S Landon Collins -- November 29, 2018
Q: How can this defense improve with closing out games?
A: We just have to remember our gap assignments, fundamentally be sound technique wise, and running to the ball as fast as possible.
Q: Is there a mentality this defense has to have to get that done in the end?
A: We should have one. Every guy should be in their mind and say, I want to make a play, I want to be the guy to make this stop and get us off the field, and stuff like that. There has to be a mentality. Even though itís a team sport, you want to be that guy.
Q: Does that mentality have to be learned? Especially with the young defensive guys on the team who are new to the league.
A: I think it takes a little bit of experience, but at the same time, 12 games so far, you should know how to make a play when your play is called upon, when you should see your play happening. It should happen naturally.
Q: How do you balance playing your assignment versus stepping out of it to make that big play?
A: Itís just a feel. You know the concept youíre going against, and I study a lot. With studying, you kind of know what theyíre going to do beforehand. You know formations and what they like to do. Within doing that, just be ahead of the game, so when I see something about to happen, I can be there.
Q: Are you a big iPad guy?
A: Yeah, I get like 3-4 hours in.
Q: Every day?
A: Not every day, but throughout the week. From Monday Ė Friday, about four hours on the iPad, including the three hours we have here every day.
Q: (Defensive Coordinator James) Bettcher says as a defense, you guys have to have better eye discipline. Can you elaborate on what he means by that?
A: Same thing, like play recognition. When you see a split, or you see a gap, or you see a guy deeper in his stance. He can be pulling and stuff like that. Itís eye discipline. Then when you have your gap, and you see a guy kind of shedding over to you and eyeing you down, heís coming to block you. Stuff like that, you kind of just have to pick up on.
Q: What will it mean to this defense to have the offense give you guys a big lead early in the game?
A: Our offense is doing their job. Weíre putting points on the board, and thatís all we ask them to do. When they put points on the board, we got to be on the other end saying that weíre not going to let them score, or keep it from being a close game, or putting our offense back in a predicament where we need them to score. So, it goes hand-in-hand.