Tarver: "This is exciting"


Q: How dramatically different is the style of team you're playing this week as opposed to last week?**

Coach Tarver:"Different type of run schemes, downhill counter power run schemes, play-action shots, quarterback running, there's some differences, but the key's to playing good defense stay the same, setting edges, using our hands, getting off of blocks, tackling in space."

Q: Some players said last week that the Rams did what the Dolphins did you in London. Do you agree with that and how do you fight that from happening again?

Coach Tarver:"It was actually different personnel groups than the Dolphins did. What we didn't do is tackle the ball around the line of scrimmage, so the corrections in this case were pretty easy. Now, it's athlete on athlete, so, simple corrections but we've got to make the plays and we have made those so we're looking forward to this week and getting to show what we've corrected."

Q: Did it leave you scratching your head because you guys have been tackling better and playing better defense? Did you wonder where is my defense?

Coach Tarver:"Well, No. 1, it's not mine. No. 2, it's the Raider defense. No. 3, we've been steadily improving and then we missed some tackles early in that football game and we've got to find a way to get them on the ground. Like I've said before, we went in at halftime and we looked at each other and we said, 'It's time to be us, man. It's time to stay in our process. It's time to get after these dudes,' and we went four straight three-and-outs. So we want to stay in our progression, we want to be us. It's about us, as you hear from Coach Tony [Sparano] and as you've heard from our defensive players and that's what we're focusing on this week is taking care of us, making sure we're right in our gaps, making sure we're working together correctly, making sure that if somebody does miss, the other guys are running and hitting with the correct angles and going and playing. There are some passion things that the Raider Nation saw against Kansas City and we're excited to come back home and play in front of the Raider Nation. Obviously, a backyard football game, those are the best kind when you're growing up, backyard football, a little like that, so that's what we're excited about, an opportunity to show where we've grown, six and a half out of seven games, our process, our identity, that's what we're excited about showing."

Q: You grew up here and you coached with the 49ers for a lot of years and now you're here. You've got to think about it a little…

Coach Tarver:"No. 1, I don't like questions with 'I', I prefer 'we' as you guys know, but very fortunate as a football coach, as a young man from the Bay Area, growing up here, and to be a part of two great organizations and to be around great coaches and to have the opportunity to learn from them and great players in both places. That's an honor and a privilege. But, all that said, one of the greatest things is this environment, these two teams in this environment. That's what's special about this week. You've heard from Coach Tony and some of the players about what this is like and this is, this is like backyard football, this is exciting. About me, I just feel fortunate to have been around great coaches and players, but it's about this team and our progression and that's really what we're focused on, playing together, and our passion and how we chase the ball. That's what the Nation deserves and that's what we want to see on defense."

Q: Are they still doing a lot of the same things on defense that they've always done?

Coach Tarver:"Yeah. They do a nice job. They're physical. They've played together for a long time. They come downhill. They have good edge rushers, they mix their coverages. We've seen – when you play the same divisions, obviously playing the NFC West this year, we've seen them on film a good amount and having been around that group of players, it's a great group of men and they're physical, so, I'm excited and proud for all those players that I was around when I was over there and coaches and everybody. Learned a lot and had a lot of good times and started the process of turning that defense, so, it was a great opportunity."

Q: In terms of professionalism approach, did you get everything you hoped to get from getting Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown over here?

Coach Tarver:"Professionalism approach, yes. They know what's happening to them and they're able to communicate that. So, the communication level and those things was very good from those two young men and they've helped our young guys, young corners and young guys through the defense, they're great reference points and they both made some plays. Hopefully 'T' [Tarell Brown] can continue to make some more plays and help us keep learning how to work through this process, and I know I've said that word a lot today, but that's what it is. You've got to eliminate the ups and downs, you've got to learn how to bring it every single week, so that's what we're working on. Those guys help with that."

Q: Tarell Brown said he wouldn't change a thing and he loves this locker room. Is that the guy you've seen all year?

Coach Tarver:"Yeah. Oh yeah. He is what he is, that's a NFL phrase right? He's confident. He knows what routes look like, he's a professional. He studies, he works, he takes notes. He's what you want in your locker room."

Q: When people leave somewhere they usually take something from their office. Did you take anything when you left the 49ers?

Coach Tarver:"Playbooks, schemes, blitzes, (laughing) eight-man drops, because you know I sit up here a lot and I say we could bring three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine guys. I learned a lot. I have a little badge that says, 'Hi, welcome to Candlestick Park.' That's the only thing I have from there. One time a piece of glass fell down in the press box and it hit my head. So, I have a bloody visor, because you guys know I wear visors all the time, and I was bleeding on the visors. I have that visor because it was completely red and then more red. You never know what's going to happen in a football game. So, I have that and a few other things but I won't tell them all."

Q: What was the badge?

Coach Tarver:"It's just a little pin that I got. One day they were giving them out. I liked that. I have a couple game balls from some good wins. Other than that, we're focused on right now. Those are special moments. They're special people. There were special people that we were around. I like the question."

Q: Given that they know you well and you know them well, do you almost have to be more creative to go away from tendencies?

Coach Tarver:"For us, we want to play within our identity and keep within our calls, but then move them by down and distance or whatever. We make subtle tweaks weekly that, like this guy blitzes instead of that guy or something like that. We aren't going to leave that process because that's our process, which has improved as this season went on. We're going to stay right with it. Regardless of the opponent, that's what we do. We want to keep it in that mix so that our guys can play fast."

Q: It must be difficult to replicate Colin Kaepernick's mobility but does that complicate your preparation?

Coach Tarver:"We've seen some other guys this year that can run. Now he's really fast. But we've seen some guys this year that can run so that helps us. Schematically, we've done some things this year against different quarterbacks. We've seen it some, and that helps."

Q: Is he the most athletic quarterback you've faced this year?

Coach Tarver:"I think he's the fastest. He's very fast. He's got a very strong arm. I know there are some criticisms in those things, but he's a good football player. I think he's the fastest straight up, but there are some quicker guys. He's a good player and he's got a real strong arm, that thing is a cannon."

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