Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- October 17, 2019
Opening Statement: I think our guys are excited about this challenge, a quarterback thatís really dynamic. I have spent 10 games playing against Russell Wilson in Seattle, so I have seen some guys like this that can buy time with their feet who are accurate and can deliver the ball on time and on schedule, then create some off-schedule plays. Theyíve created a good amount of explosives in the pass game off of that. Also, the read option, thereís designed quarterback runs where he is running it and thereís other plays where he is reading the scheme of the defense, tucking the ball and carrying it or giving it. Itís going to be a great challenge for our guys. You look and there is a receiver that is going to wear a gold jacket some day in Larry (Fitzgerald). I have a ton of respect for him, spent obviously five years in Arizona. They have pieces in David (Johnson) and they have some dynamic players, some young receivers. If Christian Kirk comes back, a really young dynamic receiver himself. Itís going to be a great challenge and I think we have had two really good days of practice. I think the thing for our guys is weíre continuing to focus on ourselves, continuing to focus on building consistency through very intentional work. Itís like coach talk if you go in the room and say we need to be more consistent, we need to play at the level we are capable of all the time. To me, thatís somewhat coach talk. I think the way we try to focus on getting that done is to continue to identify specific things that we need to get better at and address those in practice, address those in walk through, address those in the meeting room. Then when we come and watch the tape, we evaluate and we work that process over again. Thatís how you build consistency, thatís to have a consistent approach to the game and the way weíre coaching and the way we are trying to play the game. It will be a great challenge, our guys are excited, have had two really good days of work and I love that about this group. These guys come to work, they work hard at practice, they fly around, they are diving for balls, a fun group to coach. We just have to continue with our process.
Q: What did you like about your effort in the performance against New England?
A: Through adversity, it doesnít build character, it reveals it. I think weíve had some ups and downs on defense and weíve found a way to continue to play hard through all of those moments. I think that showed itself last Thursday. I think it was exciting to see our guys continue, no matter what the situation is, whether itís a situation we put ourselves in or wherever the ball is spotted, the guys continue to run to things and I think that just reveals the character of the group we are working with. I think, as I kind of just said, thatís one of the reasons I love working with this group. They come to work, and they love the game.
Q: Now that Sam Beal is able to practice, what do you need to or hope to see from him over the next 20 days?
A: Number one, I think, is just getting in practice and getting reps. Whether thatís on the look team, whether thatís in individual, starting to backpedal. Itís all the skills that a DB needs to work on. Heís had a great deal of missed practice time, we all know that. Itís day one, itís working fundamentals and techniques and taking the time to watch individual with the position coach, which is what we do with him and just making sure he is getting coached in all the fundamentals and techniques through these next 20 days. That he is not missing opportunities to get better when heís not preparing for a particular opponent during these practice sessions.
Q: Where do you see the biggest improvement for your group through the first 6 games?
A: One, itís just being on the same page and not allowing explosive plays to show up in games where if we came to the sideline and we say, Ďhey, what was the problem there,í they can tell us and they can tell each other. They can say, ĎI needed to have eyes, I needed toÖ.í We have to get that out of our game. Theyíve shown up at particular times in games where we just have to get them out. I think that is where we will make a big stride for ourselves. The game sometimes comes down to winning one on one matchups, and we have to do a better job of winning one on one matchups. That might be in coverage when we have an opportunity to knock a ball away, we have to knock a ball away. We have a chance up front to win a one on one, whether itís a four man, three man, or five man rush, we have to win one on one. Thatís kind of part of the conversation I had earlier, just being intentional with our work, knowing exactly what those specific things are. Thatís our job as coaches to identify those specific things and itís our players jobs to take the things we identify and work to get better at them.
Q: How close is Markus Golden to being the player he was for you in 2016?
A: I think he is really close to being that same guy. He is out here working to try and get better and heís felt better and better with his health. I think that was obviously the first thing. Markus and I talked at the beginning of the year and the goal wasnít to get back to that guy, it was to be better than that guy. I think if you have gotten to know Markus, youíve gotten to see how he works, how he plays the game. I think if there is anybody thatís going to come off of an injury like he had and be able to become a better player, itís this guy. He loves the game, he works tirelessly. A lot of the plays that he makes are just second-effort plays, are just beyond skills, talent. Itís just mindset and purpose. Thatís one of the reasons I have always loved him. I remember his first game as a rookie, we are playing the Saints at our place. They are on the 15-yard line and they run a screen into the boundary, heís aligned to the field, they run a screen into the back in the boundary, heís to the field and again they are on the 15 and he makes a tackle at the 7. I see that play and you see him work in practice and thatís just his identity, thatís who he is.
Q: Will this game have any extra emotion, facing your old team?
A: No, itís not about that at all. I have a ton or respect for Mr. Bidwell, Steve Keim, thereís a lot of people in that building that are just great people. My wife and I had a great five years in Arizona, itís a great place to raise a family, but weíre lucky and fortunate to be New York Football Giants. Weíre excited to be here and other than that, we are just getting ready to play a game.
Q: When you look at them, do they do some of the same stuff that you did with them?
A: I havenít sat down and had time to take a look at a snap of what they are doing on defense. I honestly couldnít tell you. I know a little bit about Vanceís background, itís a little different style 3-4 than kind of the tree that I believe in or come from. To be honest, I havenít really watched any of it.
Q: When a defense faces a scheme thatís so different from what everyone else is running, is that especially difficult, to adjust completely to something unfamiliar?
A: I think thatís a really valid point from the standpoint that when things are really different from a look standpoint, obviously we all know they are going to go four wides and spread the field or they are going to put a tight end and spread it out with a tight end in the game. They are going to be in empty, spread formations, those things are different, but at the end of the day, the point that we made to the guys in the room is, it comes down to us and us doing our jobs, aligning with good leverage, playing with good eyes. You do that and that helps eliminate some of the difference in the scheme.
Q: We have seen you use the sub package with Jabrill at linebacker. What do you like out of that package? What does it do for your defense?
A: First, I love what David Mayo has done, I really do. Heís come and worked his tail off. Davidís another guy that loves the game. This guy really loves the game, heís tough, heís physical. Itís not shade on anybody thatís on our roster anywhere. What it allows us to do is put another DB on the field. I think just going back to what I believe, the more spread they get, the more space the game becomes, the more second level players you want to try and get on the field. I think Jabrill, we know he can do just about anything. Itís just us doing a good job managing the situations and the things we put him in so he can play fast and we donít slow him down.