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S Kenny Vaccaro


Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020

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Q. Kenny, what do you think continues to be the issues defensively that guys are not able to get off the field in a timely manner on a lot of these drives?

KENNY VACCARO: Yeah, man, I think that some of the same things that kind of crept up in our game all year kind of came back to haunt us, whether it's really just the details, fundamentals, cutting guys loose. A lot of times we were shooting ourselves in the foot. Instead of actually making offenses beat us, we're beating ourselves. So I mean obviously we get these three days off to kind of reflect. Look, everybody look at their selves in the mirror and try to figure out exactly what's going on because if you play like that in this league, you're not going to win very many games and we understand that. I'm eager to look at the film just to see exactly what happened in this particular game. But at the same time, I don't want to sound like a broken record. The communication, the details of each play are things we've got to get fixed because we're on the field way too long, like you said. We had some great fourth down stops this game, but at the same time those inconsistencies keep you on the field and you give up points. So we've got to get it figured out quick. We got two great teams these next two weeks.

Q. You mentioned that the fourth down stop there, you guys still had a lead, 17-13. How much of a momentum swing is it when unfortunate to have the 17-yard punt and you're right back on the field defending at the 27-yard line?

KENNY VACCARO: Yeah, it's huge. But at the same time, we've got to play complementary ball and once we get the fourth down stop, score points, and then, okay, we don't score points and we get back on field. Well, we've got to get a stop and put the offense in plus field position so they can score points. We've got to create turnovers so the offense will have more attempts at scoring. We've got to get more three and outs so the offense can get in a rhythm. So we take that – we've got to do more on defense and that's just the way I want to put it.

Q. A lot of snaps Sunday against the Bears. A lot of snaps through the first two-and-a-half quarters today. Did fatigue become any kind of factor for the defense today?

KENNY VACCARO: No. No, it wasn't a fatigue thing. I think guys played hard every play. It's more of a, like I said, details and not executing the way we're coached. That's the problem. It's not fatigue, no.

Q. You talked about the repeating, the issues of communications. Is there still confidence with Dean not here anymore that after eight weeks, nine weeks you can get those things fixed?

KENNY VACCARO: Yeah. I mean I think with the men in our locker room, the guys on our defense, we can get it fixed. And we will. We'll figure out. We're at the halfway point now. We got like a little mini-bye week coming up. We will. I know we will, just with the guys in the locker room. The guys on the team on the defense, we'll get it figured out. We've got to hold each other accountable, and we've got to do it so we can win. I mean there's just no choice.

Q. With the stops that you did have, how angry maybe did it leave you that you couldn't seize momentum with those things and that they were able to kind of keep coming back from the times that it looked like you were taking control?

KENNY VACCARO: It's frustrating, but at the same time, though, it is what it is. Whatever situation, whatever cards we get dealt on defense, we need to come out on top, whether we get fourth down stops, whether we get turnovers, we didn't do enough. That's just what it comes down to. We were on the field too long. Our offenses don't have as many opportunities to score. We got to figure out how to get the offense back on the field as many times as possible.

Q. Philip Rivers gets the ball out really quick and he certainly did it a lot tonight. It looks like you all are playing a lot of off coverage and allowing a lot of free releases. Does that have anything to do with the fact that Rivers and other quarterbacks you all have faced are able to get it out so fast and so efficiently?

KENNY VACCARO: Well, I think with Rivers, too, he knows that, he's such a smart quarterback, he knows exactly where to go with the ball and where the weaknesses are. But at the same time, we've got to do a better job on defense of mixing our alignments up, showing press, going off, being off, coming up to press. I mean there's different things we can do. Just challenging guys. A lot of times if you get up and you challenge guys in their face, it discourages those quick throws. But it also encourages the offense to take deeper shots. So there's a little give-and-take there. But at the same time, like I said, Philip's always got the ball out quick. He's very, very smart. He knows where to go with the ball. He doesn't really give you a chance to sack him. They're the least sacked team in the league, or one of them, top three. And so I think he does a good job and a lot of good quarterbacks do that.

Q. Is the amount of cushion you all give up a coaching choice or is that something you all decide on the field?

KENNY VACCARO: I don't think our coaches coach us to give up passes, but --

Q. I mean the pre-snap cushion.

KENNY VACCARO: Are you talking about like from my corners, the corner position, I guess?

Q. Like whether you're lining up on the line of scrimmage or five, 10 yards off?

KENNY VACCARO: Well yeah it just depends what the coverage is, whether it's quarters, whether it's man, single high, cover two, either way, like I said, regardless of what coverage we're running we have to do a better job of discouraging those quick throws by changing our alignments, showing press, coming off, being off, getting down and press. Like our coaches told us that before this week, hey, we need to do a better job of changing it up. So I don't know, I haven't watched the film so I don't know what to say on that.

Q. What's the frustration level as you leave here, you kind of touched on it, how tough of a spot did you put yourself in with a tough schedule coming up and what's the mindset got to be moving forward?

KENNY VACCARO: I think we need to get away from ball these next three days. I usually can't so I'll probably watch the film tonight and kind of digest that. But come back, ready to go on a good stretch, ready to beat Baltimore, we're going to Baltimore. They're going to be, after what happened last year, they're going to be ready to roll, they're going to be ready to roll regardless because it's the next game. But being tough, I mean we have been through that, we have been through it last year, we have been through it, every game in this league's tough, I don't care if it's who knows who. So it's not really about the next opponent, really for us and in general on defense we need to worry about what we're doing and how we execute and not so much who the next opponent is.

Q. You talked about the communication issues you guys have had this year. Why did you guys not have those issues last year, especially when you went on your run and why can a similar group of guys not be able to figure that out this year?

KENNY VACCARO: Honestly, I can't really, I mean I can't really put my thumb on it exactly why we're having those issues this year. Like you said it's a lot of the same guys, but like I said, we're going to work to get it fixed and last year's last year. I'm focused on this year. I know right now we're in a better spot this year than we, a hell of a lot better spot this year than we were last year, we just need to make sure we take advantage of that.

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