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October 13, 2012

Rocky Long


Q.  Were there calls made for him to get him free on some of those blind sides?
ROCKY LONG:  No, when we call a blitz to rush the passer, we try to get somebody free, and there's enormous differences between pass protections and when you run a blitz, you run a blitz so somebody comes free.  You don't know exactly who it is that's going to come free, but that you attack their pass protection and someone in a certain spot is going to come free depending on if a guy misses an assignment or if they don't slide far enough.  A lot of it is just getting where you get one guy on an edge of a blocker and he can beat him to the quarterback.  There's nothing wrong with their protection schemes, you just influence him with one guy and the other guy runs by him before he can rock back.
But when we blitz, we don't know who's coming free.  They could spread out and block all those guys off the edge, then someone in the middle can come free.  That's the way it's designed.

Q.  What did you think of Jake tonight?
ROCKY LONG:  I thought Jake played great, and I don't usually give those kind of compliments.  I thought that's one of the better games I've seen a kid play.

Q.  What did you like about his play?
ROCKY LONG:  I mean, he played hard, he played fast, he made plays all over the field.  He did what middle linebackers are supposed to do.

Q.  What has Derek Largent done for the defense the last couple games?
ROCKY LONG:  I think he's around the ball a lot, and he's got a lucky charm, because he's around the ball when it gets tipped and he's got pretty good hands.  He's also a pretty good pass rusher.  I'd have to see the film to see how well he did against the run and all that.  I thought there was times we were a little soft against the run.  But that was kind of on purpose.

Q.  Initial impressions of the game?
ROCKY LONG:  Team victory.  I mean, I thought that the defense played really well, and I thought the defense gave the offense several short fields that the offense capitalized on.  After that the only time they scored was when they had a kickoff return down to about our whatever yard line it was, and that's the only other time they scored.  They moved the ball a little bit in the middle of the field, but that was kind of by design, too.  I mean, we were playing a lot softer coverages than we have in the past to make them‑‑ the game, even our soft coverages, they started completing a couple balls in our soft coverages because we weren't getting the pass rush with four guys.  I mean, that hasn't changed.

Q.  Last time we talked, you said the pass defense, last week's effort couldn't really say that they were back because it wasn't the right team to engage it against.  This wasn't the right team to engage it against, either, but do you still think that the pass defense may have improved a little bit more?
ROCKY LONG:  Yeah, I agree with you, though.  I don't think last week they didn't play the kind of offense that would challenge us.  This week they played a lot of spread.  I mean, they got in there and tried to run the ball a little bit, and if they got in 2nd and long or 3rd and long they were in the spread.
I think we have improved a little bit in coverage, but we haven't improved much in pass rush.  I mean, we have to blitz to get to them.  I didn't see one sack when we rushed four guys.  I didn't even see the quarterback harassed very much when we rushed four guys.  So that's still a huge concern.  I mean, if you can't get a consistent pass rush with four guys, it doesn't matter what kind of coverage you play.  I've been telling you that since day one.

Q.  Offensively it looks like another game that you guys put together that really (inaudible).  What are your thoughts on how the offense played, and is this like kind of close (inaudible)?
ROCKY LONG:  I think it all depends on who we're playing.  I think Fresno has a really good offense, but Boise State must have a really, really good defense.  So I think that depends on who we play.  I thought our offense ran the ball well, and whenever we run the ball well, guess what, everything else works, too, and when we don't run the ball real well, the other stuff doesn't work very well, either.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ROCKY LONG:  I don't think it's serious.  I can't tell you.  It's a knee injury, and they said it wasn't serious.  In fact he tried to move around on the sidelines maybe to even go back in the game, but he should be okay.  I don't know how soon he'll be okay, but he should be okay.

Q.  You said you weren't happy with their first drive of the game.  Was the rest of the first half okay?
ROCKY LONG:  I thought‑‑ to be honest with you I thought that was our‑‑ other than the Army game, which was a completely different circumstance, I thought that's the best we've played on defense all year because our kids executed the game plan, which was to give up some yards but don't let them in the end zone, and other than the first drive and a real short field after a kickoff return, they didn't.  They got some 1st downs and they moved the ball a little bit, but they didn't get in the end zone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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