Assistant Head Coach/Interim Defensive Coordinator Frank Bush, 12.17
Brian Costello, New York Post: Hey Frank, you guys have been pretty good against the run all year and last week, Seattle got you a little bit. What did you see in the run defense last week?
They didn’t get us a little bit, they got us a lot, and quite frankly, I was surprised by some of the ways they were able to run the ball. But we identified some problems, some things we had, it was more technique than anything. Just some technique issues. Some guys trying too hard, I’d say, and overreacting to some things and they were able to move the ball on us. And I think at some point became somewhat frustrating and guys were just trying to make plays, and so we had some mistakes our side. Structurally, I think our kids know what to do. I think we were able to identify those things and go put our finger on the problem and get it fixed. It was nothing glaring, it was just a combination of things, paper cuts that ended up allowing them to run the ball on us. But it has been identified, it has been addressed and the kids have done a great job this week playing those exact plays and fitting the things where they were supposed to fit them.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Was there any rust for you, Frank? Did you have to knock off any rust, obviously calling plays for the first time?
I’ll say, obviously not doing it in a while, there are some nerves that happen and ultimately the support staff, Joe Vitt and Dennard Wilson, those guys, they did a great job in helping me get through it. But yeah, initially, there were some things in it I thought I could get to that I didn’t quite get to. And then once we got going, I felt more comfortable. I felt like I’m back in this moment and whatnot. But initially, yeah, I mean, that’s a big stage and when you’re not there for a while, the pressure is on you and you can feel it.
Peter Botte, New York Post: You talked last week about it being a whirlwind week for you. Has this week been more of a normal routine from your perspective?
Yeah, it has been. Again, last week it hit me. The whole situation was somewhat surprising and then on top of that to be given this additional responsibility. So yeah, last week was a whirlwind, but this week, no. I won’t call it normal, nothing’s ever normal and especially in 2020, but it’s been more – I understand what the role is and the things I got to get done. And I can check boxes and move forward during the week a little bit better than I could last week.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What kinds of challenges does this team provide now?
Well they’ve got a very, very talented quarterback. They’ve got good receivers. Their two running backs are outstanding, and I think the O-line does a great job. So, there are a lot of challenges and they’re a really good football team that’s not too far removed from a Super Bowl berth. So, it’s a challenge. They have a system that’s in place. They understand the system, they run it well. Here we are trying to do our thing, and we’re not quite where they are right now. So, it’s a challenge. They do a lot of things well, and we’re going to have to be able to try to figure out a way to slow them down.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Seems like (Javelin) Guidry) has had a bigger role the last two weeks as that slot corner. What is he showing you guys that’s earned him that extra playing time?
Well, the kid, he came in with tremendous speed and we respect the kid’s speed. But what he’s shown us is his ability to retain information and carry it to the field. He’s done an outstanding job that way. And he flashes toughness. You see them in the box, mixing it up with linemen and tight ends and whatnot. So, we’ve been impressed that way. And he keeps getting a little bit better every week. He understands the system and he knows how to get in and get out of the situations and make plays when it’s time for him to make plays.
Peter Botte, New York Post: (Cam) Akers had a breakout game for them last week. What were your impressions of him from last week?
Yeah, like I said, they have two very, very talented running backs. I’m impressed with both of those kids, Akers and the other kid (Darrell) Henderson. Both those kids are aggressive, they’re quick to hit the line of scrimmage, they slash and get yards and Akers has proven that he can be an inside-outside runner, and they’re tough. They don’t shy away from contact. They will be a challenge, considering what happened in the run game last week, I’m sure they’re looking at chops a little bit. And so, it’s going to be a challenge for us. Our guys have got to step up, do the things that we’ve corrected and try to take care of these running backs. But I’m really impressed with both those kids
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Have you seen Sean’s (McVay) offense changed at all within the last couple of years? I know when he first went over there, they were throwing the ball quite a bit and it seems like maybe they’re a little more emphasis on the run lately?
We’d say that but then this kid (Jared Goff) is throwing the ball well when it’s time to throw the ball. No, obviously everybody adapts to their situation and whatnot. And I’m just assuming that that’s what they’ve done. They’re trying to do what’s best for their team. So, you still see all the flavors of the things that they had in the past. They just do some things more now than I’ve done in the past. But at the end of the day, Sean is a great play caller. They get to the plays they need to get to the players that they need to make plays make plays for them. So, I mean, maybe they do a little bit more this thing than the other thing, but at the end of the day they make plays.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What kind of development have you seen from Quinnen (Williams), not only from last year, but even from the start of this season?
Yeah. Quinnen is a very, very talented kid, and what we’ve seen this this year, more than last year, he’s able to finish things. Last year, he’d start out and he didn’t quite understand some schemes and whatnot. Now, not only does he understand them, he knows how to go about fitting himself into the play and finish the play. He’s just a splash play waiting to happen, and he’s done that for us this year. So, he’s learning how to finish, he’s obviously stronger, more aware of what’s going on, he understands schemes better, he studies the game better. I mean, he’s just more mature than what he was, and so you see those things when he plays in the field.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What do you see for his potential too, going forward?
I think the kids got tremendous potential. I mean, he’s one of the few guys of that size that plays inside. He’s what I call slippery for a big guy. He’s got quick feet, he’s got good hips and he’s slippery inside. And sometimes he does things from a big guy standpoint that you just don’t see from other people, namely that’s what made him a high pick and a coveted player. But he’s got a knack for things inside and the more he learns the game, I think he’s going to be a force.
Brain Costello, New York Post: This has got to be a tough situation for Marcus Maye this year. He’s the only guy with experience back there playing allotment in the secondary. How have you seen him handle his business this season from your former role and now as defensive coordinator?
Yeah. I’ve always been a fan of Marcus, even when he was at the University of Florida. I liked the way the kid played football. Coming here, watching him play from when I was down in Miami, I respected the way he played. And this year, I think he stepped up a lot. He’s got a young, young secondary all around him. He’s got some young players in front of him, i.e. the linebackers and whatnot. And so, he’s taken on a more verbal role. I mean, he’s getting guys together, they’re watching film, they’re doing those things, but more than anything he’s doing his job so well that they follow him by example. So, I’m impressed with the kid. I think he’s one of the better safeties in this league. I think he does a tremendous job on the deep balls and whatnot, and hopefully just going forward, things will get better and better for him.