CB Greg Newsome II (1.14.24)


How did you guys think you did as a secondary specifically?

“I didn’t think we played our best game. I don’t think we played our worst game, but we didn’t play good enough to win the game. So it’s just a disappointing loss from everything we’ve been through this season, to end that way is frustrating.”


How do you think you played personally? 

“I don’t think I played too bad. Could have played better. Obviously there’s always something to fix, but I don’t think I played bad.”


In terms of CJ (Stroud). Do you feel like you guys just faced in the playoffs one of the young quarterbacks that’s going to be up and coming in this league that you’re going to have to contend with over the next how many ever years? 

“Oh, for sure. Yeah, we’ll get a chance to definitely see him again in the postseason. He’s unbelievable. What he was able to do with that franchise and just turn them completely around and get to the second round of the playoffs as a rookie is unbelievable. So, he’s definitely someone that we’re definitely going to see later on.”


How do you reconcile the bitterness from the loss yesterday with what you were able to accomplish as a team in spite of all the teammates you lost and all the adversity you faced? 

“Yeah. Right now it’s hard to really focus on the good things right now just because we had goals of getting further. So, I mean, right now obviously we accomplished a lot as a team, but we fell short of our goal. So, I think we did a good job with guys going down and people stepping up and things like that. But at the end of the day, we’re not going to be that one team with the trophy at the end.”


I was just going to say, knowing that and high expectations you guys have for yourself, does this defense feel like unfinished business? I guess coming out of this season. 

“Oh, for sure. You always got to learn from things like this. We’re definitely going to come into next season with another chip on our shoulder and I think we did a good job this season, but we didn’t show up in the biggest game. So, I think we’re going to learn from this moment and it’s only going to help us in the future.”


I know we talked about this a lot during the year, but how do you account for how dominant you were at home and the struggles on the road? 

“Yeah, I think it’s just finding our own energy. I feel like that’s the biggest thing. It’s an energy thing. So just find ways to build our own energy, create our own energy and just stay in the moment. I think that’s the biggest thing. It’s easy at home when the crowds on your side, when you go on the road, it’s only the men that you travel with and the people that come with you. So, I think it’s just finding our own energy on the road.”


Was yesterday more about what they were doing schematically against you guys or more about you guys just not playing your best and how you now correct that? Maybe some things that they put on tape that could become issues for you guys. How do you correct that going into next season? 

“Yeah, I think it’s definitely on us. I feel like a lot of the plays, if you really watch the game, a lot of it was eye control, a lot of stuff like that. It wasn’t really their scheme, just out schemed us or just beat us. I just feel like we didn’t hone in on the little details, and that’s what we’ve been focusing on the whole time. When you get to the playoffs, the margin for error is even slimmer than a regular season. You could lose a game and go to the next game and continue to build, but in the playoffs, you don’t have the opportunity to play a bad game or have a bad snap. So, I think it was definitely things that we can correct.”


Greg, this locker room was so close-knit together, which is rare in pro sports, considering how transient things can be. But how do you carry that culture forward? 

“I think when you lay a great structure, I think it’s easy to continue that culture. The core guys will always be the core guys, pretty much on the team. Obviously, it’ll be new faces. No team ever stays the same. But I feel like those core guys were able to make a good locker room. So, I think it’ll be easy to just incorporate people and just teach them our ways, and I feel like it won’t be hard. When you build something so strong that we’ve built, I feel like it’ll be hard to tear down your role coming into this year.”


We talked about your role this year. Was it a lot different than it was last year, and how do you think you kind of fit with what coach (Jim) Schwartz was trying to do? 

“Was it a lot different, I would say so, just because we played a lot more man. So that’s my comfort zone. I think Coach Schwartz did an unbelievable job in just putting me in positions to succeed, just getting around the football a lot more this season. Opportunities to play outside, opportunities to play inside, opportunities to blitz to get in the run fit. So, I think Coach Schwartz is an unbelievable coach. I think he’s the best defensive coordinator to just cater to the guy’s talents, and I feel like he did a great job with me this season.”


Felt less of a linebacker? 

“No, for sure. I mean man 95% of the time.”


Greg, do you guys feel like you’re going to really have to pick up your game even more next season?

“Yeah. For sure. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to us, no matter what quarterback, no matter if we’re playing Tom Brady or Joe Montana, at the end of the day, as long as we focus on our craft and continue to grow as a segment, as a unit, as a team, I feel like we’ll be able to accomplish whatever. We like challenges like that, you see the schedule come out and see the quarterbacks that we’re going to have to face, and I think we got the Cowboys. We a lot of great quarterbacks [that we’re going against], but that’s where legends are made in big moments like that. So we definitely don’t shy away from the moment.”

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