When you're facing a quarterback that's I mean, there's not a lot of film on Mike Glennon, there's not a lot of tape on him, how do you kind of approach it? What do you look for? What do you do you look back to preseason, college?
COACH DAVIS: We really will study the game he played against Arizona and then his preseason games. So you see how the offense looks with him and you see how the offense looks without him. They had a bye week, so now they can probably adjust to his talents a little bit better.
But you study every available tape you have on a guy and kind of predict a little bit of what how you think they'll use him.
Just to follow up, what have you seen from him in the limited time that you've --
COACH DAVIS: He's a good pocket passer. He's got a great presence. He's very tall. At 6'7" he can really see the field. And that's where that height really comes in, to play with a lot of these pocket quarterbacks. And throws a nice ball. He sees the field well for a rookie.
Can you use Earl Wolff at all, who knows him well?
COACH DAVIS: Absolutely. Absolutely. We've got a couple guys that have worked with him and played with him, and you pick their brain a little bit. They practice and they know their ins and outs. They've seen him enough that they know what their strengths and weaknesses are. So you use some of that.
At the end of the day, the film really shows you the most. And the bye week is a little tricky in that they can tweak it the way they want to to kind of suit him.
Bill, Mike Sullivan came up from the Giants. How similar is Tampa Bay from what you saw last week?
COACH DAVIS: He's pretty similar. I was with Mike in New York, Tom Coughlin's first year, so I know Mike well. And I think he's got a big history in that offense. So there are some similarities there.
But, you know, Coach [Greg] Schiano has his twist on it also. So there's a group it's not the same, but it's got some elements that are similar.
How did Earl Wolff look last week? And are there more things you're asking him to do now than maybe a couple weeks ago?
COACH DAVIS: No, Earl's got the same load that every other safety does, and he's making his rookie mistakes and he's also making some nice plays.
So like all of them, Earl's a young man that's growing into the position, and some weeks he's going to make more mistakes than others. But he's coming along.
I don't remember Cedric Thornton playing a ton of nose during the preseason, maybe he did, but, I mean, is that accurate that he didn't really start playing nose until --
COACH DAVIS: We've got different packages and move him in and out of end and nose, so he's played both. All our defensive linemen are actually trained in all at end to end nose. So they can move in and out. Some of the different looks that we present seem, take and end and put it down at nose and vice versa.
So they're trained at all three, and Ced's played plenty of nose, maybe not in the regular season games just yet, but he's had his share, yes.
How is, I mean, I would have to assume he's coming quite far along, he's never really played that position, but he seems to have adapted when he's in there.
COACH DAVIS: Absolutely. Ced's really he's got a lot on contacts at the ball. I mean, he's getting to the ball clear quite often for a defensive lineman in a two gap scheme.
So we're happy with the progress that he's making as a defensive lineman. Not only nose, but end or nose. He's in great shape and practices hard every single day, and we get a lot out of Ced. We're happy with him.
Bill, what kind of a confidence booster was last game, the Giants game, for the defense? Can you talk about that?
COACH DAVIS: It was a big confidence booster. Obviously the wins are always going to boost your confidence in the scheme. But whether it was a win or a loss, when you look at the tape, you know, with a microscope like we do, you can see the techniques moving forward, we can see the defensive linemen playing more consistent.
And it really is, I say it, I know, every week up here, but the more consistent play we get out of the technique part of the defense, the more plays will come our way.
And I thought the defensive backs did a great job on the deep ball. There's 11 balls thrown up and I believe they only caught one. There was an interference. But we knew that was a challenge for us going in, and the guys responded. And that has to do with somewhat a rush, too.
You know, we didn't come out of there with the sacks that you might say the sack numbers, but Eli [Manning] chose to throw the ball away and get three intentional groundings and he chose to throw it into coverage a couple times instead of taking a sack.
So although only one sack showed up on the stat sheet, you know, we believe that the D you know, we had some pressure on them.
How dangerous is Vincent Jackson?
COACH DAVIS: Oh, he's a good one. You know, he's a perennial Pro Bowler. He's got he's a big man that can run and very physical. Catches the ball great and run after catch.
So we've got a challenge in him. He's an all star.
Nate Allen has taken a lot of heat in this city over the last few years really, he's been benched a few times, he's lost his job. The last few weeks it seems like he's had a couple consistent games here. What have you seen from Nate's progress maybe from early in the season to last --
COACH DAVIS: I think Nate's confidence is growing in two places, in himself and in the scheme. I think he's getting better with his eyes and where he places them, which makes him in a better position to make his plays now.
