Washington Defensive Coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski taking it one down at a time

Washington Defensive Coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski spoke to the media Wednesday about the possibility the defense could be better than last year. Is that possible? Kwiatkowski lays out how they can get there.

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Apologies for the wind at the beginning of the video. 

Three days, three shutouts - “Three days. Yeah. The guys are flying around. The key now as we keep going is we go four, five…eight, nine, 10 - those type of things. How consistent we can be throughout not only camp but when we get to the season.”

Defense being ahead of the offense early in camp - “Yeah. Generally, yes. Especially when guys have been in the system and have experience, so we’re moving a lot faster than we have two years ago for sure. Because they’ve got all these banked reps so we put in more calls every day. We’re throwing a lot of different looks at the offense. So yeah, we’re ahead of ‘em but they’ll start adjusting and we have to be ready for it.”

What’s going to set guys apart in finding jobs in the secondary? - “Production. That’s the bottom line. But that goes for any position though, whether it’s quarterback or line or linebacker. The best guys are going to play. You want depth and on defense we have the luxury of seven guys, but at the end of the day it comes down to production.”

How do you feel about Psalm Wooching and Joe Mathis trying to replace Littleton and Feeney? - “I feel great about ‘em but they haven’t played as many reps as those guys and it’s yet to be seen if we’re going to be able to get the same production we got out of those guys. Do I think they can do it? Yeah, but they’ve got to go do it. That’s why we practice and next guy up. We’ve got a lot of bodies over there now, so good competition. Whether it’s those two guys or Amandre (Williams), a true freshman, I don’t know. We’ll find out though.”

How has Psalm progressed since you’ve been here? - “It’s been awesome. He’s not only grown as a football player and the knowledge of football, but as a guy understanding how he handles himself with his teammates. He’s got a great family and has made huge strides in that aspect.”

What have you seen from the offense so far? Have you seen an improved group? - “I don’t really pay attention to the offense, honestly. I’m watching them to see how we align in terms of formation. I’m totally focused on what we’ve got to do so I don’t spend too much time looking at those guys.”

Where does that chip on the defense’s shoulder come from? - “We want to go out and we want to play with an edge to us. There’s a line and we can’t cross that line but we want to play with that edge, play with grit. To do that you’ve got to be able to take the good with the bad. When you get punched in the mouth you’re not pointing fingers. Let’s go, line up. It’s time for someone to stand up, make a play. It all comes down to being competitive and being the right type of competitor. Not a front-runner, but a true competitor that’s going to be able to handle playing the same no matter if it’s up, if it’s tied, or down. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, you’re out there playing at your best, giving great effort and being physical - all those characteristics you want out of a good football player. They do it whether it’s hot, cold, raining, snowing, whatever. Winning or losing.”

This has the feel of the defense being further along than just day three - “It’s because they are comfortable in the calls. We call them ‘groove calls’. They know where they are supposed to align, they know what they are supposed to do. When you do that you can play fast. Football is not a game of perfect so if you’re playing fast and maybe you should be over the top of a block but you end up underneath the block but you’re playing fast, you’re able to make it up. It’s those type of things. They’ve done a great job over the summer doing PRPs (Player Run Practices), keeping their mental aspect and what they are supposed to do honed over the summer.”

With the DB’s playing at a high level, can they influence things at the line of scrimmage? - “Most sacks are coverage sacks. Not many times is there a flat blow away and the guy gets a sack. Usually coverage is involved, whether you’re confusing the quarterback or you’re playing such tight coverage that there’s nowhere to throw it. That’s when you get them holding the ball and that front gets an extra second or so to get to him.”

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