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Transcript: Edwards Addressed the Media Friday

Defensive Coordinator George Edwards

It's the last camp here. Great appreciation to the University for making this a great place to hold camp. The fans being able to come out and support us. It's really been a blessing here and we really enjoyed our time here. We've started off a couple days with the rookies, got some good work in with them. We had good weather. Now the veterans are in here and it's been good work thus far.

Q: Coach Zimmer is saying he's probably going to let you call a game in the preseason. Do you know what game that might be and how do you feel about possibly taking over play calling this year?

A: No specifics on anything like that. You would have to talk to coach Zimmer about it. Anything coach Zimmer needs me to do I'm going to do whatever it takes to get this team prepared to win. He knows that and whatever the best course we need to take we will do those things. Anytime you get an opportunity to do something like that, you're excited about it. But we just got to do our best to get our players prepared each and every week and that's what we're trying to do.

Q: What kind of difference potentially could it make if your calling plays this year? Coach Zimmer's talked about maybe managing the game more. He could maybe concentrate on some other facets. What would be a potential advantage if it turns out that way?

A: Again, obviously it would give him more time to do more things in between series, those types of deals as far as managing the game, helping out with the offense more. Again, whatever our best course is, it's about getting these players prepared to go out and win a football game.

Q: What do you think you showed in that Cowboys game last year? You called plays and obviously it was a very effective game by the defense.

A: Again, I think our players went out and played extremely hard and gave us a chance to win the football game. Unfortunately, we didn't finish it off there in the end. I think the thing that showed up is that we got really good players and they are going to go out and execute no matter who's calling the game or what the situation is. They know they are going to line up and play hard.

Q: If it's the Buffalo game you're calling, how would you feel going back there at your old stomping ground?

A: I've called quite a few games there in Buffalo. I was there for two years as defense coordinator. Definitely spent an extensive time there at Orchard Park.

Q: Do you ever talk and pick up a player like rookie Mackensie Alexander last year? Is that just way it is in the NFL?

A: I think it is done on an individual basis. Each player is a little bit different as to how they can adjust and adapt to the game. He really hasn't played a whole lot of nickel when he was in college and now we are asking him to do that. It's sort of the same thing we did with Trae Waynes the year before. We tried to move him in and play some nickel. That's what we do when rookies come in to see what their skill set is and then utilize it in the framework of our scheme.


Q: How do you feel about his improvement through last year to where he is now?

A: I definitely see an improvement from what we saw in the offseason with his attention to detail and all those type of deals. Now he just has to get out here on the field and execute and be able to handle all the calls and communications. He sort of has to get an accountability and trust with the guys around him. He's done a good job so far but will just see how he progresses and continues to process it as we go through training camp. We are looking forward to seeing him come out here and work every day.

Q: What kind of impact does the offseason have on press coverage and the development of young corners like that?

A: The big thing is you sit here for the first three days and we are playing off coverage. We run a lot more press then we do off but it's good work for us because certain things those offenses do require us to get off. The rules are what they are. You would like to be able to press in the offseason but that's not the hand that we are dealt so we will make the most of the situation.

Q: The contact on the offensive and defensive line in the offseason doesn't seem like it's that much different than press coverage?

A: I agree with you but that wasn't what came of the CBA. Again, I don't make the rules. I know what I would like to do but we have to follow them. Like you said, it's tough when we press as much as we do and don't get a chance to work on it in the offseason.

Q: Are you seeing any candidates for the DT spot next to Linval Joseph?

A: We have some good candidates in here that are working their butts off right now. You got Tom Johnson, Datone Jones, and Will Sutton. We have some good guys in there and we got some young guys that we have drafted or picked up as free agents that are also working in there. We are excited about the competition and we will take it day-by-day letting them compete. The best man will win out in that situation. Of course we do a lot of rotation with our defensive line so different guys doing different jobs. We will see the specifics of it as we work through camp and get the most out of those guys.

