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Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

Posted Nov 23, 2012

On why Panthers QB Cam Newton is having a more difficult season than last year: "I don't think he's having a difficult time. I think that anytime you have a good rookie year, they're going to key in on you the next year. There are teams that are making it difficult, but he's still Cam Newton. He's still doing a lot of the things that he did as a rookie that make him successful."

On how it helps to face Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and Newton in back to back weeks: "He's a bigger guy than RG III. He's just as fast and probably (has) a little bit stronger arm throwing the ball outside at this stage. That's not a negative on RG III, it's just Cam in the sophomore year of his career. He can handle more, and obviously a second-year quarterback can. It's trying to get him down. He has the supporting cast with (TE Greg) Olsen, he has (WR) Steve Smith, and three good running backs. It makes it tough."

On why there has been so many miscommunications in the defensive backfield: "It shouldn't, especially on the plays that we gave up against Washington. We addressed that in the meeting, and that cannot happen. There should be communication on every play."

On whether there is a failure at correcting that mistake because it seems to be recurring: "I think everything is corrected every week and all the time. The players are going to make mistakes just like your children. You don't want them to happen, and you can go over and over them. We have a responsibility to correct it, and they have a responsibility to get it right."

On what has happened with the play of the secondary since the beginning of the season: "I don't think it's just miscommunication, and I don't think it's just the secondary. I think it's tied in. Some of them are scrambles, some of them are missed coverages, some of them just get beat. It ties in, and you can't have that. You have to bear down and play better. With expectations and Pro Bowl players, it's a new year every year and you have to prove yourself every week in this league. No one is going to give you anything. Those guys understand that and we understand that. You just have to come out and fight. You have to come out and make plays, that's what this game is all about."

On the cornerback's responsibility when he expects safety help but it does not come: "It depends on the coverage. If he is underneath and the safety's not there, he's going to get beat. If he's outside, and he gets beat inside, he has a problem. It's a problem either way, whether the corner is expecting help or the safety is expecting help from the corner. It ties hand in hand, and those guys have to be on the same page."

On whether CB Nnamdi Asomugha should have stayed with Redskins WR Aldrick Robinson: "I think between Nnamdi, (S) Nate Allen, and (CB) DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie), all three were involved. We should have had two of the three back there, and it didn't happen."

On what the deciding factor was to give DE Vinny Curry a shot this week: "Vinny has been working hard. Like I've said the past couple weeks, he's been practicing hard and working hard. He's been rushing the quarterback well and playing the run well. He has been learning mentally, and mentally he's come a long way and learned a lot of things. This week, we'll see what he can do."

On whether LB Mychal Kendricks and CB Brandon Boykin have hit a rookie wall: "I think they are holding up pretty well. The mental part of the game is what they're staying on top of. They're not making the most dynamic plays, but you see week in and week out that they are in the right place doing the right things. Both are having a good year and they're going to be good ballplayers."

On whether he feels that getting off blocks is one of the biggest issues for the defense: "It's getting on and off blocks every week. We have to play, we have to hat in hand, and play (with) the right technique and fundamentals, and get off blocks and make plays."

On whether he sees that as an issue every week: "This league is about making plays. Whether it is us or any other team out there, you have to get off your blocks and make plays. If you don't make plays, you're not going to win."

On whether that is a fixable problem to have: "You coach it until you're blue in the face, but you can't play it for them just like they can't coach it for you. Making plays and making the right calls go hand in hand."

On whether he has steered away from using the wide-nine recently: "No, we still run a four-man front. People say it's the wide-nine but it's a four-man front. Depending on the formation and personnel, it dictates whether we move them in or move them out. It's the same defense that we've had for a year-and-a-half as far as alignment. There may be different things off of it, but it's still the same."

On whether changing personnel is his call or the head coach's call: "Andy (Reid) has the final call. We'll talk about everything as a staff: position coaches, coordinator, and head coach. We'll make that decision accordingly."

On whether he feels that is needed: "We always talk about it week in and week out. You have to look at what is behind the guy, what we have here, who we have healthy, and who we are playing against. All that entails whether or not we make a change or not, so right now no."

On whether he thinks a change might be necessary at cornerback: "If that's what we felt like it would do, maybe it would or maybe it wouldn't."

On the other cornerbacks he has on the roster besides the starters: "They can run. They need experience just like any other backups in any sport on any team. You just have to wait until your turn comes up, or take the guy's spot in practice. If you make it hard on a coach, he'll make a decision. If you make it easy for a coach, then it's an easy decision."

On the progress of DT Fletcher Cox: "He's making a lot of progress early on. He's seeing a lot more double teams than he was seeing. Mentally, he starts thinking too much instead of playing it. He starts thinking too much instead of playing it, he'll be just as effective as he was in the beginning of the year."

On how tough it is to see mental mistakes undoing all of the work they put in during the week: "It's tough as a coach. No matter what kind of coach you are, it's tough to go over things and then see a mistake on the field. You have to move on. You get ready for the next play and the next game."

On whether he feels the play of the defense has been a reflection of him as a defensive coordinator: "Of course, I am the coordinator. I have never seen our guys have a lack of effort, courage, or anything like that. That's a whole different ballgame as opposed to making the mental mistakes. Our effort, our courage, and our fight have always been there. That doesn't bother me."

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