*THURSDAY PODIUM TRANSCRIPTS: Week 6 vs. BEARS
Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg, Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, & Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
How much do you like having a guy like RB Bobby Rainey back? He is familiar with what you guys have done going back to preseason, and obviously, has some special teams skills. (Luke Jones)"Bobby Rainey is a really good example of players in this league who teams value. You can see that as his career continues. When he came here as a young player, you noticed right away that as a running back, he possessed a lot of defensive skills. He is able to get off blocks, he is a really good tackler, and his career developed because of those skills. He can go to different places and play for different teams. He can run the punt team, he can be the returner. He has played in a variety of different roles on a variety of different teams. He is a great example for our young players on how to extend a career. We are bringing him in here to play. We are bringing him in here to help us in a variety of different ways, aside from just his running back role."
After watching the Bears' fake punt, do you have to anticipate that they are going to run it again? (Ed Lee) "You anticipate it every week. It is no different this week from any other week. But the fact that they shot one of their bullets, I do not anticipate that particular play. But we were – as you all know and you all reminded me – we were subjected to the same kind of punishment earlier in the year against Jacksonville. We are on the lookout, but honestly, we always are. This is no different. This is a very well-coached team. They are looking for things on us. We are looking for things on them. Always, in the NFL, you have to do a really good job of analyzing yourself and see what you are doing in certain situations and what makes you vulnerable. We are trying to prevent that."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement:"Let's talk about the last game briefly. The players did a heck of a job. The O-line did a heck of a job; Joe [Flacco] didn't get sacked once. Joe is a big part of that as well. The line is the biggest part of it, though. However, the tight ends and backs did a heck of a job as well. That was a big part of it. We ran the ball fairly well. We had some big plays, and the fellas played pretty consistently. It felt like the first halves, at least of the first couple of ballgames, where the guys did a heck of a job. Moving on to Chicago coming here, it is a great opportunity against a very good defense. They are highly ranked in many areas, so we have to be on. We have lost a couple of our men again, so the guys who are playing have to play very well. Everybody around them has to play just a little bit better. That is sort of the way we will go about our business."
How important do you think it was to take that deep shot to WR Mike Wallace early? Moving forward, is that something you would like to … Maybe not the first play of the game, but early on, push the ball down the field? (Luke Jones)"We have done it several times. Now, sometimes when you call it, they go down the field, and sometimes they go to the No. 2 [option] or even a checkdown. Yes, that is part of our deal. I will tell you, I sort of had to revamp just a little bit and look at myself just a little bit after those two weeks. I'll tell you what, the players came out and just played lights out with great confidence. That is part of it. We talked about it already. We ran the ball pretty well. We got some of the big plays, and we played pretty consistent."
You just had one penalty. (Pete Gilbert)"One penalty, yes. That one penalty we gave away three points. That is not right. You go back and you say, 'One penalty, that is pretty good.' But heck, it was three points right there at the end of the half."
How much do you look at a play like that and say, "That is the way the officiating crew called it," or do you say, "There could be holding on every play?" (Pete Gilbert)"There is some of that, certainly. However, our team played pretty clean. I will say that as well. You do make a good point, and some of it is that – the [officiating] crew."
You said you kind of had to revamp yourself after those two weeks. What do you mean by that? (Ryan Mink)"Just how we operate. What do we do best? Am I putting the guys in the right spots? You better look at yourself first or nothing gets done. You have to go through that process."
Is your assessment of what you do best different than it was during the first part of the season? (Bo Smolka)"Some of it, yes. We lost Danny [Woodhead] in the first drive. We forget about Alex [Lewis], and then we lose our All-Pro lineman [Marshal Yanda]. That is life. That is life in this league. You have to continue to maneuver a little bit on the strengths of your team."
The play that QB Joe Flacco made when he got his foot stepped on and then got back up and threw for a first down … Do you think that was the best play you have seen from him since you have been his coach? (Ryan Mink)"Oh, heck, he has made some great, great plays. I haven't thought about that, so I could not say that. It was a heck of a play. I think he has made some other great plays. I think the first play of the game was a heck of a throw, so I guess it depends how you view it. It was a great play – a great play. It kept the drive going."
