Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
December 4, 2014
Q: Is Damontré [Moore] a starting defensive end now? Are you going to try to work Cullen [Jenkins] in as well?
A: We’ll do a little bit of both. We’re trying to practice this week to see how well Cullen is responding. Obviously Damontré will play, so we haven’t really made that decision yet.
Q: How has Cullen been? He said today was going to be a big day for him. What did you see today?
A: He looked good today. Sometimes we see a good flash out of him and then sometimes we don’t see the flash, so I think he’s trying to work through and find out how fast and how good he really feels, but he looked good to us.
Q: I know you guys have had reasons why Damontré hasn’t been on the field as much as some people have wanted him to be. Now that you have all these injuries, how prepared is he to be an every down defensive end if he has to be?
A: That’s a good question. How prepared is he to be an every down defensive end? Again, he’s a better pass defender than a run defender. He does play the run. We’d like for him to play the run stouter than he plays it right now, but I think that he’ll be in a rotation. He won’t be an every down defender for us.
Q: When it’s against the run, what are the deficiencies that you see? What does he have to improve on?
A: Strength, power. Those are some of the things. And discipline. It’s a combination of the three – strength, power and discipline.
Q: So this is less of a technique issue and just flatly more physical?
Q: Do you think he can one day be the every down kind of guy that you can count on against the run?
A: That depends on how much he will get into the weight room, how much strength he develops. Damontré is a 256, 258-pound man so he’s going up against 300-pounders. You have to have good strength at the point of attack to be able to strike, shed and defend.
Q: How did Kerry [Wynn] play in his first game?
A: He did some good things. He did some very positive things in the football game. He wasn’t deficient in a number of areas and he wasn’t highly efficient in a number of areas. I thought he made a solid contribution to the team.
Q: Can he get on the edge and help you? I know you used him a lot inside…
A: Yes, he can definitely get on the edge and he will get on the edge for us this week and help us.
Q: How limited are you at linebacker? Obviously Jacquian [Williams] missed practice today and [Mark] Herzlich has the concussion. Are you struggling at numbers there?
A: We’re a little thin at that position right now, so we’re using some different combinations.
Q: Spencer [Paysinger’s] sort of next up on the weak side then?
A: Spencer’s next up on the weak side.
Q: After [Paysinger], who is after that?
A: [Smiles] We brought [James] Davidson up. He is a player that we brought up to try to help us. We will be using some different combinations in there to try to help. Obviously [Devon] Kennard. He can play both MIKE and WILL if he has to. Those are the combinations we are using in practice in order to be more efficient.
Q: More safety play, too?
A: More safety play, definitely. Those combinations we’re using, too.
Q: How close is [Nat] Berhe to getting in there for defensive snaps?
A: We are definitely including him as a part of the package. We are trying to give him a role within some of the things we are trying to do as far as one of the combinations we are trying to use.
Q: What are the strengths [Berhe] brings?
A: Coming out of college, he was a very good run defender. He would strike you and he would tackle. We still like those attributes in him. He will strike you and he will tackle, but we would use him for his coverage skills also. We have also explored bringing him in pressure. There are a couple different things we think we can take advantage of his skills with and get him on the field.
Q: You made a switch with your cornerbacks this week… You used Mike Harris instead of Jayron Hosley in the slot?
A: Just trying to get more production out of that slot position. Harris has been here about three weeks. He has been practicing well. We thought he had some good knowledge of the Jacksonville receivers. He was a Jacksonville player at one time. With his development over the last three weeks, we felt that it was time to give him the opportunity to play. We thought he played very well.
Q: Odell [Beckham Jr.] was joking about playing cornerback today… Could you see him doing that?
A: No question. That is no joke. I have often tried to recruit him during training camp when he had his hamstring [injury]. I think he could be an excellent cornerback.
Q: Have you ever taken a step back and looked at [the cornerback group]… The group of corners you have now, there are like six or seven different guys you have here… How surreal is that for you?
A: It is the National Football League. It happens to a lot of teams. It seems like it has happened to us more frequently than it should. When you step back and look, we are on our fourth nickel player and cornerbacks we are down three corners. It is quite different than with what we started training camp with.