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Game Vs. Panthers: Locker Room Defense


LB Trent Cole**

On how he feels playing in coverage: "Coming from the first game to this game, I felt very comfortable. I am running around a lot more and I am very excited to play in the next game. I feel a lot faster than I was in previous years because of the position I am playing. I am more in shape playing that linebacker position as well as the defensive end position. It's made me more athletic. The transition has been good for me."

On whether the defense is that much better after six days: "I can't really say. This is the preseason. You just go out there and play, do your job and whatever happens, happens. The real story will be during the regular season."

CB Cary Williams

On the conflict with WR Steve Smith: "It's football, that's all it was. Two football players, competitors, that's just all it was."

On whether the team was more intense tonight: "I think we played well today. As a unit I think we showed some good things today, we are far from where we want to be but we need to take it one day at a time and continue to get better, and tonight we got better."

On keeping the Carolina Panthers out of the end zone: "I think we played pretty well. Like I said we did a lot of good things and we still have a long way to go, we have some improvements to make and we will continue to do it, we will just have to take it one day at a time."

On the biggest step they need to make for the next game: "I don't know, we just have to continue to play the way we have been playing, maybe take it up another notch. The season is around the corner and the third game is usually where we have to show what we have and we have to bring it all together and hopefully we can do that this week."

On being able to test against a good wide receiver like Steve Smith: "I think I was testing my hamstring too. It is good to go up against a quality wide receiver like Smith. He has been doing it for a long time and he has a couple of pro bowls under his belt and he is a well known guy, a guy that you respect and you speak highly of and to just go out there and be a competitor against him is awesome, just to even have my name in the same sentence as him is awesome. I am just trying to take it one day at a time and trying to improve both physically and mentally and hopefully next week I can do a little bit better out there."

LB DeMeco Ryans

On the improvement of the defense: "I think it was a lot better, better out of our defense this week. I think guys played sound, fundamentally we were sound, guys tackled well. I think it was great improvement from last week and it was definitely a positive for us to build off of and see how much better can we be as a defense."

On being a better defense: "I think it was a little bit of that first game under your belt and just a little bit of being focused and thinking about the fundamentals of each guys jobs. I think that's what it was. Guys just calmed down, it was their first game jitters, got that out of the way, so guys were calm going into it and guys were confident in what they would be able to do."

On what they want to see in game three: "Let's see if we can build off of this and get even better. I think we can steal a couple of plays that got on us, couple of big plays that we let get out and we can still improve on those things. I see us steadily improving as a defense, on all the little things and eliminating big plays."

On the offense: "It is fun to watch. It is fun to sit back as a defense. You really appreciate an offense who can go out there and drive the field the way they did today it's just fun to sit back and watch. I am happy I do not have to go up against them."

On RB Lesean McCoy's run: "That is a run right there where he can break a guy's ankle on a play like that. Shady has got the moves. Shady is a great back and makes a lot of people miss in the open field and again he is another guy that I wouldn't want to be out there needing to tackle."

On keeping the Panthers out of the end zone: "It was big improvement for us as a defense. I think it gave us something positive to build off of and I think you have to be proud of yourself as a defense where you kind of stop them in the run game and don't let them get into the end zone. I think that speaks highly of the improvement that we made from week one to now."

On whether it is a comfort level: "I think everybody has just settled down. In the first game we were probably trying to do a little too much and guys have settled down this week and there was a calm and confident feeling on the defense and that is the way you want to feel going into a game, and I felt that from the guys and it worked for us."

LB Connor Barwin

On the defense's progress from last week: "A lot better, I think just kind of looking at the guys eyes out there, everyone calmed down a little bit and that felt good out there. I think guys just zeroed in and got their first game jitters out last week and just did their job."

On tackling: "Yeah, it's the hot subject. I think we tackled a lot better. There is a lot of gang tackling. I think guys filled the gaps. When you do not let them get into the open field it is a lot easier to tackle."

On whether familiarity makes it easier for the players: "Of course. The more we run, the more games we play, the more confident guys are getting in the defense. They are going to be able to understand the little parts of the defense and play faster. Of course I think we are going to continue to improve."

LB Mychal Kendricks

On whether the offense doesn't know what's coming to them: "Well they know someone's coming, they just don't know who. They knows someone's dropping, they just don't know who. That's part of the benefits of being in this defense is that there is a lot of schemes you could deal with."

On whether they called on him tonight: "I think they are just making the calls, and whoever is there is there."

On how much easier it was for linebackers to make some plays compared to last game: "I feel like with every game and practice, us as a defense are getting better. You have to understand that the first game was the first time we went live and it was the first time we actually got a real feel for what we are doing as a defense. There is nothing but positive things to look forward to as far as this defense is concerned."

On whether he and LB DeMeco Ryans can be more gap fundamental: "I know I need to be more gap fundamental. We always have to be more gap fundamental. You always need to be gap sound and know what your job is regardless of who it is. As a linebacker that is your number one job, that and tackling."

On not as many lineman coming into his face tonight: "Not this time, but you know that is all in their game plan too. They were running kind of zones and a lot of powers when we were in there. It all depends on what they try and do. It is preseason and there is nothing really on film for us to be watching and right now it is about us going out there and using your rules and tools and just playing ball."

On whether this defense is one that he can excel in based on his skill set: "I think last year I was a rookie. I think this defense is a good defense. Last year we just had some mishaps, but I liked that defense too."

On leaving more for the opposing offense to guess: "I am still excited to see what we can do with this defense, we haven't seen anything. There is stuff we haven't even put in."

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