What do you like about RB Javorius "Buck" Allen? You will be using him a little more with RB Terrance West being out. What are some of his attributes that have led him to be a productive guy? (Jamison Hensley)"Well, first of all, Terrance is a good player. 'Buck' is a guy that you trust with virtually everything. He is a very, very consistent, high-level type of player. I am happy with what he has done, and he certainly has some strengths that we try to utilize. We try to utilize all the fellas and get it to some of the guys a little bit more often. He is certainly one of those."
You mentioned some of the challenges you guys have had at guard from a health standpoint. How important has C Ryan Jensen been in solidifying the middle of the offensive line? (Luke Jones)"He is a first-year sort of starter. He has started other ball games certainly, but he took over that center job and sort of has grabbed the bull by the horns and ran with it. He is a great communicator. He is a fine player. He is a tough guy. In fact, that is a good point. We talked – I don't know if it was yesterday or today – about communicating now. You guys know how up front that stuff happens fast and furious. It is wicked fast, so the communication has to be there. We have been through several guys, and he has done a great job of sort of running the show there."
Why do you think that things clicked for the offensive line overall the way that they did on Sunday? (Childs Walker)"[Offensive line coach] Joe 'D' [D'Alessandris] has done just a fabulous job of plugging guys in. Those guys that he has plugged in have played at a pretty high level. That is an ongoing process. I think the line has played pretty well throughout the course of the year. We have a long ways to go. We have a lot of work to put in to be great, so I think Joe 'D' [D'Alessandris] has quite a little bit to do with that, and then [it's] the players' mentality. It takes a certain mentality to play in this league – play at a high level consistently. I think we have a bunch of players that have that mentality."
Going back to RB Javorius Allen, have you noticed a different purpose in him after being sort of underutilized last year? (Ed Lee) "'Buck' is a good football player. We talked about that mentality. He has always had that. He is always very, very well prepared. So when he gets his opportunity, he makes the most of it. It doesn't surprise me. We have always had great confidence in 'Buck,' and he is making the most of it right now."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
How impressed have you been with what DT Willie Henry has been able to do with the inside pass rush? (Luke Jones) "He's done a good job there, but he's also done a good job against the run. I looked out there one time last week, and I think we had Tyus [Bowser] at one end, we had Timmy Williams at one end, Willie Henry inside, along with Michael Pierce, and that was a different looking group. They did a great job. I'm really proud, really pleased with the way they're not only playing the pass, but playing the run."
What do you see out of Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky? (Ryan Mink)"This guy has a great future in this league. The guy has a strong arm. You watch him in the preseason, you watch him even in [the] last game on rollouts and stuff – the guy has a really strong arm. I think he has good vision, is very, very athletic, really does a great job on the rollouts. He can throw the ball. He doesn't even have to come to a stop to throw the ball. He can throw it on the run, can spin it really well. This guy has a very, very bright future in this league."
*Is the challenge with a rookie quarterback to try to make them think more, or to try to do things that will make them hesitate? (Ryan Mink) *"I wouldn't tell you what I was going to do if … I don't know why you asked the question – you know I'm not going to tell you anything. *(laughter) *So, the bottom line is, we have to play what we play. We cannot confuse ourselves, though. Sometimes you get too cute and think you're doing something to really be clever to outfox somebody else, and you outfox yourself. We just have to make sure we can do what we can do."
How important is it to have former Raven Zachary Orr as a coaching assistant to help guide young linebackers like ILB Patrick "Peanut" Onwuasor?* (Pete Gilbert)* "Zach's done a great job here jumping in for us. We all knew when he first had to leave, because of the injury, we said, 'This guy needs to be a coach.' He's really good. But, it's really good for Patrick to identify with a guy that was just there. It's one thing to hear a coach talk, from having seen it all, and stuff like that. But, the voice of experience, guys that have played, that can coach – because not every player that ever played can coach. Sometimes, guys get frustrated, because the guys can't do it, and they can't coach them because they can't understand why they can't do it because they could do it. Well, Zach is not like that; Zach can coach and be detailed. I think with a young guy like that, with Patrick dealing with a young guy, I think it's invaluable."
