VIDEO: Mora on Monday

Coach Jim Mora talked about the depth at defensive tackle, the situation work for the night, and more...


JM: it was good work. We did a lot of red zone work today, as you noticed. And we started off the practice with a period where we actually simulated the start of a game twice just to get them going quickly. You know, one of the things that we want to be effective at during the season is come out of the tunnel and being ready to go. You have to create that mindset. I don't think it just happens. So we did some of that tonight and more situational work. I thought it was a good practice. So we're more than halfway through spring and it's flying by so we've just got to continue to capitalize on every opportunity.

Q: did anyone have friends or family running in the Boston marathon?

JM: not that I know of.

Q: are you at where you want to be right now at this point in time in spring?

JM: it's a hard question. You know, as a coach, you're never where you want to be. The only time you're ever where you want to be is after you win a game, you know and then you're there for about five minutes, and you start thinking about the things you got to do better. But I'm pleased with the progress that we're making. I am especially pleased with the attitude and the effort that these guys are demonstrating every day. You know, they come out here and they do whatever we ask, and they do it willingly. There's no resistance. And if you have a team of guys like that, and they have some skill, then you have a chance to do something.

Q: looked like you guys added some pass plays out of that formation with Devin [Fuller] at quarterback. That goes … as planned?

JM: well, some… a couple of the snaps weren't very good as you saw. And, you know, Devin has a different cadence than Brett [Hundley] and so it just takes getting used to, but we'll try to keep expanding on that package, and, you know, see where it takes us.

Q: with [Anthony] Barr, I know he didn't really work at receiver today, but he did on Saturday. Forgot to ask you about that the other day. How much do you anticipate kind of putting him in there? How much is his production out here? [audio difficulties]

JM: well, I mean, Cassius [Marsh] and Anthony and Keenan Graham are three guys that we've used on offense… well, we haven't used Anthony on offense before but the other two we have. You know, you want to take advantage of the abilities of your athletes and Anthony was a… you know, he was an H-back. He played running back in college. Err, high school, I'm sorry. You know, we're going to try to find creative ways to use him. And I don't know where it's going to go, you know. It'll go or it goes. We'll keep experimenting with it and see how it looks.

Q: so his production out here can dictate how much he does in the game?

JM: no, I just think… I don't know if it's going to predict it or dictate it. I just think… it's just a… it could be situation, it could be matchup, it could be any number of things, but you know, we're always trying to find ways to put the players that can make plays in a position to make plays. And so, when you got a guy like Anthony and a guy like Cassius, you want to try to utilize them as well as you can, but we don't want to take anything away from their production on defense either so it's just a fine line you walk.

Q: I know you don't have Ellis [McCarthy] out there playing at nose guard but what have you seen from the nose guard spot?

JM: I think that [Brandon] Tuliaupupu and [Seali'i] Epenesa have done an outstanding job so far. There's really good competition between those two. What we're doing is rotating them right now, and they're both working hard. You know, they are kind of prototypical 3-4 nose tackles. They're big, they're hard to move, they can take on a double-team. Heck, some times, they get triple-teamed, and they can hold the point. You're not going to see them make a lot of tackles. You're not going to see them get a lot of sacks, but that doesn't mean they're not being productive. They're doing what they're supposed to do and I think both of those guys are really good players.

Q: they got that low center of gravity too that you want in a nose?

JM: yeah. When they're taking on a double, you know, if they get too high, they get moved out of there. You need a guy that can anchor and drop down to a knee and at least hold the point so your linebackers can scrape and get to the ball but those guys aren't going to have, you know, games where they have 4, 5, 6 tackles… maybe a sack now and again. Their production is just kind of silent production.

Q: is that where a lot of your rush defense starts? Is with that guy and then it kind of filters back or…

JM: no, I think rush defense, just like pass defense, is a function of all eleven. You know, it depends on what kind of run it is. Everybody has responsibility on every single run, and they have to execute that responsibility for us to have success.

Q: you're talking about leverage. Is that a concern with Ellis at that position?

JM: I don't know yet. You know what? I honestly don't know yet, but he's a taller guy. You know, he's 6'5". We have to see, when he's in there and getting extended amounts of playing time if he can bend. Bend his knees and stay low. I know he's powerful. I know he's quick. I know he's athletic. It's a good question. I don't know the honest answer to that yet.

Q: has Aaron Wallace surprised you at all the first two weeks?

JM: I've been pleased with him. I wouldn't say anyone surprises me. You know, I don't put expectations on the these… or limitations on them, you know but he's been… he's pleased us, you know. He's so darn quiet. You never hear from him, you know, but he makes plays and he works hard. He's got a great attitude, and he really wants to be a good player. So he's kind of quietly gone about his business, and at this point, he's solidified that position. You know, that linebacker position opposite Anthony Barr. That doesn't mean that it's over, but he's looking pretty solid right there right now.

Q: Ian Taubler continues to impress people with his catching.

JM: yeah. Big athletic guy, you know. And I think, we talked about it the other day. The playing time that he got in the fall is helping him right now. And he's a confident kid. He's working on his snapping, and you know, he's doing all kinds of different things. He's a good athlete. He could probably play defensive end for us if we needed him to.

Q: what's your impression of [Kenneth Walker]? Kind of his development at wide receiver so far this spring?

JM: well, you know what? He does some good things. You know, he is still learning the fine art of route running. Sometimes gets a little high. I think if he can learn to lower his center gravity and use his speed to an advantage… Sometimes having great speed like that can be a disadvantage if you don't know when to shift, you know, how to change speeds within a route… I think the work that he's getting with Coach [Eric Yarber - Wide Receivers] is really helping him. He can be a dynamic player in the open field if we can get him out and get him the ball. So he's like those other guys. He's making progress.

Q: how tough is this a setback for Kylie Fitts? That he hasn't been out here.

JM: it's… you know what? I don't know that it'll hold him back too much. He's sitting in all the meetings. He's very smart. He got to practice some. We would certainly like for him to be out here, and I know he'd love to be out here, but he's still getting a jump on things just by being here. You know, and being in the meetings so he'll still have an advantage over those other young guys when fall starts and who knows, he might be out here, you know, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday… err, Saturday. I'm not sure yet. But he's making progress.

Q: it looked like Keenan Graham got a little bit of work today out here.

JM: he did. Yeah he did the individual. And he looked good. It looked like he was moving around well. So hopefully he can make his way back out here before the end of the week. We need those guys to get back out here and get some work. We need it and they need it and we need to see them and then their teammates need a break. You know, we're running a little bit thin on numbers right now and it affects our rotation. Alright? Alright. Good night.

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