What We Learned From the Coordinators on Thursday

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, Co-Offensive Coordinator Brad Childress and Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub spoke with the media on Thursday

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton

Q: How did Terrance Mitchell play?

SUTTON: "Good. He's done a good job. I think he's been very competitive. I just think he's done a really good job."

Q: Where does that position stand right now?

SUTTON: "Pretty much what it was last week. He'd still be the guy right now. Every week in here, the great thing that has happened with this group of guys, guys have made their way on to the field by what they've done on the practice field. That's a great thing, I think, for any team to have. For guys to understand, 'Hey, look." Sometimes you're not even practicing with the defense in our case, but you've done a great job on scout team, and the offensive coaches say so-and-so is really doing good, and all of a sudden, we're looking at him. Then, all of a sudden, two weeks later he's in the game. So, that's kind of where it stands right now."

Q: We're at week 17 in the season and you guys lead the league in takeaways with a chance to maybe have the most takeaways throughout the entire season. Why do you think that is and what has the defense been able to do this year to lead the league in takeaways?

SUTTON: "Well, some of it is being fortunate. There's no question about that, but I think the other part of it is it's an emphasis with us. It's something we talk about every day. We show them every day if we have a takeaway in practice – that's the very first thing they see in a meeting. It kind of goes along with that. You have the tendency to move in the direction of your most dominant thought. So, we want to keep that thought up there. There's a lot of things that go into takeaways. One, understanding when you have an opportunity to do it. Two, we use the phrase, 'Numbers favor us,' so, the more people we have around the ball, whether it's being run or thrown, the better the opportunity we're going to have, hopefully, to get the ball if it's on the ground. Then, there's certain times and techniques that you can use to try and get the ball out. But, you have to again, you have to first practice the technique. Then, two, you have to in practice because we don't tackle and that, you have to see when your opportunities would be because not every time you get ready, sometimes you just have to tackle, that's the opportunity that you have. The ball is away from you, there's nothing that you can do. So, you have to learn how to do that, but once you get guys that see it on film, especially when they start doing it themselves within their own group – just like when [Ron] Parker punched the ball out there against the Saints. We've been practicing that for two years. So, it's just one of those things that you gain trust and confidence in, and you want to be the next guy. It's just one of those things. The number one thing in takeaways has always been taking advantage of your own opportunities – catch the ball. The most common takeaways in the passing game are tips and over throws. When you get your chance, catch the ball and things usually work out pretty good."

Q: Was last week kind of the example of getting the quarterback pressure without the sacks?

SUTTON: "Yeah, our term is affect the quarterback. You try and affect him in many ways. We're like everybody. We'd love to sack him every play if we could, but that's not going to happen. We got really good pressure on him. He did a good job of backing out and throwing the ball, but I think that was reflected in the completion percentage – his effectiveness as a quarterback. I agree – I think we did a really good job of getting heat on the quarterback. Again, that's what we're really looking for. It's like any pressure. You can't be pressured as much if you throw the ball fast and quick, but as long as you don't make the first down, that's really all we care about in the whole scope of things. Like we say, affect the quarterback."

Co-Offensive Coordinator Brad Childress

Q: Joey Bosa, what stands out to you?

CHILDRESS: "I heard Joe Thomas talk about him as a ten-year pro left tackle, he's probably refined a guy as a first year guy with only 11 games under his belt here. He has all the requisite – the length in arms, speed rush, but he's relentless. He's not a one trick pony, doesn't race up-field, he can come inside and beat you. He makes plays all the way around the backside too. His motor really stands out."

Q: On Travis Kelce's blocking development

CHILDRESS: "He was pushing hard and pressed him all the way to the ground. He does a good job with that. He's athletic enough where you can get in the way. A lot of that tight end blocking is position. When they're working in tandem with the tackles they're removal blocks and he's half the removal. I've seen him grow immensely from when he first started here."

Q: You guys have had some good offensive games this year but have had trouble sustaining that, did you see any signs against the Broncos that you guys are going to be able carry that over?

CHILDRESS: "Well I'm not clairvoyant, you might be, but I'm not but we're definitely week to week and I think every week is its own game plan and it's how guys show up and execute the given plays. Again against this defense, I think when you talk about a guy like John Pagano you talk about a guy that's been 15 years with the San Diego Chargers, he's done something right to have stayed there that long. That's a lifetime in the NFL. He presents you some different looks. He's adapted and adjusted. In the four years that we've been here we've seen different things from him and I wouldn't expect his defense to play anything less than with their hair on fire. Got some good guys in [Denzel] Perryman and a nice new toy with [Joey] Bosa and Corey Liuget is playing very well. Damion Square who we used to have here looks good. I know they have a lot of injuries, but it doesn't keep them from presenting you problems and playing hard."

Q: This current stretch has been like a playoff caliber atmosphere, talk about how this team has prepared for the playoffs.

CHILDRESS: "It's really been for the last month, five weeks, the Denver game there, then away at Atlanta, with every game you win the next one becomes more important. It's been a great atmosphere, I don't think you could have had a better one in the pouring down rain, although it seemed like it started raining every time we had the ball. It dried out, when I was talking to Andy [Reid] downstairs he said you're not going to believe this, it started raining down here again. T.V. timeout, come back – started raining. We had one play, but may move to another call."

Q: What changes for Alex Smith when he feels like he has more weapons [regarding Hill, Kelce and Maclin]?

CHILDRESS: "I hope nothing changes. You'd like to say it's an equal opportunity thing but he's got progressions and reads to take in different spots and it may not include any of the three, it may include Chris Conley as the first look. As long as he keeps playing with the system and he does a good job of that, the ball gets spread around, it gets moved on its own."

Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub

Q: On the couple of misses from Cairo, what did you see on those?

TOUB: "Technical issues a little bit. When he misses them left it's more of an aggressiveness, he kind of pulled it. We just have to go back to fundamentals and get him straightened out. He knew it right away what exactly he did wrong. He's a professional. The good thing about Cairo [Santos] is he always comes back and makes his next kick."

Q: The strange thing was the missed extra point came after the [Dontari] Poe touchdown pass and everybody's minds seemed to be in a different place, can that affect a kicking operation?

TOUB: "I don't think so. I think those guys are in their own world. They're over on the side kicking in the net and getting ready and then when their time comes up they go and do their job. It was a shocker really, I didn't expect him to miss it but it happens."

Q: On Daniel Sorensen.

TOUB: "He really has a nose for the ball. He's got a lot of courage and when the ball is on the ground he has no fear about going in there and getting it. There's no hesitation. Some guys when the ball is out and they're thinking who's going to come in there and who's going to hit me, he just goes in there and gets it. He's got a nose for it and just seems like the ball is bouncing to him right now. He creates a lot of stuff too, he's doing a great job for us on special teams."

Q: He's a quieter guy, do you know what motivates him and gets him going?

TOUB: "He's a quiet guy but he has the nickname Dirty Dan for a reason. When he steps on the field he turns into that Dirty Dan guy. It's not a nasty thing, it's just that he plays hard and he's tough and a courageous guy. It's a respectful thing."

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