Defensive Backs Coach Lou Anarumo
April 4, 2018
Q: How do you go forward with Eli Apple?
A: At the end of the day, the guy is still a very, very young guy and a very young player. I liked him coming out of Ohio State. When he walks in the room and you donít know anything, you see a big, tall, long, athletic guy and in this league, thereís just not a ton of those guys. So with a guy thatís that young and going to be in a position to make plays, I canít wait to start working with him on Monday.
Q: Has Janoris (Jenkins) come back?
A: Yeah, yeah. Iíve met with most of the guys. Iíve spoke to really all of the players and stuff and theyíre all excited to be back and heís in particular rehabbing and doing things like that so heís anxious and ready to go.
Q: The scheme is just about the same in the back in any defense I would assume, right?
A: Well I mean every defense is unique. Youíre going to play a different brand of football and different styles. I know [Defensive Coordinator James] Bettcherís system is going to be multiple and it will give the offenses different things to look at so I donít think it will be exactly the same of what weíve done. There will be certain tweaks that his scheme brings and how we like to play so I think everybody is a little bit different.
Q: The room that you inherited had a bunch of problems in it last year.
A: The DB [defensive backs] room is always full of characters.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk to any of the guys already?
A: Yeah. As soon as I got the job I called them on the phone and got a chance to meet these guys and get to know them and then on Monday, obviously it will be the first time face to face and get to work with them so Iím looking forward to it.
Q: Do you have any idea how youíre going to approach the issues from last year?
A: I have zero concerns. I wasnít here so I just look at everything going forward and I think every coach has probably said it so far that weíre starting with a clean slate. Itís a 0-0 record and letís go. Weíll start from there so thatís all we can do, thatís all I can control and I think the guys will appreciate that as well. Good, bad or indifferent. Even if they had a great year last year, it doesnít matter. Everybody starts 0-0 this time. So Super Bowl champs or 3-13, everybody is the same right now and you got to put that in the past and move forward.
Q: Have you had a chance to speak with Eli Apple?
A: Yeah and again, I wasnít here so the only thing I can say is my conversations with him have been very positive. I know he wants to get back on the field as fast as he can and heís ready to move forward with all of that stuff and so am I. Again, all positive stuff.
Q: Do you have any depth concerns? Obviously losing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a pretty big blow.
A: I think this league, especially at the corner position, itís such a high quality that when you lose a guy or two - and inevitably that happens, guys get injured, so I think that the guys that weíre going to bring in, whether it be through free agency and coming here through the draft, weíll build the depth and work on it from there. So today, Iím not worried about it.
Q: What do you look for in your defensive backs? Is it simple coverage? Is it smarts?
A: Yeah, itís a combination of all of that. The great players that Iíve had and that Iíve been able to coach, the guys that have made Pro Bowls and have been pro bowl type players and all pros, theyíve had those things that youíve mentioned whether it be one of those qualities or all of them. You want guys that can obviously run and that can cover and that are smart and can see the field. Different positions require different athletic techniques and responsibilities, but overall the more of those things they have, the better chance they have to be good players. So weíre looking for guys that can at the end of the day cover and thatís what this league is about. Get in front of a guy and cover the guy in front of you. Itís as simple as that.
Q: How much hitting is involved?
A: A lot. Weíve got the challenges of the new rules these days and how thatís going to come into play, but those guys all have to be physical players and get guys on the ground, especially at the safety position. Everybody that we look for that way will have to be able to do those things.