DT Jonathan Hankins
August 6, 2015
Q: How do feel about not sticking with the pairings on defense like you did last year as far as the rotation goes?
I think coach (Robert) Nunn is doing a pretty good job with the rotation. Heís still, I guess the entire staff is still trying to figure out where to put people, and pieces to go, but thatís why we have camp, to see what guys can do and what they can provide for the defense.
Q: Do you think the coaches are going to design more ways for you to get to the quarterback?
I hope so but that just comes with doing my job, and playing the run, and getting an opportunity to stay out there. We have a lot of guys that can rush the passer. We have Robert Ayers, we have (Owamagbe) Odighizuwa, and Demontre Moore, and (Cullen) Jenkins. I feel like weíre all going to get a chance to go out there and rush the passer. We just have to execute while weíre out there.
Q: Have you noticed players being moved around on defense and is that something that you think youíll get the opportunity to do in terms of attacking the passer?
Our defense is predicated on just moving around and not just being stagnant. Coach Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) does a good job of giving different looks for the offense and giving opportunities for one-on-one action. This year I definitely feel like Iíll have a lot more opportunities if Iím out there for more one-on-one pass rushes.
Q: Does it bother you that the defensive scheme is changing after having a productive year in the 4-3 defense?
I wonít say it bothers me as long as Iím out there stopping the run and doing what I have to do. If coach is going to give me more opportunities to go out there and pass rush, and get sacks, if I can execute and continue to build that number up, Iím sure heíll keep me out there. Itís kind of hard when you have other guys that can rush the passer and thatís what theyíre predicated on doing.
Q: Is it challenging to know that you also have to beat out the ends as well because of the defensive scheme?
Youíre basically always competing against the ends. I think if it was up to them, they would have four ends out there if they wanted to but knowing the pass we havenít really been doing a good job of stopping the run. The year I had last year, getting push, and getting sacks, and thatís kind of opening up the eyes of the coaches that they can leave me out there on third downs in some of those situations just to give the ends a break. I know sometimes they get caught in the run downs and theyíre not too happy with that, but thatís what happens when you want to rush a passer on the side.
Q: Are you happy with the way you played against the run last year?
I think I did pretty well. I think I held my own with having JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) on the side. I think as a unit we did pretty well but when you look at the ratings or the stats, we didnít do such a good job. Itís not just me be able to run stop, itís on the entire front seven, so you canít point out one guy, especially when the stats say you didnít do a good job.
Q: Can you describe what will be missing not having JPP out there on the field?
Just his presence, you know whenever heís on the field, offenses and teams are alert of him, and they try to do their best to scheme around him. I feel like with the guys we have now, I feel like I can trust them, Coach Nunn is trusting them, Coach Spags is, so I think we can get the job done as a unit and not always have that one superstar guy, which JPP was. It just calls for opportunities for guys to step up and Iím going to try my best to do what I can and Iím sure everybody else will.
Q: Do you think attention will be shifted to you if heís not out there?
Yeah, I donít really mind the attention. I just know I have to do my job. I want to be a leader of this defense and if thatís what comes with it, Iíll take it.
Q: Have you talked to JPP?
Yeah, Iíve talked to him. Heís doing good, rehabbing and getting his hand right, and I guess when the time presents itself, heíll come back whenever he feels comfortable.
Q: Have you talked to JPP since camp started?
Yeah, I sent him text messages just keeping him up to date with whatís going on and whatís happening. Heís our brother, so we have to make sure heís alright and not always worry about football.
Q: How do you feel about the O-line wanting to be tougher and how does that help you guys?
Itís a competition. Yesterday we did 9-on-7 for the first time and it was pretty intense. We had a couple of fights, I think, the day before, so itís like the offensive line is trying to show their attitude being tough with us and moving guys off the ball. I think thatís going to help us in both ways.