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DL adjustments in light of Ian going out (edited)

by Jay ?, San Diego, Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 08:04
edited by Jay, Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 08:32

Some stuff to chew on from the presser. It's interesting how they adapted after losing Ian. Instead of it just making it a Cwynar/Hafis replacement in-kind, and keeping everything else the same, they sort of re-imagined the whole front, and used it as an opportunity to get more players involved on the ends as well as the NT. I assume part of the reason they did this to protect Cwynar and Hafis from having to play nose-up on every snap, as Ian did. I thought I'd noticed more 4-DL fronts the last couple of games, but we haven't really been tracking the rotation so I wasn't sure. I guess this confirms it.


Q. I think when Ian Williams went down, expected the defensive line to soften up a little bit. With Sean in there, can you talk about his play, the stabilizing effect that he's had in combination with Hafis?

COACH KELLY: I think there are four guys that have done a nice job. Sean has been by and large the guy that has done a nice job inside. But we've kicked our front, played a lot more stack, got into a lot more four-down, which gets Prince Shembo on the field, Hafis Williams, Kona Schwenke on the field. Really, it starts with Sean, but it has been four or five guys that have stepped in also and done a very good job there.


Q. With regard to the defensive line, I think a lot of people were surprised that your D-line has played as well as it has without Ian Williams. Do you envision Hafis Williams staying at that position in the future? Sean Cwynar has. You have Louis Nix behind him.

COACH KELLY: We're a multiple front. We can play three and four down. I think there's a couple things. Number one, our strength program for our guys. I'll give you an example. Ethan is 290 pounds. He's a tough guy to move around. Our training table, our weight training, all the things, our guys taking care of themselves, that's the most important thing in November that you want to be physically stronger. We feel pretty good there. Hafis, Sean, all those guys are going to have to be in the mix. Louis Nix I think is going to be a really good player for us. Kona, I think we continue to develop because we're going to be multiple up front.

Q. Kona is listed at 245.

COACH KELLY: 263. He weighed in yesterday at 263.

Q. When pre-season practice started with Prince Shembo, I'm sure you had an idea based on what the guy showed during the summer. Did you anticipate him being the type of impact player that he appears to becoming already?

COACH KELLY: Prince Shembo will bite your nose off. We knew that from the very beginning. He's just a tenacious football player. That's the way he plays the game. He doesn't necessarily have all of his assignments down. There's a bit of a concern there, whether he's going to find the curl behind him or sloop to the flat or be in the right gap. But he just plays with such a tenacity that it brings out the best in everybody. We could see that in pre-season camp just the way he practiced. It was just a matter of getting him lined up and having him be assignment correct.

Q. You talk about your defensive line doing a better job of getting separation. That seems to be one of Shembo's great strengths.

COACH KELLY: He does, he separates extremely well. He can take somebody that's 320, 325 pounds and walk them back. He's going to be a guy that's going to go better at edge pressure. He's going to be able to add a couple of moves as he develops as a football player. I think we're just scratching the surface as to what he can do for us.



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