On improved run defense: "Run defense is knowing where your help is and doing your job and swarming the football. Those two things, I know Coach Allen said similar things, but that's what it is. We talk about where you're supposed to be, knowing where your help is, doing your job, not jumping out of a gap when a back makes a funny cut in the backfield, and making a play when you need to. And swarming the football and we've gotten better at that as we continue to go and that's where we've got to go. Continuing to swarm the football is the number one key to defense."
On balancing the swarming part with staying where you're supposed to be: "That's exactly right and that's the coaching part. 'Hey, why did you shed that guy so early?' 'Well, I felt this.' 'Well, here, is the back to you? Did he declare? Yes, okay, get rid of that guy, go make the tackle.' So it is a timing thing and it's a decision the players make on every play. When to do that and where their help is that fast with somebody in your face. That's where the coaching is, is where you fit and then obviously and then the violence needed to get off of a block and make a tackle. That's what we're working on all the time. That's why we practice those fits so much. We do some drills where, we've done it since training camp, we get as many fits as we can with our front seven and then define where our DB's fit around that. So it is a system on the call. Okay, where's your help, where are you supposed to be and they have to say that to us as coaches a lot."
On the defensive issues during Miami and Denver games: "One, knowing where our help is. First thing Miami was, was pure tackling and then knowing where our help is. Because as long as you take your shot at a tackle with the right angle, knowing where your help is, we're good because everybody else can fix you. That's their job. That's why you run to the ball. All those 10 other guys, we'd put more out there if we can, but we can't, so those 10 other guys, as long as you know the angle with which you're supposed to take your shot, take your shot! A missed tackle, he gains one more yard, so what. In that game, we missed with the wrong angles."
On QB Josh Freeman: "One, they've done a good job, Josh, the coaching staff, the wide receivers, getting on the same page. They're running plays that he can be very successful at. He's doing a good job of analyzing coverages and putting the ball in the right spot right away. He has a very accurate deep ball and those guys go up and get it. That's the best thing that he's doing right now is running plays that Josh has a good command of. You can see them working to fix it if it doesn't work the first time, even within a game, they're doing a good job of that, players and coaches."
On how to practice to prepare for Tampa Bay's big wide receivers: "It's the moment of truth when the ball is up in the air and that's of course what these guys are good at. One again, it's the same thing just like in the run game that we were just talking about. In the pass game, you have to know where your help is and when we ask you to reroute, you have to get a reroute because if you don't reroute a big receiver, you're in trouble. And then, angles on the ball. For anybody in coverage, you have to get your eyes right and then your feet can follow. So you have to be in the right body position and then get your eyes right and even that sometimes those guys jump right over you like they did a couple times against the Vikings last week."
On the defense preventing big plays: "We're getting better. Even on the ones where [Dwayne] Bowe got a 46-yarder last week, the guys did a great job of fixing that already. 'Coach, I know where I've got to be, that won't happen again.' They came off and said, 'we got it.' That's what you're looking for is the quick adjustment. This is the challenge. This week is a challenge to test those rules. We're excited about it and it's a challenge to test everything we've put together so far."
On Tyvon Branch's stop for loss on Chiefs reverse: "He was on the backside of the play and what happened was, actually that was one of those plays where somebody was in the right spot and missed, but missed with an angle to make him bubble and then Ty took a great angle, got his helmet across, and made a great tackle. That is it because what we're doing well is we know where everyone is supposed to be and then when somebody is not there, we can adjust. He made a great tackle on that play."
On Aaron Curry: "Aaron has gotten a lot better every week. He's working at all three positions as both Coach Allen and myself have said and whenever Coach Allen and Reggie [McKenzie] make the decision to have Aaron up, hopefully he can help us. But he's working at all positions. He's working hard every day."
On how Curry is going to be used: "Well, when he's active, we've got another piece, so I'm going to leave it at that right now. If he's active, that's Coach and Reggie's decision like we said, but he's a good football player, so as he continues to improve, hopefully he can help us."
On the improvement in pass rush the last few quarters: "The guys working together with pocket mechanics. Everybody gets a turn in this defense and the guys working together and really knowing where they're supposed to be, working off of each other, whether it be a pressure call or anything, like we said a couple weeks ago, every defense is a prevent defense. You're trying to prevent them from scoring, but you activate more guys toward the quarterback. Whether we're activating guys or not activating guys, the guys really understand how to make those calls work and it's nice to watch the process. The players are just getting better and better."
On Pat Lee: "Pat Lee has definitely improved the last three or four weeks and it's in knowledge of the defense. The same thing, Pat knowing where his help is and every time you start a game as a corner, you're kind of wondering okay, how fast really is this wide receiver? How big really is this wide receiver? And he's gotten calmer faster in games. I don't know if that's good English, but that's what he's done. That's where Pat has gotten better and he needs to continue to do that. He needs to continue to go one play at a time, keep his hips down and keep making plays. He made a great catch on that interception last week and that was by having his eyes alive. As long as he can continue to correct his mistakes…he's one of the guys that when things happen to him, he goes, 'I got that; I know, that's enough. I've had that happen to me enough, I understand that now.'"