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Monday Transcript: Safety Julian Love

Eric from BBI : Admin : 10/31/2022 5:50 pm
Safety Julian Love

Q: You were in (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton's draft class, right?

A: Yeah, 2019.

Q: That's what I thought. So, you've been through kind of what he went through earlier this year. There was a time where you were kind of not playing very much and had to fight your way back. I'm wondering how much respect this team has for Darius going from an inactive healthy scratch in Week 1 to not getting a single target Weeks 2 and 3, and now he's third on your team in yards for scrimmage behind (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) and (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones),.

A: In the locker room, everyone is a fan of Slay, he's a well composed guy; he doesn't speak too much at times, but he's definitely a team favorite in the locker room. Yeah, it's tough to get from that place to where he is now. It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of inner motivation to get to where he's gotten. It's tough but he's fought through, and he's made some big plays for us.

Q: The last couple of years the record was 2-6, 1-7, 2-6, 1-7, and now it's 6-2. Is there any way to put in perspective how big of a turnaround that is?

A: It definitely can't be overstated. That is credit to how we go about each week. Whether we win or lose, the mission and kind of the focus stays the same the Monday after we come in the following week. That's top down. That starts with (General Manager Joe) Schoen and Coach Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll). They've done a great job of keeping it in perspective week to week.

Q: You're 6-2 now. Do you let yourself think that if we win three, four, five more games, we're back in the playoffs?

A: I think for me, I know Coach Dabs does this as well, you put the season into quarters. The first quarter we were 3-1. The second quarter we were 3-1. Really, if you keep on that path, things look good for you. But you've got to keep it segmented. You can't think about the whole picture, this whole second half. We just know that we have a bye week. Obviously, we need to rest. We need to take it seriously this bye week because our bodies need to recover. It's been a grueling past two months. When we come back, we'll play the Texans, and it starts then with them. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves because we haven't to this point, so we want to stay on that path.

Q: Is yesterday kind of a reminder that you guys are a good team, but when you have those little breakdowns, it can fall apart?

A: I mean, yeah. You just described what football is in the NFL. You might be a good team, but if you have breakdowns, then you lose games. That's what it was for us yesterday – turnovers, penalties. That's the story of the game in the league and we've done a great job up to this point of keeping that in check, so we're going to clear that stuff out of the way and handle that. Moving forward, we've got to continue to be on the right path that we've been on.

Q: What impressed you most about the defense in the first eight games, and what do you think needs to be worked on when you guys get back to go to another level?

A: I think the most pressing thing that stood out to me was our situational football. We've done such a good job on third down and in the red zone, two-minute drills. That's something that is talked about a lot. It's a common thing that coaches say, but it's not just coach talk for us. It's something that we've strived to be good at, and we've done a great job of it so far. I think we've done a great job of limiting points as well. Teams might have yards, but we've been holding them. And there is that (inaudible). That's something we definitely have excitement for and something we have to continue and something to improve on. I think it's just general fundamental football. I think we want to start games fast; we want to create more turnovers. It's all things that are attainable. With that, it's really just communication and playing more in sync. Guys continue to be selfless each day, and that will get us to where we want to go.

Q: Have you ever been part of a defense – it seems like (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) is able to get guys, and even if it's for four or five plays – that uses so many guys every game?

A: I don't know if I've been a part of a defense like that. But in the successful defenses that I've been a part of my whole life, even dating back to college and all that stuff, it has taken not only the 'stars' of the team to be making plays, but it takes guys to step up in the crucial situations. And that's what it has been for us. You see guys, off the top of my head, like yesterday (Outside Linebacker) Tomon Fox had a really good game. That's a rookie – a guy who's really come along and earned his way and stuff like that. Guys keep flashing all over the place. Guys need to continue to flash and be staples on this defense, on this team, for us to be successful.

Q: You're 6-2. I think your team has outscored the opponents by six points. Before this past week, you're the only team in the league where every game was decided by one score. Can a team continue along that path, can you guys continue to win that way, or at some point, do you think that you're going to have to get better at some things on either side of the ball where you can have a little margin?

A: Yeah, I think it could be like that for sure. As long as we just continue to do the important things, which is take care of the football, take the football away, stop the run, get our running offense going, play complementary football. If we do all that – regardless of the score – we're going to win games. That's what it's kind of been for us. Yeah, we want to be winning by more and all that stuff, but at the end of the day, if we win by one or we win by 30, a 'W' is a 'W.' That's kind of been our mindset. Is it sustainable? Yeah, because it's really based off of all the fundamentals of being successful at football. That's kind of what Dabs harps on each day.

Q: It does put a big stress on everybody, right? In the fourth quarter when the ball bounces this way or that way, there's really very little margin for error with this group.

A: Yeah, the margin for error is tight, for sure. But I always go back to what Wink told us right before the season started – in moments, like sudden change moments (where) a turnover happens or something like that, and normally guys are like, 'Oh, man. We've got to go back on the field.' He said something and he was like, 'You should be excited to go back on the field to showcase who you are. I want you to be excited to run back on the field no matter the circumstances.' So, that's what I've taken into account and has been my mindset each time we go out there, especially in those pressure situations. I'm like, 'Alright. Now it's time to let my personality show through my play.' I think this team has owned that, too, so that's why you see us making these big plays in key situations.

Q: I think traditionally people in this league talk about attacking the opponent, studying the tendencies of the opponent. It strikes me what makes this defense a little different and how Wink approaches things is that you guys not only look at their tendencies but your own tendencies. Week to week, you try to change your tendencies so that if they hit you with a punch, you know you can counter with something that maybe they haven't seen before. How much of a challenge has that been in the first half of the season? Do you almost see this defense getting better in the second half because everyone is more focused on that idea that, 'This is how we can grow as a defense by focusing on ourselves, not necessarily how we're going to attack the other team'?

A: I think better now than ever is a time to evaluate yourself and evaluate what you've done up to this point. Obviously, you want to study opponents, and we're going to continue to do that. That's a part of the game. But Wink has done a great job – not just Wink, but the entire staff. (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome Henderson has done a great job. (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew Wilkins has been huge for us in our game tape. (Defensive Assistant) Kevin Wilkins, everybody top down on the defensive side of the ball. Being really intentional about how we want to go about things and why we want to go about things. If you do – I'm sure some of you will do a tape study of the past eight games or whatever – if you look at our looks from each game to each game, it's really different. What we were doing Week 1 to this past game, it's always changing. That's part of the method to the madness. I know people think Wink just sends people on blitzes, but there's a method to it. That's something that's made us successful on defense. You'll continue to see that. We want to evolve as a team. We're not going to be stagnant and let people scheme us up. We want to continue to scheme opponents and switch up how we do things.
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