AHC/DC Dave Wannstedt
Friday, June 1, 2012
On how the installation of the defense has gone:
The walk-through meetings that we had prior to OTAs gave us a chance to get a little bit of a jumpstart with it. The coaches on defense have done a great job. We've spent a lot of time obviously going through this and the players have been outstanding and responsive to what we're doing. And we're not taking it too fast, obviously taking it probably at a little slower pace. I think at this point where we're at that's the best way to approach this thing. We've got competition. It's tough really to talk much about it because of the pads and we're not banging or doing any of that. When we get the pads on at training camp it's obvious that we've got good speed on defense and the completion is a lot better on defense.
On what he's most looking forward to about this defense:
I think making plays. If you were to ask me to come up with one thing I think we've got guys that can make plays. And that's something that all coaches talk about but a lot of times it's just clinic talk…. how do you make plays? You've got to have athletes. You've got to have players to make plays and I think we've got a good nucleus at all spots; up front, linebacker and secondary-wise. We've got some playmakers and that gives you a chance to flip the game around or win a game, or do enough things to create an awful lot of excitement.
On how different this defense will be than last year:
It's going to be a defensive line friendly scheme. By that I mean we'll be as good as our guys up front. That's how it was at Dallas, at Miami and every place where we've run this scheme. The guys up front it all starts there. If we can get a good rotation going and keep some guys healthy that kind of sets the foundation for what we're trying to get done here. There's going to be some transitions, there's no question about that. Those pre-season games will be very, very important to us because of getting some full speed live work.
On being pleased with the offseason additions to the defense:
It's obvious that we've added talent. That's no secret, But the thing that excites me as much as anything is the talented guys that we brought in are good people that want to win and are willing to work. There's a lot of talented guys out there that I've been involved with, you trade for or you sign in free agency and they have talent but their agenda is not what the team's is. The guys we've signed are as good of people and attitude wise as they are talent. I think that's what's most exciting to me.
On what the primary goal of the OTAs are as far as installation:
Every day we're putting in something different. Every day it's a different coverage, it's a different front or it might be a different blitz. We've got it organized pretty good that I think when we get to about day 11 or 12 we'll be about ready to play a game really to be honest with you. The key will be to come back in training camp and start over again.
On what he has seen from LB Kelvin Sheppard at the middle linebacker position:
I think physically he's a 4-3 middle linebacker. He's not a 4-5 guy that's going to play on the edge but he is a backer that can play inside from tight end to tight end. He's athletic enough to cover tight ends and backs. Last year you've got to go back and we didn't have OTAs. We didn't have any of the camps and then he shows up at training camp and he's about 20 pounds overweight and he pulls his hamstring the first day or two. He had no pre-season games then he started playing halfway through the season. You talk about players and how quick and how much you expect them to develop. He's one that I really expect to benefit from the offseason program, the mini-camps and training camp. This is a defensive scheme where our middle linebacker should make a lot of tackles and you've got to have a guy that's near capable of it and he is.
On Sheppard coming in this season lighter:
He is. He showed up in great shape and his attitude's good. I think he's excited about the scheme.
On his impressions of CB Stephon Gilmore:
He kind of falls into that category where I was talking about Mark Anderson, the free agents and Mario, as far as the talent. He's got the right mindset. He's the right type of person. He doesn't appear, when you watch him warm-up in drills that he's fast as he is but nobody runs by him. I think playing cornerback he's got a little bit more savvy than what some corners might. Obviously he's a size guy. He's got size and he can run. He's got, and I use the word great, but he's got great hand-eye coordination ball skills. If the ball's in the air he's going to go after it.
On if he's planning on the defensive tackles dropping weight:
Obviously they've got to be able to move and get off of blocks. We're not going to get, our defensive linemen will never hear the phrase, "Hey you've got to use up a double team or use up a block." We want them making plays. I think that (Marcell) Dareus is an athlete, Dwan Edwards is an athlete. All those guys are. Kyle Williams might be the beneficiary of this scheme in a positive way as much as anybody because he's not a 320-pounder but he is as athletic as anybody as we have on the defensive line. I'm excited to see him once we get going. I think that he's going to have a chance to make some plays and he will. He's gone to the Pro Bowl. Hopefully we can give him an opportunity to make more plays.
