VIDEO: Ulbrich on Defensive Issues

OCT. 16 -- Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talks about some of the defensive issues and whether he was expecting these kinds of growing pains...


On the defense:
We've had some glimpses of being the defense we want to be, and at times, we haven't. I'm fortunate as a coach to have a group of guys that are hungry and will do what it takes to get there. Just keep on working.

On changing things while sticking to your principles:
There is always a little of finding some answers for your guys. I don't have the type of ego where it's going to be my way, or we'll do it the entire time. We're continually evolving and trying to put the best product out there that we can. If that means we have to put a few more wrinkles in, then we'll do that.

On if the schedule helps them schematically:
A lot of it is just being better at what we do and adding things here and there. Regardless of the opponent.

On the Cal offense:
They're explosive. When they're hot, they're tough to deal with. They have some talent across the board. Skill position is where they look. Goff runs that thing. The other guy, No. 8, he can go too.

On if they'll see Luke Ruebenzer:
Absolutely expect to him. He reminds me of the guy at Utah. If they don't use him, it will be a great relief.

On if they can take anything from Washington:
A little, they do different things on defense. There are definitely things you can take. There are some similar opponents. There are some indicators that we can be successful.

On Jared Goff:
I think year one, you saw a glimpse of a guy who could do it. He just needs to be more consistent. He's got great accuracy and is more mobile than people give him credit for.

On gap control:
We keep working on it. We're incorporating more walk-throughs. Just defining it. Every single day. I don't want to give them an out or myself an out, but there is a little bit of growing pains. You see that at times. It's not a selfish thing. Some of these guys want it so bad, and they're so competitive, that they do more than their job. When they get it, it's going to be hard to deal with. The beauty of it is, the guys who dream of playing at the next level, it's very different than college defenses.

On if it's on the players then:
It's all of us. Its always all of us. I truly believe when they get it, and we all get on the same page, we're going to be very tough to deal with.

On if he expected it to be a tough transition:
Not really. I try to be optimistic and confident and I love the guys we've got. We're a little of a work in progress. But the beauty is they're starting to understand it at a high level. Before it was 75% that were all in, and 25%, when it was hot and competitive, you revert to what you've done. Its natural. But there are glimpses of other stuff.

On the safeties:
I love both of them. They can both play both. Ish can play nickel, corner or safety. Based on who we match up, helps us. Bigger receivers, you can put in AJ, quicker receivers, you can put Ish on them.

On Myles Jack improvising more as a freshman:
I thought this last week he was super productive. There were a few mistakes, but I thought he was super productive. It's tough some times. If you keep them in the box, he loses his essence a little bit. So he's trying to find the balance between doing his job and being Myles Jack and getting to the rock. There is space in there for both of those guys.

On if he planned to use Jack as a pass-rusher:
He can do both, but his true value is behind the ball a little more. Pass rushing is a unique thing. You can develop it. He can be a guy that can be an effective blitzer. But there are guys like Deon who have a natural stance for it, quickness, knows how to flip his hips. I really believe he'll make a great outside backer, and they'll become a point in his career he'll be an amazing inside backer.

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