Last Monday Kevin Coyle was showing regret and taking responsibility for that defensive call before halftime against Carolina that set his defensive backs at the goal line and let Carolina complete a pass and get a field goal.
This week, as is the case usually in the NFL, all things are new again. Coyle's defense gave up only one field. It was the lowest amount of points the team has allowed all year.
Coyle's a genius again. Until next week when the result will determine a new status.
Anyway, Coyle met with the media today. This is what he said:
(On if he anticipated this much production from Olivier Vernon) - “When you watch him in practice, it’s not a surprise to see him having the success that he had because he’s been a demon in the one-on-one pass rush since training camp. He’s a slippery guy, and he’s very powerful for what you might say is an undersized type pass rusher. He’s not a big guy. He’s not an overly tall guy yet plays with great leverage, has great strength and has some wiggle to him. He’s just doing a great job right now. I think it’s a combination of a lot of things with the other guys being good, the pass rushers as well, but he’s certainly stepped up his game. ”
(On what goes through his mind as a defensive coordinator when an opposing team changes quarterback) - “We anticipated that it might occurred in this particular game depending on how the game was going to unfold. There was some talk about that in the media and the newspapers prior to the game. We looked at (Matt) Simms on tape from in the preseason in the limited time that he had in some games in Buffalo and in Cincinnati he played a bit. But we didn’t think it was going to change their scheme dramatically. We just talked about the players, particularly on Saturday morning in our last unit meeting I spent time talking about Simms if he were to come into the game don’t be surprised, that type of thing. Really at halftime I didn’t want to make a prediction he was coming in, but we had talked about it as coaches right when we got together before we went to talk to the players. I said, ‘I got a pretty good hunch that he is either going to come in right now or if things don’t get any better we’ll see him at some point.’ ”
(On how much percentage wise preparation wise was for Geno Smith and Matt Simms) - “We got prepared for the Jets and what the Jets do. It didn’t really matter what quarterback was going to be in the game. It really didn’t.”
(On if Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe are playing better now than they were earlier in the season) - “I do. I think they’ve both given great effort since day one in everything that they’ve done. I think their comfort level in the system in the roles that we’ve asked them to take up you can see it, particularly in Philip in the last couple of weeks. He’s playing with a lot more confidence. He’s a lot more sure of himself and what he is doing out there. He flies around. He had a heck of a game I thought yesterday, Dannell as well. Both of them made impact plays in the game. The interception Dannell made was exceptional there. That was a critical point in the game. It’s a game where you felt geez we’re dominating the game yet one slip (we) could have been losing the game at halftime. Then (Ellerbe) made the pick. We got the field goal right before the end of the half and we moved on from there. I think both of those guys, and another guy I just can’t say enough about is Koa Misi. Sometimes he doesn’t get as many snaps in certain packages, but when you watch the tape and you watch number 55 on tape, there is nobody that plays any harder than Koa Misi or as effective. He’s having a heck of a year, he really is.”
(On if Brent Grimes has allowed a touchdown this season) - “I read somewhere that he hasn’t. It’s not something I sit there and start charting who gave up this and that as a team.”
(On if he recalls Brent Grimes allowing a touchdown this season) - “No I don’t. You know he’s playing exceptional. He really does a great job in coverage, and a lot of times unless you really just isolating on him you don’t realize how good of a job he is doing on some of these receivers that he’s matching up with. They tried to double-move him on the play before his interception, and he would have intercepted that one if the receiver had not kind of…there was contact in the endzone there as Grimes was going up for the ball. He had that one read, and he was going to go up and take that one away. And he supported the run yesterday. There were a couple of times the ball hit the perimeter he had to come up. One of the first plays in the second half he had to come up, crash, replace and did a heck of a job. He’s something else. He really is.”
(On Brent Grimes not dropping interceptions) - “He’s a phenomenal athlete, and he has incredible eye-hand coordination, athleticism, and I think he sleeps with the football (laughs). Really, as soon as he walks out on the practice field, you see him every day, he’s got a ball in his hands during stretch. He’s flipping it around. He’s catching it. He’s kicking it. He’s a ball of energy. He’s got great ball skills. He makes some catches he makes look so easy in practice at times. He’s a terrific athlete.”
(On where Will Davis stands right now in his growth) - “I’m glad he got a chance to get some snaps yesterday because he had a heck of a week, actually the last two weeks he’s had really good weeks of preparation. I wasn’t pleased with the catch (against him) at that point, but as I watch the tape I didn’t realize at the time the guy had run a double-move on him and had run a post corner. (Davis) got a little bit over the top of it and was a little late coming back onto it, but I thought the guy had just sat down near the goal-line there. Had he done that, Will should have been closer. Irregardless he should have been closer, but it wasn’t as easy a play to make as I initially thought. He’s coming around. He’s another guy with exceptional hands. He had about three or four interceptions in practice last week. Hopefully he’ll keep getting better and get more opportunities here as the season goes along.”
(On where Jamar Taylor is right now) - “Just like Will (Davis), I felt like the last couple of weeks both of them were really coming on and starting to play better in practice, play better in practice, make more plays in practice, play faster in practice. That’s important. For us to have confidence that they can go into the game, they have to make plays in practice whether it be for us as we are giving them more reps as a defense or on the scout team. Some of the real indicators a guy is getting ready are when he is going against the first team offense, and he’s making plays all over the field. Both of those guys are starting to do that recently.”
(On challenges from Pittsburgh’s offense) - “I’ve defended Pittsburgh or been on a team that’s gone against Pittsburgh for a number of year. I was trying to count it, I think Ben (Roethlisberger) started his rookie year, so eight plus we played him in the playoffs once, so we’ve played him 17 times. We are not on the winning ledger in a good number of those. He’s a heck of a challenge, and he’s got some real good talent around him particularly at the wide receiver position. He’s a unique challenge in that so many of his plays he’s able to extend and create plays. (He’s) different in a lot of quarterbacks in that when he does create plays he’s not running for the first down necessarily. He’s throwing bombs down the field. You see it time-and-time again, and this year is no different. So we are going to have a great plan. We are going to have to really be disciplined in what we do against them. It’s a big challenge. Pittsburgh is a tough place to play. It’s going to be exciting. They’ve got a great crowd there. They’ve got excellent coaches. My first opportunity to come to the league was under coach (Dick) LeBeau in Cincinnati. I’ve got a lot of respect and appreciate all that he’s done for me. It’s going to be fun to go there and play our best game of the year.”