Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- September 12, 2019
Opening Statement: Coming in after a performance where we did not play, number one, as well as we expected to play and, number two, as well as we are capable of playing, I thought the process in building, the process in playing good defense doesnít change from week to week, whether you play well or whether you poorly. The process is going into the meeting room, identifying areas you need to improve, then having purposeful work to correct those things. Not just talking about correcting those things, itís having purposeful work to correct those things. Thatís both player and coach, thatís me as the coordinator, thatís our position coaches, thatís our players at each level of their position. Thatís not coach speak, thatís how you improve and thatís how you build and thatís how you get better. I said this the last time we talked, I love the character of this group, because there is no crumbling at the knees. There is none of that stuff. There is no pointing fingers, thereís a lot of ownership and there is a lot of accountability in this group. Having said that, you go into the meeting room on Monday, you identify things that were not good enough. Whether itís a bust in a coverage, a leverage, a missed tackle, a bad call by me, whatever those things are, and we work to correct them. These guys have taken that and they are going to continue to take that and continue to do that day after day and I love that about this group and I love that about this coaching staff on defense. Thatís how weíll build a good defense here. We have had two really good days of prep and weíve had really good days of meetings. Our attention to detail has been on point, like it has been before. We have to take that attention to detail everyday into a Friday practice tomorrow, into a Saturday mock, and then we have to execute that and do the things that are necessary on Sunday to play better.
Q: How do you correct the mental errors, is it about these guys seeing something on tape and going through it in a game and making sure they donít repeat it?
A: I think there are two ways to address those things. The first thing is, often times guys can go into a meeting room or go through a walk-thru, or even go through a practice and they know what to do. Then in the moment you have to do what you know, a wise person told me that once, doing what you know. We just have to do what we know, one. Number two, as a coaching staff, itís on us, too. We are together on this, is there a way we can improve a call, is there a way we can coach a technique better, a fundamental better, coach eyes better, whatever that might have been. We have to address those things, too. We are all in the ship, we are all working to improve those things.
Q: What do you do to improve the cornerback spot opposite Janoris?
A: We have to play better at that spot, we have to tackle better at that spot. I think thatís what it came down to, some missed tackles at that position. Bakeís (DeAndre Baker) going to get a chance to play there and youíll see Ham (Antonio Hamilton) in situations and we will go from there. I think the plan will reveal itself like it did last week on Sunday. We just have to play better at the spot, just with the little things, itís not about ability, itís not what the guys are capable of doing, they just need to execute things that they know.
Q: Is Corey Ballentine at the level that he can be in that rotation?
A: Heís growing and improving, heís certainly putting himself, by daily work, to be in a position to compete for that spot.
Q: Are you surprised you didnít get more pressure, there is a number out there that says you blitzed the sixth most in the NFL?
A: When it comes down to whether you pressure or you four-man rush, it comes down to winning one on ones. We have to do a better job of winning one on ones. I think coming out of Week 1 in terms of that specifically, you donít sit back and say Iím surprised, I canít believe this, I canít believe that. I donít live in that world. I look at it as hereís something we have to get better at, letís go work to get better at it. Weíre running to things, we arenít running from them. Not attacking your question by any means, but I have a totally different mindset with those kinds of things. We need to attack what the problem was and go work to correct the problem. Not just say we need to rush the quarterback better. I think anyone can say that, Colton told me that as well. The truth is how do you rush the passer better. What fundamentals and techniques do we need to improve with specifically with what guys and players.
Q: As far the coverage breakdowns, is there a balance between doing what you do and maybe having to simplify things if guys are missing assignments?
A: I think thatís, from a play callerís standpoint, from coaches in their position meeting rooms, even when you play well, you are looking at how can we make it better. Whether thatís simplifying a call, making a different call, whether thatís trying to more clearly communicate a fundamental and technique to play a position, you are always trying to do that. At the end of the day, the game starts, you get a huddle call, you break the huddle, you go out, you get aligned, you communicate, you get your eyes right in in a good stance, then you play the down. We will not make it more complex than that.
Q: When the defense is struggling, how are you? Are you calm?
A: There is a distinct difference between panicked and urgency. Someone that panics is all over the place, is sporadic, has no true answers. When youíre urgent, thereís an energetic, clearly directed course of action. That is the difference between urgency and panicked. One, I wonít ever panic, and nor will our players. Thatís their character, thatís the way these guys work and thatís what I love about them.
Q: Do the Bills present a unique challenge because of Josh Allenís ability to throw the deep ball well?
A: Really when you look at their offense as a whole, you are going to see multiple formations, multiple personnel groupings. You saw it last week, 20 or 21 straight throws to start the game. They started in big personnel, exploded, made it look little. Last year, there was a game where it was like that, then there is a game where itís all little people doing that stuff. Sure, there is going to be some different formations, different personnel groupings. Josh (Allen) has an outstanding arm and he can deliver the ball quick, he has a very quick release. He can buy time with his feet and he will scramble and try to run the ball as well, and it will be a challenge. I love our work, I love where our guys are heading, and I think our guys will be excited to play at home this Sunday.