Dirk Koetter on Adarius Taylor's Role as the MIKE and Carlton Davis Playing Well

HC Dirk Koetter spoke to the media on Wednesday during Week 8 about Adarius Taylor and Carlton Davis.

(On linebacker Adarius Taylor’s impact)

“I think the best story about Adarius is my first year as a coordinator and he came in from Carolina, and a couple weeks later we were playing Carolina. Everything I was telling him – I said, ‘Hey, do this, do this, do this,’ and he goes, ‘That’s not how Carolina’s going to do it,’ and I’m going ‘Well yeah that’s how they’re going to do it!’ Now we need him to channel his inner Luke Kuechly. Now he’s the middle linebacker, so here he is. He’s hung in there and he’s a tough customer. Obviously by being voted to captain of the special teams, he’s well-respected by the team. He’s going to do fine.”

(On if he was right about Carolina)

“Eh, I don’t know [laughs].”

(On if Coach Quinn’s decision to kick the field goal late have anything to do with his decision to kick the field goal in the Falcons game)

“No. Good try though.”

(On the what it takes for someone to be prepared to play within a week of arriving to the team)

“Well, it’s been done before. Kevin [Minter’s] an experienced player – 44 starts I believe in the NFL. We played against him a couple times when he was starting for Arizona on a good defensive team. We also brought Riley Bullough back this week, who has experience., Kevin’s going through a crash-course basically just in terminology. He knows how to play football, but terminology is the thing he’s catching up on. Because we lost Kwon [Alexander] and Jack Cichy, we need some of those linebackers to fill in on special teams as well. I think you’ll find that some of these guys that have played a lot of football and are pros can get up to speed pretty quick.”

(On what he’s seen from Devante Bond)

“He hasn’t been back very long. This is really the start of his second week. Again, we’re fortunate that he’s a guy that’s been with us for the last couple of years, so he does know the terminology and he was already plugged into all of our special teams. Not only three new players, but we also have several players that are going to be changing roles – he’s one of those guys. Maybe a little faster than we would’ve thought, but he’s going to move into the starting lineup as a Sam linebacker. He’s going to continue to be a mainstay on special teams.”

(On if Alexander and Cichy going down affected Coach Duffner’s schemes during the Falcons game)

“No because for the first time this year we had six linebackers up, so if we would’ve had our normal five linebackers up, that might’ve been a little been a little dicier. Because we’ve had the good fortune to have six linebackers and we made that decision last week based again on special teams. You never want to see guys get hurt, but we did have six linebackers up last week.”

(On how defensive tackle Vita Vea looks)

“Vita looks like a guy that is still getting his legs under him. I think Coach Buckner said it best, he might’ve said it to you folks when he talked to you that Vita’s basically played his third preseason game or maybe he’s around his first game where everybody else is six games into the season. I mean he looks like a guy that’s still finding his way with his pad level a little bit, with his conditioning. We’ve talked about this before – riding the bike and losing 20 pounds is one thing but playing football against offensive linemen is another. We’re encouraged by the way Vita’s working at it, but I don’t think he’s where he’s going to end up being when it’s all said and done.”

(On why safety Jordan Whitehead’s hit on Baker Mayfield was or was not a penalty during the Browns game)

“I did not get a great explanation to that. What they said on the field was that it was a helmet-to-helmet hit and then he got up and taunted our guy, so they threw the second flag. Somehow, they worked it out that they were picking up both flags. Where I was on the field, I didn’t see it as a helmet-to-helmet, but when you look at it on tape it clearly was and I guess the fallout from that is what it is. That’s all they explained it.”

(On if it’s hard to get a new player repetitions at practice)

“Yes it is because you can’t take unlimited reps. You can’t punish the rest of the team to get a guy up. We start every Wednesday in the meetings of saying every guy in the room has to be ready to go. You’ve got your 53 [active roster] plus your 10 [practice squad] and that’s just being a pro football player. You’ve got to get your reps in the classroom and you’ve got to get your reps in walkthroughs. That’s just how it has to be.”

(On if mental reps are more important)

“They’re not more important. That’s just all we’ve got. That’s just all those guys have.”

