Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- November 1, 2019
Opening Statement: I know itís repetitive, but itís the truth, the thing I love about the group is when we come in after a game, our guys are aware. Sometimes itís hard to overcome adversity when you look at things and you donít see the facts in them, the truth in them, and the areas that you need individually to get better. I love that about this group because theyíre aware. Theyíre working on the things individually and weíre being very intentional on improving those things. These guys continue to work extremely hard, they continue to run to things instead of running away from it and pointing fingers. I love that about the group, and weíve had two really good days of practice and I think all of us are excited to get to Monday and have a chance to play in front of our home crowd.
Q: What happened last week on the (Marvin) Hall 49-yard touchdown? Was there a miscommunication on the back end?
A: There was no miscommunication on the back end. We need to play better. We need to execute better in the back end, and thatís one of the things we talked about in the room, we have to play more complementary. When something happens in the back end with a guy not doing what he needs to do, thereís guys up front that need to beat someone, and we need to win in one-on-one, and we need to create some pass rush, and I think you see that on Sundays sometimes where someone in the back might not be perfect, but someone up front makes them right. Or vice-versa, someone up frontís not right and someone behind them makes them better. So, there was not poor communication, we just did not execute correctly to that side of the coverage, but also up front I didnít see anybodyís hands near the quarterback and I didnít see the quarterback on the ground, so it goes hand in hand.
Q: What do you like about the accountability and emotion that youíve seen in Jabrill Peppers? He was as upset as anybody in that locker room with the defense.
A: I love that about him. If you come in our defensive meeting room and you sat with us, youíd feel the same from all of our guys. I think if youíre discouraged, you end up running away from things. I think if youíre upset, if youíre angry, if youíre mad, those are good emotions to have. We just channel them in the right direction. We have to channel them toward the solution, not the problem. I love all those things about him, he plays extremely hard, heís tough, heís physical, heís all those things. Just collectively as a group, weíve just got to keep working and weíve got to make the plays that are there to be made for us and not allow one mistake by one person to turn into a 49-yard play. Then, like I said before, on the flip side of it is we have to play complementary. The rush has got to work for the coverage and the coverage has got to work for the rush, and vice-versa.
Q: In the opener, that was DeAndreís (Baker) first game as an NFL DB and there were a lot of big plays down the field. This is his second time for the first time ever against the same opponentódo you think that will help him? Is he more ready to compete at a higher level than he was in that opener?
A: Yes, I believe so. I think he has played progressively better through the course of the year. I think technique, fundamentals, awareness of splits and spacing on the field, the things in this league that you have to have to be able to not just win the down but to be able to compete on the down, I think heís doing a better job at all those. I anticipate him playing better, just like the rest of our guys.
Q: And thereís a familiarity with the receiversóheís run with these guys now--
A: Sure, I think absolutely, all that goes into play.
Q: What do you like about Leonard Williams, and how quickly can he fit in?
A: I think long, explosive, a guy whoís tough, very versatile. Over the last two years heís played in two different schemes with the Jets and played nose, played three technique, played five, played on the outside, played over the tight end, so you see the versatility of the player, and he plays hard. He plays hard. Heís gotten here and you can see heís an extremely hard worker. He gets in here at the beginning of the week, and here I guess weíre three quarters of the way through the week and heís not making mistakes, heís locked in on what weíre doing and why weíre doing it, and heís working his tail off. So, weíre excited to have him, weíre excited to have an opportunity to work with him.
Q: How much does your scheme fit him? You like to get guys up the field. He wasnít able to get the sack numbers with the Jets, but heíll have an opportunity to get the quarterback.
