Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern --November 16, 2018
Q: What kind of growth are you seeing from Lorenzo Carter? Obviously he had a pretty big game the other night and seems like he’s making some strides.
A: He’s definitely making strides, he’s working at it each and every day. Happy with the progress that he’s made so far and again the last game probably a good sign of that.
Q: Do you think his workload is going to increase more down the stretch?
A: We’ll see. We’ve been trying to increase it as it progresses and see how much he can handle, but he’s handling more and more, and the more he shows he can handle, we’ll try to give him more work.
Q: Seems like you guys want to continue to rotate guys in there, though. You don’t want to put too much on his plate. Why is that?
A: You don’t want to overload a young guy and just kind of put too much on him. He’s also playing special teams. There’s a lot going on and this is obviously the NFL, the season is a lot longer than the college season, so you’re just trying to give him a good foundation which to build off of.
Q: What do you think B.J. (Goodson) has done with his increased opportunities these last several weeks?
A: He’s doing a good job. B.J.’s been the same guy. He comes to work every day, does a great job preparing, he’s attentive, he’s taking notes in every meeting. He wants to do good. The opportunity arose for him on Monday night and he took advantage of it, so happy for him, happy for us.
Q: With the opposing tight ends, (George) Kittle had a pretty good game. What can your guys do to help – you’re going to play some good tight ends down the stretch here. What can your guys do to sort of limit the damage?
A: It’s one of those things that like all things, the catches the wideouts make, everybody makes. It’s apart of everybody. There’s going to be times we’re covering them, there’s going to be times where we could be underneath coverage. At times, we could be man, there’s times we could be rushing, so it’s all going to affect every catch that’s made or not made, so we just got to continue to work and prepare. The guys are doing that. The guys are putting in the time, the film study, everything else. We’re just trying to put him in a situation to have some success.
Q: How can Alec (Ogletree) be better in coverage? It seems like sometimes he’s getting isolated and beaten. I know it’s tough against running backs, but just curious from your standpoint.
A: It’s one of those things we talked about it. I talked about it with him, we’ve met about it, we’ve looked at some film study about it and in individual time, we’ve spent a little more time on it. It’s things that he’s a true professional. He’s a guy that wants to be better, wants to be as good as he can be, so he’s working at it, he’s trying to take care of the little things. There’s sometimes we can help him better as coaches. He can be better in his technique and we could – maybe somebody else in the coverage even could help him.
Q: Is it mandatory for these guys, not just him in particular – guarding some of these running backs, they’re used to going against Saquon (Barkley), it’s a tough matchup for these guys. Is it mandatory that almost these days to get their hands on guys early?
A: Ideally, you’d like to, yes, but because you see all those rub routes and pick routes, the offense does a nice job of kind of trying to keep that separation in terms of what they can do, in terms of where their run fits are and your pass responsibilities, so it is. Ideally, the closer you can get to them, the better off you are. Space is not always necessarily your friend in coverage.
Q: When (James) Bettcher cycles Landon (Collins) down to the point where he sometimes is kind of playing linebacker, do you ever coach Landon on things he’s doing down there at that level of the defense?
A: No, he knows things. He’s taken that. There’s times he’s in Lou’s (Anarumo) room and Deshea’s (Townsend) room and they’re kind of going through everything. They handle that like it’s all we kind of handle each other. If I’m there, if I can help him with something, I’ll gladly do it, but it’s one of those things we kind of – he’s being told, ‘hey you’re playing man’, ‘you’re playing this zone’, whatever it may be, ‘you’re blitzing’, whatever it may be.
Q: He seems kind of like a Swiss army knife.
A: He’s a guy that obviously his workload has increased. We ask him to do a lot of things, but he’s done a nice job.
Q: OV (Olivier Vernon) hasn’t put up the sack numbers that maybe he’s done in the past. Is he fully back in your mind from the injury or is he still working his way a little bit back?
A: I don’t think anybody’s 100 percent after they start playing, but he’s been out there, he’s been working. He is being disruptive. He hasn’t – like all of us, we all kind of quantify it by what’s your sack numbers, but he’s there, he’s giving pressure. He’s the guy that they know is coming, so he is. He’s working his tail off. The quarterback knows where he is, the offensive line knows where he is. Hopefully they’ll come in time.
Q: How much are seeing that, guys putting extra attention towards him?
A: You see when you watch the tape they know where he is.
Q: They’re sort of sliding guys towards him?
A: They know where he is, yeah.
Q: Is there anything you can do to combat that when they do that or does that kind of just free space for –
A: It’s schematically. Like I think Bettcher always talks about schematically working. We’re trying to get a bunch of one-on-one’s and we need to win the one-on-one’s. Other guys need to step up and try to make some plays, too, and it’s one of those things we’re trying to give guys opportunities to win in a one-on-one situation.
Q: Can Lorenzo do anything differently on his penalty? It seemed like he was, at the end of the game, it seems like he was leaving the ground –
A: I don’t think I’m allowed to comment on that. I don’t make that kind of money. I’m not going to say anything on that.