Here are select quotes from DeForest Buckner’s first press conference of 2017.
Q: Where have the coaches said you’re going to play?
BUCKNER: “Last year, I moved around a lot. Right now, Coach is telling me the big end spot and some 3-technique.”
Q: You’ve trained a lot with Michael Bennett who comes from a similar scheme. Have you talked to him about the nuances of that front?
BUCKNER: “Yeah, actually. Me, Arik (Armstead), Eli (Harold) and Ron (Blair), we’re all going out there in July. We’re going to be out there in Hawaii for almost a whole month working out with Michael Bennett. We’re going to be able to have the opportunity to pick his brain and things we can use to be successful in this scheme.”
Q: Would you rather be a 3-tech or at the big end spot?
BUCKNER: “To be honest, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had success at both spots. I’m just looking forward to learning the new scheme.”
Q: What are your initial impressions of your new defensive coordinator?
BUCKNER: “I like him a lot. He talks about the style of defense he wants us to be. He wants us to attack the ball, have extreme violence and he has talked to us about having all gas, no brakes. ”
Q: Are you going to be one-gapping more than last season?
BUCKNER: “He said it’s more of a one-gap control defense. One gap and we’re going.”
Q: How does that change things?
BUCKNER: “Off the snap I’m not two-gapping, so I’m not holding on to blocks. I’m more avoiding now, so I’m excited about that. I don’t have to hold off a 300-pound man for two seconds and then shed him. It’s going to be more exciting.”
Q: When you were watching film cutups today, was it of Seattle, or…?
BUCKNER: “Coach said we’re going to have a variation of cutups. It’s probably going to be with Seattle and Atlanta and Jacksonville. I’m just taking notes and watching what to do and what not to do.”
Q: What was your learning experience as a rookie and how will you transition to Year 2?
BUCKNER: “Last year, my whole thing was about consistency and keeping my pad level low and my pass rush. I kind of started off slow during the year. As we played more games, things started to get a lot easier. Just transitioning to really watching the film. Throughout the year I really got better at watching the film, and seeing the little things I have to change in my own play and things I can pick up on from other teams. Being able to develop more in the class room really helped me throughout the season.”
Q: How excited are you to get after the quarterback more in this scheme now than in the past? You’re said you’re going to be one-gapping now, so you won’t have to stack-and-shed as much. That’s going to benefit you a lot, especially as a pass rusher.
BUCKNER: “Oh yeah, definitely. I’ve never been in this kind of scheme. We were really reacting and stuff last year and the scheme I was in the past couple years. Being able to just rip and run and go, everybody is definitely excited to get out there.”
Q: Now that this is your second year, how do you feel about being able to gel with your defensive line unit, knowing where guys are going to be before they’re going to be there and just being a cohesive unit?
BUCKNER: “Still have most of the same guys in the room. We also have the Sams in the room and the Leos. The outside backers are more D-linemen now. So when we go through pass rush things and talking about getting after the quarterback, it’s going to be a lot better compared to last year because we all know what we need to do with, I want to say, caging the quarterback.”