Q: How are you feeling?
A: Good, real good. I’m ready to go.
Q: What was the whole offseason
like for you, wondering if you were going to be back and
not getting a head coaching position?
A: No disappointment. No
disappointment; not much wondering. It was a great
opportunity. I went out and did a couple of interviews
and it was a good opportunity for me to learn and grow.
I’m excited about being back. We did some nice things
during the offseason through the draft and free agency.
I’m excited about getting started.
Q: What has been the most
exciting change to the defense?
A: Personnel; everybody that we
got. Everybody that we got is pretty exciting.
Q: You knew there would be some
changes. Did you expect this much of an overhaul?
A: No. You never know from year to
year. I’m an assistant coach and I’m involved in the
evaluation process, not necessarily in the decision
making process; but evaluations. But it was a big
Q: As you saw all the new
defensive players being signed, did your eyes kind of
light up, “Now I have something to work with”?
A: Yeah, that is about it. That is
Q: Is it true that you actually
don’t want the opposing quarterback to throw a single
pass next year?
A: Yeah, that would be good. It is
kind of a balancing act. If they are not throwing a
pass, then they are probably running the ball. You
don’t want to get a ton of those either if you are not
Q: Talk about the frustration of
the Carolina game last year, being beat up physically on
the defense and now as you go into camp trying to
A: Well, you like that word
‘frustration.’ I’m not going to use that word. We were
disappointed, but I wasn’t frustrated. The fact of the
matter is we took over a team that was 4 and 12 and in
two years we are 11 and 5 and the guys are playing
hard. You can’t control the injury factor. It’s not in
our control; we can only control what we can. The
fellows that were out there were playing hard and they
gave everything they had and we lost the game. We were
disappointed, but we are excited about getting started
Q: Do you have a lot of work
ahead of you between now and that first game in finding
a way to incorporate the new players into what you want
A: Yeah, I’m looking forward to a
Q: Just talk about that a little
bit. What is the challenge now?
A: Trying to find out how they all
fit, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses
are, and trying to put it all together.
Q: Have you been scheming in your
head, trying to be creative, trying to figure out …..?
A: You can say it just like that.
That’s exactly right and that is what you do, whether
you are in the shower or walking to or from work. If
you see something that happens maybe by accident on the
field, you say, ‘Boy that looks pretty good, let’s call
it something.’ That is all we are doing right now, we
are trying to …..
Q: There are going to be a lot of
questions that have to be answered in this camp.
A: Sure. I look forward to coming
to work every day. We are going to put them together
and try to figure out how we can use them most
Q: Were you on the LaVar Arrington bandwagon right away? Could you just talk
about what he brings?
A: I was fortunate to have watched
him play in high school. He was from North Hills and I
was in Pittsburgh at the time. He was a big, strong,
fast athlete coming out of high school. Then, of
course, did a great job with Penn State. We interviewed
him a number of times before the draft. He was a local
kid and he always loved the Steelers. So I have gotten
to know him over the course of time fairly well.
Q: Why is he better suited to the
strong side? It seemed like the opening was on the weak
side when you signed him. What skills does he bring?
A: He is a good rusher. To have he
and Strahan and Osi line up next to each other at some
point will be a pretty daunting task for an offensive
team. And he is just as much – in our defense, because
we run – I think I explained to some of you guys – a
closed side reduction and an open side reduction – it
may be a little bit too technical; but the fact of the
matter is that he will be weak just as much as he will
Q: Could you talk about Jonas Seawright and how you have seen him progress over the
last few days?
A: Jonas is big; he is a big kid.
He is young, enthusiastic and energetic in learning the
program. His endurance has gotten better. He is
stronger than he was when he first got here. He
understands the defense better. He has really done a
good job pushing forward. He is trying to learn how to
play – snap-by-snap, game-by-game, and to stay focused
on the next play.
Q: What about his weight? Is he
where you would like him to be right now?
A: I’m not the weight coach. I
could care less. I just want him to play football.
Q: Do you know yet what you have
at that tackle spot? It is a lot of guys with kind of
unprovedn potential, maybe.
A: Yeah. That is everybody on the
team, yeah. Fred, William, Jonas, Duckett – that is
kind of what we had last year, too. It’s the same
Q: Were you surprised in the
first round of the draft when you traded down and you
drafted a pass rushing defensive end?
A: Surprised. No. We had all
evaluated him and we had all – I may have given him the
highest grade that we had. He is really a talented
player. We’re excited about having him.
Q: They said they wouldn’t have
drafted him if they didn’t think they could find a place
to put him at some point. Do you see him getting on the
field with the whole new crew here?
A: Oh yeah. I doubt he will be
inactive in a game. Were you at practice today?
Q: Yes, I was.
A: Did you see him out there? He’s
doing a good job. He’s smart and fast; a good pass
Q: Do you believe you can never
have enough pass rushers?
A: Oh, absolutely. Oh, there’s no
doubt. Obviously, if you can’t put enough pressure on a
passer, you are going to be in for a long day on the
back end. I was not here for the game that, I think,
Jerry Reese referred to – San Francisco -- some years
ago. But evidentially they had some problems at the end
of the game, or whatever. But I would say the same
thing. In my tenure at Pittsburgh we had good pass
rushers and we had a number of them and we gave a lot of
different people opportunities to rush. We ended up, I
think, in our 40’s in sacks this year here. I think it
was in the top 10 in sacks. But, yeah, you would like
to have a lot of pass rushers. You would like to have
people that could put pressure on the passer. That is
part of our defensive philosophy, stopping the run and
pressuring the passer. That is the way we get it done.
Q: With Osi and Strahan, you
probably don’t want to take them off the field?
A: Oh, they won’t be off.
Q: So how do you ……?
A: Very carefully. If I tell you,
then I’m going to tell the Eagles and the Redskins.
Q: There will be other places
besides defensive end where you might see
A: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Q: I understand you don’t make
the personnel decisions; Will Peterson’s health status
A: We’re only going to talk about
the guys that are working here.
Q: Would you have preferred to
A: I’m only going to talk about the
guys that are working here.
Q: How about the guys that you
brought in – Sam Madison. What do you see from him so
A: He does a good job. He is really
instinctive, experienced, obviously, intuitive, hard
worker, quick. He holds a lot. Other than that he is a
very good football player.
Q: Are you going to rely on him
to now be the veteran – the steady force in that
A: Yeah. He - and I’m going to push
Gibril that way, now that we have been together three
years. James Butler, in just his second year, is going
to have to be the veteran. Will Demps has done a good
job picking up the defense. All of the guys that are
new are really relying on those guys to help them and to
lead them and guide them. R.W. McQuarters is a veteran
guy and people are asking him a lot of questions. So
that is good.
Q: Do you think that Gibril is
ready to take on a leadership role?
A: We hope so. We’ll find out.
I’ll try to lead him and guide him and help him that
way. So we’ll find out.