A: I do believe that this will be a good fit for him. I think that heís a guy that when you just keep watching more, obviously we watched quite a bit of his tape from the Jets, and I think I said this a couple weeks ago, sometimes thereís more to rushing the passer than justówe all want the sack number, we all want the quarterback hit number, but thereís something to getting a guy off the spot on the inside and making the quarterback lower his vision and have to move left or right. Whether that counts as a pressure or a quarterback hit or not, you see him doing that on tape. Iím excited for him to do that with us, and I think our interior D-linemen are excited to have him with them, too, and those guys have been working well and have been having a lot of great conversations together. It hasnít at all been an environment where heís come in and any of our guys have shied away. I think itís been just the opposite. I think you see guys, theyíre circling around each other and having conversations about whether itís rush or run fits or those kinds of things. So, you can see that from an impact standpoint.
Q: How much carryover is there from Todd Bowlesí system? How similar are your systems?
A: I canít speak for what they did in New York, how he called stuff, but I think there are certainly similarities. I think itís a 3-4 system and a 3-4 type system that both of us still run and I think that does matter in terms of carryover. I know there is some language thatís the same that he remembers. But I think, to me, when itís those kinds of transitions for a player, itís about the playerís work, and his work has been outstanding.
Q: You know the stats and the numbers and the rankings. Where are you most disappointed in the defense to this point?
A: The explosive plays, for sure. The explosive plays because you change two explosive plays a game or one explosive play a game and then all those things that youíre talking about, whatever those numbers are ranked, they all change. And it changes field position, and in close games, which weíve played some close games, field position is points. Those have to continue to get erased. We all know that and thereís no hiding that, thereís no hiding the emphasis weíre putting on it, thereís no hiding the emphasis. Weíre trying as a coaching staff to take the ownership of what those things are and why theyíre happening. Again, I canít tell you how much I love the players and their responsiveness to that.
Q: Do the plays where the receiver is wide open just bother the heck out of you?
A: I think any time thereís an explosive play, no matter whether we get beat or a guy is wide open, whatever it is, I think all those donít make you happy.
Q: How much of an increased role do you think (Deone) Bucannon can play this week?
A: I think heíll continue to get more snaps as he re-familiarizes himself with some of the stuff that weíre doing, then as the situations kind of reveal themselves on game day for him.
Q: Leonard Williams, do you feel that he can play a major role right away in his first game, especially since he just saw the Cowboys?
A: Yeah, heís definitely going to play.
Q: Outside the building, the perception is the trade deadline comes and a team thatís 6-2 might add a piece, a team thatís 2-6 might subtract. You guys added a piece at 2-6 to your defense, and I think itís, as you said, a well-regarded piece. What was your line of thinking when you first heard that this was being considered, and what does that mean, what can it do to this defense with a player of that caliber coming in here?
A: First thing is youíre excited as hell. You love it. We have a commitment to keep working to get better in every way we can as a defense, whether thatís coaching, playing, the roster, whatever it is. That just shows you the commitment all the way through to make us a better defense. I think kind of what he brings, I think that was part of your question, what he brings I think is a guy thatís long and tough and physical and plays hard, and some of those traits are similar to the guys that we have in the room. Tough, physical, plays hard, I think he brings a length aspect, I think he brings an inside quickness aspect for us. Iíll obviously be excited to watch him play on Monday. Again, he works extremely hard. Heís running around at practice, heís working hard in the classroom, outside the building, heís coming in with questions. Heís really trying to get on the same page and on the same page fast.
Q: Do you take it as a message from above, the idea that they didnít take guys away from this defense? Itís almost like they believe in what youíre doing, at least thatís my perception, that they want to give you more to work with rather than taking guys away and starting over.
A: Thereís probably different ways you could look at it, and that certainly might be one of them. I think when I sit back and look at it, Iím so narrowed in onóas a coordinator, as a position coach, youíre so narrowed in on continuing to do well what weíre doing well and to fix our areas from a scheme, from a fundamental, from a technique standpoint. Thatís really what you do as a coach. Dave (Gettleman) and our personnel department, they handle all the player transactions and those kinds of things. As a coach, you just stay so focused on the present and the now and the guys that youíre working with and trying to help those guys maximize their potential.