Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- December 6, 2018
Opening Remarks: The first thing Iíd like to address is losing Landon (Collins). The first thing is you learn in this league that no matter how much you care about someone, no matter how well you think theyíre playing, no matter whatís going on, it is a next man up league and thatís the bottom line. Iím excited about the guys that get the opportunity to play Ė get the opportunity to play more, but for Landon I think the play whether itís the play he hurt the shoulder on or the play he really got hurt on at the end of the half, I think that epitomizes his play, it epitomizes the type of player weíre talking about. Itís an end of half play that theyíre clearly down short of the sticks and heís not going to allow them to gain one more yard and heís going to throw his body in and heís going to make a very, very physical tackle and unfortunately he hurt his shoulder and whether itís that play or thatís a contributing factor to it, to me thatís what defines Landon Collins and the way he plays the game. I love him for it and Iím lucky to have had a chance this season to work with him. For Sean (Chandler), for Mike (Thomas), for Curtis (Riley) or whoever elseís hand is going to be in the pile back there, weíre going to have a good and a mixture of guys and weíre going to have some personnel groupings where some other guys get some opportunities to play. Iím excited for those guys because this whole time all those guys in that room have bought into the process and theyíve been working and preparing and just an opportunity for those guys to get on the field. Division game on the road. Would love to keep the momentum going. I think for about 58 minutes and 20 seconds we played some of our best football this season on defense. Attacking, aggressive, playing hard, playing physical then thereís that span of about a minute and 40 seconds where thereís some good playing in there, but thereís some plays where we broke down where we werenít playing with correct leverage to finish the game or we didnít win some one-on-oneís or I need to call some better calls in those situations. We just got to keep working through those moments and those stressful moments of the game where as players guys feel like thereís a lot of weight on them and they donít have to press in those moments and they can play as fast and aggressive as they were the other 58 minutes of the game and if we do that weíll be off the field and it wonít be an overtime stop that weíll need to win the game. Great opportunity this week and look forward to going down here and our guys playing well.
Q: On Tampa Bay game: You closed it out in overtime, but thatís two or three games where you went soft defense or prevent defense, and theyíve gotten behind you for some big plays. Is that a concern?
A: I understand how youíre asking. I donít think any of those I would ever classify as 'prevent'. In my mind, none of that is prevent defense. Whether weíre rushing four guys I expect the four guys to win in the rush and whoeverís covering I expect those guys to cover just like the guys on the field they expect that from each other. I think in both of those games, weíre talking about leverage and that leverage wins games and we got to out leveraged by the back as we know. We all saw the tape. A few times at the end of the game we got to play with better leverage. They made a heck of a throw on one of them and then the other two we really hurt ourselves. Got to play with better leverage in those situations and then we just got to win our one-on-oneís wherever theyíre at.
Q: What have you seen from RJ McIntosh? He was in the backfield for one completion there and a few plays.
A: RJís ascending. Heís getting better and early on, one thing we talked about with RJ is he just needed a chance to practice. Needed a chance to put his pads on, needed a chance to Ė you canít make up for the time that you lost, but right now heís working the process and growing each day. Being able to actually take practice film and go to the meeting room and critique himself and get himself better. To work fundamentals in individual and those things are whatís leading to him playing a little bit better each of these last two weeks on defense. Him down the stretch these last four games Iím hoping and I know heís pressing himself so he can keep getting better and play more and more disruptive.
Q: How have you seen B.J. Hill develop to the point where he has a game like he did on Sunday?
A: The thing about him is when he came in, the thing that stood out the most, is that heís ahead of his time in terms of his maturity level. In the meeting room, on the practice field, the way he works, the conversation, you can rip his butt, you can coach him hard, lift him up, he can handle all that beyond what many rookies Iíve been around have been able to and I think thatís why youíve been able to see him late in the season, a rookie play well late in the season is probably not as much as you see rookies flash early in the season. That probably speaks to his maturity level and how heís worked in the process.
Q: When you look at the defense, thereís a lot of plays that you just sit there and shake your head, like (Curtis) Riley drops the interception, the late hit on third down play that gives them a first down. How much of just getting rid of the dumb plays is part of it?
A: As we all know, if thereís 83 plays in the game, thereís going to be about eight plays that are going to define the game. Itís about ten percent of the plays in the game that define the game and whether thatís a dropped interception or a tough penalty where you really got a chance to be off the field and we had some of those, those are certainly are plays we need to erase in the game and we need to make the plays that come to us wherever that is on the field and as we come down the stretch these last four games, if we can do that, we play well.
Q: What do you attribute to OV (Olivier Vernon) playing better, being more productive these past couple of weeks?
A: Iíll tell you what, when Iím watching him play Ė number one heís getting healthier. Came off a tough injury, played well in that first game then was working through all that stuff and I think heís getting healthier, number one, and number two the guy I saw rushing Ė he was rushing as the reckless OV that I think we saw in OTAs and preseason. Just staying with his rush plan throughout the game then in the run game just getting off the ball and being physical at the point and I think those are probably the two things. I think he feels better and Iím watching him practice and heís practicing better during the week these last couple of weeks and I think thatís leading him to play better on Sunday.
Q: It seems like Janoris Jenkins is kind of on an upward tick as well. What do you think that switched for him?
A: Iíve loved his play these last few weeks and I think heís played solid all season, but I think his level of play has been all-pro these last couple of weeks. Back to the level he was before he had his injury. I think something we all learned being around players, I dealt with it one of the last places I worked at, with guys that get injured sometimes it takes them a little time for major injuries for DBs to be able to play as fast as their minds working. I think we can all see that. Some of the breakups he had in that game were pretty special and he has always worked the process, heís always practiced well. I think last week during the week there was a play that was on Friday, ran an out-cut in practice, he dives and breaks the ball up and thatís a veteran player on a team that maybe weíre not a 10-win team right now, but heís practicing at that level and practicing that hard. To me that speaks to how heís playing on Sundays these last couple of weeks.
Q: When did Sean Chandler catch your eye?
A: I think when we were working in training camp and we get a chance to put some pads on and you saw Sean is not afraid to go put his face on somebody, he is not afraid to play physical and a guy that will run around and just continually has to learn how to play the position in this league. Again, Iím excited. Heíll have an opportunity to get more snaps here down the stretch, Iím excited for him for that and to see some of the work that heís put in over the last five-six months, getting to ascend of him playing well and earning a role here for us down the stretch.