Audio: Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr. 7/31/18

Tuesday press conference: Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

(On Shaquem Griffin’s strengths) “Well, he’s best at a lot of things. I think his biggest strength is everyone knows, is his speed. He’s really, really fast. He has a great combination with that speed, his mind. He really thinks well and really loves ball. So, it’s been a joy to coach him because he has his combination of speed, he loves ball and he understands what his strengths are, and he plays to them.“

(On What Maurice Alexander brings to the secondary) “Well, you look at his body type, he’s big, he’s strong, he has the ability to cover as well. But his strength, as you know, with a size body like that, he can lower the shoulder on you.”

(On Barkevious Mingo’s role) “Well it depends on what the down is. If it’s a run down, then we’ll play run defense. If it’s a pass down, they’ll be rushing the passer. So they have the combination to be really strong on edge setting on run plays, and with time to get after the quarterback. Those are the guys that will develop and to be our top rushers.”

(On Shaquem Griffin as a pass rusher) “Well, we haven’t rushed him a lot as a passer, we have guys on the edge. He’s been behind the ball playing WILL linebacker fantastic. Any time you turn on the film or out here at practice you can’t help but see him flying around the field. He had an interception against Russell Wilson yesterday. It’s really exciting to see because he grew from the offseason plays. He’s just getting better every day, there’s nothing to hold him back and we’re excited he’s on our team.”

(On the safeties) “Just a lot of competition, the guys really enjoy playing. They have the opportunity to show themselves and it’s a lot of competition. Great communication, it’s showing up every day. Doing extra work, asking a lot of good questions. But, this is there chance to really step up and show us what they have.”

(On the type of pass rush the Seahawks have) “Well, we’re still early in camp, we haven’t played games yet. At the same time, there’s a lot of coaching, a lot of practice left to play. A lot of pass rushes in our practice, so there’s a lot of work to be done, and a lot of development. We have great candidates, but it’s a matter of them getting a resume, showing us what they can do against the opponent.”

(On the use of safeties without Earl Thomas) “No. They have to stay on the deep ball and they have to come up and make plays. Safety play is safety play. Earl you know, is a special, special player. At the same time, the guys that are here are working really hard and competing and they have the opportunity to show what they can do.”

(On if the scheme will change without Earl Thomas) “No, the scheme doesn’t change, it’s all about people. The scheme is what it is. The players, again, make the scheme.”

(On pairing Bradley McDougald and Tedric Thompson) “Well, it’s still early. The pairings, they vary. Some guys are in some days and some guys are not practicing. All the guys are showing up. They all can play well together. The competition is out there, and we really like what we see. Every play, guys keep making themselves better.”

(On Mingo’s versatility) “So far we are very happy with him. He’s a guy that from day one, he’s gotten better every time that he’s gone on the field. You see the development, you watch the questions that he asks on day one to now, and watching the film. So, we like the development and we’re very happy with it.”

(On Mingo’s development) “Speed, just speed. We like how fast he is. Just play fast.”

(On Rasheem Green) “Well, Rasheem is long, he’s fast. He’s a Trojan so that makes him pretty good. We really like what he brings as far as his youth and his length, and his athleticism, and he combines it. He’s got so much football to learn. He’s still growing and he’s so young that it’s just fun just watching him absorb all the energy from our culture and all the experience we are trying to teach him with the coaching. It’s just fun to watch a young player absorb everything, he’s really into it and enjoying his time right now.”

(On Tre Flowers’ transition) “Terrific. Long, fast, smart, guy is really humble. He learns in an instant. He takes everything that we teach him in the classroom, brings it right out to the practice. Makes mistakes, learns from mistakes, and he never makes the same mistake twice. He’s a guy that makes new mistakes and he learns really fast. So, there’s no limit to how good he can be.”

(On what speed can do for defense) “You chase ball carriers down, you stop the run, and we don’t let anybody throw the ball over top of us. It’s evident over the history of ball, speed and defense, they go well together. You got to stay tuned, you got to stay watching. Speed works in a lot of different ways. You can cover well with it, you can tackle with it, you can beat blocks with it, and you can stay on top and cover the deep ball with it.”

(On Tre Flowers’ understanding of the system) “Well, he played a lot of safety in college, so he’s learning a new technique. No technique is better than the other one but it’s all about what you teach and then how they absorb it and how they take it in. But Tre, he’s a natural. Not only is he a natural athlete and really smart, but he loves coming out. He listens to everything you’re saying, and he applies really well. So, he’s going to be a really, really good player.”

(On Neiko Thorpe’s versatility) “Yeah, you’re paying attention. Neiko, he’s versatile. He can play outside, obviously he can play inside, and he plays with special teams. He’s one of special team’s core leaders in that respect. The ability to have a guy that’s valuable on our special teams also able to be a top defender in the secondary, it helps an awful lot.”

(On Tedric Thompson’s speed) “He’s right in there, he’s right in there. He has this natural ability to find the ball. It’s about the speed and what you combine it with. Your smarts, your natural ability, with your ability to read plays and diagnose them really fast. So, it’s the combination of all the different talents he’s able to use.”