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Coach Coyle: We Were Able To Make A Play At The End To Win The Game

Posted Nov 18, 2013

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle breaks down his defense's performance in Sunday's win over San Diego. See what he has to say about making plays at critical times, including three sacks in the fourth quarter.




(On the play of Olivier Vernon) – “He graded out very well. I thought we got good pressure at a number of times in the game. We didn’t get any sacks until the fourth quarter, but that’s not a bad thing that we were able to get the sacks at critical times at the end of the game. Oliver (Vernon) has really stepped up his game. He’s playing very good. That sack that you mentioned was a real big play in the game to get them out of field goal range.”

(On the defense and its ability to make big plays compared to the team’s success) – “First of all, to win games in the National Football League, it’s hard. As you go around the league and just look at how competitive it is each and every week. Seven of our ten games have come down to the last possession of the game. You can go back and look at the ten games we’ve played so far, I think I’m accurate when I say that, it’s right down to the wire, some of them to the very last play of the game. Cincinnati, this game, Indianapolis, where if they make a play, or we make a play the game is won or lost on that one play. Being able to have guys that can step up and make plays in those critical times, and coach Philbin says that all the time to the players, and we reiterate it. That’s how teams advance in this league. You get into those crucial situations in games where they’re going to be tight, somebody has to step up and make a play. Fortunately yesterday on both side of the ball, we made plays that really impacted the game and hopefully we can continue to do that. I think if we can do that, there’s not a team on the schedule that you’re not capable of beating. I think we’ve demonstrated that throughout the season, but yet for us to win these games and not be .500 in these games, we have to find ways to make those kinds of plays.”

(On the last defensive stand possibly being a turning point for the season) – “It certainly changed the atmosphere in the locker room after the game, that’s for sure. Everybody was excited, everybody felt good about the fact that we were able to make a play at the end to win the game. We went after them on the last play. We weren’t going to sit back and kind of second guess whether we were going to just sit back there and take a shot in the end zone so it was exciting. The players, when we came into the locker room they were kind of giving me a hard time a little bit about the call that we made. Some of the said they knew it was coming, others were like they couldn’t believe it came but that’s the way it was. We had to make a play, we had to force the issue a little bit and fortunately Brent (Grimes) made a terrific play.”

(On if his approach to the secondary changes when Dimitri Patterson can’t play) – “We don’t change much. There’s certain things that we can do at times in terms of the coverage’s. Really it hasn’t had a major impact in the way I’ve called the game or the way we’ve played the remainder of the game.”

(On what he has seen so far of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton) – “We’re really getting on him hard today. Last week was a difficult week because we didn’t have a day off with the schedule being a Monday night game. He’s a rare athlete, he’s a different type of quarterback than what we’ve been facing of late. They’re combination, their ability to run the football is a major strength for their offense. He’s one of those quarterbacks, one of those read option quarterbacks or whatever you’d like to define them as, that has a rocket of an arm and he can throw the ball down the field and throw it into tight spaces. It's going to be a major challenge this week, we haven’t even sat down yet as a total defensive staff today to start discussing things. We’re all still working on our own individual areas.”

(On the range of motions the past month and how hard it has been) – “I think we’ve done a fairly good job of trying to just stay focused on the task at hand as coaches and not allow it to impact the way we’ve prepared. It’s hard when you don’t win in this league so we’ve gone through a stretch there that was difficult but there’s never been a time that we’ve lost faith in the players or I think that they’ve lost faith in what we’re doing. We’re at a critical juncture in the season now. Every week it seems like the same thing but certainly now with six games remaining and sitting where we’re at we have to really step up our game and find ways to win. I think the attitude has been good, the work ethic on the practice field has been tremendous. That’s never an issue. I think we’re going to come out and play our best football here over the last part of the season.”

(On Dion Jordan covering tight ends and what makes him excel in that role) – “Dion is like a power forward in basketball. He’s a very smooth athlete. He’s got great length, and he can run like a deer. You put those qualities together, he’s not intimated, he’s actually bigger and taller than most of these guys or at least as tall as s some of these tight ends. They’re used to smaller guys covering them and that’s a big advantage, the body positioning and boxing out and playing basketball which a lot of them do. (Antonio) Gates is a perfect example, he’s a guy that can just muscle up on people like he’s waiting to get the ball in the low post and just catch a little hook route. Dion covered him a few times yesterday and did a very good job, he’s very natural at those kinds of things. The more we can get him involved in those type of things as well as he had some good rushes in the game yesterday too. We have to expand his role and keep him working because he can contribute and he is one of those guys that has the capability of making big plays for us.”

(On Koa Misi playing only 15 snaps based on two-linebacker package or health) – “Primarily the two linebacker package. They got into a lot of three wide receiver personnel’s and then they also had personnel grouping where they had two tight ends but one of them was more of a receiver, not (Antonio) Gates, the other guy, tall guy that would come in. Going into our game that was literally like a three wide receiver set in terms of the way they utilize that personnel in terms of run to pass. A lot of times we were in a sub defense.”
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