(On if he has seen cornerback Carlton Davis grow)

“I have. I thought he had a good game last week, coming off a game that he missed due to health reasons. We know we’re going to have some growing pains with those rookies in the secondary. Carlton made a big play at the end of the game – you saw his length on display there. When he came back to practice last week, he had a real solid week of practice. Especially for those rookies who haven’t been through the longer season like this, having a good week of practice and then carrying it over is more important than a guy that’s done it for many years might not have a great week of practice.”

(On how much having three players who have been in the system during preseason helps now that they are back)

“A lot – that’s why they’re here. Jason [Licht] and his guys are out there looking at the list of who’s available and if it comes down – they have grades on everybody. They have what they think physical-trait grades are. If two guys are equally graded, of course you’re going to go with the guy at this point in the season [that] has familiarity with the system.

(On how much of the Bengals’ success is attribute to continuity)

“That would be hard for me to judge because I’m not there. Marvin [Lewis] has – I think he’s the second-longest tenured coach behind [Bill] Belichick. I don’t know, I can’t give you a good answer on that.”

(On his relationship with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis)

“Marvin’s a year older than me and he came to Idaho State from the Pittsburgh area. He was recruited there as a quarterback. So Idaho State has an indoor field and my high school team – the high school team I played on – we practiced after them. We would sit in the stands and watch them practice and Marvin was the scout team quarterback his first year. When I committed to go to Idaho State, I was think me and Marvin were going to be competing for the backup quarterback job at that time. They ended up moving Marvin to defense. He became a, I think, three-time all-conference linebacker. When he was done playing, Marvin became a coach. By that time, my dad was the head coach at Idaho State. After I finished playing, I was a high school coach. Marvin introduced me to my wife. Marvin’s wife went to school with us as Idaho State. Marvin’s daughter was the flower girl in our wedding. Marvin and I were in each other’s weddings, so we go back a long way. Marvin’s a great guy. Anyone who’s spent time talking to him, he’s a terrific coach and a great guy. But this Sunday we won’t be on the same side.”

(On having someone like Marvin Lewis to be able to relate to as far as being a head coach)

“It’s nice. I call Marvin from time to time and bounce stuff off him just the same as maybe Andy Reid. I’m sure more coaches in the NFL have similar guys, but this Sunday it’s Bucs versus Bengals and we’re going to try to get after them.”

(On if playing the overtime game affects the next day of practice)

“I think the offensive guys were – our offensive guys played 95 plays – the O-line played 95, Jameis [Winston], some of the receivers, where a normal game at 64. Defensively I think they played 68, 69 plays, so that was about normal. I think our guys were a little bit tired. We backed off a little bit in practice today. We went in shells instead of full pads. They’ll get back. They’ll be ready.”

(On what he’s seen and what he’d like to see out of running back Peyton Barber to get to the next level)

“I think Peyton’s ready to go to the next level. As I say, I feel like I’m saying this every week, Peyton just needs touches. He needs carries. I think we threw it 52 times out of those 90 something plays. We actually called more passes than that because Jameis had his runs. Peyton right now is on a team that’s a pass-first team with really good skill guys at wide receiver and tight end. He’s just got to hang in there. I don’t think Peyton is doing anything wrong and I think RoJo [Ronald Jones] is doing a good job of catching up and closing the gap. Right now, we’re just a pass-first team.”

(On if he puts more or less pressure on a struggling kicker)

“Chandler [Catanzaro’s] a pro. That’s one thing I think is different about pro players. I think if a guy’s a proven player in this league, they are their own worst critic. They don’t need me or anybody else chipping away at them. You could tell by how emotional Chandler was after the game what that meant to him. It’s business as usual to use your terms. These guys are back to work and it’s a new week. We’re on to working on Cincinnati.

(On if running back Ronald Jones’s role will change if Peyton Barber is hurt)

“He took the majority of everything today which is great for him. Everybody gets more reps. Heck, Shaun [Wilson] got a lot of reps today and those guys are – with Peyton down today – everybody gets more turns.”

(On if he has seen a change in Jones’s demeanor after scoring his first touchdown against the Browns)

“I think the touchdown – it’s fun for those guys to score a touchdown, but Ronald’s demeanor has been – ever since he came back to be an active – I think his demeanor has been on the up-swing. I think he’s been working at it and making steady progress.”