Q: Do you see Trae Waynes shaping up as a utility infield type of guy? It seems like he's versatile and can slide somewhere else?

A: Terence has played every position in the secondary for us. He has played safety, nickel and corner. His versatility in that group is definitely a plus. He's an unselfish guy and a true professional. Whatever you ask him to do he's going to prepare like a pro and go out there being able to execute what we are asking him to do.

Q: Is there anything in Alexander's skill set that makes him good in the slot?

A: I think he's got very good short-area quickness. He's also has the long speed to cover some of the routes down the field. We saw this when he was coming out. Like I said, it was a transition for him last year. He's kind of adopted more into that role now and he's competing in it. He's definitely got the skill set that we're looking for to compete inside at the nickel.

Q: What do you want to see out of Anthony Barr this year?

A: I think the biggest thing is consistency. The thing we're preaching with everyone right now is we want to see high energy, high effort to the football, consistency in the play and be the impact player that you are, you know what I mean? As far as when you go to do your job you do it as the best level that you are able to do it with but we want to see that consistent, day in and day out, play in and play out. That's the biggest thing we're preaching right now for everybody is we want to be consistent in the fundamentals of technique that we're asking them to do. The biggest thing, that one thing you can control is how hard you play.


Q: What do you need to see in Alexander to have the full confidence he could be the guy in there?

A: Same thing. Experience is going to come with playing. We want to see a level of consistency day-in and day-out, play-in and play-out. That's the big thing we're preaching to him right now. We want to see that he understands all the concepts and the different things the offense will try to do to us which we have a good foundation working against our offense so that's the biggest thing we're looking for is consistency to come out here every day and compete at the highest level.

Q: Without Chad Greenway in the lineup how do you fill that void both in production and in leadership value?

A: Chad was an extreme leader, great guy in the locker room, great guy off the field, great guy on the field, it's hard to describe, you know, what he brought to this football team. We have a group of young guys at linebackers who don't really have as much experience but they're battling through camp and will continue to battle through camp. Again, we'll look for them to see who's the most consistent every day, take the skill set that they have, adapt them into this game and try to adjust it the best that we can.

Q: Have any of the young guys stuck out to you?

A: You know it's too early to say. We just had the vets out here one day, we had a walk-thru this morning, you know, camps a pretty long time so we have a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of things to evaluate and we're excited about the process. Not trying to get ahead of the process too far.

Q: What have you seen from Tashawn Bower from OTAs until now?

A: He's really done a lot of good things. For a young guy coming in that played a little bit different in college, he's really picked up schematically, fundamentally what we're trying to do. And you can tell he's worked during that period between OTAs and now. There's a lot of recall for him especially in the footwork, the fundamentals that we're teaching at the position and we'll see how it goes through training camp. He's off to a good start.  

Q: Physically, what do you like about him?

A: We haven't been in pads yet, but when we've been out here in our t-shirts and things like that he's done a good job with his hand placement. He's shown the ability to hold a point, good contact balance. He's really starting to learn a bit about the pass rush. Hopefully, that will continue to improve as we work through the preseason.   

Q: How have you seen the nickel position change over the years?

A: We get a lot more "Kings" personnel, which is three wide receivers on the field. Last year I think it was almost up to 67 or 70 percent of the game is played with the nickel in the game. So, definitely he's become a significant part of what we try to do schematically, what we're trying to do matchup into different coverages and those types of deals. When I first came into the league it wasn't nearly as many three wide receivers sets. But, now it seems like every week that the majority of your game is going to be in what we call "Kings" Personnel, three receivers, one tight end and one back. So, he's becoming extremely important over the past five years. 

Q: What do you think Danielle Hunter can do with a full-time role?

A: He's out here working. He's competing hard every day. To this point he's got to the position to have a chance right there and we're going to look the same way. Look for him to continue to grow, continue to keep increasing his knowledge of the game, what we're asking him to do schematically and just go out every day be consistent and play hard. So far he's done that and we'll just look at him and continue down the road. 

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