On limiting Bengals RB Joe Mixon:
"I don't know if we did anything differently. I thought that we played really assignment sound. I thought that we played physical at the point of attack. If you throw on the tape, I think that the disruption that you see from our defensive front, it was creating opportunities for [LB] Kyzir [White] and I, [S] Derwin [James Jr.], Nas [S Nasir Adderley] and those second-level players to kind of fill downhill and make plays. It was fantastic. It's something that we're going to have to keep up here these next few weeks."
On the defense's performance yesterday:
"When you just look at the overall performance, we had our backs against the wall a couple of times after some turnovers and held them to some field goals — gave up a couple of touchdowns when we could have held them — but I just think, overall, the turnovers, the physicality that we played with and, for the most part, keeping a roof over the coverage, and then with the physicality in the run game, I think that you could make that point."
On 'not looking ahead' to the Chiefs in two weeks:
"If anybody's looking ahead, I don't think we're in the position to do that. I sure hope not. Every game is so important. The AFC is so tight right now. If anybody's looking past the Giants, we're in trouble."
On improving in run defense yesterday:
"I think that when you look at the statistics, the statistics don't always tell the full story. Strategically, how we were playing the game, it was to put a roof over the coverage and eliminate explosive plays — make offenses drive down the field, and then play great red-zone defense. You don't want to be the 32nd-worst run defense. That certainly caught our eye. We've made some changes. I think that we've just emphasized technique more than anything; technique and assignment. Once guys have understood those things more, it has allowed guys to play more physical, play faster. It's certainly helped our defense here in the in these last few games."
On using 'designer looks' to create pressure in the pass rush:
"I think the most important thing was stopping the run on first and second down and getting into those third-and-long situations, where we could call those pressures. If you look at weeks prior, we've kind of been in third-and-medium to third-and-short situations, where it's kind of 50/50 calls and you can't really get those designer packages on the field. I thought we did a great job of stopping the run on first and second down, which put us in those situations."
On the outlook for increasing usage of 'designer looks':
"I just think that we have a lot of good players that bring a lot to the table. We have 15, 16 guys [on defense] that could be starters in this league. When you have that, you can roll in different packages, you can get different bodies on the field, you can get different things going and it confuses the quarterback. I think when you look at my sack specifically, [Bengals QB] Joe [Burrow] wasn't thinking that I was coming. He was sending the guys to the right, he slid [the protection] to the right, from our right, and I got the free run there on the quarterback. Just being able to confuse the quarterback, make it difficult for him to identify at the MIKE [middle linebacker], it only gives us a competitive advantage there on third down."
On the 'level of competition' on the defensive unit:
"It's one of our pillars that [Head] Coach [Brandon] Staley talked about early on back in the spring; competition and relationships. We're certainly building that. [General Manager] Tom [Telesco] and Coach Staley are doing a great job assembling a roster where there is that competition and that depth. Guys have to fight for that every single day. I think that once people get comfortable, that's the easiest way to go towards mediocrity. That's not what we're trying to do. We're trying to build something here. The way you can do that is to put people in competitive environments where they're forced to be their best self."
On the increased pass rush:
"I think we did a great job of stopping the run on first and second down. Once we got up big, we put them in passing situations. We knew that they had to pass catch up. Once we got into those known passing situations, our edge guys, our D-linemen were really able to pin their ears back and get to the pass rush technique that they really want to get to."
On Staley's pursuit of 'having a game where the defense wins the game for the team':
"He mentioned it briefly in our defensive meeting. I think that when you look at the Browns game, our offense really kind of pulled us out of the mud there and was really able to win that game for us. I felt like, defensively, we really wanted to put on a performance, down the homestretch here when it's crunch time, when it's playoff time, when every game matters — be in a game where the defense has to pull us out of the mud. We weren't able to do that, and that got highlighted last week at Denver when we weren't able to create those turnovers to swing the swing the pendulum back in our offense's favor. I felt like we were able to do that yesterday when the offense was turning the ball over a little bit. We were able to kind of counter back and get some of those turnovers to get the ball back to Justin [Herbert] and prevailed there in the end."
On hosting three of the following four games at SoFi Stadium:
"Honestly, I feel like we've played really well on the road and haven't had our best stuff, for whatever reason, at home — the games that kind of come to mind; Dallas, the Browns. We played well against the Raiders. Then, the Steelers game, not having our best stuff there in the third quarter. I think it's a challenge more than anything if we can play well at home and if we can be that team that is notorious for protecting their house."
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