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Quotes: Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis

Posted Sep 3, 2014

On what to expect from the Jaguars' running game Sunday: "You know, I don't know.  These guys have come out and they have shown a lot of different multiple offensive sets and schemes.  I don't know if they keep it tight to their vest in the preseason or not. "So early in the season, the first three games, you really are on high alert to handle thing that comes your way because you don't know what they have been working on all offseason and what they are ready to unleash on you.  You are ready for most offensive schemes to come your way."  

On who would replace Connor Barwin if he were to be injured: "We have got multiple guys that can back that up.  If you're a backup player whether it's outside or inside backer, you have to be able play both sides.  Anybody that's up and available can go Jack and I can change the scheme a little bit to where it doesn't matter or I can make it matter.  It depends on who is up and available and playing that spot."

On who needs to take on Travis Long's responsibilities now that he's gone: "Well, it's all of them, it really is.  Travis was both outside backer positions and both inside backer positions, and those are always somebody that you try to work on your roster into multiple positions and that helps the scheme, helps you adjust when injuries happen.  Right now, all the outside backers could play either way and the inside backers, we have one or two like [LB] Casey [Matthews] right now can swing in or out."

On what he expects from Marcus Smith: "He'll have a limited role.  Again, we are still not at that place where we are positive of everything. We are game planning for certain situations.  What they come at us with will dictate what we come back at them with, what personnel groupings we are in, how we use our players and what the matchups are.  So all of those things will fall into that decision."

On his comfort level with Marcus Smith's development: "Marcus is like a lot of rookies. You had the preseason where you continually saw him get better and he got more comfortable in the scheme.  I think he stopped trying to make plays and let the plays come to him a little bit more.  I think when you turn on the bright lights of the real season, and it's all ones against all ones, I think things change a little bit.  So as we move forward, we'll grow all our rookies in the same light and see what they can handle, what they can't, drop them in limited roles and grow it as they show us that they are capable of handling it."

On what Mychal Kendricks needs to do to reach an elite level: "Oh, Mychal just has to take it one day at a time and not worry about all that other stuff.  I think Mychal is steadily getting better.  I think the biggest benefit he's had is a second year in the same system.  I think Mychal's mind is slowing down.  I know we talk about that a lot up here.  He's playing faster, but he still can grasp the defense to another level, which will help him play faster. Mychal is a phenomenal athlete that can make a lot of plays, but [you] unleashed that ability to make plays when your brain is working slower and it comes easy to you.  So I would say Mychal continuing grow in his understanding of the defense will help him make more plays."

On how difficult September will be for players not used to a full game yet: "It is one of the things that you struggle with. Okay, say in preseason games we are not going to play your ones much because we don't want to expose them to injury and we have to develop the younger guys and all of a sudden game one hits and they have 60, 70 snaps on them.  The one way we combat it, we know we are a no huddle defense and we have rotations at every position.  So the fact that we roll on a consistent basis from the first quarter on; we don't wait to say, ‘Oh, we're into play 65, we'd better start rolling them.’  The first series, we’re rolling players because we know part of being a no huddle defense is being ready to get out there and being in great shape."

On how confident he is in his defense in terms of consistency: "We hope that makes a difference and it shows on Sunday, but like last year when I kept saying, the Washington game will show us our starting point, it's the same thing this year with Jacksonville.  We know what we would like to see and we hope happens, but the game will tell us who we are and what stage of development we are in at the end of it, and we'll hopefully go like that the whole season.  What the starting point is, we'll show us on Sunday and move on from there."

On his plan with S Nate Allen and S Earl Wolff at safety: "In all positions, we have a rotation, but as the game goes on, sometimes it activates more and sometimes it doesn't.  But there is a rotation plan for safeties, for corners, for inside backers, for outside backers, for d line.  We have to be built that way because we are a no huddle defense.  There is always that in place but how much it actually gets activated kind of is a feel of how long are the drives, how many drives are we having, what's your play count.  So there's a lot of things that happen there. The one place that we always start the rotation right away is the d line.  The big boys, you can't ever let them run out of gas, because when they run out of gas, they can't get it back."

On Nate Allen's ability to compete for his job every year: "I think Nate is a mentally-tough young man.  I mean, what he's gone through and his development and the trials and tribulations he's had and the heat he's taken in his career in Philadelphia has not fazed him.  In my two years with him or year and a half now, he comes to work the same guy every day and he puts his head down and takes notes and he works and he works. He practices hard and he's there every day with the same attitude.  So I love to see him growing like he is and finally settling in and making plays.  I think that's a testament to his mental toughness and his character of how he is and has not been fazed by the ups and downs that he's had early on and hopefully we have a lot of ups in his future."

On whether he knows enough about CB Nolan Carroll II to want to use him: "Absolutely.  He's started two years.  Nolan’s unique in that he's a two year starter.  We have got 22 games of him the last two seasons.  We know what he's done in the preseason and we know what he's done in practice, so he's not an unknown.  So we know what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are and how we'll use him."

On the progress DE Fletcher Cox has made: "Well, I've said this all along, I think he's a very unique player in that he can play any kind of scheme you throw at him.  He's got that kind of skill set, and I think again, like the Mychal Kendricks conversation or the Nate Allen conversation, the second year in the system of learning the techniques, mastering those techniques and fitting them into the calls and the system that we have, I think he's understanding and he's a very intelligent young man that knows the whole defense.  He just doesn't know himself and what he has.  He knows what others around him have, and I think that is going to show in his play."

