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December 19, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Dan Quinn: “When we play our best football, we out-hit guys”

 Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn met the media following practice today. Here’s some of what he had to say:

On if he ever thinks about the Seahawks being named the number one defense in the NFL: “No. I honestly don’t. There’s a terrific group of players and assistance and I’m fired up to really be a part of it. That’s the best answer I can give that way and just getting rolling and it’s another week for us and another championship op. So that’s one of the great things about being a part of this team. We’re able to keep the focus at the job at hand and that’s certainly the case this week.”

On if he had any expectations this year: “I think just within the whole organization, the expectations are that we’ll play well. It’s really the way we practice, the way we handle things. That part of it, we certainly expect to do that from the whole process from the time guys get in the building to being on the field to doing the whole thing. So yeah, I think that expectation was for us to play well.”

On if the team composed a philosophy this season after the off-season: “The big thing that we wanted to say, number one, we’d like our tape to look fast and physical and that’s one of things that we started from the very beginning. To say we have those things going, that’s when we’re at our best. So those two words is something that we come back to a lot.”

On if he believes that the Seahawks defense is playing fast and physical right now: “Yeah. Like any season, there’s some games that’ll go up and down and calls you would like to have back but for the most part, when we play our best football, we out-hit guys, we’re able to take the ball away and we’re fast and physical. So that shows really true when we’re at our best.”

On what makes the defense capable of holding an opponent under 200 yards: “I think it really comes just from the connection of the guys. Number one, we’re going to try and play as physical as we can. They outhit people and that’s the energy that the players bring. But really it goes back to two things. One, we get to practice against a really good offense every day. So we have a competition on Wednesday and we get to go good on good and those kinds of days, when we’re working against our own offense, I really think it’s something that makes our team better. So it happens on Wednesdays and it happens on Thursdays and then the second thing is just the physical nature that we want to play with. Having that, being able to recognize that, having the good practice weeks, I think those are the important things to us.”

On changes in Brandon Mebane’s playmaking ability: “He’s even stronger now. Brandon [Mebane] has always been a guy inside that had really good strength and one of the things I think that sets him apart even from throughout the league at defensive tackle or any specific guy at nose tackle, for a big guy, 330 lbs, he’s rarely on the ground and inside, that’s easier said than done. So that makes sense. But, there’s so many combination blocks and double team blocks where he gets underneath people and he can get a guy knocked back. He’s really strong. I think that’s the one thing, when he can get underneath you, it’s hard to deal with it and I think one of the things that sets him apart is his balance.”

On if a player like Kam Chancellor can have a psychological effect on opposing players in terms of his tackling abilities: “Yeah I do and we feel like every member of our team, the shots that we can take in terms of just the way that we want to play physical, he embodies that for us in a really big way. He’s a really good tackler. So the physical style that we bring, we love it and everybody has kind of different roles that you bring to the team, whether you are a strong safety who can really deliver hits and be physical or a pass rusher or a guy who can cover. So that’s what’s kind of unique about our team. We’ve got a lot of guys who have these different roles and then we try to put them in the best spots that they can do their stuff.”

On Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall being a good tandem for the Cardinals’ run game: “Yeah really you’re right on that one. [Rashard] Mendenhall really is a strong runner and one of the things that I’ve been most impressed about him when he gets into some contact or some traffic, he’s really got strong leg drive to keep going and then just the opposite outside, with [Andre] Ellington, who’s a guy that can catch the ball like a wide receiver who plays running back. So you’re right, in terms of two different styles, but both effective in their own way.”

On Clinton McDonald: “Clinton [McDonald] is guy who is having a terrific year and he plays in all the packages. He’s really provided some inside rush for us and as you guys know, that’s as important, although the numbers don’t add up a lot of times for a defense tackle in sacks. For the ability to have a guy who could push the pocket where the QB can’t step up and now have some of the outside guys get him, that’s the dirty work and he’s a guy who can push the pocket and although he does get sacks and all that kind of stuff, he provides a lot of value to our team. He really does. There’s a number of guys who have different roles and I think Michael Bennett is another one who really plays end, he plays tackle, we move him around a bunch, and he’s another one that’s, for us, really, really valuable guy.”



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