We should have one. Every guy should be in their mind and say, I want to make a play, I want to be the guy to make this stop and get us off the field, and stuff like that. There has to be a mentality. Even though it’s a team sport, you want to be that guy.

Q: Does that mentality have to be learned? Especially with the young defensive guys on the team who are new to the league.

A: I think it takes a little bit of experience, but at the same time, 12 games so far, you should know how to make a play when your play is called upon, when you should see your play happening. It should happen naturally. 

Q: How do you balance playing your assignment versus stepping out of it to make that big play?

A: It’s just a feel. You know the concept you’re going against, and I study a lot. With studying, you kind of know what they’re going to do beforehand. You know formations and what they like to do. Within doing that, just be ahead of the game, so when I see something about to happen, I can be there. 

Q: Are you a big iPad guy?

A: Yeah, I get like 3-4 hours in.

Q: Every day?

A: Not every day, but throughout the week. From Monday – Friday, about four hours on the iPad, including the three hours we have here every day. 

Q: (Defensive Coordinator James) Bettcher says as a defense, you guys have to have better eye discipline. Can you elaborate on what he means by that?

A: Same thing, like play recognition. When you see a split, or you see a gap, or you see a guy deeper in his stance. He can be pulling and stuff like that. It’s eye discipline. Then when you have your gap, and you see a guy kind of shedding over to you and eyeing you down, he’s coming to block you. Stuff like that, you kind of just have to pick up on. 

Q: What will it mean to this defense to have the offense give you guys a big lead early in the game?

A: Our offense is doing their job. We’re putting points on the board, and that’s all we ask them to do. When they put points on the board, we got to be on the other end saying that we’re not going to let them score, or keep it from being a close game, or putting our offense back in a predicament where we need them to score. So, it goes hand-in-hand.

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