Inside Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern -- November 2, 2019
Q: How unique is (Deone) Bucannonís skillset for an inside linebacker?
A: Heís an athletic kid. Heís one of those guys who runs around. He plays with some real physicality when heís out there on the field, which adds to his skillset. Weíre excited to have him.
Q: What he brings coverage wise, is that something that maybe you guys didnít have or maybe heís a cut above in that department?
A: Well, heís athletic. Itís one of the things thatÖ Heís not in there because of his size. Heís in there because of his athletic ability and his coverage ability.
Q: So, itís fair to say that thatís going to be his role likely here in the second half?
A: I think what heís showing is the reason why he had success in Arizona and everything else, was that he can play the run and he can play the pass. Heís obviously familiar with the system, so weíre excited to have him here and see him progress.
Q: What did you say to Tae Davis when he left or if youíve talked to him since he left? He was a starter.
A: Iíd rather just keep that between me and Tae. We talked and we wished him nothing but the best. Heís a great kid. Great kid.
Q: Itís like a pretty quick drop though. He was your starter all offseason, starter the opener and then midpoint of the season, heís gone. What didnít work out there?
A: Guys were playing. People were performing. Tae did a heck of a job when he was here and we wish him nothing but the best.
Q: I guess one of those guys that are playing is (David) Mayo. Whatís he brought?
A: Davidís been great. Heís been a real addition to the group. Obviously when you watch him play, he plays very physical. Heís a heavy-handed player. But heís smart, he has a couple years of experience behind him so he adds something to the table. He comes in, he has great energy in practice, everything. He really gives consistent, good effort.
Q: How valuable is it to have (Alec) Ogletree back? You were without him for a couple of games there, and it seemed like you missed that solid leadership in there?
A: Everybody feels better with him in there. He has a great understanding of the defense. He has leadership qualities that he exhibits all of the time. Itís one of those things that the guys I think feel very comfortable with him out on the field because heís very verbal. He communicates well with the guys, so it kind of removes a lot of doubt from the guys and lets them, gives them a chance to play faster.
Q: I donít think weíve spoken to you since (Ryan) Connellyís injury. What did you see when he was playing and what are you looking forward to from him going forward?
A: Ryan obviously started off very well, was playing well, was having some success which was great. Then unfortunately, the injury occurred. But heís attacking his rehab just kind of like the way when he came in here as a rookie, as a real professional. Heís diligent in everything that heís doing. Heís working hard. I saw him yesterday morning, we were talking. Heís already still studying tape. Heís back kind of preparing. But the biggest thing right now is to make sure heís doing everything that he can physically to get the leg ready.
Q: What was he doing though on the field that made him successful so quickly as a rookie?
A: I think his understanding. I think itís one of those things when guys see it and get it. I think that has really helped Ryan a great deal. He wasnít afraid to pull the trigger. When he saw something, he believed in it and he went to make a play, which allows guys to play faster. He plays with confidence because his preparation was so well. That was really kind of starting to separate himself from the group when he first got here.
Q: You never want a guy to get hurt, but was it tough because you would have to figure this would have been the year he would have gobbled up playing time, really built on it? Is it tough to get it kind of short-circuited like that?
A: Like any injury, you never want to lose anybody, even a veteran, whether it sets him back or whether you lose his experience or leadership, whatever it may be. But like you were saying, for the young guys, you donít want him to lose any time. You want him to get as many reps as he can. We can practice all we want, but thereís no substitution for game reps.
Q: What can you tell us about (Devante) Downs?
A: Devanteís doing a nice job. Heís a big, strong, physical kid, can run out on the field. Heís getting better each week. Heís getting to know our defense in our meeting rooms and everything else, and heís pushing for time.