On what this week has been like for him: "It's been a normal game plan week, with the addition of doing a little more. But we watched film as a staff together; tried to break them down just the same. As a coach, you try not to get too high or too low. It's always just getting your guys in position to play as hard as they can and then try to help them out when you can."
On whether he has been looking forward to coaching a game as a defensive coordinator for some time: "No. As a coach and a former player, you learn to take it a day at a time. Not too high, not too low because if you start looking forward to things, you're going to miss some things that you're doing at the present time."
On whether he had to do anything extra to get the players to buy into his coaching: "Well, I think they follow your lead a little bit. We had good defensive statistics before; we've just have to close out and finish ballgames. You try to tweak things that you can tweak and keep the base together and keep your core together and help who you can when you can. There are times where they're going to have to make plays and there are times where we're going to have to make calls to help them make plays. That's really all I tried to do."
On whether he has made the decision to coach from the sideline or the coaches' box: "We haven't made it yet. No."
On why the defense will be different closing out games under his guidance: "Hopefully, the results are different, number one. You can't say whether something's second guessed, as a coach. Any coach, position coach or otherwise, you're going to second-guess yourself if it doesn't work. If you blitz, you're going to say you shouldn't have blitzed. If you played zone, (you'd say you should have played man). We just have to have a better understanding and a better urgency to finish games and we've got to make sure we have, coaching-wise, that ability to make the calls to win the game. Then, they have to go out and execute it."
On how important unpredictability is on defense: "It was more or less, in your bye week, you get to self-scout a lot and you get to see a lot of things that you're doing wrong and right and you try to fix the things you're doing wrong. I don't think it was more or less of us being unpredictable. It's just more or less of us correcting the things that we need to correct that people are taking advantage of."
On how you instill a sense of urgency in finishing games in the players: "That's a tough answer. Some are born with it, some you have to practice it hard, some you have to get it out of. It's no different than coaching. We've got to get it out of ourselves and then we've got to get it out of the players. You preach it and preach it and coach it and coach it and teach it and teach it and you beat them until they're blue in the face and, hopefully, Sunday the results will be different."
On whether revitalizing the pass rush is a priority: "I think it's been said a couple weeks now, they're rushing the passer very well. They rush the passer very well. There are times where there's max protection. There are time where the ball comes out, but it all ties in. You can say you want to get the guys rushing better and doing things more, but if they're running it down our throat, it'll be hard. You've got to kind of go off of what you see off film and kind of pick your spots and time it out and see how it works."
On what he can do to make the defense less predictable: "Every defense is going to have a base where they're going to be predictable. No matter what team you're on or what coach you have, everybody's going to have a scheme. Our scheme is the wide-nine. You know that going in. You play as hard as you can and you keep your base core and, game plan-wise, you try to adjust and tweak some things as you see fit, if that fits the game plan. If it doesn't, you always come back to your core. So, it's not as much as being predictable; it's just trying to get your playmakers in better position to make more plays. I don't think that's unpredictable or predictable. It's just getting to see what your guys can do best and letting them do it."
On what you can do to get around teams whose game plan is designed around stopping the pass rush: "It's not a new thing. I don't think you can go through any ballgame and see where they're not seven-man protecting or quick stepping, three stepping and everything else. It all ties in. We have to time it out right. We have to get them in position to rush the passer, and we have to do all those things. It's not like it's just the Philadelphia Eagles they're picking on; the seven step, the five step, the three step, it's been around for a long time. The game doesn't change. When you get good pass rushers, you tend to chip them a little more. We just have to, schematically, figure out ways to see what (the) best way to rush the passer is for us going forward."
On whether he feels he has an advantage this week due to Atlanta's lack of film on his defense: "No, I don't think so. (Falcons head coach) Mike (Smith) has been around football for a long time. I certainly didn't invent the game and I'm not going to reinvent the game. They have their core beliefs that they do and they've got a great quarterback and a great corps of receivers and running back. They're 6-0 and undefeated. You've just got to try to make sure you use due diligence to get your team ready to play hard and try to, hopefully, make the right calls at the right time."