What did you see out of the run defense? You were able to tighten it up in the second half. What was the key there? What's the biggest key for stopping the Bears' run? (Luke Jones) "The biggest key for last week was … We had it tightened up, we thought, on the very first couple of plays. The thing of it is, we just did not play what we had adjusted to all week, correctly. All we had to do was just go play it correctly, and when we did, they didn't get anything. So, it's just a matter of we just didn't do what we needed to, and had talked about doing, and once we got on the sideline and explained that we have to stay with this – we were able to do that. [Chicago] is a really good running team. It's different styles of backs than what we've faced in the last couple weeks. They are quick and fast; they're downhill, but they can also … '29' [Tarik Cohen] can turn. It's like a punt returner every time he gets the ball; he can go anywhere. So, what we have to have is great eyes, really have to do a good job of just keeping everything really boxed in and not letting anybody get out. Everybody just really has to do their assignment. That's the key when you play a good running team like this: Everybody do your job, be where you're supposed to be, have good eyes. To me, last week, the only plays that really hurt us were the three loose plays, where the quarterback got out and scrambled back and threw one, then he scrambled out when he threw the touchdown pass, and he scrambled out in the third-down in the red zone. Those three plays were the only ones. So, we can't have loose plays against this quarterback, and especially, against these running backs."
**What makes a linebacker good in coverage? What's the key? *(Bo Smolka) *"[It's] great eyes and feet. The biggest thing is, if you're in zone, is being able to read the quarterback and to anticipate and get a great break on the ball – having yourself in good body position to do that. Anybody can tell a guy to drop 10, 12 yards and then break on the ball. But the idea of breaking on the ball means that you really have to have your weight down, be ready to break, and it has to be a quick break – not three more steps after you decide to break; that's kind of the thing. The other thing in man coverage is being able to run with guys. Obviously, that's No. 1. No. 2, guys have a tendency to want to take their eyes off of their guy at look at the quarterback, and usually all you're going to do is watch it get completed. So, I always use the phrase, 'Keep your eyes on your luggage,' well, you have to keep your eyes on your man, and you have to run with him. There's a time when the guy is downfield, and the ball is in the air, you can look – but not until that ball's in the air. If you look before that, usually the guy is going to be drifting away from you, because you don't know where he is. So, it's those two things: One, really just playing with great body control – which really means your feet and your eyes in zone [coverage] – and in man [coverage], just concentrating on your man."
What have you seen from OLB Matthew Judon? (Ed Lee) "Matt Judon had a great game in all areas on Sunday. I think the guy played an outstanding game. He had, I think, one play that I can recall; I can't even remember now exactly what it was, but I remember writing it down. He just really had an outstanding game. He had an outstanding game in the run game; he had an outstanding game in the pass game. [Oakland] tried to throw a wheel route on him down there in the red zone, and he covered it. He had some great drops, he had a great drop and knocked it out, I think, start of the second half. They tried to throw a little bubble screen; he was right where he should be. I think he had an outstanding game all the way across the board."
DT Matthew Judon is still looking for his first sack. Do you think he's pressing in that area? (Ed Lee)"No, it'll come. I don't think it's that at all. There are also some times I ask him to do some things that maybe you guys might not necessarily see. Like, Pernell McPhee, who is now playing for Chicago, when we had him here a couple years ago, he created a lot of sacks for a lot of other people. We asked him to do a lot of things, and he did it very, very well. Sometimes, that could be the case, but I don't think he's pressing. I think they'll come."
Where have you seen DT Willie Henry make strides in his preparation from last year to this year? (Ryan Mink) "Just maturity-wise, all the way across the board. When I say 'maturity,' I mean that as a football player; I don't mean that as an immature [person] or anything like that. Maturity as a football player means you're now studying it more, you're into it more, you understand the gameplan more, you understand what the guy next to you is doing, 'How is that going to affect me? Will I affect the linebacker behind me?' To me, that's maturity. I talk about it, because a mature football player knows, what I do, affects somebody else. An immature football player is just [like], 'I have to be in the b-gap, and that's all I have to do.' That's what I'm talking about – not him as a person. He's really gotten to a point now where he really understands the scheme and how we want to do things, and when I explain things … I can just tell in the classroom when I look at him that he's really understanding what we're talking about. I think he's just become a good pro."