Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- November 29, 2019
Opening Statement: I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving yesterday. We have a great challenge this week. (Aaron) Rodgers is one of the elite quarterbacks in this league, play extender. They do some really good stuff on offense schematically. Matt (LaFleur) does a great job, (I) went against Matt last year when he was in Tennessee. You can see his work that he has done with the offense, he’s done a really nice job. A tight end that’s a really productive tight end and a receiving corps that’s going to be a great challenge for our guys. (We) continue to have good work, continue to have good practices. Our guys are in meetings, guys are getting better, they’re growing. I think our guys will be excited to go play again Sunday. Last weekend we had a couple series earlier in the game where Sam Beal had a chance to get in. Our plan was to start getting him some opportunities to go in for more than just a couple plays in a package. To let him go out and play a couple series in a row at specific points in the game so he can get in the rhythm of the game and get playing. That wasn’t something we were just giving him, he’s earned that opportunity because he has been working hard at practice. He’s earned that opportunity because he has been engaged at meetings. There’s no plan to just go play a guy, we don’t do that. Guys earn their time and earn their opportunities and Sam has done that at practice. I was encouraged for him with some of the stuff he did in the game and there’s plenty of things for him fundamentally and technique wise he can continue to learn and grow from. Looking forward to this Sunday, it will be a great challenge. Guys are still stacking things. Again, I have said it from the beginning with this group, these guys run to things and I love that about this group.
Q: What did Julian Love show going into the bye that made you guys decide this was the time to give him regular snaps?
A: I think with Julian since he’s walked in, he has been a guy that’s ahead of some other young guys I have been around, from just meeting, from just awareness. Not just awareness of what’s going on but also self-awareness. He’s been able to give you good feedback right away on something he wasn’t right on, whether it’s his eyes, his alignment, his technique. I think as he has sat behind one really veteran safety and I said this last week with AB (Antoine Bethea), he’s done such a good job being engaged with Julian and trying to help him along the way. Julian has also done a good job of being engaged when he’s not the number one. When Pep went down he had a chance to go in and he was ready for his moment. We had a plan for him to play on some of our third down stuff already in the game. (I) was happy with the fact he went in, knew what to do and he has to continue to work, as well as with our other young guys, how to do what to do. We’re getting past the what to do thing now, we just have to continue the work the how’s and the why’s. That’s reps, that’s days, that’s opportunities to work in indy (Individuals) and he’s included in that.
Q: When a team is targeting Corey like they did for that stretch, are there ways to help him, what do you do in that situation?
A: I think you always look at ways you can help but you always look at does calling something to help one guy, what other things does that put you in a position to have to defend? The second piece of that is what do your guys do well, what do they feel most comfortable in. If they get a play on us, whether it’s on Corey or anyone, what’s the call you want to go to if they have a couple in a row and you have to settle guys down. Sometimes when you just look at it from a naked eye and you’re just looking at the game, you might say, man, you have to do something for him, but you also have to think of what does he play best and what is he most comfortable in. We try to put him in those situations when things aren’t going well. (I) certainly evaluate those things as a coordinator, always have, always will.
Q: You have had Leonard Williams for a couple weeks and you have moved him around quite a bit. Is there a spot that you say this is his best spot?
A: One of the things when we looked at him in his tape, is his versatility. He can go line up in different places and I think the really good ones are able to do that. I think the really good ones, you can put him on a certain guy for a matchup, maybe that’s the game plan, are they able to move around? I like the flexibility that he has, I think he’s a really good three technique. He brings a dimension where he can go out and play like a big six technique, which we’ve done in our big nickel package with him over the last couple of weeks. His flexibility is one of his strong points.
Q: Why do you think he hasn’t shown up in the box score? You said a couple weeks ago “splash plays,” he doesn’t have a lot of sacks or TFL’s (Tackles For Loss)?
A: I still think sometimes production is not a stat. I think there’s things that he has done as he has been with us for a few weeks now that is not a recorded statistical play. I can see that stuff showing up on tape. He is disruptive in the run game, he’s changed the course of the back, he has helped us immensely in those ways. I think even in pass rush as a rusher, he has disrupted the middle of the pocket on quite a few occasions. I want him to have sacks just as much as he does, I promise you. We’ll keep working towards that and I think there’s things in his game he is going to continue to work to improve and those numbers will come.
Q: Are there any things the four young DB’s need to be aware of as far as facing Rodgers? Is it play extension, are they going to have to hold things longer?
A: I think you hit it on the head. That was what I was going to say, the play is not over until the whistle blows with him. He’s going to extend plays, his knee is going to be six inches from the ground he’s going to throw the ball over this shoulder and make a great throw. I can show you many times on tape, (I) went against him a few times in Arizona as well. He has the capability to do that, we have to finish downs.
Q: There was a lot of optimism coming into the year because B.J. (Hill) and Lorenzo (Carter) flashed as rookies. Maybe (they) haven’t taken that next step, I don’t know if you agree with that. What do they need to do to take that next step?
A: I think both of them are a little bit different. I think B.J. inside, with the addition of Dex, on a day in day out basis it really created a highly competitive room. A year ago, he was our young guy that was playing next to Dalvin and those guys were primarily getting all the snaps. Now we have built a more deep room where there is a good rotation like you need to have in this league to have success. I think that plays into numbers and all that kind of stuff. I think just playing in the framework, both of the guys, just playing within the framework of their games. Both of them are different players and play different positions. Some of those specific things are different, but it’s just playing within the framework of both of their games.
Q: Even though you lost, can you feel good about getting that stop to give the offense the ball back with a chance to win?
A: I think you said it, it’s about winning games. We want to be part of the reason we’re winning games. I sure was proud of our guys when they went out there in the four minute, got the stop, get the ball back. We had a couple series in a row where guys were on the cliff and they found a way to push themselves off the cliff. (They) got back and got a couple three and outs later in the game after they moved the ball in the middle of the game on us. I think our guys are growing, we’re getting better. I have talked to these guys, minute by minute, we have to be where our feet are, and we have to work with purpose minute by minute of each day. We’re not worried about 10 minutes from now, we’re worried about right now, what we’re doing, what meeting we’re in. We’re going to go out and have a four-minute individual period today and I need one minute at a time, I need you to find a way to get yourself better. We are going to work with that process and that’s how you build a foundation for success that has a chance to sustain.