As a safety position, it's a little unique in that if your eyes aren't right and you get yourself out of position, now those tackles, you put yourself in a bad position to make a tackle, and then you miss more. When you line up right and you put your eyes in the right spot, it takes you to the place you need to be to make your plays.
And I think Nate each week is getting a little bit better and a little bit better of the fundamentals of where to place his eyes, and he's putting himself in position to make tackles. And we're working hard on tackling every day. And I think that's helping him.
I mean, every day there's not a day goes by where we don't hammer the fundamentals of tackling at each position group, and I think it's slowly paying off for us.
What's going to happen once Patrick Chung comes back in?
COACH DAVIS: Well, we'll see to what degree he comes back. He's got a unique injury that you've got to deal with how much he can play. And we'll roll him in and probably have a little bit of a rotation going until we see where Patrick is.
And so the rotation, will it involve Chung, or is it still going to be Nate and Earl?
COACH DAVIS: Well, with Chung being injured, again, it comes down to the injury factor. It will be either/or. If Chung is not healthy enough to go every snap but partially, then we'll rotate with him. If not, then we'll slide in with Nate probably.
But when he is a hundred percent, I mean, would you like to eventually, I guess what I'm getting at, have two safeties that are out there every snap or most snaps?
COACH DAVIS: Yes. Yeah.
Is that the plan?
COACH DAVIS: Yeah. You know, Patrick also doubles as a nickel behind [Brandon] Boykin. So we've got a lot of, you know, position flexibility there.
But, yeah, we again, we're just going to continue to work to find the best 11 to put on the field the most amount of times. And when there's no separation, then we'll rotate. If there's separation, we won't.
Is it a challenge trying to get Brandon Graham on the field, or are you getting him on the field as much as you want?
COACH DAVIS: No, he's getting about 20 to 25 snaps a game depending on the way it goes. And we'd like to do that more, but him and Trent [Cole] are rotating in. And we love when Trent's in there and Brandon's doing a good job.
So it's just a little bit of a feel. You know, everybody plays who suits up, so we do have everybody getting reps so we don't, you know we have some strength in the fourth quarter. But Brandon gives us a great pass rushing push in there.
You guys got more late third quarter, fourth quarter pressure on Eli? It seemed like once you did give pressure, that's kind of when he was on his heels --
COACH DAVIS: Yeah, we were trying to just keep him off balance. It wasn't all pressure, it wasn't again, I allude come back to sometimes you present pressure but don't pressure; sometimes you don't look like you're coming but you do come; and sometimes you show it and bring it.
And you just try to keep him guessing and guessing and on you know, nervous, and sometimes you're showing pressure but only rush three. And it's just trying to keep him off balance was the key. And some of it was pressure.
Again, because some of that I mean, maybe it just depends on the quarterback, obviously, because Peyton Manning did that too. Obviously you guys are facing a rookie this week in Glennon. I mean, kind of seems like you guys might be able to get to him more?
COACH DAVIS: Well, Arizona pressured Glennon a lot and really didn't get to him a lot. So there there's pluses and minuses to pressure. And I think you mix it in.
And, again, the key is keeping whoever that quarterback is, whether it's an Eli Manning or Glennon, you keep them off balance. And that's where you get the advantage defensively.
So I think it's multiple looks that you give them that works as much, if not more, than pressure.
Now, do we want to hit him? Absolutely. We want to get pressure on the quarterback. Love to do that with a four man rush. You know, but keeping him off balance is the key.
Have you attempted at all to try to get Boykin on the field even more than you are?
COACH DAVIS: I think he's doing a great job at nickel. He's really growing. He can even get better at nickel. There's a lot of little things that he's growing into the position.
When you ask a man to go out to corner and the nickel, you're really asking a lot. And I think right now we're growing Brandon in the right way, and I'd hate to kind of ruin that development or that growth a little bit by doubling him. And I'm happy with the corners outside. They're doing a nice job.
Bradley Fletcher made some nice plays Sunday. How has his development been coming along?
COACH DAVIS: You know, I think it's like the group. The comfort and the communication within the new scheme is growing each week. And that allows players to play with more confidence, which means they play faster. And the faster the defense can play, the more plays we make. And you play faster when you have confidence and you know exactly what you're supposed to do.
And I think that's where the speed of the defense has increased a little bit this week, because I think the guys played with a little more just one week more into it, they're more confident and playing a little faster.
