Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel
April 4, 2018
Q: With what you guys are going to try and do up front, do you view a guy like (Damon) “Snacks” (Harrison) as that centerpiece, that anchor up front?
A: Well, we’re going to look at everybody, but obviously Snacks is one of the better players in the league, not only on the team. So, we anticipate him doing a great job there and in the defensive line area, whether it’s over the center, over the guard as the three-technique or playing nose guard, it really doesn’t make any difference.
Q: Do you view a guy like Tomlinson or Snacks as guys that can bounce around up front depending on what you want to do?
A: Absolutely. We think they both are phenomenal football players and great young men. I haven’t had a chance to talk much football with them because you can’t based on the rules, but they’re guys we’re looking forward to working with and to see where they are and then they should be able to help us out in all areas, whether it’s playing three-technique or nose guard or whatever the case might be.
Q: You’ve had some experience with the Colts with converting defensive ends from the 4-3 into the 3-4; can you just talk about some of the challenges with that?
A: Well, the biggest challenge is probably the guys themselves because when I was with the Colts, the biggest part was with (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis. All their whole careers they were going forward chasing the quarterback and now you’re asking them to drop back in coverage from time-to-time and do their jobs here, so that’s the biggest challenge of those guys and learning and being more involved in coverages than what they were. Usually the front guys are just involved in going forward, attacking the line of scrimmage, playing in man and now they have to drop back, now they might have to pick up some combination routes, whether it’s one or two, chasing number one, they’re chasing number two whether he’s dropping to the seam or dropping to the flat. That is the biggest challenge for them.
Q: Coach Bettcher mentioned that Kareem Martin will be in the linebacker room, but watching a lot of tape on the Cardinals from last year his linebackers will then go play defensive line on third down and put their hands in the dirt. Do you guys cross coach those guys?
A: Usually what happens is, they would be working with the outside linebackers during the week doing first and second down stuff and then usually on a Thursday or something like that you have a sub-day, which is third down. Everybody in the league has a third down day, so when you have third down days you go to all the guys that are going to be rushing the quarterback, they are usually in the same room together and the guys that are going to be in coverage, they’re in a room together, so you kind of build things together there. So yeah, you have the defensive tackles and the outside linebackers there in that one room.
Q: What are some of the things you would need to drill with a guy like an OV who is going to go from a DE to an OLB? Would it be get off, speed, angles?
A: Well you said all the things there that is playing football. All those things -- get off, speed, angles, dropping into coverage, using their hands, just working their footwork. All those things they’re still playing football. Everyone gets so confused with 3-4, 4-3. It’s still playing football because when they run block you’ve still got to do your feet to run, when they pass you’ve got to cover the pass whether you’re rushing the quarterback or dropping into coverage.
Q: Do you think a guy like OV will be able to make the adjustment?
A: He’s an outstanding football player and a great young man who is willing to work hard, so I think you have no problem making the transition. He will learn the coverages and learn all the fronts and everything we need to do, so he’ll be fine.