Insider Exclusive! Ryon Bingham Interview

Defensive lineman Ryon Bingham is primed for a breakout season. For the first time in his career, he has the health, experience and opportunity necessary to truly become an impact player. He took the time to talk with about a possible position change, the new coaching staff and the two new starters playing behind him.

Are you spending more time at end or nose, and where are you more comfortable?

Bingham: I'm playing all over right now. Actually, so far this offseason I'm playing defensive end more than anything else. But I'll wind up all over the line. I'm definitely going to be a swing guy.

Norv Turner is an offensive guru. How hands-on is he with the defense?

Bingham: Honestly, the job of the head coach is basically to oversee everything and make sure the team functions properly. He makes sure everything runs smoothly, like a well-oiled machine.

Coach Turner is definitely a different coach than Marty Schottenheimer. They have different personalities and that's just the way it is. Coach Turner is doing a great job, though, because there is a great atmosphere around here right now. He's doing a good job managing the team and helping every player be at his best.

Bingham sacks Alex Smith
(Getty Images/Jed Jacobsohn)
What was your first impression of new coordinator Ted Cottrell?

Bingham: Coach Cottrell is really, really smart. He knows what he is doing. He has a cheerful, funny attitude, but he's still able to get you in line. He's a players' coach and he's very organized.

He's pretty similar to Wade Phillips. They both run the same defense and are both defensive geniuses. What's different about Coach Cottrell is…well, it's hard to describe. I don't want to say Cottrell is more liberal. He's just more out there. He's always telling stories in the film room and he's really comical.

Given the coaching turnover, how important was it that Wayne Nunnely stayed?

Bingham: It is huge that Coach Nunnely is still here. I had to deal with positional coaching changes when I was at Nebraska, and that makes everything harder. Coach Nunnely knows everything about his guys, where a new coach would only know what he heard or what he saw on tape.

It is nice to know that you get to keep the same positional coach who knows you and has confidence in you to get the job done.

How does your job change with two first-time starters behind you?

Bingham: It is more about the scheme than the players. Our defense calls for four linebackers to be on the field and we want them to make the plays. A lot of times we're asked just to hold up two blockers so the guys behind us can make the tackle. But that is part of our defense. You have to buy into the system if you want to play. It is not necessarily about making plays.

The new starters (Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm), these guys are good players. They are different from Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey, but they are both good, solid players.

How much does it help practicing against your offense?

Bingham: Practicing against an offense like ours helps a lot. We have a really solid offensive line that is good with the running game and everything else. Our line may not have all the biggest guys, but they are strong and good at what they do. They're a bunch of technicians.

It makes the defensive line a lot better going up against those guys. When we play other teams, it makes things seem easier than what we are used to going up against.

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