Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann
November 16, 2015
Q: (question about Jasper Brinkley)
A: There for a while when he first came in because we had some other injuries, we played him behind DK (Devon Kennard) and then we had the problems with the MIKE and it’s hard coming in and learning the entire system, but he’s done a great job encompassing it all. He does a great job for us.
Q: You mentioned moving him around here and there, you’ve had to move a lot of guys around with player injuries. How has that been a challenge for you to have these guys ready at all these different spots because they’ve had to play a lot of different spots?
A: I think it’s the nature of the position. You have to do it in this League, you’ve got to be ready for injuries at any given time, so guys have to double up duty. They’re learning. Some will play WILL linebacker in base, some may have to back up the MIKE, some may have to back up the SAM. When we get into the sub-packages, that’s where the guys have really got to know, okay what’s my role, where am I going to be playing, who am I backing up, and they do a good job. They’re all smart men and it’s a help for me, because I can say, ‘Okay, here’s your double duty this week, here’s your double duty this week’ and they all understand. A lot of times they don’t get reps at the second position, but they’ve got to know what’s going on and all my guys are very scheme-conscious. They have an idea of what we’re trying to get done from each of the positions, so it makes it a lot easier for me as a coach to be able to have smart guys that know how to do that.
Q: All that movement, especially at MIKE, has that made it difficult to do a lot of the pre-snap adjustments Spagnuolo likes to do?
A: No, I think the guys are all in tune to that. The more we go, the more we do. I think from the standpoint of having the same guy do it week in, week out is a toll possibly, but they’ve all taken that role and they all understand the things that have to be done.
Q: I know Uani ‘Unga is banged up now, but his ability to come along as quickly as he did and step in to play a prominent role earlier in the year, what can you say about his progress and how quickly he came along?
A: Like you said, coming in like he did, probably no one in the NFL world even knew who he was. He was a kid in college who made plays and was always around the ball and understands the game. He did a great job coming in this year and going in the first Dallas game and making plays. He’s one of our most productive guys. I like where he’s at, we’ve got to get him fixed up in terms of his injury, but he’ll add great depth to whoever we put out there.
Q: Devon Kennard, where has he made the biggest jump from year 1 to year 2?
A: I think just now he’s more involved in all the packages and we can use him in multiple positions; on the ball, setting the edge, we can put him as a roam-around kind of guy in sub, we can stick him back off the ball in a four-man front as an inside backer. To me, his overall understanding of the game has gone up tremendously. I think from year one to year two, that’s probably the biggest improvement that he’s made is being able to go in and do all of that and feel comfortable and taking the role of taking the defensive signal and getting guys lined up. I like where he’s at.
Q: Do you anticipate Uani ‘Unga being able to play against Washington?
A: That’s a medical thing. I have no idea.
Q: Kennard, did he have the radio again this week?
Q: How do you like him in that role?
A: It helps us because in most of our personnel packages, he’s out there, so that always helps. There are times when he’s not out there, then the other guys have to do it, but in terms of having the radio, it just helps us communicate faster. So that helps and he does a great job of it.
I know, I know - chicken salad / chickensh!t. Even factoring in the talent level, I just don't see the growth you expect. What has he developed? Herzlich? Paysinger? Jones? Kehl? 'Unga? I guess Goff showed some promise - for a year. Could Kennard finally break the cycle of futility?