Transcript: Smith Press Conference

Head coach Mike SmithOn the short yardage offense:

"You want to try and get first downs on first downs and first downs on second down, try to stay out of those third down, but if you get into third down you want it to be third down and short. We need to be more efficient in that. That's something that we haven't been consistent at. I've used the word consistency quite a bit in all three phases, even though some of the markers are good on one side of the ball, you have to work to improve some areas. That's one that we have to improve on."

On not having a traditional fullback and it being a problem in short yardage plays:

"I don't think so. Patrick DiMarco is a good lead blocker. He plays the traditional fullback in our two back sets."

On Matt Forte's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield:

"As I said yesterday, he's the engine that drives that offense. They've got some really good players, but with him, as you mentioned, they have a dual threat. It's going to be very important for us to have very good run fits, and then we're going to have to make sure that we leverage him on the check down because if you don't leverage him properly it ends up being like a run outside your defense. It's going to be very important that we leverage in the passing game, the short underneath passes."

On whether the players have a hard time disengaging off their blockers:

"Well, we had the quarterback back there and he was very comfortable in some snaps, and when you give a quarterback time he's going to throw the football, something that we have to be better at. In turn, it'll allow us to be better on third down. It takes – just like in the run game – all 11 guys, in the pass game it does as well. We've got be able to put more pressure on the quarterback. We've got to affect the quarterback; we've got to sack the quarterback. Those markers are not where they want to be, and that's some of the areas on the defensive side of the ball that we've been trying to address, and we'll continue trying to address."

On the players trying to spin out of gaps to get off of blocks:

"It depends on what the down and distance is. If it's third down and ten, you have a little bit more leeway in terms of what you can do with your pass rush. That goes back to getting people in third down and longs, not third down and mediums and third down and shorts."

On players studying film:

"When we train we just don't train out here on the field. We spend from about 6:45 in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday till, these guys will get out of here about 4:15-4:30. A lot of it's on the classroom work. That classroom work is not just lecture with the coaches; a lot of it is film study. With the technology that we have with the tablets, the guys can get instant access to lots of tape. They can watch the tape at home. Anytime they're hooked to a wifi connection, they basically have access to unlimited tape, so it really helps. It's very important that we train ourselves mentally, just like we're trying to train ourselves physically."

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