ROMEO CRENNEL: “We have won two games, we have a whole season to play and I am just one of the guys trying to do my job.”
Q: How much better, when you have elite athletes, can a coach or coordinator make the athletes?
CRENNEL: “The players, they play the game and coaches try to give them a good plan, we try to teach them the fundamentals and technique and they have to execute. If they do a good job of executing then it makes the coach look good. If they don’t do a good job of executing than the coach doesn’t look as good. That is the way it is.”
Q: These front seven guys seem to be somewhat interchangeable. Is that just the defense you run or is that in effort to keep guys fresh?
CRENNEL: “That is the defense. We want all of our guys to be able to play multiple positions and if they show the capabilities of doing that, then we use them in different ways.”
Q: Is there a better way the season could have started than to win the game on a defensive stand?
CRENNEL: “Yes, there is a better way to win. We could have held them to a lot less points and then we could of cruised at the end of the game, that would have been a good way to win too.”
Q: How about from a confidence standpoint?
CRENNEL: “Right, that helps build the confidence of the team and we have a young team so that was good to get that done and win the game and our confidence grows. Hopefully it will continue to grow as the season goes on.”
Q: People have been calling in and saying it looks like S
CRENNEL: “All young players have a lot to learn and a lot of things happen pretty fast on the field. Until they gain some experience, they are going to make a mistake here and there maybe by getting out of position or stepping slow. That is part of the growing process.”
Q: What do you have to do differently on defense because you have two rookie safeties?
CRENNEL: “What you have to do as a coach is, you have to look at what your team can do and what they are good at and capable of doing. Then you adjust your system accordingly. When you have young guys, if they are able to do everything, then you do everything. If they are not able to do everything, you do what they can do because that is what is going to give you the best chance to win.”
Q: What do you think is your biggest defensive strength to this point?
CRENNEL: “Well, we have a lot of things we can improve on but we have done a halfway decent job against the run so far. That was one of the things that we felt we had to do to help the team improve. If we can continue that, then I think the team will improve.”
Q: Beyond the obvious, why do you think this team is 2-0?
CRENNEL: “The players have shown some resilience, they have played hard, they don’t quit, they keep fighting and we tell them all the time that if you keep fighting and give effort, you can be in it at the end and have a chance to win. That is what has been happening.”
Q: Todd Haley sort of indicated it is going to take some unusual big plays to make the difference. What happens when the ordinary game occurs?
CRENNEL: “That is when you have to depend on your fundamentals and technique. That is why we work on fundamentals and technique every day so when those big plays don’t happen we can still be competitive and still have a chance to win the game. Generally, over my years that is what I have found. If you are a good technician and in it at the end, you aren’t going to win them all but you are going to win your share. When the big plays don’t come, you have to rely on your fundamentals and technique.”
Q: Haley said it sort of gets “bigger” now. What does that mean to you?
CRENNEL: “I think in this league, every game is a big game. I think if you can win, you feel better about yourself and you want to keep winning and that is how the games become larger because you know that if you can keep winning, you can put yourself in pretty good position as the season winds down. That is the thing we want to do, we want to keep winning so we can put ourselves in great position and hopefully have a chance to maybe make it to the playoffs.”
Q: Should we expect the same things you did against TE Antonio Gates on TE Vernon Davis?
CRENNEL: “The thing that we do every week is we look at what the other team does and try to figure out what we need to do to stop them to give ourselves the best chance. Of course that changes from week to week because everybody has good players in this league. We are going to go out and we have put a plan together and we are going to try and execute to the best of our ability and see what happens.”
Q: In the NFL, does bulletin board material exist, such as using something a player said from the other team?
CRENNEL: “I think everybody has egos. You have an ego, I have an ego and you try to build on that if you are given the material to build on it with.”
Q: What problems does it bring to a defense when you face a QB that has running ability?
CRENNEL: “You definitely have to be more cognizant of rush lanes and being discipline in the rush lane so that you don’t give them an opportunity to run outside the pocket. So that is what you have to concentrate on.”
Q: How do judge whether your team is getting good pressure or not?
CRENNEL: “Well, if you get the quarterback on the ground that is one way you can judge it. But then you have to look and see if you affect the quarterback in your rushes. Does he have to get off the spot? Does he miss throws because a guy has a hand in his face? All those kind of things impact the quarterback. We look at the tape and we are able to tell a guy that he did a nice job here because he had to avoid or he had to step to the side and that was an incompletion because of what you were able to do. We want a sack and we would love the sack but sacks don’t come every day and every play. You just have to work to try and get there and working to get to the quarterback will affect him on many occasions.”
Q: You can go through a game without sacks and still affect the quarterback right?
CRENNEL: “Sure, definitely you can and I think that is what you have to impress upon your team that you can affect the quarterback and still be a good rusher even though the sack total may not be what you want it to be.”
Q: Do you look at things like average per attempt when you are judging how much pressure you get on a QB?
CRENNEL: “Yes, we have to look at all of that. The thing that you look at are those pass plays and you see if you have guys in his face or you have guys in the pocket or he has to get off the spot or if his timing is destroyed. You have to look at all those things to determine how much you have impacted the quarterback.”
Q: Is it beneficial that you went up against a great TE in Gates when facing Vernon Davis this week?
CRENNEL: “I think that it helps that they have seen a big quality tight end but like I say, a lot of teams have good quality players here in the NFL. Every week everyone has fire power and you are going to face somebody that you have to step up and win the one-on-one battles. That is what we have preached to them.”