Todd Wash - Thursday, October 3, 2019

(On what kind of challenge Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey poses) "It's a very unique challenge. We were talking earlier in the week, if he's not the best, he's one of the best players we've played against all year. I think [Panthers Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Norv] Turner does a really nice job of figuring out different ways to try to get miss-matches with him on linebackers. You see safeties try to cover him, so he is something that obviously we have to know where he's at, at all times on the field, and try to do some different things to try to take care of him, but he's playing like an MVP candidate right now."

(On if you have to bracket McCaffrey) "I'm not sure what we're going to do yet. We have a lot of time before Sunday. We'll figure it out as we go through the week."

(On McCaffrey being able to run between offensive tackles) "He can do everything. They've limited some personnel groupings and stuff as they've gone the last couple weeks, but I think he does a lot of his damage when he can get to the outside, bounce and use his athletic ability in space. He makes a lot of people miss, so for us once again, tackling in space and trying to get him covered in the pass game is going to be the issue for us this week."

(On LB Quincy Williams' reaction times) "At times, if he is a step late, maybe it's not diagnosed as fast as you'd like it, but he has the speed to catch up, and that shows up on some of the splash plays that he's had. He's getting better each and every week that we go out. He's missed a lot of time obviously early in the season with the knee issue that he had, but we're seeing progression. And that's the biggest thing for a coach is doing a great job with him of getting him ready to go each week, and he's getting better. So, we feel more and more comfortable putting a little bit more on his plate each week."

(On if he's had conversations with the defensive lineman regarding drawing holding penalties) "We've kind of been up and down a little bit with our pressure on the quarterback. Obviously, we have nine [sacks against Tennessee] and then last week I don't think we had any. We just have to go out and play our game up front. They're very talented. I think the biggest thing is, as long as we can play on an edge, and if we can make them hold us, that's great. But if we run down the middle of people, I think that's easy for them to block us. So, regardless of how the league is calling things right now, for us we just have to go out and play our game up front and good things will happen for us."

(On if it's awkward for him when a player makes a trade demand while trying to game plan) "I wouldn't say there's an awkwardness. Obviously, we're in contact with our trainers and we have an idea of what's going to happen. So, I think as a coaching staff we kind of lean and prepare that way. Especially early in the week right now, we kind of have an idea of where Jalen's at. We just have to go in and play our game, regardless of who's out there. If it's Tre [Herndon], D.J. [Hayden], whoever it might be. We just have to play our game, but it does hurt not having him on the field. He's an exceptional player, and we want to get him on the grass as quick as we can."

(On if he feels better about Ramsey playing this week after resting last week) "To me, I know where he's at. I don't know if that gets him where he needs to be or if it doesn't get where he needs to be. Like I said, I was in school a long time, but I'm not a doctor. So, we'll see at the end of the week, but as a coaching staff, obviously we hope he's on the grass every snap."

(On the versatility of D.J. Hayden) "When we picked him up, we thought it was a real good pick up. He can play inside. He can play outside. He's a really good guy that can come off of the edge and blitz, so he's got a unique skillset to play nickel. We play him outside some, but we know that he's a very good nickel and the things that we do within our system that fits really, really well. So, I think up until this point, the whole season, D.J.'s played really well for us and hopefully he can continue that this week."

(On if the lack of the pass rush last week was because of Broncos QB Joe Flacco releasing the ball quickly) "[Joe] Flacco gets rid of it quick, we knew going into the game. I think everybody threw the number, '2.44,' and it was coming out quick. But if we can get them to third and long, I think that really gives us a chance to get there, and we didn't do a great job of that last week. For us, we have to control first and second downs. We talked about with the defensive line, we have to earn the right to rush the passer, and to do that, we have to do a good job on first and second down to try to get them behind the sticks on third down."

(On how Yannick Ngakoue has played since coming back from the hamstring injury) "He's been solid. We've tried to limit him during the week so when we get to Sunday, he's healthy. He's had some disruptions. He's been just a little bit late on some things. The biggest thing him and I talk about is you can't start pressing. Anytime a rusher really goes and says, 'I have to get one, I have to get one,' they usually aren't going to get one. So, we've talked about going out, executing your game plan, you've played very well up until this point and it'll be another opportunity on Sunday.'

(On how rookie DE Josh Allen has performed over his first four games) "Very good. You can tell when we get into some different type packages, we have him and Yan[nick Ngakoue] on the field, he's a big, strong guy. He can play the big end. He can play the rush package, so he really gives us some flexibility. He's been solid versus the run in the past. You can feel him and Yan both off of the edge. That was the biggest thing we needed to address, and they did by drafting the young man, so I think he's played extremely well up until this point."

(On how the speed of Quincy Williams and Myles Jack helps defend against the run game) "A lot. We don't have to go with dime package, or a quarter package or anything like that. We can stay base, and that's kind of what this system is. A lot of people that run this system don't play dime, unless they have injuries, because you have to have linebackers that can run, and we're fortunate that we do. So, it allows us to match up versus guys like McCaffrey and some of the other backs we'll face this year."

(On his biggest concern after watching the Week 4 game at Denver game tape) "Explosive plays. We gave up eight explosive plays one drive and gave up two explosives within the same drive for a touchdown. And then we gave up three explosives in that two-minute at the end of the game. So, I think we've given up six explosives in the last two minutes that we've had. So, that's an area that we have to make sure that we address. It is something that really hasn't happened to this defense, just giving up explosive plays and that's a point of emphasis this week, because they have two really good wideouts, obviously the running back, and the tight end [Greg] Olsen. He's been in this league for a long time and doing a great job. So, for us, going into this game, obviously we have to eliminate the explosive plays to make them try to earn everything."

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