'We will do better in letting Newman rush'

Bills linebackers coach Miles Aldridge talked about the situation with strongside linebacker Keith Newman not playing on third downs, a down which he has played and flourished in the past – recording eight sacks two years ago. Mike Doser sat down with Aldridge in this Shout! exclusive interview.

Mike Doser: Lately teams have obviously keyed in on Chris Watson when he comes into the game as an extra corner in the nickel package to play against three wide receiver sets. That, of course, takes Keith Newman out when he's not playing rush end. Why haven't you thought about simply staying in your regular package sometimes, keeping Keith in as the strongside linebacker?

Miles Aldridge: When a team goes to three wide receivers, we're going to go to the nickel because we got to get three good defensive backs on say, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Jerry Porter. In that situation, the only guy Keith can cover is Jerry Porter and he can't cover him. It's not a good matchup. We won't be here very long if we got Keith in the game trying to cover one of those three wideouts. He has to become a rusher. Now I'm just talking about Keith against three wides in our regular package. But when we go to a nickel we do have a package where he plays as a rush end. So we're going to keep Keith in the game sometimes in that situation. But in our regular package, Keith wouldn't be a good fit. He needs packaging vs. those people. We're going to put an extra DB in because now, at least, when we want to pressure or blitz, that gives us three good DBs against their wideouts. That's common sense football.

MD: Keith rushed a lot against Minnesota, but not so much in the other three games. He expressed frustration over not playing every down, but on the other hand, he likes getting the chance to rush the passer. It seems like the solution is to get him more snaps as an end.

MA: We need to get Keith more chances to rush the passer. He had a lot of rushes for him against Minnesota, where he got a sack and forced a fumble. We haven't gotten him as many the last week or so and we should have. We got to do a better job, which we will.


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