DT Jeffery Simmons


(on today's game)

I love it. What more can we ask for? Guys came out hungry today. Guys came out ready to compete. We talked about it. We're going to have to create turnovers, we have to get to the quarterback, had to affect the quarterback, and the No. 1 thing was stop the run. We heard something from (Mike) Vrabel that they was able to push the power, when the O-line was able to push the power and run the football on us the last game, which they did, 180 some yards, but today they did a hell of a job. I think they had like eight rushing yards. That's a hell of a defense. That's the way we come, and that's our identity, stop the run and earn the right to rush, and that's what we did today.

(on how much of football can be letting your opponent make mistakes)

I mean, it's December football. We don't care what they did. All I know is that we had turnovers, we stopped the run, we affected the quarterback, and like I said, I don't know what mistake they made, but I just know our defense had a hell of a game. We gave our offense the opportunity to get the ball in good field position, and our special teams play ran down, covered kicks, punts, whatever it may be. We all played clean football, put all phases together, offense, defense, special teams.

(on having linebacker Rashaan Evans back on the field)

Like I told him, I'm happy he's back. He's happy he's back out there. You could tell just the energy, just the -- when I saw him, he was just happy to be back out there, smile on his face. Like I said, it's always great to play in front of a guy like that. Those linebackers, him and Jayon (Brown), they both had a turnover today, but like I said, I was just happy to see him out there. I know he was happy to be out there. Having linebackers like that, I always tell them I appreciate them because when I'm getting double-teamed, they come down and get that double off me. Just having linebackers like that is great.

(on if the defense has the mindset of needing to pull more weight when the offense is missing numerous pieces like it has been)

We worry about what's on defense. Of course we wish everybody was with us, but our job is to do what we did today. We want to try to go get a shutout no matter who's on the field on offense. The only thing we can worry about is stopping the run, affecting the quarterback and getting turnovers, and I think that's just our motto and our identity, stopping the run, affecting the quarterback and getting turnovers.

(on how important it was to maintain the shutout)

We were on the sidelines saying, 'Let's keep it.' At halftime we were gunning for it. We were like, 'Let's get this shutout.' Congrats to Shane (Bowen), this is his first shutout as a D-coordinator, props to him, but we were saying at halftime, 'Let's keep it going. Why let up?' They don't have to score, and our defense did a hell of a job. Even when some of the starters got taken out, other guys went in and stepped up and stopped the run and stopped the pass. Buster (Skrine) got him a pick today. That's what's great about our defense that no matter who's on the field, we all come in and we all come in with the right mindset that everyone is trying to make the plays.

(on today being the first home shutout since 2000 and the first overall shutout since 2018)

That's why I -- I asked on the sideline, 'Is this (Mike) Vrabel's first shutout?' But Vrabel said it in the locker room. What more can you ask for as a defense, coming in and getting a shutout, and at home?

(on battling through injuries but still preparing for today's game)

Yeah, I thought a lot, just being able to get mental reps. Mental reps are always good as physical reps. I think probably almost more important than getting the mental reps is being able to see and hear a lot. One thing we talked about on defense, one thing we have to get better at is communication. Not all the way -- not all about going out there, making contact with guys. I think that's been our problem, not being able to communicate, and that's the thing we pushed last week. You see something, communicate it to the next guy, communicate it so everyone will be on the same page. I think we did that last week, helped us out the two days we were in. Today we would just see things and talk about it.