On how long of a learning curve it is for Gilmore to get him where he wants him to be:
That will all come in training camp when we really get the pads on. Right now we can't do one-on-one and press. All the one-one stuff that we do you've got to be off because of contact. We're kind of limited a little bit there but he's getting enough of the work. He's learning the coverages, he's learning the techniques and he's learning the terminology. The physical part will come.
On how important DE Chris Kelsay is to this team:
He's a winner and he can make plays. There's nobody that wants to win more than him. He practices that way, shows it in meetings and shows it in walkthroughs. It's kind of how he lives his life and that's why he's been such a good player for so long.
On what type of player DE Mark Anderson will be:
He's got the quickest feet of any defensive linemen we've got. The guy's got extremely quick feet. I think as an edge rusher we'll see how it unfolds. He's had a good first week. He's really been interesting. I didn't realize he has as good a first step which you've got to have to be a really good pass rusher. And he's working to get better. He was out here hanging around with Kyle and they were talking about techniques so I think his mindset's right to have a big year and help us win.
On how deep of a rotation he wants to have on the defensive line:
You've got to have three tackles and three ends. Now we'll obviously have more than that on the roster but how many are active every week? That's a determining factor. I think when it's all said and done we should have a chance to be pretty close to two deep across the board with guys, not just guys but guys we have confidence in playing and winning for us.
DE Mark Anderson
On his impressions after being on the field with new teammates:
We look good out there. It just feels good to get out there running around with the guys and with the new teammates just learning the system. Everything is flowing right now. We're still learning. Everything is looking pretty good.
On how much talent is on the defensive line:
There's a lot of talent on the defensive line. The whole team's got a lot of talent at each position. Right now we're just working hard each day in the meeting rooms and in the weight room trying to get better for the upcoming season.
On if his perspective has changed now that he's playing on this team when he used to be the opponent:
Everybody works hard. I'm used to being around guys that work hard and try to do all the little things that take to get better. That's what I see out of this group. This group is a real hardworking group just like the blue collar town. Everybody works hard and everybody's trying to get better.
On how much the signing of DE Mario Williams affected his decision to come to Buffalo:
It really didn't affect it too much. Mario and I have experience in Houston together. I talked to him sometime during our offseason and stuff like that. It really didn't have too much of an affect but I just knew what type of player he is. I knew what type of teammate he is on and off the field.
On if the signing of Williams said anything about the team's commitment to improving:
He just said it's a great team, it's a great town and I'd enjoy playing in the system. And if I jumped on board we could make something happen as a unit. I listened to a little bit of that. It didn't affect my decision. I already knew through experience with Mario what type of player and stuff that I was getting myself into.
On what his impressions are so far of working with AHC/DC Dave Wannstedt:
He's a hardworking guy; very smart and very knowledgeable of the game. I like to surround myself around people that are very knowledgeable so I can try to take my game to another level.
On how the competition will be this year at defensive end:
There's always going to be friendly competition. Everybody's going to work out. Everybody wants that spot. Everybody wants to play. The competition's going to be great. You're going to see a lot of guys flying around during camp and stuff. Enjoy the upcoming training camp and upcoming season as well.
On the depth of this defensive line:
I'm not really comparing our defensive line to anybody's defensive line right now. As a defensive line it's always great to be able to rotate and have a fresh body out there on the field when you rest for the pass. You've been giving your all on every play, so of course you're going to get tired. It's good to have some guys that can back you up and will able to go out there and not miss a beat when they're on the field.
On why this system is a good fit for him:
I just think they needed a little help in the pass rush a little bit. Of course we've got Chris Kelsay, a great pass rusher, a great motor guy. We've got the two big guys in the middle. I just feel like with the addition of me and Mario (Williams), I think that will help the pass rush a little bit. Of course we've got a lot of guys out there doing some big things right now. Everybody's looking real good right now.
On how many snaps he might be taking per game:
I'm not sure. That's up to the coaches and stuff so I'm not sure.
On if he's been working on the right or left side in practice:
We all rotate. Everybody is playing both sides. It's a secret (jokingly).