On the bye week: "The biggest thing that we are trying to get done is to know who we are, what we are doing well and to make sure the players and coaches understand that. Look at ourselves and get ourselves better because that is all that you can do. That is what you control is what you do. We've got to do a better job, period, of getting off the field. A lot has been made in the third downs, we have to force long-and-third downs and we have to execute on third down. When one little piece is out of the gap on third down, they find it. That's the NFL, that's what they do. That's how good they are. So we have to make sure we are executing better and getting them in better situations on the third down. That's probably the biggest emphasis this week."
On what defense is doing well: "What are we doing well? There is very few explosive plays. What we have to do is we just have to get off the field. We need to turn when we're close in the plays. In the past few games balls have been thrown into coverage and we are a split second late and that's what you can't do. You can't be late and that comes from understanding where you are on the defense, understanding where the rest of your teammates are and flat challenging and making plays when you need to make plays."
On the staff's definition of an explosive play: "It varies. Coach Allen can answer that better than me. He does a nice job with that and he talks to the team about it every week. It varies across the league. Some of the league stats have it at 20-yard passes and things like that. We have ours and Coach Allen has that."
On confidence in personnel: "Here is what we need to do - you have two jobs as a coach, number one is to help guys get better and number two is to get 11 guys to play together. When 11 guys play together and they're nasty and they love playing defensive football together, you will find a way. Now, is it going to be perfect at every position? No, but is anything perfect? No. It is how they play and what they do together and that's what we got to do."
On example made of Lamarr Houston's hustle play to recover fumble: "Oh, big time. That's a great play. That's how you play the game. You've got to love this game and you've got to love to play. When the ball is on the field, go get it. That's our job. Our job is to get the ball out and get it to Carson [Palmer] and get it to [Darren] McFadden. We've got to do a better job of that. But that is how you play football. That's outstanding. That's what we need to play like.
On hustle plays: "We need more."
On if seeing hustle plays be successful is key: "Sure, Richard [Seymour] going all the way down and batting that ball and Phil [Wheeler] running and his dreads everywhere and he made the play. That's outstanding. But yes, all the clichés…turnovers and sacks come in bunches, right? But it comes from hustle plays. Tips and overthrows create interceptions. We have to get more of those. We have to get more tipped balls. Richard tipped one down in the red zone, that was outstanding. We have to get more of those. We have to get ourselves to do that. We've been working that since camp and the guys know it. We do turnovers every day; we do tackling every day. Those are the things we've got to do. We've got to get guys down sooner and quicker and get to the ball so third downs get shorter and we get more longer ones and get off the field. So it's contagious when it happens and it's very much pointed out. We have to do it more. That's how we've got to live. You live those things."
On pass rush issues being related to coverage issues: "Rush and coverage work together. I would say number one, we're getting guys throwing the ball really fast. Peyton [Manning] threw it really fast. A lot's been made of the yards per attempt, I don't remember the number. But a lot's been made of the yards per attempt, and when that happens, we have to get the guy on the ground really fast because if he doesn't want to hold it, you're not going to get him if he doesn't want to hold it. So we have to do a better job of making him hold it and then go and get him. And when get our one-on-ones we have to win that. That's one of the things that's happened. We have to win our one-on-ones."
On ineffective blitzes: "Execution. Winning one-on-ones. Those would be the two biggest reasons. We have to do that all together schematically, player-wise, everything. We have to win our one-on-ones when we get them and make sure we understand where we're supposed to be and where everyone else is so we can play fast."
On keeping hustle throughout game: "We need 11 games running to the ball every play."
On Michael Huff's progress: "Mike just needs to keep being more consistent with his eyes. I thought he was more consistent with his eyes and his body position. Everything is a perspective in how you see the game, both coaches and players. What position did you play? (Asked to Jerry McDonald who answers, 'I played baseball – pitcher.') As a pitcher, what did you see? You were in control of the game, you're right in the mound. So you see a batter facing you. It's the same thing. There's a safety; he's in the middle, he sees this (facing field head on) right? Now, he sees just half the field, everything's perspective. So all of a sudden, you're like, 'wait a minute, I have to put my head right here so I can see this. So it's all perspective. And that's what takes a minute, the time to get your eyes right so nothing slips by you. Where do I put my eyes at the start of the down is the most important thing, especially in the secondary, but for any position. Everything is perspective, so if you're a pitcher and you've got the ball, you're looking right down on everything. Now you're a third baseman and you only see half the field. So okay, wait a minute, where do I put my eyes right? So he got better at that and we'll keep getting him better."
On if Huff will be a better player if he returns to safety after playing corner: "Yeah, Mike knows both. Mike has played both in the past. Mike still knows safety. He can go there if we need him to. He's a smart guy."
On when Coach Tarver will turn attention to Falcons: "Well we're done practicing and we've looked at the four games, plus the preseason, all the things that we've done in every situation. So we'll start looking at the Falcons soon here and seeing what they do and seeing what adjustments we've made fit before we the players come back and practice again."
On Brandian Ross: "He had a couple good days of practice. Got his hands on a ball today in practice and he's a big athlete, so he's coming. All these guys, they got to compete this week. We'll go in and watch the film from this practice right now and check them out."
On players' belief in the scheme: "Yes, yes. We need to do it better and they know we need to do it better and we're working together to do it better. And they see us working with them. The corrections are the same corrections we've made. We talk the same way. Nobody's changed anything. It's a process. Everything is a process that ends in a result. You have to learn how to do it and you have to do it right. And then, when its third-and-seven on the third play of the game, you have to find a way to get off the field. You have to cover the main guy he wants to throw the ball to. We didn't on the first play and they understand why. So now we need to make the adjustment and next time that happens, we need to get that done."
On Andre Carter and Vic So'oto: "Andre has been working this week. It's good; it's good to have him in the mix. He's a professional. He has a lot of career sacks. He works well with the group already which is great. My history with Andre has been good. He's doing well and we'll keep him progressing, keep working out, keep going, see how he does. Vic, excited about Vic and some of the things he does. He's a big athlete. He uses his hands well and he's learning the scheme pretty well so far. A few weeks in to go from one scheme to show up and be an outside linebacker in another scheme is not always easy, but he's picked it up pretty well."
On relationship with Carter: "Andre has really matured. He's a pro. He does a good job of studying, helping other guys, really working with guys – 'hey, how do we rush together?' Because he understands that rushing the quarterback is done together. He helps other guys get better. He's got outstanding technique with his hands and his pass rush ability. Outstanding technique that he's had his whole life and he's developed all through the years, all the way through college here at Cal and all the way working up with the Niners, everywhere he's gone, he's done a nice job."
On Carter's explosiveness despite previous injury: "Yeah, I think it's better every day. What you have to build, any injury, you have to build that trust back. Anything you do, you test it. I've ripped up my knee a bunch, oh, is it okay? So he's doing that every day and it's gotten better every day. Once you get in the game, the game conditioning of course comes from games because you can't get better playing football if you don't play football. He's gotten better every day at practice and we've put him through drills the simulate it. One thing about Andre, he really works. Every injury he's had in his career he's overcome and its' because of his work ethic.