DE Robert Ayers Jr.
August 12, 2015
Q: Youíve been in different systems with different coordinators, how does it look learning Spags system? You enjoy the system, is it complicated, easy, what are your thoughts?
A: I like it a lot. I like it because itís very diverse and you can attack the offense in a lot of different ways in this defense. I think he allows players to maximize their knowledge of the game. You take a guy like Jon Beason, whoís played thousands of snaps in this league, and heís really good at anticipating what other offenses are trying to do. He gives him the tools to go out there and check things and correct things, and put us in good situations. For a guy like him, thatís great to have. A guy like me, who has a certain skillset, or a guy like Damontre [Moore], or Owa [Odighizuwa], Cullen [Jenkins]óhe tries to put his players in position to make plays. As a guy that wants to make a lot of plays, you canít ask for anything more. He gives us a leash, and if we do our job, he extends the leash. If you donít do your job and youíre not handling what heís teaching youóif youíre not making the right checks or doing your job or doing the right thingsóhe pulls that leash in. Thatís all you could ask for, just a coach thatís willing to trust you, trust your knowledge of the game, trust your hard work, and put us in the position to maximize our abilities. You canít ask for any more than that.
Q: When you say maximize, does he give you guys up front a lot of freedom?
A: Freedom within the scheme. If Beason sees something, he can give us a stunt or can check, try to get guys in front. All the linebackers are doing a good job of trying to get us in the best position to be successful for that down and distance. Itís not really a cookie cutter defense. So thatís a good thing. I like it.
Q: Spags is known as having an aggressive defense, do you see that?
A: Definitely. Heís an aggressive man. He wants us attacking, he wants us being relentless and getting after the ballótrying to cause turnovers. He wants us to do damage on the way to the ball carrier, he wants us to cause havoc, and to really inflict a lot of pain. I like it.
Q: How about Spags personally, is he good at teaching and explaining the defense?
A: He definitely does, I think heís a good teacher. He tells you what he wants and tells you why and he tells you how this works with that and tries to give everyone an understanding of what heís trying to accomplish with certain defenses. He has a lot of counter punches. Heís not one of those coaches that heís just throwing haymakers. He has the haymakers, but if youíre the aggressor, he can counter with this, he can respond with that. He has checks, he has a lot of curveballs and a lot of different things, a lot of different ways he can counter you with. Typical things that offenses try to do manipulate your defense, he has counters for that, too. He has a great understanding of, if you do this, we can do that. Weíre going to have the last say. Weíre not always going to give the offense the last say. So Iím liking it. Itís a challenge for us to learn it, and he does a good job of simplifying it. Iím excited about it. Iím excited about this unit, Iím excited about this staff. I think we can do a lot of good things.
Q: How do you think your unit did yesterday against a tough Bengals offensive line?
A: Theyíre really tough. They've got one of the better left tackles in [Andrew] Whitworth. They got a lot of youth, and they did a lot of good things running the ball last year with some good running backs. They throw the ball well, a franchise quarterback. I think, overall, we held our own. We competed, and we challenged them, and they challenged us. We got after it. We kept it clean, there wasnít any chippiness. We worked. I was real proud of my guys, I was very proud of the young guys, I was very, very proud of Damontre. I was very proud of Jay Bromley and Carlif [Taylor], and Owa. Those guys were really impressive, in my opinion. I was proud of the stuff that they took. They came to work and they got better, itís good to see. Itís a good sign for this unit. We got a long ways to go, but Iím excited about it.
Q: How promising was it that so many guys were getting pressure yesterday?
A: It was really good, it was great. Itís very inspring to see guys picking up the way they did. Look at a guy like Owa, whose clockwork almostóheís understanding the defense. Once he fine tunes his technique and understands the game and understands how to attack offenses and what theyíre trying to do to him with formations and things like that, dude is going to be a monster. Damontre Moore, heís brought his A game. Heís listening, heís learning, heís improving. Jay Bromley is doing really good. So, I think itís good to see those guys really getting after it and gaining that confidence through hard work and through understanding the defense and their technique and listening to Coach Nunn, who did a good job of teaching us. Itís a very good feeling to see everybody getting better and working hard.
Q: How does that experience help you specifically get ready for your first live contact game that will be in a couple days?
A: It kind of helps us understand how theyíre going to attack us. For all throughout camp, all weíve went against is our offense and what they do. By like day five against our offense, I kind of know whatís coming. I know if somebody motions or splits or this, that, and the otheróI know whatís coming. You can kind of get stuck in that zone of thinking the same thing, so when the game comes, youíre kind of caught off guard. I think yesterday gave us the opportunity to see something different from what weíre used to seeing and to get us out of our comfort zone. When we go out there Friday, it wonít be the first time seeing the power scheme or their two tight end sets with their mash plays or their Ö plays or their counter plays or whatever they like to do. I think that that was good for us, and now we can kind of get a reality check for us to see, thatís not what life is like, as far as this is whatever everybody runs. We get to see something different so now we get time to get coached up by coaches. We get a chance to go back and look at the film and correct it today, and do better today. Then, tomorrow go over some more, and Friday I think weíll be fresh and it will be good on our own minds, and weíll be ready to go.