“Well. We have another big one ahead of us. This next one, I guess you’d say that every game is really really big, but I think this one will pose a real challenge to our defense because they’re like three offenses in one. They’re a power attack . . . . They go from that to being able to be an option attack with the quarterback. . . . You see where their offense is. It makes the defense have to be sound in all phases. You can’t load up and play the power because you may be getting optioned. You can’t go in there with an idea of being a finesse or assignment totally or you’re going the power run right at you. This is going to be a big test. And he can throw it. He’s put some yardage on people. The last thing they do that challenges your defense is they have a fast pace, so they do that to try to get your defense so they’re not in great alignments. Just to be a little sloppy because they hurry up and if you’re not a real disciplined defense, you don’t get set correctly, and you know as well as I do that we’re not good enough to not be perfect in our assignments and our alignments.”
The answer is after the jump.
Below is another good quote of general interest from Mattison’s press conference:
“That’s the maturing process that you’re seeing. Great defenses, if you’re ever out there with them, it sounds almost like a stock market. Guys are saying, ‘This guy’s up! This guy’s up! The tight’s split! Tight’s split! Closed split! Closed split.’ And you have the linebackers saying, ‘The back’s far, the back’s near.’ That’s great defenses. That’s what happens. And then the secondary’s talking about ‘Cut split! This guy’s split!’ Well, first few weeks it was like a morgue out there. I mean, come on, talk! And the guy’s going, ‘Oh my God.’ Now you’re hearing it. Now you’re starting to, when they get the signal, you can hear guys talking about, ‘Hey, this guy’s here.’ Well, they’re putting in time. They’re coming in whenever they can legally and sitting down with their coach and going through film one on one. I mean, that’s the thing you mention after the game why I’m so proud of this team. Because they’re becoming a football team. They’re becoming a defense. Now, we have to show it again Saturday. We have to do it again Saturday. We all know that. But where they come from to becoming a defense not just knocking somebody’s head off out there. It’s talking and taking care of your buddy, and when you make a mistake, not hanging your head, coming off and getting ready for me to rip them, but them saying, ‘Okay, coach, I got it.’ And then you not having to yell at them because you know it means something. That’s what happens when you have a group that’s come together, and that’s what this team is starting to do.”
There’s a lot to building a great team or even side of the ball, and it’s this kind of communication and meaning that is so difficult to coach but is what really makes success.