Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: [Arian] Foster comes out, first carry, runs for 20 yards – still confident at that point?
Coach Bresnahan: Absolutely 100-percent confident because if you know football and you watch what we did on the play, we didn't adjust with our linebackers to the motion and we didn't adjust with the corner to set the edge. We let them get the edge on us just like we did in the other games and again, the commitment – I told you the commitment during the week was to solidify the run, especially the perimeter runs. So again, very easy correction on the sidelines; you watch from that point on, there was not an edge run play that got any significant yards on. I think the next longest play was seven yards after that first one, but again, we stepped up in certain areas but we've a long way to go as an overall unit.
Q: How is what Houston did different from what Cleveland tries to do?
Coach Bresnahan: It's a little bit different style of an offense because Gary [Kubiak] comes from that Mike Shanahan background with Alex Gibbs and it's a little bit different blocking schemes in the run game. Then in the pass game, the west coast offense – the true west coast offense is what Cleveland runs and they're a very controlled, very efficient offense. Houston had big playability in a lot of people. Of course we didn't face Andre Johnson, but they still had it with some of their other receivers. You saw that there were a couple of plays where we just miscommunicated with coverage and we turn out instead of giving big plays in the run game, we turn around and gave up big plays in the pass game. But, one thing we did do with the exception of the touchdown – I think it was a 56-yard touchdown, but we gave ourselves another opportunity and the one time we held them to a missed field goal. So again, we've got to eliminate the explosive plays. The similarity is that they are going to try to put their playmakers in position to make plays, but it's a different style of run game and a little bit different style of pass game. So, you've got to compensate for it but again, we've had a good week of practice so far, excited to get back out, and again, keep making strides forward.
Q: With Cleveland pounding [Peyton] Hillis between the tackles, does that play more to your strength with what you guys have got going on?
Coach Bresnahan: You could say yes, but they are not significantly a tackle to tackle team. They do like to run the ball downhill more than say Houston did, but they still will get the ball out on the edge. They've got little plays; if you watch the last – I'm trying to think which game it was, the Miami game, and they run that ball off tackle, we call is a BIM-O, where the fullback sealed the defensive end and Hillis goes 24 yards for a touchdown. I mean they are not all right downhill; they're going to take it on the edge a little bit too so we've got our work cut out for us. They use their tunnel screens to [Josh] Cribbs, their H-screens to Hillis as their compliment to the run game and that hits the off-tackle plays. That's nothing more than an extended run.
Q: I know you weren't here last year but from what you can see or heard, is [Kamerion] Wimbley getting a lot more attention this year based on what he did last year?
Coach Bresnahan: If you watch the games, I think that Kamerion had his best game this past weekend and it's a little bit with us too, you know, getting him involved early and often in some of the things that we did defensively. With Houston and what they did, that allowed us to do that but again, we've got to put – just like our offense like Hue talks about; we've got to put our playmakers on defense in positions to make plays. So, I heard the question before about the one sack and all that. He's getting better every game; he really is and he's accomplishing and filling his role on this defense right now. Would we like to see a little bit more production and get him involved a little bit more? Absolutely, but I can help that.
Q: Aaron Curry – what do you like about him?
Coach Bresnahan: On that one – until Hue tells me that we've got a deal done or anything, I'm not even going to comment. I'll stay with Cleveland and all that but until he gives the okay…
Q: He told us that you could talk about it…
Coach Bresnahan: No, I was standing right here and I've already been briefed. Nice try through. That's worth a cup of soup somewhere.
Q: When you look at the passing numbers – yards versus percentage completed, how do kind of spread [Matt] Schaub threw for a lot of yards yet he only had about a 50 percent completion rating?
Coach Bresnahan: As a coordinator, you are always very cautious when answering questions like that because if I say, 'Okay, we gave up six plays that equal 207 yards,' alright? That's all an offensive coordinator wants to hear. They don't care if they play 55 or 65 plays. If they've got six plays that they can make explosive plays on, that's – whether it's run, pass - that's what they want to hear. They know all they need is one shot at that so to us, our goal is to eliminate every explosive play. That's a run over 15 yards or pass over 25 yards; we don't want any and we're not doing that right now. For two weeks, we had too many runs over the 15-yard limit and this past weekend, we had five over the 25-yard limit. We can't do it and win games consistently. So, we still have a long way to go but we do analyze that each and every week based on the yardage per reception but you can't ignore the fact that so many yards came on so few plays. It doesn't make a difference; you still gave them up.
Q: How did [DeMarcus] Van Dyke play?
Coach Bresnahan: You know what, he did a good job. The thing I thought he did coming back from his little nicks and bruises was he came out and tackled a couple times on the edge. I was happy to see that but he defended well in pass coverage and was a force in the run defense as far as helping to set the edge, so I was impressed.
Q: Surprising guy? He must weigh about 150 pounds?
Coach Bresnahan: No, I wasn't surprised. I was just happy to see him back and feeling confidence. I think he gained confidence as the game went on. I think he's going to continue to do that with experience, so we're excited for him.
Q: Chuck, when did you realize you only had 10 guys on the field during that last play?
Coach Bresnahan: To be honest with you, fairly quickly. But at the same time, I didn't understand why because it was at the end of the game and we made no substitutions other than rotating a lineman for a lineman for the pass rush. So, I had no idea what or why it happened, I had to figure out who it was, but we knew pretty quick.
Q: What went through your mind?
Coach Bresnahan: I said we had the 11th man out there and I didn't care. So, we knew that and he helped out.
Q: What do you see from [Tyvon] Branch in terms of coverage? He struggled a little last year, but seems to be better…
Coach Bresnahan: He has worked his you know what off and this is a true pro. This is a guy that we've moved around on these plays. He's played safety for us, he's played dime, he's played nickel for us; this is a guy that is a true competitor and you watch at the end of the New England game, we've got him on Wes Welker and that's the only time we shut Wes Welker down with a single guy. So – not to say that he's going to do it consistently for a 60-play game but he is getting better and better and better at coverage. So, I'm excited for him and to have him and Michael Huff with the ability to cover that really helps us when you start playing teams that go to a four-wide or flex out a tight end that's athletic; it really helps us out.
Q: [Gary] Kubiak said you guys really controlled the line of scrimmage during the game. Second half, Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour were virtually unblockable. What happened up front?
Coach Bresnahan: Well, you just go back to what we talk about each and every week of the first and foremost primary goal, stop the run. As soon as you stop the run, you like to cut those big guys loose and they're big. They will wear offensively linemen down and the rotation we keep throughout the game – it keeps those guys fresh in the fourth quarter, so they're licking their chops. We've run a lot more pressures and zero-pressures in this game just because of their protection and they didn't make an adjustment, but our guys were asking for just a four-man rush and to be able to play coverage. So, we have to be able to sure down the coverage so we can let those guys eat just four men at a time because they have the ability to get pressure on the passer.
Q: In the games you guys have won, the D-Line has been dominant. In the games you haven't, they haven't. What's been the difference in those games?
Coach Bresnahan: Well again, I think setting the edge in the run game because we allowed people – when you look at the two big games we lost, it's the perimeter run that's opened up and we haven't stopped it. In the New England game, to me, was the real telltale factor there that we did not control the run game and we totally eliminated the D-Line from being a factor in the game. So if we keep this game close, shut it down and make it a one-dimensional game, that's when those guys come to life and you can really let them go.