Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel -- September 20, 2019
Q: What have these first few weeks been like for a rookie like Dexter Lawrence?
A: I think with Dexter, and with everybody, it’s a learning experience. You get better each week as you go out and try to get better to try to work on the little things—hands, eyes, and feet, as far was the defensive line goes. Just improving to try to get better.
Q: What has impressed you that you’ve seen from him? What do you look at him and say, ‘We really need to work on this’?
A: Well he’s like all of the rest of them, they all need to work on the same things. Just getting better in the technique overall, playing the pad level, understanding the speed of the game, but he’s physical enough and he’s tough enough. We like where Dex is headed.
Q: On the 3rd-down conversion for Buffalo on the final scoring drive, where B.J. (Hill) got into the backfield but then (Bills Quarterback Josh) Allen gave him a move--how difficult is a play like that to defend where you get pressure but then you’re facing a mobile quarterback?
A: We just have to play with technique a little bit. Have to get a little bit higher in the rush as far as containing goes, and hopefully force them back to get help. So, we’ll get a little bit higher, improve on the technique, and then that’ll help the play.
Q: What does Tampa’s offense present to you guys this weekend? Are there any similarities from what you’ve seen the last two weeks or are they different?
A: This is the NFL, every offense presents a challenge. Every offense is very capable of scoring points. We have to do a great job of stopping the run, we have to do a good job of getting to the quarterback. They have a very good offensive line and a quarterback who was a first pick in the draft who is playing pretty well. They have an outstanding running back in number 25 (Peyton Barber), he’s a great player.
Q: Do you determine the rotation as far as how many snaps each guy plays? Is that a group thing?
A: We talk about things as a staff, we do everything as a staff. We talk about it, but I have a lot of control over the rotation.
Q: When you see Dexter last game getting more pressure, it looks like he feels a little more comfortable, do you look at that as a way to progress him and start playing him more if he’s more effective?
A: Absolutely, with all of them. If somebody has a hot hand, obviously we are going to play them if they continue to play well. But we try even out the reps so when we get into the fourth quarter we are pretty fresh.
Q: Are you content with the pressure your group has received or produced through two weeks?
A: We are never content with the pressure we’ve received, or the pressure the group has done in the previous two weeks. The object is winning the game, and we want to get more pressure on the quarterback, so we all work together. All 11 of us like it is to stop the run, it’s all 11 to stop the pass. The coverage and the pressure all works together. Stopping the run, playing gap control is important, it all works together. We’re a team and we’re all together right now.
Q: When you have someone like Janoris Jenkins saying there needs to be more pass rush, do you guys take that personally?
A: We love Janoris. Janoris is a great teammate, Janoris is a great guy who works extremely hard, Janoris meant nothing by that. Like I just said, we all have to do a better job. The coverage is tied into the front, we need to get more pressure on the quarterback, and then it’s easier to cover longer. If we get more pressure, it’s like stopping the run where if we play our gap, everybody else’s job is stopping the run. We love Janoris, Janoris is a great teammate, he works extremely hard, and he’s a great, great young man.
Q: What do you like about Dalvin Tomlinson in the middle in that nose tackle spot?
A: Dalvin is real stout, Dalvin is tough, Dalvin has seen all the schemes, Dalvin plays good against the double team, and he has toughness—there’s something about that there where you have to have toughness. They all can play in there, but right now Dalvin is playing a little bit more at the nose than anything else right now, and hopefully in the future will be able to rotate some people in.
Q: What do you think of your run defense in general?
A: Again, it’s not about numbers, it’s not about any of that stuff, it’s about winning. We haven’t won, so we have to improve on everything. So, we’ve just got to keep working to get better overall. Like I said, we have to play with better technique, better gap control, and do those things, don’t miss tackles, and stuff like that. It’s a work in progress, put it that way.