Coach Tarver Media Session

On QB Cam Newton: "Cam can do everything well. He's a great athlete. He feels the game. He does a good job on both run and pass game of seeing the guys that are open and he's tall enough to look at it and find them. He's big enough to move around things. He does a nice job."

On defending a team that runs both pro-style and read-option offenses: "They're getting better. One of the things in establishing a defensive philosophy and how your calls work is the read-option is option football so you have to know who has the dive, who has the pitch. Your defenses, that should run through the vein of your defense, and it does here. That's one of the things that we've been installing these defenses so that when there is a read-option scheme or an option-scheme, hey, if you're the flat defender, you've got the pitch, those type of things…I won't go into too much detail, but that's one of the things that we use, so our defenses are built so if someone wants to run a read-option, I've had experience with that in the past and so has a lot of our coaches on the staff."

On Terrelle Pryor simulating Newton: "Very good. TP has been good all week for us. He's been filling in our defensive players, hey this is good when you do this because this makes it hard on me. He's done a nice job simulating in practice and adding information. He's so fast and so big, the speed with which he can do it on the practice field has helped us."

On if you have to keep one guy on Newton all the time: "There's times when in the game where if you don't have guys tracking him all the time that you can get in positions where he's going to hurt you. More critical downs, he's very good in the red zone, that's a situation where you have to have guys responsible for him, third downs. There's some other situations on the field, but we'll mix because that's what we do; we mix different calls. But there's certainly some things you have to do to deal with Cam Newton and the issues he presents. Their staff does a good job putting him in positions to make plays. They do a very good job both with their formations, with their shifts, with their choices of personnel groups. And then not only doing things in the pass game where they can use their weapons, backs on screens, of course Steve Smith, he's been a great player and competitor for a long time, they do a good job of using, it gets thrown around a lot in coaching and in the media, traditional offense versus the read option. Well, it's all offense. They're all good plays – it's execution versus stopping that execution. They do a good job all the way around."

On the defense last week versus previous weeks: "You guys remember how I answered the end of what we talked about last week? The goals of how you play defense – you need to use your hands and get off of blocks. How you do that is you simulate that all the time. It's one of the things we've been talking about since day one. Last week was the best we did those things and there's times with all the scheme and all the things to worry about, the biggest thing is if you're in a one-on-one matchup, you have to win your one-on-one matchup. Now how do you do that? Well, one way is getting off the blocks and swarming to the ball and that's what we talked about last week. We talked about using our hands, setting edges and going to the ball. And then playing top down coverage in the back end. That isn't going to change this week. The only thing that changes is a few of the plays that they run because they run their quarterback more."

On the defense posting a shutout: "It's outstanding. The guys have been working and battling through tough situations the whole time. You teach them, your job as a coach is to teach them to control what they can control. All we can control on defense is not where they get the ball, it's what we do on first down, second down and third down, and how quickly we can get off the field. Seven straight three-and-outs to start a game is outstanding. You can see kind of a culmination of…and they were coming off saying, 'hey coach, that was good, this worked, we did it and it happened just like it.' When you start getting in that groove, that's when you really grow both as a defense and together, players, coaches, everybody together. Hey we saw this in practice, the exact same thing happened and I made the play – perfect, great."

On Andre Carter now versus earlier in the season: "He's much better. He gets better every week. Andre is…you can't say enough about Andre. Even when he was a rookie, he was the ultimate pro because you told him something, he took it in, he applied it, he went and tried it and then came back and gave you feedback. He's working to get better every week. He had some nice rushes last week. He gets better. His body is coming back. We're real excited to have Andre around our guys. Andre has been part of the help, for your guys' question, same thing. You get that old vet that's won a lot of games. Not necessarily old, but in Andre's case, he's getting up there a little bit. He'll get on me for that one. That experience that he brings in there, 'hey guys, this is why this works. Hey let's try this, try this now and here's what they're saying.' Another voice to help your guys and as a team and that's all he cares about is winning."

On the fourth down stops against Kansas City: "Those were critical. Once they were going to go for it on fourth down in your territory, those are critical stops. We lined up in a look and on 4th-and-4 and drew them into a false start because they couldn't get it snapped with the help of the Black Hole down there. We loved it. And whenever we see you again, make a whole bunch of noise because it's only going to improve. They helped us cause a false start and then we get a 4th-and-9 and everybody rallies to the ball. Outstanding; now you're still 12-0. They get down there again. Again, we talk about control what you can control on the 18-yard line. The attitude is – who cares? Our job is to stop them and we did. They got a penalty on the first one, but we stopped the screen anyway and then we went four straight, got 4th-and-12 and a whole bunch of us hit the quarterback on that one. That was impressive. That was one of the best snaps of the year. Everybody was covered and a whole bunch of guys hit the quarterback."

On the Raiders defensive improvements: "A lot of this has been growing though. A lot of this has been growing meaning this – we've gotten better as opponents get into our red zone from Cleveland to Denver to all the way up. From the second half of Cincinnati on, guys have said enough is enough and they're starting to do that. Now, our job of course against this offense is to continue that and that's a hard thing to do. They're pretty good. We've just grown; we've grown together. We've grown in challenging wide receivers. We've grown in understanding how things work together and executing our calls. Our blitzes and stunts have gotten there faster. Our guys have covered better. Rush and coverage work together. It's just improved and we need to keep going on that. We've got a chance again to go 1-0 this week; that's our job. We've got two more shots right now before we don't get a shot for awhile. That's where we have to go. It's getting better all the way around. Everything working together and the guys understanding that hey man, it may not be perfect, but if I got to cover you, I'm going to cover you. And then the next play might be zone, so then the next play, oh, there's the ball, I have to make sure I tackle with the correct leverage."

On why it took so long to get to this point with the defense: "There's times where that happened throughout the year. I think there was a lull in the season and there was things that affected that, different players. There was a lull in that season where we had guys and it's a slight little difference, we'd have guys slip and fall. We have guys and you can't do that. Or we have guys in the hole to make a tackle against a really good running back, Doug Martin, and he made us miss. Most of those runs there was guys at the line of scrimmage in the hole to make the play and we didn't. What's happening is we're starting to make more of those plays. This team of course, this is a long answer, but this team of course, they're going to test that. There's going to test that big time because they have great skill position athletes."

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