LB Carter Coughlin
December 12, 2020
Q: You obviously spent a lot of time with Markus Golden through training camp and the early part of the season. What was going through your head when you saw he was traded? Knowing that you were probably going to play more once he was gone, even though he was your teammate.
A: Since I got in the NFL, the whole training and guys being cut from the practice squad, it’s all been crazy. I remember talking to Cam (Brown) like a week into training camp. We already had some guys that had to go home and stuff like that because of the covid stuff and all that. It was just like a welcome to the NFL. That’s continued but that’s just the reality of what the NFL is. Definitely surprised by some of the things. I’m getting a little bit more desensitized to it just because I ‘ve gotten to see a fair share of it.
Q: What has it been like playing for coach (Bret) Bielema in terms of what kind of coach is he and how much has he helped you develop throughout the season?
A: He’s helped so much. I’d say the biggest thing that works so well for Coach B is he’s such a great teacher. I think that a lot of times you can get coaches that aren’t specifically great teachers. That dude is a great teacher. He’s super detailed with it. For a rookie at the beginning, it was a lot to take in. As we’ve progressed throughout the year and all that kind of stuff, it’s paid off so much. The amount of detail, the amount of structure, the amount of focused teaching and all that kind of stuff. He’s not one of those guys that’s, ‘you better know what you’re doing, otherwise you’re screwed, get off the field.’ (He is,) ‘I’m going to make sure they you know what you’re doing.’ It’s paid huge dividends for me and Cam and Niko (Lalos) and all those guys. Big shoutout to coach B, he’s a great coach.
Q: The coaches made it pretty clear that the game plan is a lot different or may change from Russell Wilson now to this week. Do the same principles apply with Kyler Murray running around and being a mobile quarterback?
A: In a sense, they do. Even though they are both mobile quarterbacks, they’re completely different. I’d say that Daniel Jones is a mobile quarterback, but he’s completely different. Everybody has their own specific tendencies. They’ve got their own skillset. As a defense, are biggest job is to exploit what they struggle with. We have different focuses. What works really well against Russell Wilson was we had a game plan and we executed that game plan as an entire defense. It wasn’t one single player having a crazy game. It was collectively. When we rushed, we rushed together. The d-backs played unbelievable and that allowed us to get home. It allowed him to pat the ball. Some of those things carry over into this game, but with a couple different focuses and specific aim, I guess.
Q: You talked about Bret and how great a teacher he is. What separates him from the other teachers you’ve had in the past?
A: I just think that everybody has a different coaching style. Different styles work well for different people. Coach B’s detail is really what I think works so well for me. When he built the defense from the beginning, he built it from the foundation and then worked in the detail. It wasn’t just like sporadic, okay here is what you have to do now, memorize this. It wasn’t memorization. It was one plus two equals three because two minus one is one. There was a process to it. There was a precursor understanding of this is how I want to build my outside linebacker room based on their skills and how they are going to fit into our defense. That’s what I’ve really liked. It’s allowed me to get a complete understanding of our defense.
Q: As a young player, how much of a stabilizing force is Blake (Martinez) to have in the middle of your defense and getting everything lined up?
A: So much. Blake’s like having another coach on the field. Especially when I was doing inside linebacker stuff, that dude was literally telling me what I was supposed to be doing every single play. But throughout a game, Blake is calling out everything. He’s calling our formations, he’s calling out where we’re setting the front at times, he’s reminding the d-line what they’re supposed to be doing, he’s reminding the outside linebackers what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s really like having another coach on the field.
Q: Now he obviously got knocked out of the end of last game. You had to play without him for a series and a half, I don’t know what his status is for Sunday. How much of an adjustment is it when he wasn’t on the field or if he isn’t on the field on Sunday?
A: That just means that the guys around him need to elevate their communication. That’s one thing that he does really, really well. When Blake went down, that was one of those things where, as a whole defense, we just need to communicate more to make up for that.