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Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant

Coach Tarver Media Session

On how he approaches hot weather games: "One of the things, like we've told you before, is we believe in rotating our guys anyway, because that's when they play best on defense. Then we just have to pick how we rotate and evaluate how it's going. We want them all to play; you only get so many active per game so we need to use the players to the best of their ability."

On LB Miles Burris: "What's been great the whole time is Miles hasn't made the same mistakes twice. He surprised us. He's getting more and more physical. He made some good tackles. The life he brings…watch him; watch him when he gets up. He's excited; he loves football and that's contagious. When you go into a meeting as a coach and a rookie is that excitable and makes that many plays, that's a great thing to emphasize to the other guys about how we're going to do this and what kind of passion we need to play with our defense. Miles has that and he's coming. He played well and I hope he can continue to grow week in and week out."

On Miami's offense and rookie QB Ryan Tannehill: "They do a nice job of trying to control the ball. In the run game, their offensive line is getting better at moving people. They did a good job against Houston early in that game moving their defensive line around, which is a good challenge. They have a good mix of backs with Reggie [Bush] and everybody to bring in; of course he's very good. The young quarterback has improved. They do a good job of getting the ball out of his hands fast. They're still learning their pass game, but you can see the improvements as they're starting to get to know each other."

On if holding an opponent to a field goal when starting in short yardage is a win on defense: "There are certain situations where they only need five yards and then it's a field goal. You'd like to go three-and-out and knock them out of field goal range. Some of the calls were designed to that. A few of them worked and some of them, Philip [Rivers] made a check down or something and made a play last week, but a field goal still keeps you in the game. Now, your job as a defense is to not let them score. Whoever scores the most points, wins. You don't want them to score ever, but there are certain situations where you've got to rise up and force a field goal, and hopefully get more pressure on those field goals and block them. Some of those are considered wins to us, and some of them we want to knock them the heck out of field goal range because we had an opportunity, if they're 10 yards from field goal range, to knock them out of there. So we've got to get them out of the score zone with a big play."

On his assessment of the defense: "Okay, what we did well is: we swarmed, we tackled, we knocked them back in the run game and forced them to have to pass. They threw more screens than they had thrown. They did some things because of our run game and our mechanics. We had times where we had great pressure. We had times where we were doing things very well. Then we had times where the execution of our coverages or understanding our matchups hurt us. That's what we need to do better; we've got to understand our matchups. This is a personnel-driven league. We've got to know what players do what and why, and use our tools accordingly, or use our rules accordingly like I like to say all the time. We've got to use our tools of our coverages to cover those guys. So that's what we need to improve on, specifically a few of those third downs. I thought red zone execution of our coverages was pretty good. Both pressures, coverages, all the way around. We had a scramble drill touchdown where a big receiver and a quarterback made a play, and we've got to get them on the ground quicker than that."

On CB Pat Lee: "Pat Lee played well when he came in. We expect him to continue to grow, but he did some good things. He did some good things when he came in. Pat's a pro, and we expect that of him and he expects that of himself."

On whether he calls a different defense with Lee in instead of CB Ron Bartell: "We called the same game plan after Pat Lee went in. By week to week, you can pick different tools based on who you're playing with, that's part of the challenge of the 16-game marathon NFL season. You've got to know your personnel and know what they can do and where your cutoff is in number of calls or execution of calls. We'll constantly evaluate that. When you're in a game, you may adjust and in that game we didn't necessarily need to adjust."

On Mike Mitchell and Joselio Hanson getting zero snaps on defense against the Chargers: "That was the way it kind of worked out for that game, but they are in our mix and we like them. They're progressing and they're in some packages for us."

On if he is teaching his linemen to put their hands up because of the number of tipped balls against Tannehill: "Yeah, he's had a lot of tipped balls. That's one thing you've got to emphasize, because one, it's on film, and two, it's obviously worked for the Texans. One of the biggest ways you get interceptions in the NFL is tipped balls and overthrows. That's when you get it. So you either push the pocket, lead into one of the other things we need to do when we rush or when we're activated, whether it's the d-linemen, linebacker, DB, whoever the heck is rushing because we bring them all, is get on edges of offensive players. If they're a lot bigger than you, you don't really want to run down the middle of them, so you've got to get on edges and that allows you to get your hands up and make plays. Or get off those blocks and get the quarterback. That's one of the things we've emphasized this week."

On bringing more pressure because it's a rookie QB: "We're a multiple pressure defense so that's what we do.

On whether he thinks it's simplistic to say that if you get to Tannehill it will rattle him: "I don't think he really rattles, watching him. I think he stays in his progression. I know Coach Sherman, and they do a good job of teaching quarterbacks. Coach Philbin, they've traditionally done a good job coaching quarterbacks and they've got a good plan. Obviously you want your rookie to have success if you can, but I think they're in his progression for him and they're working through it. I think they've done a good job with him and their quarterbacks."

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