Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher -- December 12, 2019
Opening Statement: Coming out of the game, thatís one of those gut-wrenching losses that you have. Thereís so much of that game our guys played hard, they played clean, tough. I hope really whatís displayed there is the theme I have been talking to you guys about the whole season, this group runs to it. They arenít running from anything, they keep working and I love that about them. It was unfortunate in the fourth quarter. In overtime we gave up the drive for the score. We have to coach better, we have to execute better, and we have to play better in those situations. They got us on a couple plays. Iím sure you will ask about the play at the end of the game. Thatís a concept that they really run in different ways and we hadnít really seen it out of that look. At the end of the day, again you know I will never talk about particular players, we have to coach it better and we have to execute better in that moment. If you ask me if itís concerning that thereís some vets on the field in the proximity of it and we cut one loose, I would say itís concerning whenever someone gets cut loose, thatís how I look at it. Whether itís a young guy or an old guy, it doesnít matter. I look at all those situations the same. Thatís what you do as a coach and you work to coach it better and we have to execute it better. I loved a whole lot in that game but as we all know, itís about winning. Weíve had two good days. To come back after a tough loss, how these guys are continuing to run to it, I love it. Weíre going to keep closing the gap and find a way to get one this weekend.
Q: Did you think the defense would be farther along at this point in the season? Things like Monday would be behind you?
A: Iíve watched a lot of football just like everyone that is standing here. Sometimes plays you donít what to happen, happen. Whether you have seasoned guys or young guys, itís not an excuse, itís part of the game. Do I think we would be further along, I donít really judge it that way. I judge each day, each rep, each period. Thatís how we try to stack and get better. I think thereís certainly been some progress with our young guys, probably over the last seven weeks. Collectively, weíve been a little bit better and a little bit better. We have not played a complete game, thereís no question about that. Thatís what we are striving for on defense. To play a first quarter to fourth quarter complete game, not something thatís in spurts. Thatís what weíre pushing to have happen here down the stretch.
Q: Janoris played a lot in the slot. Iím just curious, why that game and how it impacted other guys?
A: It started with Coreyís (Ballentine) concussion and being out of the game. We needed to move some pieces around and I think that was good fit for him to go in and do that. Hats off to him because he picked it up fast and worked his tail off all week. He was on point with what to do and really how to do it. That was a true professional performance by him.
Q: You guys had been defending the run well. In the second half, what was it about Scott and the quick dives that was giving you guys problems?
A: The one in overtime we didnít see the pulls well. They ran that back-door motion with pullers and we lost the pulls on it. We have to see pulls better there. There was a couple on the interiors between the tackles where we gave up a little bit of push and those ones earlier in the game that were like a yard turned into four yards and two turned into five. All of the sudden, itís second and five instead of second a seven. That was important because, you guys correct me if Iím wrong, I think there was 21 third downs in the game. We put them in a bunch of third downs and those first or second down runs couldíve put us in a little bit better situation on a few of those third downs we didnít convert on defensively. Those were some important runs. Yeah, itís a five-yard run but at the end of the day that really dictates the third down youíre playing later in that set of plays.
Q: The last play with Ertz, is that something you saw on film with them before? Is that something you practiced out of that formation?
A: I think I addressed that. They have run similar concepts different ways, different motions. Thereís a million ways they try to get to that stuff and try to isolate him on plays. Heís a guy thatís a really talented player and we know that. Again, we have to coach it better and we have to execute it better.
Q: I know you are not going to mention names, but was there a miscommunication on that last play?
A: Like I said, we have to execute it better and we have to coach it better.