On how his CBs and DBs have adjusted to the new rules: "The New England game was way too many flags but we steadily got better as it went on, and we're harping on it like everybody.  The whole league collectively kept working hard at it.  The other part of that equation is the officials early were throwing anything and everything and then they got better at what really was the interference call and what wasn't.  So I think collectively officials and players have worked and gotten better at it."

On whether he'll have to watch the first quarter to see how it's refereed: "Absolutely.  You do that, even before this year, especially with the secondary.  You always say, look, let's find out what they are allowing and not allowing and let's adjust our game to that guy and what he's interpreting, and continue to talk with the man.  I mean, he's a human being like anybody else. ‘Did you see that?’ And sometimes there's great interaction and you really can get away with exactly what he'll let you and take it to the very limit and that's what you try to do."

On whether he expects the level of refereeing to translate from the preseason to the regular season: "Early on, I'm banking on it's not going to change much.  I think the message they wanted to send has been sent and I don't imagine them backing off too much.  I think it is what they said it is, and the officials, again, I think you'll see you'll probably see a fair number than you had early on because I do think the officials have gotten better at it and we have gotten better.  Now you're also seeing your ones for the entire game, and I think those guys – sometimes people grab and hold when athletically sometimes they feel mismatched.  So you have a chronic holder, sometimes that's because you have a little bit of a speed deficiency and you know it so you're trying to cut the corners and other times you don't do that as much when you have confidence that you've got this guy."

On whether Beau Allen could receive the most reps out of his rookies: "Could.  That's dictated on what are they coming at us with.  If it's all big people and we are staying in base, then absolutely that could happen.  If they throw all four or three wide receivers at us and we are in nickel, then he will be at the opposite end of those reps.  So that's the one part about defensive ball, it's about they come at us with ‘X’ personnel group and then we match it with our plan."

On whether he thinks the crackdown on pass interference could affect integrity of the game: "You know, I don't know how to answer that other than really we're from a framework of, what are you saying you're going to call, we'll adjust and we'll coach it the way you want it.  I can't really say that this is going to change the game one way or the other but I know one thing: For us to play great defense, we cannot have those penalties that extend the drive that hurt us in the New England game and other games.  So whatever it is they are calling, we have got to make sure that we are within the realm of not getting the penalties, so we can make our plays and get off the field and put our offense back on.

On what he's seen from Jacksonville's rookie receivers on film: "I think they have improved that whole group but the problem in the preseason is it's very sporadic of who is in and who is not.  So they have got an upgraded receiver position group but they have not all been able to play due to one injury or the other and so it's been interesting to see.  But I think they have had a much improved offensive system."

On the matchup with Jacksonville's offensive line: "You always hope that you win that match up.  The matchup in the trenches is the key to any game, and their offensive line has been  they have had some injuries and they are moving people around but they have also I think strengthened their offensive line.  They have [T Luke] Joeckel back.  Now he's the left tackle, where they drafted him for. They have not played a lot together and that hurts most offensive lines.  But they are a solid group and I think they will have it solidified and they will be fine.  But that's a matchup we have to win, the d line versus o line."

On whether DT Bennie Logan will start as nose tackle: "Probably.  Probably start that way.  But again, we really don't think of starters as hard 11 starters. We don't.  I mean, we are not just telling you guys that.  The guys are going to play a lot.  Now if he's a starter but Beau Allen has more reps than him, that's why we don't look at starters or not starters.  Whoever plays the first snap, it doesn't matter.  We have a whole 60, 70 snaps and we are going to roll them all and they are all going to play a lot.  We are not hung up on the first.  That's why the depth chart isn't really a big deal to us either."

On whether he's more confident in this defense and this personnel than you were at this time last year: "I am because I know them better.  We know them better as a staff.  We didn't know really what you had until the bright lights came on and here comes the Washington game and we knew our strengths and weaknesses. You knew the good, the bad and ugly and you just adjusted as a coaching staff from there.  The group now, we have a whole season with most of them, and the new ones we have the preseason, we still don't know. Every year is a new year, so you don't know until the final whistle goes off in the Jacksonville game, really what our starting point is.  But we are more confident because we know them better.  So I would say yes to that."

On how much Beau Allen has played his way into the mix for Sunday: "Beau has been so consistent in the preseason, and I think that's probably what jumps out the most.  He's a load in there to move, so they struggle to move him off the point, and he's very consistent with his footwork, with his hands, with his play down in and down out.  Has not been ‘wow’ plays but there have been a bunch of really good consistency from really the whole d line. But when you talk about Beau, that's what jumps out first."

On whether he expects Jacksonville to go up tempo: "I don't know, they have been talking a lot about tempo.  If they do, we practice against that every day, all day.  So the tempo will not phase our group.  It does not change what we do.  It's actually what we practice against.  So if they do, we'll play to it.  But again we practice to it every day whether we want to or not.  So the tempo is something that - what are they going to do to their defense?  If they tempo and we stop them, we are no huddle defense, and that's part of it.  You have to be in phenomenal shape to be a no huddle defense, so if they want to tempo us, they have to make sure that they are in great shape defensively I think"

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