Outside Linebackers Coach Mike Dawson -- November 22, 2019
Q: I was talking to Oshane Ximines the other day. He was saying the most frustrating thing for him to figure out is that he makes a mistake in Week 2, you guys fix it and then he is still waiting for that play to come back so that he can show he learned it. Do you find with rookies that itís the patience involved, not just learning it but getting the chance to show you they learned it?
A: I think thatís an interesting point. I think it happens not only throughout the course of the season and the games but it can happen throughout the course of the week. You had this one chance on a Wednesday to hit a play and if you make a mistake, you get another chance to show you can correct it. You have to do a good job of physically correcting your mistake but also mentally. Not only from your own but maybe watching other guys. Seeing somebody else either do it correctly or incorrectly and then being able to learn a system or a play that way.
Q: Does he get anything out of playing that Khalil Mack role this week in practice? Does he get anything out of that that he can translate to his game?
A: I think anytime you get a chance to go out there and compete, you can hone your skills and work on it. Whether youíre a specific guy or youíre out there working on something simple as keying the ball and hitting your get off the right way or getting better at your get off or something like that. I think any time you get chance to go out and compete against guys, you get a chance to make yourself better.
Q: You donít see Khalil Mackís skills there quite yet?
A: Obviously, Khalilís a great player, and Oshane has been working his butt off and hopefully we keep getting him in the right direction.
Q: There were question marks all over the defense coming in but you have a lot of guys getting a chance to show what they can do. Do you feel the development coming now that this group has this many games under its belt?
A: As the weeks go by and keep adding up, you become less of a first-year player or a second-year player. You donít live in the moment of what happened behind you or ahead of you but what youíre doing right now. Thatís constantly evolving. I think my high school coach said you are either getting better or youíre getting worse. Hopefully the guys are continuing to get better, you donít ever really stay the same. As you stack those experiences together, you stack playing specific plays or formations along with having the sensation of being out there. I think thatís going to help them out throughout the course of the year and moving forward for sure.
Q: Bettcher said what really defines guys in this league is splash plays, why havenít they come for Lorenzo Carter? He even said he was a 10-sack guy this year and it hasnít come.
A: I think that everyone wants to be that competitor. They want to put themselves in that position and I know Lorenzo does. I know that he is a competitive guy, just being with him day in and day out. He wants to make those splash plays and I think you can look at a whole bunch of different factors. Heís been a guy that we have been able to move around. You see him on the ball, off the ball, heís in coverage, heís rushing, heís doing different things that way. Thatís a unique skill set that he has. I know thereís plays that he wants to be a step closer, accelerate a little more or do things like that. I think he is definitely holding himself to that high standard still and continues to work that. We have six more weeks to put the pedal to the metal with him. Hopefully those numbers start to come.