S Antoine Bethea -- October 2, 2019
Q: What have you noticed about the defense progressing each week and getting better?
A: I think just the attention to detail. We’re just getting better. Focused on the things that we didn’t do so well the first two weeks, had a good week during practice, good practice week, and then it transferred over on Sunday.
Q: It’s a unique, tough offense that you’ll have to face—what do you think are the biggest challenges against the Vikings?
A: Stop the run. They’ve got a good run game, one of the best in the league. Then after that, we’ve got to negate the deep throws, don’t let the ball go over our head, and try to carry over from last week—create turnovers, tackle well, and get the offense the ball back.
Q: Coach Shurmur talked a lot about how when he was with the Vikings, he was with all those receivers—how much has he passed along to the defense, any of his scouting from his past knowledge?
A: Not much. Defense, we’re going to watch film, we’re going to study receivers—we know the receivers, they have some good receivers, playmakers capable of doing good things, so on the defensive side we’ve just got to do our thing.
Q: How are Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs different from each other, the challenges that they pose?
A: They actually have a lot of similarities. They both can go deep, good route runners, strong hands, good after the catch, so I think having them on the opposite side of each other gives Kirk Cousins some good weapons.
Q: It looks like Kyle Rudolph doesn’t have as many numbers as he usually has—are they using him more as a blocker these days?
A: That’s what it seems like. But like you said, Kyle Rudolph, he has a great history, so you can’t sleep on him. You’ve definitely got to keep your eyes on him.
Q: Is it hard to believe that team with those receivers and that quarterback is 31st in the league in passing?
A: It’s not hard, it’s the league. They’re 31st for a reason--obviously, they try to focus on the run game. Obviously, they’ve expressed some concerns about that, so we definitely can be ready for them to throw the ball a little more, but I think we’ll be up for the challenge.
Q: Do you think they will throw the ball more? Because coming off a game where they only scored six points, everyone is talking about how their passing game is not as good.
A: I think they will. For sure.
Q: Is that good? Is that something that you welcome as a competitor?
A: Of course. As a competitor, as a DB, we do. They’re still going to try to run the ball, but they’re definitely going to try to take their shots.
Q: How fine of a line is that for a defensive back where you’re looking into the backfield to see if they’re running, and then you’ve got to get back?
A: It’s all about reading keys. We talk about it—playing disciplined, having good eyes. As DBs, we’ve got to focus on our keys. We’ve got to let the front seven do what they do, identify the keys that take us to the run, and we’ll get to the run.