Linebacker Blake Martinez
Q: What is the mood of your defense this week coming off how you guys played last week?
A: I think as competitors, we are hungry to get back out there. Hungry to make the corrections. We looked back at the tape, it was little things here and there. Just winning one on one matchups, just focusing in on the details. If we do that, we're a really good defense. It's just making sure we're consistent.
Q: Where's the drop off been, in your assessment so far, based on where you were last season and what we've seen so far?
A: I think the biggest thing is just the attention to detail. I think there's just little lax lapses out there and they're finding it this year I think more. I think for us, it's just focusing in on those things because it ends up being kind of a one-off thing. One guy here, one guy there, or you go to the sideline and it's like, 'Oh okay, hey, I need to fix this small thing.' Next thing you know it's a big snowball effect.
Q: You talk about the attention to detail a lot and finding it, is some of that because you guys are in zone defense?
A: Yeah, I think at the end of the day, it just comes down to whether it's zone or man or anything. You understand where your help is, where your other zone droppers are, where you can anticipate to be, reading off the quarterbacks eyes. Just small things like that and being one or two steps quicker to be able to break the ball up instead of just making a tackle.
Q: Have teams adjusted coming off of last years tape to how you guys try to disguise coverages or how you scheme?
A: Potentially. Probably in some sort, some way. (The) more tape you put out there, teams are going to look at some kind of tendencies we have. Overall, I think when we look back at the tape, it's more on us than the other team.
Q: Obviously the way you guys lost that game was unusual to say the least. Did you guys come back here angry? Are you guys pissed as a defense and how that unfolded?
A: Yeah, 100 percent. I think when you go out there as a defense, you want to have the game on your shoulders, you want to be able to make those plays, you want to be able to get off the field. It's just one of those moments where it was too many times where it was like, 'Okay, hey, I got this next one. I'll be better on this next one.' Then it's another guy, 'I've got to get better on this one.' At that point we've got to stop that and switch it around and hold everyone accountable and make sure we have that string of three or four plays to get off the field.
Q: Virtually everyone on the defense you now know and are comfortable with. Do you anticipate those adjustments should be made more quickly now?
A: Definitely. I think as we grow comfortable across the board and we grow through these mistakes and these types of things that have happened to us to not help us win games, I think as we get that going and like I said, it comes down to the attention to detail. Once that comes, every single play or at least 95 percent of the time, then we have a chance to go out and win games.
Q: As a leader and a captain, does this take you a little bit by surprise that there would be lapses here or there so frequently throughout the whole defense?
A: I mean you go through OTA's, you go through training camp, you go through preseason, you work extremely hard and are focused and making sure you're doing everything right. You go out there and you don't perform the way you expected to, it's definitely something we want to turn around.
Q: Do you think your guy's lack of pressure on the opposing quarterback is exposing things that wouldn't be exposed if they didn't have as much time?
A: I mean yeah, I think that's kind of self-explanatory in the sense if we get after a quarterback, he's not able to see his second, third, fourth read and now he's having to scramble or throw the ball away or things like that. I think rush kind of goes with coverage. You have good rush, good pressure, it's hard for teams to move with the coverage.
Q: How problematic is it to give (Falcons Quarterback) Matt Ryan a lot of time, given how much he's seen and how much he can pick a defense apart with his eyes?
A: Definitely, I think he was an MVP quarterback for a reason. (He has) a lot of experience. I think getting out there you don't want to get him in to that MVP groove. That's kind of the game plan – make sure he doesn't get comfortable and we're able to kind of dictate the game.
Q: What kind of a challenge does a guy like (Falcons Tight End) Kyle Pitts present at tight end?
A: Oh yeah, (he's) definitely a unicorn athlete. He's basically a wide receiver, tight end at the same time. It's somebody you have to know where he's at all times, what formations he's in and just try to see certain tendencies and then go and make plays against someone like that.
Q: Does he remind you of anyone that you've seen when you've studied him?
A: No, I think he's a one of one. In the collector space, he's definitely a one of one and he's a freak.