Mark Duffner Praises Jason Pierre-Paul, Says Vita Vea Took ‘Big Step’

Defensive coordinator Mark Duffner spoke to the media on Wednesday of Week 13.

(On the reason for more production from the defense line)

“I think our defensive line really overall played a darn good game the other day. I think [that] was one of the reason why we were able to play productive defense. They’ve been working real hard on the pressure and putting pressure on the quarterback and impact him in terms of the pocket. I’m pleased that they’re having results that are reflective of their efforts.”

(On defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib)

“They’re both guys to be concerned about if you’re on the offensive side. They’re both – number one, they’re high-energy guys, high effort guys. They’re going to work like hell to get the job done. Number two, they’ve got talent and when you add those two things – attitude and talent – together you get some production. I can’t be more excited about what they have brought in terms of their personality, their character, their work ethic and their production to the defense. JPP he’s down, didn’t know if his knee was torn up or what and the rascal goes over, warms up, goes back in and plays. You’ve got to love a guy that’s got that kind of toughness and commitment to his teammates.”

(On Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey)

“They’ve got a lot of targets, but this guy has really been prolific for them, there’s no question about it. He’s their top receiver, he’s playing about 98 percent of the snaps. Everything tend to really be involved with he and the quarterback. They’re both very, very dynamic players, so we’ve got our hands full. Execution will be critical in terms of people doing the proper assignments of their job and then tackling and pusuit areas we were not consistent in the first time we played them. The objective this week is to have great eye discipline in terms of what your job is all about and then do a great job of finishing and tacking.”

(On getting two interceptions against the 49ers)

“It was excellent. It was a great thing. The play that Ryan Smith made and also Isaiah [Johnson] were excellent plays – they were drive stops for us – in critical moments really. We were trying to keep them out of the end zone and to have those kinds of plays – especially through interception or takeaway – was something we needed and something we were pleased to get.”

(On how to defend the Panthers offense)

“They certainly have people that attract your attention and the only tough thing in that regard is the have more than just one. If you focus on one guy too much, somebody else can wind up having a big game against you. This receiver [D.J.] Moore that they’ve got is really coming on. They’ve got really good receivers in addition to [Greg] Olsen at tight end. They’ve got multiple weapons and if you focus just on one particular, two particular guys, you could let the other part of their offense take over. Like every week, it’s a team game and we’ve got multiple people to be concerned with.”

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