Secondary/Cornerbacks Coach Tim Walton
June 7, 2017
Q: How are the cornerbacks?
A: They're doing good. They're working, trying to get better every day. Working on improving technique and overall knowledge of the game.
Q: You have a good group of defensive backs.
A: Good group of guys. Guys really work hard. Guys really work on studying the game, attention to details and improving it. That's what we try to look to do, to improve every day. On the field, in the classroom, and overall body of work. That's what we're trying to do. We want to always see constant improvement regardless of time. Its year two coming up for Eli Apple, or year ten for DRC, or year six for Janoris, we want to see constant improvement regardless of your years of service. So that's our goal that we try to give guys.
Q: With all these guys coming back, does it allow you to expand?
A: Yes, it allows you to expand. But you want to make sure that you're also still good at the things they were before. So, you start back at square one, you make sure the attention to details and all the little things are taken care of and that's where your foundation is based on. That's what we're doing now, we want to make sure those guys are consistent with their foundation, and their process every day. So now when things start to pick up, our body of work is consistent.
Q: On Eli Apple putting on 10lbs.
A: We'll talk about it when we get through with this stuff and see where he's at as far as his movement skills. I donít know if he picked up 10 pounds, but he picked up a little weight. But he moves well, he's efficient with his movement skills, he's stronger, he's quick, he's explosive with his stuff. But we'll get with him on that stuff and see, but we like where he's at. It's year two for him.
Q: Where can he [Eli Apple] get better?
A: Everybody can get better at everything.
Q: Is there something specific?
A: We always start with technique. Technique is something that we emphasize with veterans or rookies, because that is your saving grace. So, we start there and then obviously, the knowledge will improve because the fact that he's been able to see things now, would not be for the first time, when things come up. So, he'll be able to anticipate and have a feel for things a lot better as far as formations, and all that type of stuff. With that alone, his work ethic, his willingness to learn, he's a very coachable guy, all those things, will just play into the part of him being better next year.
Q: What made DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] successful in the slot?
A: Work ethic. He's an athletic guy, he's smart so he understands the game. He has enough ability that wherever he works at, he could be successful at it. He's a very intelligent guy, he's quick, he's long, he has experience and he still moves well. Ten years in the league and you can't tell that by his movement. He rarely misses practice, he practices all the time. So, he does a lot of good things and he likes doing and it challenges him too. It keeps him going. There's a lot going on inside.
Q: Has DRC taken on a leadership role?
A: Yes. He tries to lead the young guys, and tries to direct them on things, because he has a wealth of experience. They listen to him and look up to him, so that's good. He tries to share and give back to those guys on their approach and things that they just see out there on the field and in the classroom. Thatís' the big thing that we try to do, make those big steps in the classroom.
Q: Are DRCís instincts rare for a corner?
A: He's a guy that studies the game really well. So, all the tendencies for his formations and splits, he spends a lot of time with. That's what you have to do in this league, because there are other talented guys we see that we go against on Sunday. That's the thing we try to work on, the knowledge in the classroom and to be able to apply it to the field. He's played enough where he could do that and have enough of an athletic ability where you could move him around to different positions. It helps him and he has a good understanding of it, and the experience and the fact that he works on it though. He just works at it, so that part helps, with the continued growth process. So that's why I was telling you that he could still grow in year ten like some of the guys in year two or three.
Q: Can you describe the advantage of having the type of talent you have at wide-receivers during practices?
A: It gets us game ready because on the other side of the ball, we have really talented wide-outs. Different sized guys, experience, it makes you work every day. That's great for us because those guys are talented football players over there and they understand the game as well. So, when we come out to practice, we have to be on our ďAĒ game, and have to be ready to play, and that gets our foundation right. You have to do it every day and that gets you ready for game day.