On whether he last called plays while he was the defensive coordinator at Grambling State: "Yes."
On what goes into preparing to call a game as opposed to being a position coach: "As a position coach, you just study the back end. If you're playing man-to-man, you're not really worried about the run fits as much and you're not concentrating as much on trap plays and draw plays and that whole thing. As linebackers, you do certain things and d-line as well. As a coordinator, you've got to make it all tie in together. You've got to make sure you're helping somebody at a certain point in time without exposing the other. It's not just helping (CB) Nnamdi (Asomugha) or helping (DE) Trent (Cole) or helping (LB) DeMeco (Ryans); it's a matter of tying it all in together as a coordinator and you have to (have the) due diligence to make sure you do your homework and get that done."
On whether he is spending more time with the front seven or the defensive backs in practice: "I actually know the front seven very well. We've been together for a couple months now and camp and everything. We've always met in the same room together and each coach goes up there individually and give their presentation. So, it's not a matter of not knowing them well enough; it's just a matter of overseeing more than just the secondary."
On the difference in the sack totals from last year to this year: "Well, I think when you have 50 sacks and you lead the league, the next year, people are going to come in and the first thing they're going to say is, 'We've got to block the pass rushers.' Obviously, there's going to be more importance tended to the defensive line because of last year's 50 sacks. So, we just have to creatively find ways to keep things a guessing game each week with them and us, it's going to be cat and mouse. How to get them free, how they're going to block them up, how to pressure. Sometimes it's coverage, sometimes it's blitz. We just have to make sure we (do our) due diligence and do our homework."
On whether he feels he can get the team's best pass rushers on the field at the same time: "I think, schematically, that works for (the New York Giants). That's how they got to be where they are. They have some good defensive linemen up front. We feel like we have the same. Within the rotation with (defensive line coach Jim Washburn), I think we can get the right guys in there."
On how much you have to fight against players not being accountable for their play and shifting blame to the predictability issue: "I don't think it's excuse making on my part. I think predictability comes from self-scouting. I think every coach in the league, when they self-scout on the bye week, sees a lot of predictable things that are glaring to them that they try to fix and I think the miscommunication was in that part. It's definitely not an excuse. Guys play hard and we lost because we lost and we didn't make enough plays to win the game. It's not because we were being predictable or unpredictable."
On whether he sees areas where he can add his own wrinkles to the defense: "As a coordinator, you always try to do that but you have to make sure it's within the scheme of what we do, as opposed to just going out and grab bagging things and coming in and doing something that we're not comfortable doing."
On what goes into the decision of whether or not he will coach from the sideline: "It's just a matter of which position coaches are down and which are of expertise needs to be down on the field and who has the best eyes in the box and who can see certain things. So, it kind of all ties in that way."
On the status of DE Vinny Curry and how far he has developed: "Vinny's been working hard and he's been practicing hard. The d-line, with the defensive ends especially, it's a tough rotation. It's tough breaking in, no matter who you are. But I think Vinny's chances will come and I think he has a bright future ahead of him and I think you'll be seeing him in the future."
On how most defenses have played Atlanta WR Roddy White and WR Julio Jones: "Whatever it is, it's not working. Those two guys (are) probably, arguably, the best two in the league, size-wise, speed-wise and what they have that a lot of big guys don't have (is) they can run patterns as well, as well as block. You've got to pick your spots. There's only one football, luckily, and you're forgetting (TE Tony) Gonzalez is in that mix as well as (RB) Michael Turner. So, it's going to be tough. It's going to be a tough matchup. It's a challenge for us."
On whether there is a chance Curry will be active this week: "There's always a chance. We've got to see how injuries take up and how it plays into the game plan, but we'll see as it goes."
On whether he believes White is more of a deep threat than Jones at this point for Atlanta: "No, I think they use both of them equally as well."
On how much of a test it will be for him facing Atlanta QB Matt Ryan and New Orleans QB Drew Brees in back-to-back weeks: "I don't think it's a big test for me. I think it's more or less getting the players ready to play and play hard. It's always their game. I'm just trying to aid just like the rest of the coaches and help them get better."