Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: We know sacks aren't the end all be all, we've talked about that quite a bit, by my very unofficial count you only moved (Dallas Quarterback) Cooper Rush off his spot maybe six out of 31 times. I'm assuming that's not a good enough pass rush for you?
A: Definitely not. We talked yesterday and today about how we didn't get enough pressure on the QB. I feel like that starts with the guys up front. Me, mostly. I put a lot on me to get him off his spot, to get him moving, throwing off his back leg and things like that. Just got to be better.
Q: How do you go about that? Do you just toss that up as one bad game? Are there things that you guys weren't doing that you need to do more of? If you can be a little more specific – how do you go about making sure that it's on you to turn it around?
A: Like I said, just pushing the pocket back, making him uncomfortable. As a d-line that's what you have to do. That's the plan every week and that's how you've got to attack it.
Q: I don't know how much you've looked at the Bears yet and (Chicago Quarterback) Justin Fields but he's thrown 45 times in three games. Have you guys talked about how even if you have a good pass rush there might not be very many opportunities to rush him as a passer this week? Has that been talked about at all?
A: For sure. We know that they like running the ball a lot. On third and long, they like running the ball. It's just a game that we've got to bring our lunch pales and go to work. Put our hard hats on and stop the run. It's just going to have to be the ultimate goal.
Q: Were you not happy with the way you stopped the run either on Monday night?
A: Yeah, that was unacceptable from all of us up front. They schemed us up well, got good leverage. We've just got to play harder and more disciplined with our techniques.
Q: When you see that number on Justin Fields, 45 throws through three games, in this league does that number amaze you at this point? You see quarterbacks throw that many times in a game.
A: Right, it's definitely different, but that's their gameplan, that's their scheme. Each week, you've got to stop the offensive schemes.
Q: I believe it was you that said they had a lot of success the other day running to the edges. I'm wondering what you saw when you went back and looked at it as to why they were able to have success that way and what you as an interior guy can do on those plays to do your part and help stuff the run on those plays?
A: Honestly, they were just out-leveraging us on the edge. That's kind of what you saw on film. We've just got to do a better job of knocking the guys back as a unit and pressing the running back hips just to get him down. They just did a really good job scheming us and it was a good team.
Q: How confident are you that you can improve the pass rush and you can improve the run defense in a short time as a unit?
A: We feel like there's a lot of things on us as players that – we were out-leveraged or not tuned in on our techniques in the run game. In pass, a lot of guys throw quick against us, and we've got to learn how to put our hands up and effect quarterbacks in different ways.
Q: Does it talk about the value of (Defensive Lineman) Leo (Williams) when he's not out there too?
A: I feel like the guys behind Leo like (Defensive Lineman) Nick (Williams) and (Defensive Lineman Justin Ellis) Jelly were able to hold it down. Just little things that we got out-leveraged and that's how—or max protection looks. Different things to slow the guys up front to be able to protect the quarterback.
Q: I wanted to ask you about Leo and how he's dealing with this? This is a whole new deal for him, missing games due to injuries. What have you seen from him on the sideline? I know he's been around the team. How's he handling this?
A: He was bringing good energy this weekend and this week. Last week, bringing good energy every day. Obviously, it sucked that he couldn't be out there and he kind of felt that. He just stayed positive, brought some energy, let us know what he was seeing and trying to help us out— still be the leader that he is.
Q: He's always such a positive guy, has this taken a little bit of a toll on that?
A: I wouldn't say that. He always says he has tiger blood or something like that. I just think he's trying to use it as a positive to keep working harder to come back.
Q: (Safety) Xavier McKinney said after the game that forcing turnovers is something you guys knew you needed to do, and it didn't happen. What do you have to do better as a defense to make that happen like you did in Week 2 against Carolina?
A: I would say we've just got to keep attacking the ball. As a whole, be better at attacking the ball and securing tackles. A little extra film study maybe just to jump a couple things or guys up front stripping the ball out. Just little things that you can work on throughout the week that makes you confident enough to get it before the game.
Q: I'm wondering if last year's game with the Bears still sits with you guys at all? It was late in the season, like Week 16 out there and if my memory serves me right – they jumped out like 24-0 pretty early.
A: No, it doesn't. It's a new team, new time, new coaches, new year. We don't really think about that last year, just come and play this week.