Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham
August 4, 2016
Q: In general, how has your line meshed? Especially the first four guys?
A: Well, Iím new coaching them, so weíre all meshing together, getting the feel for one another. I think the combination of building fundamentals and building some chemistry together, thatís what training camp is for. Those guys are working hard at it and our goal in our room is to improve at it every day and so far so good as just seeing improvement. A little improvement, big improvement, as long as weíre improving every day, thatíll get us going towards our goal.
Q: Everyone is watching JPP, what do you see in him thus far in camp?
A: Iím seeing a good football player that Iíve seen for the past six years he has been in the league doing well there. Thereís times Iíve been in competitive situations against him on other teams and heís just a good football player and heís out there working and this guy is hungry to play some football and I like whatís happening with him and the group right now.
Q: Heís talked to us and I wonder if heís talked to you, he thinks the glove as opposed to the club is going to make a big difference. Has he said that to you as well?
A: Well, our conversations between us are private. Whatever he said, you have to talk to him about that. I just know heís out there being effective as a football player, as a defensive end, and working around different situations, so heís doing a good job for me, but I canít speak on what he said.
Q: The other three guys on the first team -- OV, Snacks and Hankins -- what do you see in them individually?
A: We have a bunch of good football players aside from the names that you mentioned. We have guys like Hughes, Nix, theyíre all working hard. Weíve got a good group of guys, a good room of guys that are working hard, some guys that have a little more experience than others, but again once the ball is snapped, experience is one thing but how you play is all that matters, and all those guys are working towards those goals of being the best they can be, so Iím happy with how the group is working.
Q: What does it look like when you look at the 680 pounds in the middle of the defense?
A: Hey, everything looks good. Itís all about the execution when we get the pads on. Keep building towards that, we have pads on and we know we have room to improve, and the whole thing is executing what we need to execute. Size, does it matter? I donít know, I canít speak on that, but I know whoever the four are out there are going to play hard.
Q: How did JPP come through the contact the first few days, the first time heís tested out the glove?
A: He looked like he was playing hard. He was doing a good job for us. You have to talk to him if you have something specifically how he feels, but I know that heís out there working hard and trying to execute what weíre asking him.
Q: How important is the depth for your d-line? You have obviously some big-time names and talents. How important is finding guys that provide that?
A: Depth is important for the whole football team. Obviously thatís the combination of Mr. Reese and coach McAdoo to put together the team and how they see fit but from there, you need depth because itís a collision sport and guys need to be ready to go. Again, if somebody goes down, another guy has to be ready to step up, so I think thatís something thatís universal throughout the whole team, and I think weíre all working towards that. Guys that are pushing the guys that are in the first group, guys in the third group pushing guys in the second group, thatís how you build a competitive environment and a competitive team.
Q: Is it a major advantage with Olivier being on the right with JPP on the left going against the right tackle? Is that a major strategic advantage for you?
A: Well, Iím not going to get into the strategy and how we strategize in terms of getting ready for games, but guys are going to play all over the place. Guys are going to be inside, outside whatever it may be, so weíre going to do whatís best for the defense to beat that opponent that week, so I donít know, I canít get specific about that. All 11 guys out there feel theyíre working together and weíre looking to take advantage of mismatches when we can.
Q: How good can those four guys be playing together?
A: Itís just, again, Iím not trying to beat a dead horse, but there are other guys in the room and weíre trying to work hard and be the best we can be. Thatís always up to the player. I have to do my job as a coach to prepare them and technique, but aside from that, the sky is the limit for those guys. Whether youíre talking about Kerry, talking about Stan, Owa, JPP, OV, Dee, Hankins, all those guys are working for that.
Q: Talk about Owa a little bit. What have you seen from him?
A: Iíve seen a guy thatís come in, he works really hard, works hard in the classroom, works hard on his own, sometimes I have to kick him out of the meeting room because heís in there when I need to get in there, but on the field, I see a guy who is being competitive and a guy trying to be the best player he can be and trying to learn as much as he can learn because in this league, the more you know, the better off youíre going to be. The jack of all trades, thatís a good thing.
Q: How different is he now that heís healthy?
A: I canít speak on last year and what happened last year. I just know that when I got here he was a guy that was willing to work, asks a lot of good questions, heís working on his craft, heís had improvements since Iíve seen him the first time in the spring, so Iím just hoping that it continues because thatís the common theme in our room. Get better every day, donít worry about all the other goals, just get better every day.
Q: Does he have all the tools to be at that level with Jason and OV?
A: He has tools, heís a skilled athlete, thatís why heís here in the league. Heís got ability to play the run, rush the passer, smart enough to be able to handle different positions, position flex, so a lot of guys in that room, we have a good group, but he definitely has that skill set and that mentality where he can handle multiple.
Q: How has Kerry Wynn developed as a pass rusher?
A: Heís developed but heís been successful in this league rushing the passer for the beginning part of camp, but Iíve seen him grow as a pass rusher in terms of understanding what heís getting and what heís looking for and heís continuing to develop. Right now in training camp thatís where you develop the fundamentals so heís working on that now so hopefully he keeps improving.
Q: What does Louis Nix have to do to show you more?
A: Thatís the term youíre using. Guys are just rolling through. Those guys are all competing, nothing is set in stone, we havenít played the game yet. Iíve seen a guy working hard to be the best player he can be on his footwork. Heís studying hard and has been in the classroom and asks some good questions. I can honestly say that Iíve seen improvement from the first day of training camp. Thatís what Iíve asked him to do.