Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher
September 20, 2018
A: Moving on to this week with the Texans, a team that really has some unique pieces to their run game, where youíre going to see both the quarterback under center handing the ball off, some point-of-attack runs, some pull plays with the quarterback underneath center, and youíre going to see a series of runs where heís in shotgun. There might be a fast motion, a motion back behind the line of scrimmage, creating the read-option type scheme runs. At times, thereís going to be pull plays involving that. Weíre going to have to play disciplined football, both with the motions and with the responsibilities in the zone-read stuff. Thatís been certainly a point of emphasis the last couple of weeks. Iím sure the question is going to come up of handling the zone-read stuff the last couple of weeks. That starts with me. I got to coach it better, and then collectively as a group, weíve got to execute it better. Thereís no magic pixie dust to sprinkle on it, nothing like that. It is coach it better, and execute it better. Thatís a very simple solution, to be very honest with you. This game, weíre going to have to do those things well to put ourselves in position on second downs to be in good position with the sticks. Then on third down, to be in good position with the sticks. Then the pass game, two very dynamic players on the perimeter. You saw (Texans WR Will) Fuller last week had a really, really great game to compliment 10 (Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins). Theyíre going to match you up. Theyíre going to push the ball down the field. Theyíre going to take some shots. Then, theyíre going to have some routes where we know that 10 is going to try to get some targets and get him the ball and get him early. Great challenge, I think our guys have had a good day at practice, yesterday. Had good meeting this morning. We just had a really good walk-thru. I think theyíre really excited to keep grinding, and keep working, and keep getting better on defense.
Q: What is your philosophy for a guy like (CB) Janoris Jenkins in terms of matching up against a big physical receiver like DeAndre Hopkins?
A: Was fortunate in Arizona, we had (CB) Patrick (Peterson). Youíre fortunate and blessed to be here and have two corners on the perimeter that are really good corners and players. (CB) Eli (Apple), weíll see about at the end of the week where heís at. Janoris, he is a special player. Heís one of the best corners in this league, and thereís no question about that. Does he want the deep ball back? Sure, but guess what, plays happen in games. Iíve been around a great corner before thatís given up a play before. So, I donít have any question about if that matchup happens and they happen to be on each other in this game, theyíre going to go compete, and fight, and scrap, and be the player that he is. You just got to be aware of where 10 is. You got to be aware of where he is on the field, and thatís whether Janoris is on him or whether anyone else ends up on him.
Q: How much of a balancing act is it between wanting to put pressure on (Texans QB Deshaun) Watson but also being aware that he can evade the rush and make big plays?
A: Weíve really faced that same type of quarterback the last two weeks, and rush land integrity is very important. You want to be aggressive, whether youíre pressuring or whether youíre rushing four, but you have to be sound with whoís closing the middle pocket lanes where he likes to escape and rush.
Q: [Watson] hasnít run that much this season, has he?
A: He hasnít. I think by the numbers he hasnít. I think most of his rushes have actually been maybe more scrambles than actual maybe, zone-read keeps or option keeps. Maybe thatís just the way the option played out, but I donít think you could defend that series of runs thinking and saying heís not going to carry the ball, or not have accountability for the quarterback. That just comes with being disciplined with what our job is in regards to that.
Q: I donít know if you have a ďspyĒ in your playbook, but is that something you would consider?
A: Each and every week, you always consider everything. I know one thing, if you sit back and you only rush two, kind of three guys, and you spy with one, then all of a sudden two guys get double-teamed or three guys get doubled, and the ball is held, then the coverage breaks down at some point in time Ė every coverage will break down the longer the quarterback holds the ball Ė so, thereís a give and take when you do that.
Q: Youíve admitted to saying you have trouble covering the zone read. At this point, how do you fix it? Do you run more zone read plays in practice?
A: I think anything you have issues with, it all starts in the meeting room. We go in and we continue to grind out the tape. Continue to correct in the meeting room. I know thatís not a flashy answer, but thatís the truth. Thereís a process to getting things right, and you follow the process. Thatís go in the meeting room, continue to correct it, continue to talk about it, go on the practice field, walk it thru, go out and execute it in practice. Come in and watch that tape of it, and you do that day-in and day-out. Thatís how you get better. Thatís how you get better as a player. Thatís how you improve as a coach. Thatís how your scheme improves, and ultimately, thatís how you play better on Sundays.
Q: What have you seen from (S) Landon Collins? It seems like thereís more to come from him.
A: Sure, I think every player on the field has room for improvement. There isnít a highlight around Landon and what he needs to do or doesnít need to do. Landon just needs to stay within his box and keep working and doing his and improve each and every week, just like the other 10 guys that are on the field with him.
Q: Are you disappointed in your performance against Dallas in terms of covering the zone read?
A: Anytime, whether it was the zone read plays, or whether it was when the quarterback was underneath center and they ran the inside zone that went for 20, Iím disappointed on both of those plays, equally. We canít allow big runs. We had two opportunities, you go back to Jacksonville, we give up a big run backed up, thatís points on the scoreboard in tight games. We know that defensively, and thatís why that is a very big point of emphasis. Itís a point of emphasis every week. I think stopping the run, thatís what we talked about, and thatís what we have to build ourselves on. All three times in a row, weíve faced really good run teams, and we havenít played as well as we need to play. Weíre just going to keep grinding, keep working, and follow the process, because the process works.
Q: Youíve been hit with big plays on the first series to start both games, one being a touchdown. (DT Damon) ďSnacksĒ (Harrison Sr.) mentioned something about maybe guys are overthinking a little bit. Can you talk about that?
A: Whether itís overthinking, or eyes in the wrong place, or a better call, all of those things are things that we consider each and every week.