NYG Transcriptions: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- October 25, 2018
Opening Remarks: I’ll start because I know everyone wants to ask about the trades and things that have gone on in the last 48 hours-ish. Those are organizational decisions, and personally, I came here to be a New York Football Giant and this is a special organization, it’s a special place to work, and it’s a special place to play football. Trades happen in-season, they happen in the offseason, they happen various times throughout the course of the year, and under no circumstances any of our players or any of our coaches are ever going to run from anything. We’re going to keep running to it, our guys are going to keep playing hard. I think Coach Shurmur said it the best, that if anyone is talking about us tanking on defense, that’s just a disrespect to everyone that’s working the process, that’s on the field practicing, that’s in the room watching tape and getting ready. I love that we have vets in our locker room. I love that we have guys of high character on our defense that no matter what the challenge is – whether the challenge is 1-6 and finding a way to get a win, or if this team were a five-win team and we were trying to not be complacent. I think there’s high character in the room and that’s important. Certainly wish Eli (Apple) and Snacks (Damon Harrison) the best, those guys worked hard for me as a coordinator and I want to say that, and I greatly appreciate their work here and I wish them the best with their careers moving forward. But the guys that are up next, (I) learned this message from a wise coach I worked for, and he said the next man up, let’s go. It’s opportunity and it’s an opportunity for those guys to get exposure and get a chance to play, and play more snaps. It might mean five more snaps for one guy, it might mean 20 more snaps for another guy, it might mean a starting role for a couple guys. But there’s no hesitation in my mind, there’s no concern about those kinds of moves when all I know is everything that we’re trying to do is in the best interest of the Giants and the best interest of us today as we sit here coming out of walk-thru trying to find a way to get a win this week versus a really good opponent. That’s all I’ll really say on the trade stuff.
This offense, the running back (Adrian Peterson) that will wear a gold jacket someday – (I) had an opportunity to work with him in Arizona when he was with us for a short time. Great pro, I remember he had just gotten with us and he comes over to me and he goes, ‘Coach Bettch, do you care if I get some scout team running back reps against you guys?’ I looked at him and went, ‘What are you talking about, Adrian?’ He goes, ‘No, no, I just want to get a few extra carries in practice, a little extra work.’ That will always stick with me, a guy that you would think doesn’t feel like he needs more, a guy that works, and a guy that runs downhill. He’s going to try to make you miss in tight area, but at the same time he’ll put his pads down. Got a lot of respect for his game, and we’re going to have to gang tackle him, we’ve got to finish the down unblocked. Then after that, the RPO’s, the boots, some of those kind of things that they give you in the pass game, a quarterback that is a scrambler and will try to buy some time with his feet, and tuck it and run in some critical situations. They’re getting a little bit healthier at receiver, it sounds like, so I think it’s going to be a great test, and our guys had a great meeting when we came in a day ago, and then had a really good practice yesterday, walk-thru work, are locked in, are focused. I don’t see this group flinching one bit.
Q: Trades are made for a lot of reasons, but obviously you have to feel pretty good about somebody like Dalvin Tomlinson to move on from Snacks. What have you seen from Tomlinson so far that makes you feel good about him moving forward?
A: The thing with Dalvin is, he’s an extremely heavy-handed striker, a guy that can punch and separate, a guy that has the ability to displace blockers, and he’s going to get his great fair share of snaps; but the truth is, there’s going to be a great rotation in that room. I think we’ve kind of done that to this point. Snacks had played similar, around 50% of the snaps to this point. You might ask me why, and at the end of the day, you have to have a great rotation in the (defensive) line room. This is a long season, we played a span of where there was three games in a matter of a pretty quick turnaround, but at the end of the day, if you’re going to be good in your front, you have to have a rotation with some of those core guys. Dalvin will be a huge part of that rotation, as he has been, and some other guys in the room are going to get some shots.
Q: Pat (Shurmur) said he’s more of a natural nose guard anyway. Do you agree with that?
A: I would agree with that, yeah.
Q: Who takes his spot as the starting end? (Josh) Mauro? Kerry (Wynn)?
A: Mauro, Kerry, Mario (Edwards) – all those guys are going to get snaps. You’re going to see them all up there. We just got to the point in (Arizona), we had a nose and we were right and left with our defensive linemen. I think as much motion and shifting and some of that stuff you get in the NFL right now, that’s really the direction you want to be, is have a guy that can play right and a guy that play left.
Q: What do you see with your guys in terms of defending crossing routes?
A: I don’t think there is one particular route that we’ve struggled with more than another. I think there’s been times we’ve covered things really well, and as we can all see on the tapes, there’s times we have either been out of position from a leverage standpoint or I need to give them a better call. We’re all accountable to that and as we have stood up here and talked before, the thing about this group of guys is we will play hard and lights-out for some snaps in a row, and I was really proud of most of the snaps that we played in Atlanta, I really am. But there’s enough snaps that we need to play better, and I need to call better, and we need to continue to close those small gaps, whether it’s maintaining leverage in terms of some of the routes you’re talking about, or it’s playing with better vision and better eyes in some of those situations.
Q: Does Dalvin bring anything different than Snacks in that position, and generally what attributes are you looking for in a guy who plays that spot?
A: A guy that has power that can knock the point back, that can hold the point of your defense inside such a middle of the defense spot. I think what you find is the better you are at some positions, the more people try to – I don’t want to use the word expose – attack you in different ways. When you have a guy like Dalvin or even a guy like Snacks in the middle, you might get more perimeter runs, some runs that are going sideways to the sideline and stretched, and maybe downhill stuff, and I think Dalvin is going to do a great job in there and I’m excited to watch him play inside and continue to get better. The great thing about him, he still has a lot of football ahead of him in his career and he has a lot of room to grow and become a better player. I love his work ethic. I like how he works in individuals. When you’re here and watching individuals, just watch how well he works. He’s a pro, he’s working on getting better, and he’s very conscious of the things he needs to get better at.
Q: Grant Haley is one of those guys you’re talking about getting more snaps. More of a slot guy, outside? How do you plan on using him?
A: Him and Sean Chandler will both get some snaps inside and I think you’ll also see him probably lined outside a little bit at corner with B.W. (Webb) maybe in the slot a little bit, like he has played. You’re going to see a little mixture of that, but Sean is also going to be in the mix with some of those snaps.