Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel
August 1, 2018
Q: What is the dynamic like having Snacks [Damon Harrison] and two young guys paired next to him?
A: It’s been great. We got a great group of guys. Not only those three guys you’re talking about, but the whole group. They’re all working extremely hard. They’re helping each other get better. They’re competing, they’re good students of the game. They’re great friends on and off the field. We’re looking forward to watching them play.
Q: How was B.J. Hill able to climb up the depth chart so fast?
A: B.J. came from a great program. He’s done a great job in college. They had four guys get drafted in the NFL – in the first four rounds, I believe. He was prepared when he came in. So, he just continued to grow when he got here.
Q: What does B.J. Hill do well?
A: He’s a good football player, number one. He can hold the point, he can strike, he can separate. He can get off blocks, he can rush the passer. He does everything that you’re looking for in a defensive lineman.
Q: Is it an adjustment for Snacks and Dalvin [Tomlinson] to play in a 3-4 defense, as opposed to a 4-3?
A: I don’t believe so. I think the adjustment is they’re really going to have a lot of fun – because, it’s a really aggressive, attacking defense where they’re not riding blocks. You’re having to keep linebackers clean as much as you would in some other defensive schemes. It’s a single-gap defense, so it’s the same thing they were doing before. It’s just called a 3-4 as opposed to 4-3. Playing the shade on a center is playing the shade on a center, whether it’s a 3-4 or 4-3.
Q: Snacks and Dalvin were lined up next to each other last year. Do you see any carryover into this season in terms of chemistry?
A: Quite a bit of carryover. Somebody will be on the center. Somebody will be on the guards. So, that’s the same as they were in the past.
Q: How much time do you spend with linebackers since some of them will be lined up as defensive ends in this new system?
A: Quite a bit. We all work together as a staff. We decide on what we’re going to do out there in practice. When it comes to the passing situations, they’ll usually come down and work some technique with the defensive linemen. Especially the four guys that will be on the field – outside linebackers, defensive line comes to rush the quarterback.
Q: What has been your evaluation of A.J. Francis so far? Is he a versatile player that can play in various spots across line?
A: A.J. has been doing a great job, along with the rest of the guys. They’ve all been working hard. They’re all improving every day. They’re all improving their technique, their hands, their eyes, their feet, their footwork. But, A.J. is a guy – like the rest of the guys in the group – that can play multiple positions. So, we’re very happy with what he’s doing, as well as the rest of the guys.
Q: What do you like with Kerry [Wynn] in the first team defense within the nickel?
A: Kerry has done a great job with just improving and getting better each day, each week. He gives us a bigger body out there on the defensive end spot – playing over a tight end as opposed to outside linebacker. He’s a defensive lineman, so it’s very similar to what he has done. But, I like what Kerry is doing. Kerry is a good, hard worker. He gives effort, he knows what he’s doing.
Q: Is your defensive line versatile enough to play in multiple spots on the line to throw off opposing offensive linemen?
A: That’s the way our defense is built. Our defense is designed to do that. It’s more of a defense that’s going to be all over the place as far as where their linemen are.