Todd Wash - Thursday, November 14, 2019

(On how he would evaluate S Jarrod Wilson this season) "You do not see the splash plays, but he is executing at a very high level. He has had a couple of opportunities with his hands on the ball and stuff like that where you wish he would have come down with the play. He is solid. He is executing, and he is really our communicator in the back end. Ronnie [Harrison] does a nice job communicating, but [Wilson] is really quick with the communication on our checks and stuff like that. We obviously feel good with J-Dub at free safety. There are always things that we need to improve on and J-Dub would be the first one to say that, but we showed an interception that [we] had today in the meeting and you can tell that he is biting at the bit trying to get one for himself. It will come in time, but he has to continue to play within the scheme and he will make some splash plays, there is no doubt."

(On Wilson playing more) "Yes, the durability, for sure. It is a physical game and he has played every snap. With him, obviously not just defense, but special teams, there is a big trust factor from us as a coaching staff, that whatever we do, whatever we ask him to do, he's going to go out and execute. You have to give credit to the kid for executing not only on defense, but on special teams."

(On what he's seen from DL Taven Bryan) "He's doing a nice job on the line of scrimmage. He's disruptive. I know he wants to be able to make some more plays and stuff like that, but you see the disruption at the line of scrimmage, knocking some players back. [He] had some really nice penetration versus Houston a couple weeks ago, so we're seeing the explosiveness that we drafted and he's only getting better. If you look at it from the beginning of the season to where he's at now, he's gotten better and better. So, he'll continue to get more snaps, obviously he's starting for us. You see improvement on basically the little things and he's starting to make some plays for us."

(On if he has seen improvement in Bryan in a specific area compared to last year) "I think a lot of it is with the ability to shed blocks and make some plays. I think last year, he was just worried about his gap accountability. 'Hey, coach, do you want me in the B [gap], the c [gap],' or whatever gap we put him in, he wanted to do his job. Now you start to see him make some plays outside of what we're really asking him to do. And then that's the reason that we drafted him, so we've seen some really steady improvement from Taven through the last couple three weeks."

(On the importance of consistency in run defense) "It's going to be big. In the off week, we go back and we look at things, where we're at statistically on things, what tendencies that I've developed throughout the first nine games. But that was the biggest thing we came out of, is not only consistently stopping the run, which if you take nine snaps away, we're pretty good. Well, as Monte Kiffin said, 'If you take those away, we're pretty good.' Well shit, they still had nine. We used to kid Kiffin about it all the time, but we just have to have consistency in stopping the run. The other thing we have to get better at is explosives [plays], we've never had this many explosives at this point in the season in the four years that I've been here. We've always been top five in explosives [plays given up], and now we've given up more explosives so far this year then we ever have. So, those are the two biggest things that we have to be able to make sure that we get better at in the second half."

(On if youthfulness in the defense has led to more explosive plays against them) "No, I wouldn't say that. It's just we have to be consistent and stay locked in. A couple of them are maybe some checks that maybe we've missed, that we didn't communicate all the way back. So, maybe a guy didn't think the D-Line was doing this, they thought he was doing something else, so that's really the communication and the consistency within the game plan each and every week."

(On how good the Colts offensive line is) "I think they're darn close [to the best]. I think their GM, and their coaching staff's done a great job. A year ago, we said, 'Hey, they're building this thing around [Andrew] Luck, and they're starting with it up front to protect him.' And they're doing the same thing now. If you're strong up front on both sides of the football, you have a chance each and every Sunday. Obviously, their center in [Ryan] Kelly, their left guard [Quenton Nelson] is as good as there is in football. He does a nice job in pass protection; he can grade you out at the point of attack and he's really good at pulling. You see that a lot in their gap schemes and stuff that they do. He's one of the elite guards in the game of football right now."

(On if there is a difference in the way a head coach who was a former QB calls plays) "I think they want to make it easy on the quarterback, because they've played quarterback. Talking with [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott [Milanovich], he's had some background with their head coach and stuff. He tries to make it easy on their quarterback with their RPO's, a high percentage completions and stuff like that. So, you see a lot of that in their system. Obviously, they've got some injuries and stuff on the outside, so you don't see that really the deep, deep shots down the field on the outside. You see a controlled passing game. Jacoby [Brissett] is very, very accurate. He makes good decisions, he knows where the ball's going pre-snap, which you can tell that's a quarterback in this league, but he really makes the offense go with his consistency and his accuracy."

