Coach Tarver Media Session

On Rolando McClain accepted less snaps and how he played last week: "I think he played well in the role that we asked him to do. He's done a good job this week in practice knowing the looks and knowing what's about to happen to him this week. He played well in his snaps. That was good."

On how he allocated reps last week with the defensive backs: "What's been good with our secondary is the guys are growing in the scheme. Now we're able to be a little more multiple in who we use, and when and why. Why and how we do that rotation is us on the game plan on game day. We wanted to give them a different look in who's covering so that they didn't get to know the way those guys back-pedal. Our players are learning the scheme well. We have some guys that we want to see. As they continue to develop and make more plays they'll get more playing time."

On philosophy on final drive last week: "It's all about execution of a coverage. In those situations, if you blitz everybody and they make a play, why'd you blitz? If you drop everybody but one, and they make a play, why'd you do that? All of the sudden if you blitz it's the greatest call of all time. I find those funny. It's always execution. It's always execution of what you're talking about and whether you get it done. On the calls where you may rush a few less, then you need to be closer and understand where they're trying to go. That's where we can do a better job as players and coaches."

On the last long pass by Atlanta: "Yeah, there's a couple of times, like the very first play, where we made a nice play on a screen and kept the guy in-bounds; made them use their timeout. When they're in that situation and they have 40 seconds and two timeouts you have to make them use their timeouts. Remember, with that team, what did they do against Carolina? They were all the way back on their goal line and what do they do? They throw a double-move long-ball for 59 yards to Roddy White and he jumped over everybody. That's one thing you've got to make sure that you don't give that one, because they were able to get in field-goal range, if you guys remember a few weeks ago. You want to be in defenses where you can tackle in-bounds, make them use their timeouts, and make sure they can't get the ball over your head. There's ways to do that: pressuring, not pressuring, three-man rush, four-man rush, five-man rush, whatever. It's more of just the execution of our calls. We're going to have the same calls. We might switch the order a little bit for Jacksonville this week, or whoever."

On the Jacksonville offense: "I think it's a team that's looking for their identity. I'll tell you, they can run the football. The group of running backs is outstanding. [Maurice] Jones-Drew is a very good player. Coming from the Bay Area, and De La Salle High School, we've known of him for a very long time. One of the places where I went to school, UCLA, has known him for a very long time. He's a very good player. He's really hard to tackle. He keeps his pads down, and he moves forward. He can catch and he can run. Their tight end is a good player. They're trying to find their identity and learn how to work together. They're a team that can move the football. We need to make sure that we're very sound in gap-discipline this week in the run game, and then challenging receivers. The biggest thing that we did last week, better than we had, was challenge wide receivers. Sometimes we're one-on-one, sometimes we've got zone. We change our calls. We mix our calls. When you're one-on-one, challenge them, run-game, pass-game."

On Rolando McClain's role this weekend: "It depends on what personnel groups they use, and what personnel groups we use. Rolando's done a good job this week at practice, especially, defending their run scheme. He remembers the last time they were here, and he doesn't want that to happen. Not all of our guys do, which is good, because every game is different. He's done a good job of knowing how to fit, and using his hands this week in practice."

On McClain's mental state: "He handled it well. He's been good with the other guys. That's what we asked him to do, and that's what he did. He was a pro about the situation."

On whether McClain gained energy from playing less snaps: "Yes, his production per play was the best it's been this year, which is our only reference. We don't care about anything else otherwise. If he can continue to keep his production per play up, then we're great. That's what this defense is. Andrew Luck says, 'It's the ultimate meritocracy,' which means this is all about production. You get what you get by your merit, by your production. If he can keep his production level there, that's what it's about. We're just trying to get our personnel in positions so they can produce. That's the ultimate."

On if the defense was relieved to get the first interception: "Sure. You were waiting on that play, but they come in bunches. Everything comes in bunches. I was thinking about getting them all the little rabbit's foot on a keychain, giving them those until we got an interception. Saying, 'Here guys, here's some luck so we got the bounces.' How about that one that hit him in the head and they still caught it? How could that ball bounce any different? You go, 'All right, go on to the next play.' Yes, of course there is. When you get that, whatever you want to say, that first sack, that first hit, that first tackle. That adrenaline you get from playing is the same way. When you make that first hit, or you cover that first kickoff, and you really hit somebody, it can change. That's why you play. You love that feeling."

On how Matt Shaughnessy played last week: "Shaughnessy played well. Shaughnessy did a good job with his hands. He did well in the run game. He did a nice job of dictating to the offensive tackle how he was going to have to block him. He said, 'You're going to have to block me; I'm going where I want.' That's what Matt can do. If he stays in that, he'll keep getting better."

On how it felt to be put in two adverse situations and hold the Falcons to field goals: "That was outstanding. Even after the first whatever happens, we just take the field wherever we are and that's exactly what you talk about. They put the ball down. Wherever they put that ball down, that's where we take the field. Our job is to control how we get off the field there. We held them on the first one and he missed the field goal. Then, of course, they got the ball down on the goal line. They used three different personnel groups. So did we. We had three pretty good plays. We did a good job of executing and knocking them back. If we continue to do that, that's what it's about. If you can, take your character to the execution on the field."

On how the guys are growing into the scheme: "It's all about process, like you and I have talked about since the first time we talked. You've got to trust your process as players and coaches. We've been staying in the process. Just like you said, we might have needed a rabbit's foot, which we didn't. We needed good players to make plays, and that's what the guys did. That's the ultimate. Players make plays. It's the process. It's the process of learning. Our job is to help them, to give them the tools to put them in positions to make them successful. As you're watching, you're going, okay, Week 1, this happened. We fixed some of this, and we didn't quite get this here. Let's fix this. Let's fix this. Okay, look. Then, we fixed a lot of it and then the guys put it into action. I think the players did a good job that week of this - they took more of an emphasis on their own to go in as position groups, and as a defense, and spend more time together watching their opponent. We had a great discussion on the field today. We had some good discussions on the sidelines. 'Hey Coach, I saw this. Hey, let's get over here and talk to this player who we've got to work with. Let's fix that.' That's when you get going good, when the guys work together."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising