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Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio met with the media on the final day of OTAs, and he had some interesting things to say about priorities for the defense this season.
Points of Emphasis: starting fast and creating turnovers
It’s not a matter of being undisciplined to create turnovers. We’re working on the fundamentals of executing whether it be fortune fumbles or getting interceptions, and some of the fundamentals that you can work on this time of year to emphasize that.
The fact is, we’re gonna work it even more so than we have; it’s an emphasis point.
Two things really for me, starting this year is starting fast and create more turnovers.
Those are two areas for us that I feel defensively for us to contribute to this football team. Give this team a chance to win a bunch of games. We’ve gotta be stronger in those two areas and still be good in the other areas. I mean, we did some good things, but those are two areas we gotta do better.
I think [Emmanuel Forbes] is a tremendous football player. You know, he’s fast. He’s got great ball skills. He’s very bright and he played against some of the best competition that you can being in the SEC and held up week in and week out was a playmaker. Very productive. So happy to get him.
He’s pretty natural at picking his spots, going for interception. [We’ll see] where we end up displaying or deploying our guys at the end of the day...but we’re building flexibility right now. Guys are learning different positions. We’re trying to make guys uncomfortable right now, get familiar, learn more than one role and where we have some versatility, some flexibility will be to our advantage as we go forward.
I think the guys are more comfortable in what we’re asking ‘em to do, and the new guys are showing the ability to learn and kind of catch up quickly.
On Wednesday, at minicamp, Ron Rivera talked a bit more about Emmanuel Forbes:
We’re looking for a guy that can impact the ball when it’s being thrown — when it’s in the air — and that’s who he was in college, and that’s what he’s showing us....so it’s been pretty exciting. We’re feeling really good about it so far.
Obviously there is the physical nature of the game that we’ll have to watch once we get the pads on, but as of right now, he’s done exactly what we saw [on his college film]. He is a ball hawk. He does time it out very well and does put himself in position. He’s working against some of the best route runners right now in the league, and that’s kind of neat — to watch this young man grow already. So it’s been a very good offseason with him so far. I believe it’s only two and a half weeks that we’ve had him, but it’s been good to watch.
It’s easy to see why the team went into the draft with a big red circle drawn around Emmanuel Forbes. The coaches clearly felt that they need more turnovers to affect games, and that’s who Forbes is.
Personally, I’d like to hear more from both Ron and Jack about how they intend to “start fast”, both in the sense of getting early wins on the season, and being more successful on both sides of the ball on opening drives.
What should we expect from Emmanuel Forbes in his rookie year?
This poll is closed
Nothing, really. I mean, he’s a rookie.
1 or 2 interceptions for sure
Ballhawk; minimum 4 INTs
A league leader: 5 or 6 INTs
Hall of Fame performance