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October 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Talking defense with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

There’s been a lot of focus lately on the Seattle defense, so I thought I would pass along the transcript of what Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had to say today:

(On when Head Coach Pete Carroll talked about doing some different things with the pass rush and how important it is to figure something out there) Well I think on most good third-downs there’s a mixture between the four man rush and the pressures and that’s really when we’re at our best. For us, it’s about improving. Really that’s at the core of our football. How much better can you get? Not just as our scheme, that’s my job to help with that, and then as a rusher, for those four guys working together and then the last part, just knowing that when we get the good four man rushes, make sure our coverage is tight and vice versus, make sure there’s some terrific coverage where our rush wasn’t connected like we like. I think it will be a mixture of ways that we could affect the QB moving forward. I think it will really come down to, at the end, how much better can we get? I think with the philosophy of our program, when we’re out there on competition Wednesday and we’re out there today, how much better, between me going against you and pushing as hard as we can, that’s really where it’s at.

(On how much rotations can help there and how Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett have had to play more snaps and how much that is affecting the rush) I don’t know if it’s necessary affecting it but I think we have to be smart about it because we know there’s a long season ahead still. So we know we’re at our best when we can rotate more guys so we have to conscious of that.

(On third-downs what the distance is that he would ideally like the other team to be in to give the rush a good chance) Really it’s like anything over six. A lot of times teams will break down. Short yardage is usually third-down and one and then we even track third and two sometimes separately and then three to six is generally the quick intermediate stuff and then once you start getting past seven, eight, nine, tens, that’s really when you’re at your best. So for us, the problem that we’ve had the most part in was that lower area between the two and the six so one that we’ve addressed and tried to get it as tight as we can.

(On how Carolina uses their tight ends) One of the things with Greg Olsen, he’s a really good tight end and not just in the passing game—although he’s their leading catcher; him and thirteen [Kelvin Benjamin], but a lot of respect on our end for him just on his whole game and what he does in the run game and what he does in the pass game. For us, he’s somebody that we hold in high regard.

(On how much of a change is it not having Bobby Wagner) Fortunately for us, with Malcolm Smith and K.J. Wright moving over, we have two guys that we completely trust in our system and they’re going to play well like we expect them too. Although we’re missing Bobby, for us to have K.J. and Malcolm—how fortunate are we to have players of that caliber who can play and take over. Especially K.J—where he can play multiple spots too.

(On how he feels about the interior pass rush) Overall when you talk about pass rush, it’s everybody; inside, outside, as blitzers. So I kind of generally think of that in pass rush, ‘How can we affect the QB?’ It may be a tackle, it may be an end, and it may be a rusher outside so we think of everybody. Let’s not put it all on one spot—when you talk about rushers and affecting the QB, it may be the attitude and the way that we blitz or the style of an inside or outside guy.

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