(On why he thinks there is a correlation recently between having success as a head coach and being a former QB) "I haven't obviously looked into that, but it just does seem like it's quarterback friendly. And this league is driven by quarterbacks. We can say what we want about running backs and wide receivers, if you have a quarterback that can execute down in and down out, they're tough to beat. I think these guys in these systems that you talked about, we used to play [Jim] Harbaugh out in Seattle, it was quarterback friendly. And they could make good decisions, get the ball out quick so they're not getting hit, and if we can kind of take some of those things away and we can get after a quarterback, that's really what all defenses try to do in the league."

(On if the quarterbacks are getting the schemes from their coaches) "Well, I mean it's the scheme. I don't think the players go in there and draw them up."

(On if quarterbacks get their 'quarterback friendly' mentality from their coaches who used to play quarterback) "Right. And a defensive head coach, whoever it may be, we've never coached a quarterback probably, so we don't really know what that's like, we have to put that trust in an offensive coordinator. But, when you're a quarterback coach, you know what quarterbacks like, what they don't like, and you're going to put him in position to be successful."

(On if CB A.J. Bouye has had a new role since the departure of Jalen Ramsey) "We've traveled him a little bit. I think I talked about that a couple weeks ago, we traveled him to [Deandre] Hop[kins] and that kind of stuff. So, you see really a heightened sense of urgency out of A.J. I think he's played really well the last three, four weeks. Before, he was always drawing [the] number two [receiver], it might have been the way it was at that point in time, but you see a sense of urgency out of him and he likes the idea. I think [Secondary Coach – Cornerbacks] Tim's [Walton] done a nice job of getting him early in the week and saying, 'Hey you're traveling this week, you're not traveling,' whatever it may be. And he can really concentrate and study on one guy. When he was the guy that played the other side of the field, he really didn't know who he was going to line up on, so he can really get it narrowed down to what the guy is that he's going to line up on when we travel."

(On his evaluation of the linebacker position through the first half of the season) "I think they're solid. Obviously, [Linebackers Coach] Mark [Collins] and I talked just the other day, we have to be more consistent in the run game. And everybody says it's the linebackers, well, it's everybody. Every one of our safeties are down in the box, our corners are down there on the nub sides, but what we see is they're playing well versus the pass. All of our linebackers can run, which is very important in our system. So, I like how we match up versus tight ends and running backs. I think as a whole, we all have to get more consistent, that's the biggest theme that we have going into the second half of the season here, but I think they've been solid. Myles [Jack] has done a really nice job of being our quarterback in our system. When Quincy [Williams] was playing, there was some growing pains early on, but I think he's also improved, we see it at practice. And then the addition of [Najee] Goode really adds some stability and some consistency at that [weakside linebacker] spot."

(On what sticks out to him about rookie DE Josh Allen) "A lot of it is just his athletic ability. We talked that he really hasn't scratched the surface yet. His big thing is, he wants to have consistency. I was in the D-Line room yesterday and he came out with a couple questions and I was like, 'Who is this kid?' So, he's really trying to make sure he learns the details, but just the physical ability, him coming out of Kentucky, has allowed him to be successful. He's a big, strong kid that can run and he understands leverage and angles as a pass rusher, and you've seen that success early on."

(On what concerns him the most about the Colts offense) "Well, obviously, they have two exceptional tight ends, really three with [Mo Alie-] Cox. They're a matchup nightmare. Everybody says Jack [Doyle], 'He's a jack of all trades, master of none.' I call BS on that. He's an exceptional Y when they put him at the Y. He can block defensive ends. [He] does a nice job of stretching people in the run game, and then he's a matchup problem. He's big, he's strong. [He] does a nice job with his catch radius, obviously he's a bigger guy, so Jack is a concern. And then you have [Eric] Ebron. He's basically a 6'5" wideout. They don't ask him [often] to block and stuff, which is smart by their coaching staff, but he is a matchup problem. You have to decide, 'Do I go base, do I stay base when he's in the game? Do I go nickel? Do you go dime, if it's an 11-personnel?' So, he's a matchup guy that they put in position where I think Jacoby, and even their other quarterback, felt really comfortable with him, not only in the red zone but out in the field. So, I think those tight ends are really issues that we're going to have to deal with this week."

(On what he stresses to his front seven when playing bigger sized quarterbacks like Jacoby Brissett) "Obviously we have a strike zone, we talked about that. It's hard to even touch quarterbacks now with the rules and stuff that we have in the league. But for us, you see Jacoby extend a lot of plays. And [Deshaun] Watson did the same thing. We had our hands on him. We really have to get our shoulder into their midsection and try to wrap them up. If you go around their legs, you don't have a sure tackle [and] he's able to throw the ball. You see some of those with Jacoby already this season. But we have to be able to get our shoulder on to them and get them wrapped up is the biggest thing we're talking about, because he can extend plays and I think their receivers do a nice job of getting open once those plays are extended."

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