Pass game coordinator/DBs coach Jeff Howard (12.4.20)

Pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach Jeff Howard:

On the challenge facing the Titans without S Ronnie Harrison Jr. and CB Denzel Ward: 

“First thing, getting an opportunity to play against the Titans is going to be a great challenge for us. They are a very good team. They do a lot of things well. It starts with the running game and then the complements with the passing game off of it. Obviously, they have some good production from really their whole receiving corps. Having injuries is kind of a part of the NFL. We have navigated it up until this point. I feel like as a teacher and as a developer, it is my job to get the next guy ready. Hopefully, we will do that, and we will get to see that this weekend.”

On if the plan was to have CBs Tavierre Thomas and M.J. Stewart split time at nickel corner based on the half last week: 

“We had to make a lot of adjustments during that game. They ended up playing like you said split time and ended playing a very similar snap counts. Just kind of had to do that with navigating our corner spot situation. We played a lot of guys this week in the slot, and we will see how it goes.”

On how CB Kevin Johnson performed at outside CB last week: 

“I thought Kevin did some good things outside. Challenged him a few times, and I thought he was close and pretty sticky in coverage. There are some things that we talked about this week that we can improve upon and be in better spots, but overall, I thought he did a pretty good job.”

On the importance of having CB Terrance Mitchell available every week with Ward and CB Greedy Williams missing time: 

“Just going back and we watch a lot of tape, especially the Titans this year, probably watched all the games this year and then went all the way back to last year. I was talking Terrance about how much I feel like he has improved just with the details of his game and the technique of his game. We are obviously not perfect, but I feel like we have made an improvement. I am very thankful that T Mitch has been here. He has stepped up to the challenges that we have been given. I am looking forward to watching him play this weekend.”

On Mitchell’s competitiveness and CBs needing to be competitive: 

“Yeah, it is so true. That position, you really have to have a different sense. I talk about life outside of the numbers. Guys that can play out there, their mentality is different because like you said, they are on an island a lot, and you have to be able to take the fight to your opponent at any time. Things are going to happen and it is not going to be perfect, but you can’t panic. We have to use our technique. We have to be great with our eyes. When things happen, we have to show that resilience that (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski talks about, and the corners are really challenged with that week in and week out.”

On what he has told the CBs about tackling Titans RB Derrick Henry who may be at full speed when reaching them: 

“Their running back is a big part of their whole offense. They do a lot a lot of things in the run game. What kind of strikes me is how well they do those multiple schemes – running outside, running inside, cuts out and then they put him one on one on a corner like you talked about. We work those techniques pretty much every single day. To me, it is body position, it is having a plan, taking the air out of the tackles and then being as violent as you possibly can.”

On the Titans WRs, particularly Titans WR A.J. Brown: 

“I can’t give enough credit to (Titans offensive coordinator) Arthur Smith, their offensive coordinator. He does a really good job. The whole scheme is really tied in together, just talking about base first and second downs. The run game and the pass game truly complement each other. Obviously, he has taken that scheme from being able to do multiple things but also you can sell. They are really trying to run the ball, but then they are very explosive in the passing game. If you look at them compared to the league, they do not throw the ball as much, but their yards per attempt are very high, and it has everything to do with those receivers. They run the ball and get you to play different coverages and play different fronts and then pretty much set up premium looks in the passing game to get those guys the ball versus certain coverages, and they execute really well. Like you talked, about A.J. Brown does a tremendous job with yards after catch. He is a very strong runner. He is a big guy. He is like 230. You really have to bring a load to get it down, and if you do not, he has enough speed to circle the defense, which he has shown the last couple of weeks.”


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