What are some of the ways you guys were better defensively?
COACH DAVIS: Well, we went into the game, take away the vertical. All right? And our zones, we played deep. You can't take away the vertical and be tight on the slant. And we've got to be closer on some of those slants. There was some some of those zones were playing a little softer, some of the mans we needed to be tighter. So not every one is the same answer.
But when we play and focus on the vertical first and then we'll come down from there and stop plays, that's kind of where the slants they knew they had them, so they kept going to them, and that's okay, as long as we tackle. I thought we tackled the slants a lot better than we had in the past.
So you can't take away all of it, you've just got to kind of pick and choose through coverage calls on what you're willing to give up and what you're not. We can be tighter on those, don't get me wrong, but for the most part that's what they get when we're playing the vertical.
Is that why some of those underneath routes occurred because you guys weren't giving up the big plays?
COACH DAVIS: A couple of them. They were tackling them well and we were playing with the right leverage, and sometimes there was some help coming that didn't get there quite quick enough. And they're quick throws.
When you look at their last five drives, I think it was punt, interception, interception, interception in that stretch, after they took the lead, those next five drives, is that kind of the first time you've really seen over an extended stretch like this defense the way you kind of envision it? It was really a consistent stretch of going out there and stopping them.
COACH DAVIS: Absolutely. And I think this was the first fourth quarter that we came together and finished the fourth quarter. If we would have stepped up in a couple other games in the fourth quarter, we might have come away with some wins. But we didn't and we were growing into it.
Now, it's a great sign that the guys they played so hard. I mean, they really did. You watch, there's a lot of effort on that. And at the end they just kept our guys just kept coming and competing and scrapping and fighting. And the players made the plays to win the game. There was no scheme adjustment or anything. It was players making plays when it was on the line. And that was exciting to watch.
Bill, what have you learned about how to best deploy Boykin and have him at that linebacker spot as a rusher in some circumstances. What are you learning about how to best use him?
COACH DAVIS: Within the scheme, Brandon is a very athletic guy and we can bring him from a little bit farther out sometimes and disguise it. So that element helps kind of put the quarterback in a line a little bit in uncertainty, is he coming, isn't he, we've got to pay attention to that guy who's way out there and I've got this guy right over me that I've got to deal with too.
So Brandon brings a speed and athleticism in that nickel spot that we like, and we can drop him or bring him. And sometimes he's the fourth rusher, sometimes he's part of a blitz package. Sometimes we bluff them and drop him back. So we've got a nice little package that we're growing with him.
Seems like Bradley Fletcher had a good understanding of how to use his body and use his hands, even the feet a little bit to catch up and use that physical element of his game --
COACH DAVIS: The thing that jumped out to me about Fletcher is how calm he was at the ball. You know, there's an art to playing the deep ball, and a lot of it is a calm confidence that you're running with a guy, you're in stride, you're in a good position, and then there's really a timing of when to look back for the ball that a lot of guys panic at that point and they don't know when to look back and there's all kind of contact.
Fletcher is very calm on the deep ball. It's a little bit of the veteran in him that knows how to, you know, I've been here before and I know when the ball gets here and I know when to make my play.
And he did a great job. He had three or four where he really played the deep ball nice.
Less likely to get called for pass interference when they kind of have that calmness about them?
COACH DAVIS: Yeah, absolutely. When you see panic, it just it presents different to the official and they throw the flag more likely. When you're calm and in position and truly playing the ball, they let you play the ball. They really will. They'll allow more contact that way.
And so, Bill, you said you want to keep Boykin at the nickel, you also said Chung can move into the slot. Would that just be in dime situations or loosely a situation Boykin plays outside and Chung's inside?
COACH DAVIS: If I wasn't happy with the corners, I guess the corners are playing pretty well right now, so unless there were a reason to do that. We're real excited about the way they're playing or the way they're growing into the position. And to undermine that by switching or changing up if the production is still there and the guys are playing well, there's no need to do that.
Now, we could put Patrick in a dime scenario, like you're talking about. But, again, we're constantly striving to get the best 11 on the field as often as we can.
With that in mind, Billy, is there a way to get both Cedric and Vinny Curry on the field at the same time or increase Curry's workload?
COACH DAVIS: Yeah, we could. We continue to work Vinny in on the pass rush situations because he's a dynamic three technique pass rusher and really does a lot of disruptive things in there.
Yeah, we're constantly talking about reps and increasing Vinny in the pass rush situation.