Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
November 21, 2013
Q: Are your guys excited about this challenge? Can you sense an excitement?
A: Definitely. I thought the preparation yesterday was very focused. There was some learning going on today and I could tell our guys are pumped about playing this football game, we just can’t get overexcited. We just have to stay within ourselves.
Q: In what way is Tony Romo different this season, if he is different?
A: I don’t think he’s any different. We’ve got a great deal of respect for Tony. He’s a good pocket passer. He moves out of the pocket, he’s even more dangerous. I think the thing I see is he seems like he commands the offense more because he may call more plays on his own, or what have you. It seems like he has more control of the offense than he has in the past.
Q: What’s the key against him, because like you said you want to pressure him, but he is good at moving and making throws? What is the key with a guy like that?
A: You just have to hope he has a bad day. I don’t know if you can say there’s one key thing that you’d do against Tony because he’s seen it all. He’s a wily veteran. Obviously, you have to stop the run game and make him one-dimensional, but when you do that, he’s thrown the ball 50 times against us and he’s very accurate this year, probably more so than he’s been in the past. You just have to hope he has a bad day and that you’re having a good day and that you can steal a couple of downs.
Q: You like to keep the corners on their respective sides. With Dez, do you have change up? You didn’t really change up in the first game, did you?
A: Each time we play them, we approach it differently. Sometimes we’ll matchup, sometimes we won’t. It just kind of depends as we go through the week and how well the guys practice and how they are preparing, who looks good. We’ll do a little bit of both.
Q: How does Prince match-up if you have him against Dez? What do you think about that?
A: Prince is playing well for us right now. That’s a strong matchup, I think, for us.
Q: For a cornerback, you have to have a lot of confidence to leave him one on one with a guy like that.
A: Yes, we do.
Q: Do you have that confidence?
A: Do I have that confidence? Yes, I do.
Q: What is the biggest stride Prince has made in his game this year?
A: He’s grown up. Prince was the little brother and he still may be the little brother to most of these guys, but he’s made some plays. He was physical last week in the game and made some tackles. I know we told him before the game that he needed to go see the equipment guy and get some new pads because he was going to have to tackle the big back last week, and he came up and did that last week. He’s answered the challenge that we’ve given him each week and I think he’s responding.
Q: Does he allow you to maybe press more because he kind of allows you to do that with his physicality?
A: We allow him to do some things like that. We allow him to play off, we have a lot of different techniques that we will employ when we’re playing a team like this and when you’re playing against Dallas and when you’re playing against their receivers, you have to get a feel for what challenges they don’t like. If you’re physical with them, then yes, you’ll press a lot. If you’re playing off and they don’t understand what you’re doing, then you’ll play off. You’ll give them a number of different combinations because you want to try to feel them out a little bit too.
Q: How important is it to disguise some of the coverages that you’ve seen before and is that a challenge for you?
A: He’s seen it all. In my mind, he’s like Peyton and Tom Brady and those guys. He’s been in the league for a long time. He’s seen every coverage known to man. So yeah, you’ll try to disguise and do some things like that, but they employ a pretty quick game against us. I know they threw the ball like over 30 or 40 times against us in the first ball game and he was getting the ball out quick. So it depends on the approach that he comes out with and what the philosophy they’re going to come out with because you can disguise and you can disguise yourself out of position.
Q: You are facing much more established quarterbacks these next few weeks. Is this defense ready for that challenge?
A: I think our football team is ready to rise up and win football games. We’re behind in this race and we’ve got to win this race in order to earn the right to play more football. I don’t care who’s under center and who is at receiver or whatever; we’ve got to rise to the challenge each and every week.
Q: Scott Tolzien had five passes of 25 yards or more last week. Was there something you saw that was amiss?
A: The one to Jordy was really a good football throw and Jordy Nelson makes those plays. Then he had one that the post safety abandoned his coverage and then they hit us on a double move, and I kind of take responsibility for that one because I didn’t do a good job of preparing the corner that last week on the double move. They hit it the year before on Corey. They came back and did the same thing this year on us and so we had a couple of mental busts and then he made some good plays. So do I want to have that number of big plays? Hell no, but we’re trying to do a better job of making sure we’ve researched and give them all the moves we think that they’ll employ so we don’t have those big plays this week.
Q: Have you seen a confidence in the defense that maybe wasn’t there over the first six games?
A: I don’t look for that. I just think that we’re communicating a lot better in the meeting rooms. I think we’re focusing much better. I think the purpose of us going out and because we’re behind in this race, we’re going out with that purpose of winning a football game, no matter what. So that’s what I see in our guys is that determination of we’ve got to get this thing right. We’ve got to get our football right.
Q: With Terrell Thomas and JPP getting healthier and a guy like Beason added to the defense, do you have more freedom to be aggressive and call different plays because your personnel is where it is right now?
A: When you say more freedom, can you define that?
Q: Do you have more options? Can you dial what you want to dial up knowing JPP is closer to being JPP?
A: I think we’ve been able to dial some things up because Jon Beason and Terrell Thomas and Antrel Rolle have really taken control of our defense and they’re the voices of our defense and they’re demanding from their teammates the execution of the things that we’ve game planned each week. That’s the freedom I’m getting or that’s the confidence that I’m getting in our people because they are really putting pressure on themselves to perform. I just think those guys are doing a great job of leading us to where we need to be.
Q: When was the last time you saw a play like JPP’s on Sunday?
A: Last year down in Dallas, but he dunked it. He couldn’t dunk it this time, but that was outstanding. JPP is a gifted athlete.
Q: That’s the rare guy that can do that.
A: No doubt, especially with one arm.