Press Pass: Monte Kiffin

In this edition of "Press Pass," Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin talked about some of the plays that went into the defense's success against Washington, including Ronde Barber's interception and Derrick Brooks' fourth-down stop of Clinton Portis.

Q: Have you ever had six turnovers in a game like that before?

A: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what's the most we've had to tell you the truth. I just know that they were timely, especially at the end.

Q: It seemed at the beginning of the game it was the young guys getting into it, like the Greg Whites and the Tanard Jacksons. At the end of the game, the veterans like Ronde Barber and Derrick Brooks stepped up.

A: The young guys played good early. We got tired in the second half and that happens. At halftime they had 95 yards of offense and we played really good on defense. That's happened here before. I always check the temperature every day. A lot of people don't know that. But I can tell you the average temperature today, at this time of year, is 76 degrees. Look in the paper. Today it was 83 at kickoff. The paper said warm and humid. I always look at that because when the other team is playing from behind and stuff, that's what happens. It happens all the time. Part of that is our fault for not getting off on third downs. But we played a lot of snaps today and we were dead tired. When you're tired it's hard to rush the quarterback. That's no excuse; we have to do better. I'm totally ticked off about our third downs. We caused our own problems. Third and longs! Third and eight, third and nine, we didn't get off (the field). At Arizona we were rushing. Last week we were rushing. This week the rush was good early but it wasn't good enough later on.

Q: Can you talk about how the Redskins used Keenan McCardell to get those tough yards on third and long?

A: I don't pay attention to who's catching the ball. I'm just thinking about the next call.

Q: Monte did you think someone was going to step up and make the kinds of plays they made late in this game?

A: You always hope so. We know we were mixing our coverage. Sometimes we blitzed and that one blitz was when they hit the touchdown to the tight end (Chris Cooley). We didn't blitz at the very end. We were just about ready to go for an all-out blitz there at the very end. But our guys were tired. I don't know that if we had blitzed whether we would have gotten there or not. Even if we had been scot-free we might not have, we were so tired. Gee whiz.

Q: Can you talk about what Derrick Brooks was able to do on that fourth and goal play, where he was able to shed the block and stop Clinton Portis for no gain?

A: That was a big play. That was huge. The turnovers and the 4th-and-1. That was a big stop. We jumped into a gap front and we were looking for the sneak. That was even better that they went to the handoff because they like to sneak there and (Jason) Campbell is a big guy. They like to sneak in those situations. Derrick was keyed in on the sneak and did a great job to make the play and that was huge. And then Ronde's (Barber) interception and BK (Brian Kelly) ends it. So that was Cover 2 at the very end. People will always try and get it, we call it, right up the rail. There's a soft spot in Cover 2 that you can hit right up the rail. If your corner doesn't do a great job, there's a hole there between the corner and the safety. Brian is great at head turning, a 90-degree turn, to make the interception and that was huge.

Q: Can you talk about Ronde finally breaking the career interceptions mark?

A: I'm glad he finally did it so he'll stop guessing so much. He's so instinctive. He's a team guy so much, you know? That blitz we ran, when Barrett (Ruud) was able to get such good pressure early in the game, Ronde just gave himself up on that. Usually Ronde gives us a guy that we can bury and wrap around Barrett, and Ronde just did whatever it took to win. He's so deserving of that. In the history of football — and I shouldn't say that because you can never say never — but to this day I can't believe there's anyone that can play the nickel corner, that's the slot corner, better than Ronde Barber. That's what that interception was off of, was the slot corner. He's the best.

Q: Ten turnovers in the last two weeks. Is that just something that happens to come in bunches?

A: They come in bunches, that's what we tell our guys. When you're flying to the football and hustling, we should be doing that every week. Today we talked about capping off and knocking the ball out all the time. You can do it and some weeks it doesn't happen. But you should do it every week. You hit the backs and you're going to get turnovers, especially when they're fumbles. Those were caused you know? That's really nice.

Q: On Ronde's interception, was that just him reading the play and anticipating?

A: He did a great job reading that play. He was in a Cover 3 and he had to re-route first. He re-routes and then he buzzed. He buzzed out right away. That was picture-perfect Cover 3. That was a change-up from Cover 2. I don't think the quarterback was expecting it. Ronde in Cover 2 doesn't usually play the flat so I think it caught Campbell off guard. And Ronde, he doesn't miss a layup. He was right there and picked it.

Q: Campbell said you jumped into a defense that prevented them from sneaking the ball on that fourth-and-one?

A: Right. That's right. OK. We really don't play that defense much. It was two weeks in a row we've won on that (play). It's the same one on fourth and one that Ronde Barber made the hit on at Atlanta. If you looked at the tape, it's the same exact defense and we jumped in it. We haven't showed it a lot in the last two weeks. I was surprised. You can still run the sneak, but we might have scared it out of him I guess. Because you do have every gap filled.

Q: He said that he had run it once before, but when he saw that particular defense, the play he had he changed.

A: I think the same thing happened last week, when (Atlanta) ran the running play in front of our bench, the toss play. We jumped into that defense because, I think, to stop the sneak. And people feel they can't sneak against it.

Q: Monte what was the coverage on the touchdown Cooley caught?

A: It was a blitz from the other side and they picked up the blitz.

Q: We're just not used to seeing a linebacker and a corner winding up in coverage on a tight end.

A: The linebacker (Cato June) had the tight end and then Phillip (Buchanon) came off late. There was a wide out outside of Buchanon. The quarterback had too much time. Even though they pick up the blitz someone should get to him because he was looking the other way. He looked strong and we had great coverage. That's the rush's fault. The rush would have helped.


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