LBs coach Jason Tarver (9.11.20)

Linebackers coach Jason Tarver:

On the Browns LBs’ development: 

“This week of practice has been outstanding. It has been nice to have (LB) B.J. (Goodson) back. He has just been an ultimate pro throughout this experience and making the calls loud this week. Been impressed with him. Our energy has been outstanding. That is what is great about this group. They challenge each other, and they have just been positive and running. They have been one-time correction guys, and that is a great thing. That means if they get it wrong, they find a way to get it right, and that is what it is about. Not everything is going to be perfect. There are only two things they can do. They can run or they can pass. As we see those things, we make the corrections, and our positive energy and how we are able to focus, it is on our way and we like where we are going.”


On LB Jacob Phillips’ development: 

“Jacob is one of those young men that makes corrections well. He is intense. He likes contact. He has gotten better and better at using his hands and his length, which is going to be critical as he gets into playing the opponents that we play one week at a time because what you see at this level is just the speed and the length of the big people that you playing against. He has to make sure he masters that, and he has gotten better and better at it. We are excited to watch him this weekend.”


On how difficult of a test Week 1 will be with the Ravens’ running game: 

“Oh, yeah. This week and going into it, the biggest thing that we focused on is we focus on ourselves. This team challenges you because everything looks the same, the runs and the passes. For us, we want to just focus on us and do our job. Making sure at the start of downs, our hips are down and our eyes are in the right place. They use some motions so we want to make sure that we handle those motions by moving to the right spot, getting our eyes right and then letting it go from there. If our eyes are right, we are in the right body position, and we pick up the right keys, we have a much better percentage of being right. Then it is about how fast we run, we shed and we tackle the guy with the ball because that is what you have to do with linebackers.”


On LB Sione Takitaki’s improvement: 

“Sione has attacked every day. What I mean by that is he has gotten better every day. He has an infectious energy. He is on all the time. He loves contact. He likes to play. He is a positive, quick, young man that we are excited about seeing. Since we have been able to work with each other virtually for a long time and had a little over a month to be able to be practicing, just his improvement every day. If he continues to approach every day like this, the sky is the limit for Sione. We need him to be the same guy he is every day on the practice field in the game. We do not need anybody to try to turn into Superman. We just need to be ourselves. That is what we are all tasked with for this weekend.”


On how LB Malcolm Smith has fit into the Browns defense: 

“Malcolm has been a pleasure to have in our building. He is a pro. He is a professional. He has seen just about everything in this business, good and bad. Obviously, he has reached the top of this business, which we all are in it to attempt to win as many games as we can to get in the tournament. He has seen all that. He has been awesome by taking coaching points and things that maybe some other guys have not seen and making them easy, not only for himself but for his teammates. Extra little drills that he knows that he can help our guys with. He works extra with our guys after practice. Could not be happier with his mindset, his work ethic and how he interacts with our guys.”


On LB Tae Davis: 

“Tae has done a nice job. Tae has played all the positions for us. Tae is very smart. Tae can handle a lot. He makes calls and he is able to line everybody up and play. He is highly valuable for our football team in many ways. All our linebackers have to contribute on special teams. That is what we do because there are three phases, and a special teams play is sometimes even more impactful than a defensive play. You are going to see our guys on defense and special teams. Tae is right there in that mix with our guys. He has just improved daily, and that is what is nice about Tae – always the same guy.”


On if it is a concern that Goodson and Takitaki have not played a lot against the pass during their careers: 

“We will use all our backers in situations where we can matchup football. We have trained them in the different situations and got a lot of reps in camp of feeling the pass and working together. We actually had some great examples, two great examples, of the guys working together in practice. I actually get to go watch the video, and it will be fun watching with the guys. With that, we understand that, but also, everything is new for us. This is this year. We have gone at it one way, and you all have heard it from me before, everything is a competition in this position, and we have competed. We have gotten better and better at all the situations because we are working to outwork each other. That is where it starts. We are going to use our guys in different situations, and we like that we have more than one type of linebacker on this roster. I will leave it at that, and then we can all see how we use them this weekend.”


On if it will be easier to pick up information from an opposing offense with no fans in the stands:

“I think this is going to be an interesting environment. We talked about it. This whole year is interesting. Everything is quieter. Everything is more isolated. I think you are going to hear a lot of things, some pleasant and some unpleasant, during these football games. Yeah, we are going to be listening as good as we can. Here is one of the biggest deals coaching some really good linebackers is sometimes when you are young, you come off the field and say, ‘Coach, coach, I heard this.’ Then I say, ‘But the ball is over there so go run over and tackle the guy with the ball.’ What we want to do is we want to make sure we use the information that we can to the best of our ability because some of it is going to be fake. There are some quarterbacks in this league that are going to say whole bunch of stuff, and it may not be true. That is going to be interesting. That will be something for everybody. We are all excited to feel, hear and experience this season because it is unique. I like the question.”


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