Secondary Coach Lou Anarumo -- December 14, 2018
Q: Grant Haley, a lot of guys say he’s a hard worker behind the scenes, but how does that manifest itself? What’s he doing to get ready and then earn the opportunities he’s gotten in the last couple of weeks?
A: I think he’s a little bit beyond his years that way. All the guys work hard, study film and he just logs a little bit extra time knowing that he has a bigger role now. Great kid, so to all that I think anytime you’re studying more about what the offense can do to you as opposed to what your job is, it helps him in the games and that’s kind of where he’s at at this point in his young career.
Q: You look at him and you see the size, obviously it’s kind of a hurdle. How is he able to overcome that and play physical?
A: When you say size, you mean –
He’s not a very big guy.
A: Those guys that are playing the slot aren’t taller guys. They’re in the 5-9 to 5-10 range, 5-11 tops. Those guys, I’m never worried about that at that position, to be quite honest.
Q: How much has he maybe been more physical, though, than you thought – is that something that you noticed right away?
A: In college, he showed that. He was a guy around the ball. Big-10 guy, they’re going to face some downhill run teams in that league, so he definitely displayed that in college, so we kind of knew that he had it in him.
Q: Could you see him on the outside one day? I mean he’s a rookie, he’s got his whole career ahead of him.
A: Yeah, he’s still young. I think he’s learning – there’s a lot going on inside with the different calls and different things that he has to do and he’s done a good job taking control. I think there are some things where he’s been outside already, so yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see. Like you said, he’s still young.
Q: He’s talked about how much he enjoys blitzing off the edge and you guys seem to have done that a couple of times last couple of weeks and he got the sack against the Bears. Can you just talk about that part of his skillset?
A: I’ve yet to meet a defensive player that doesn’t like to blitz, so he’s right on board with that, but he’s been productive when we have sent him. Part of (James) Bettcher’s scheme is bringing multiple guys and he’s taken advantage of the ones that he’s had. I think he missed one in Atlanta maybe, or in the Redskins – one of those games, I don’t recall, and he’s kind of made up for it ever since, so anytime you can ask those guys to cover and be aggressive when they’re blitzing, that’s an advantage for us.
Q: What do you attribute to, at least from our perspective, Janoris (Jenkins) seems to have really stepped up his game lately and played a lot better as the season went on. What do you attribute to that?
A: I think even he said maybe a week or so back, I think he’s finally feeling really good. Jack’s 30, coming off a major ankle surgery, I think he’s in a new system. All those things together. He’s comfortable now with the guys he’s playing around. Anytime you’re looking back there and it’s a different safety each week and there’s a comfort level with everyone back there. I always equate it to – it’s like a double-play in baseball, if the shortstop and second baseman are different, that little flip that you take advantage of, it’s the same thing in the backend. Those guys are looking to each other and if they’re not real sure what’s going on, it creates hesitation. I think everybody’s kind of feeling a little more comfortable these days and I think Jack’s no different.
Q: How important has (B.W.) Webb been, especially stepping into that number two role?
A: Huge. He’s a guy that I think has come in here with a chip on his shoulder from the day we got him and has done everything we’ve asked. He’s a try-hard guy and he’s like a lot of us, he’s got something to prove and that goes a long way in this league, so I’m very happy with him.
Q: Two-part question. Landon Collins, obviously, we know how much he loves to be on the field. How did he take the injury when he found out he was out for the season and then the guys, with him out, what do you expect from that rotation these last three games?
A: It was hard to keep him out of the Bear game when he injured it and went back in, I think, knowing that he had something going on, to his credit, and playing for his teammates. Obviously it’s a void to fill. The guy is the second leading tackler at safety in the NFL and is in the top 10, I think, overall for defensive players in tackles. You’re missing a lot of production there, so the good news is for us, Mike Thomas has done it before and stepped up nicely for us last week and the combination for those guys hopefully will continue to pick up the void where Landon’s left.
Q: Webb’s play and his resume don’t add up. He’s bounced around to all these different teams, but since you guys have trusted him with the starting role, why is he performing so well? Why doesn’t that add up?
A: I think it’s – he’s a great guy, to start with, so he wants to learn, he wants to do things right. I think sometimes right place, right spot, good fit, all those things kind of falling in line and you got a veteran guy that doesn’t come in with ‘well, I got it’ type of attitude. He just wants to, ‘hey coach’ how do you want me to do this’ and he’s done that to the letter of the law and takes hard coaching. I think it has just been a good fit for both sides and he’s taken advantage of it, which that’s what this league is about. Especially these days and this late in the year where guys get injured and he’s done it from the jump, but we’re finding out – it always plays out this way in this league. Later in the year, guys get opportunities. He’s just happening to take advantage of his.