Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher
October 19, 2018
Opening Remarks: This week, a great challenge, an Atlanta team thatís moving the ball well, that as much as anything, a team that in the red zone is scoring at a really high efficiency rate, executing well on third downs. If we go back to Thursday night, one of the things we didnít do well Ė two of the things we didnít do well is we didnít execute well on third down, we didnít get off the field on third down, and we didnít win in the red zone. Early in the season, those were the things we had done pretty well, and weíve got to get back to doing those things well for us to have a chance to play good defense this coming Monday night. We went to the meeting room on Friday before we left for a couple days, and we talked to our guys when we came in after the break, we talked to them today about some things that each position group, what do we need to do better? Nothing to do with Atlanta. What do we need to do better at each position group? Itís like when sometimes you go to the doctor, you go see him, what do they give you? They give you a prescription for what you need. We look at it that way, itís a prescription. Here are the things we need to do better at each position group, and some places, itís individually, then what we focus on in our individual is we focus on those things. To play better defense, thatís what it comes down to. To execute better, thatís what it comes down to. To call games better, thatís what it comes down to, is focusing on the small details, the fundamentals, the techniques it takes to play good defense. Thatís not coach talk, thatís what weíre talking about with our guys. Thatís what weíre showing them on tape is things that we can improve on at each level Ė first level, second level, third level of the defense. I love that our guys are all-in on that. I love that our guys know that the game is won by executing and playing good fundamentally and just playing hard, and if we do those three things, weíll be alright. Weíll make the plays that are necessary to win the game and to finish games. I do love that about this group. Great challenge this week, our guys are excited to play on a stage like Monday Night Football.
Q: How do you evaluate Landon Collinsí season? The tackles are there, but part of his career has been interceptions and sacks, game-changing plays that arenít there this year.†
A: Sure. I think one thing Landon is doing really well is heís playing with a ton of energy. You see him running around the field, you see him in position to make some plays, and heís just got to keep playing hard and those game-changing plays are going to come, and theyíre going to come in a bunch for him. Weíre keeping him, and he loves being, close to the ball. Wherever the ball is, he wants to be close to it because heís a playmaker who when heís playing with great eyes and when heís playing as hard as he has been, he is disruptive. I know this, I know that when heís on the field, (other teams) recognize where heís at, I know they recognize where heís lined. Heís just got to keep playing hard and those plays are going to come.†
Q: Have you been able to be as creative with this defense as you would have liked?†
A: Any time you come into year one, and I think it was the same way when I was in Arizona, we build up in terms of whether itís the volume or the type of things we do, we build up. Thatís part of a building process, thatís part of building a defense thatís not going to be a flash in the pan, that youíre going to build something thatís going to stand the test of time. I think thatís part of it. The second thing is in regards to that, each and every week as a group of coaches and with our players involved, weíre going to put together a plan that we think is going to help us win the game. Do we ever short change ourselves? No, but I think there is a growth process when you come in year one and youíre starting, working through things. We want to build this thing on concrete ground. We want to build on playing with good fundamentals and playing hard. Those things are much more important than scheme.
Q: You were known as someone who does a lot of different things. The beginning of your first year, youíre bringing in things a little slower than maybe youíve done in the past.†
A: Back to the two things I said, every time you start over and youíre putting a scheme in, you never go to Z before you hit A. You work through the process. Again, each and every week weíre going to have a plan thatís going to give us the best chance to play good defense and give us the best chance for our team to win that we can.††
Q: When you see (Olivier Vernon) play the way he played against the Eagles, is it ĎI canít wait to see whatís nextí or is there also part of you that says you really could have used that the first five weeks?††
A: Never look back. I love the way heíll trend, I love how heís working, I love how he played during the course of that game. I think he rushed both with speed and with power, he had production but he also more importantly had disruption and changed the pocket a little bit. The first thing you said is what I look forward to, is whatís next, and Iím excited to see how he plays this coming Monday night.†
Q: Janoris Jenkins has shown an ability to take away a side of the field, really dominate. How do you explain a game like the other night against the Eagles, just seems so far away from what his top level is?
A: I donít think thereís any one guy that Iíll ever stand in front of you and point that, Ďhey, this guy is not playing good football.í The game is a team game on defense, and I think there is probably plays you might look at and you might say, ĎOh, thatís Janorisí, and I might look at and say thatís someone else. I might look at it and say thatís the rush, I might look at the quarterbackís holding the ball too long, I might look at it in different ways. We all know the player he is and the player he has the capability of being, and the great thing about Janoris Ė and this is what Iíve found about special players that Iíve ever been around Ė no one has the expectations that they have for themselves. No one has an expectation that he doesnít already have for himself. He has high expectations, he wants to be the best corner in the National Football League, he wants to be one of the most disruptive players on the perimeter in the National Football League, and if you have that, you have a chance to be that with his skillset. Heís going to keep working the process and working to play better, but thereís other guys around him that also have to play better, and weíve got to play collectively better as a group. Iím not trying to cover him by saying that, but thatís the truth.
Q: What did you think of his game against the Eagles, specifically?
A: Specifically, I think just like all the other guys, thereís plays in the game where heís playing well. Heís on top of deep balls like he needs to be. Then I think thereís plays in the game where he wants back, and he wants to play better, just like thereís other guys on the field that need to play better and I need to coach better.
Q: What are you looking for at that second linebacker spot, quality wise, that maybe youíre not getting consistently enough?††
A: To that fact, with Ray-Ray (Armstrong) being out, you will have a chance to see all three of the other guys Ė B.J. (Goodson), Nate (Stupar), youíll see some Tae (Davis) there in the mix. Those guys are all excited to get some snaps and play. The thing youíre most looking for is whatever the job is, get the job done. Whatever the call is, get the job done. Thatís simply put, and thatís how simple we are with the expectations of it.†