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Lions quotes: Gunther Cunningham's comments from Wednesday

A look at what Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had to say during his Wednesday media session.


Below is a look at what defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had to say following Wednesday's Detroit Lions practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On the issues with defending a mobile quarterback: "I think we all understand what the issues are and how to play it. You know, I reflect back on my college days and it wasn't that hard to remember all that stuff because it put a lot of pressure on me in those days and it does in this league too. The problem is for those quarterbacks, one of these days one of them is not going to walk off. It's a lot of pressure on him to physically do that."

On the keys to stopping a mobile quarterback: "The key is you need extra people to stop the run because they spread you out. So, you end up playing some man-to-man or shorten your safeties down and if the quarterback can really throw the ball, that's where we get into trouble. Miami couldn't do that with the rookie and the other kid that was running the option. But their design was as good as I've ever seen in my life and then it got away from them for whatever reason, you know? Bill Belichick can tell you they killed him in the first game, came back in the second and beat them worse. So, it's an issue and we have to be on top of it."

On DE Ezekiel Ansah: "He's got a good feel for the game. A lot of people say it's instincts. I've never heard of a human being having those. Maybe I'm wrong. Some doctor's going to call me saying you've got to learn things. He has good eyes, you know, he sees the game and he shows up on some plays and amazes me. He has unique ability to slip gaps and show up. The tough thing right now is we don't have pads on. That's when the real thing's going to be in front of him. Hopefully, he'll be as good as we thought he was."

On CB Darius Slay's development: "Darius, I don't know if he knows he's in the NFL or not. That is a good thing, trust me. Somebody asked me about him, I said, ‘He has no conscience.' That may be the number one criteria for any corner you want on your team. He doesn't let things bother him. He is very sharp and he was really well coached in college. I understand his position coach went to Auburn after this year, and rightfully so. He's well-schooled and he's touched the ball a lot. He's had about three interceptions since he's come out, maybe four, knocked a couple balls down. So, we'll see. Again, Ziggy needs pads, Darius needs pads."

On DT Ndamukong Suh being more of a vocal leader this season: "The thing that's kind of amazing about Suh right now for me is I don't see him. I don't hear him very much. He's really into it. You know, somebody came up to me today, one of the strength coaches, and he was commenting on how good of a job he's doing within the group and on the team. You know, the line coaches put him in charge of a lot of calls that they make and he's doing all of it. He's being a real team guy and hasn't lost his ability. So, that's a good thing."

On if Suh is a different player than last year: "I probably know him as well as I know any player in my history. Is he different? I don't know. He's got some goals in mind and I think this team is the number one goal."

On LB Travis Lewis: "They're battling, those three guys, Ashlee (Palmer), Tahir (Whitehead) and Travis. They're all making plays and, you know, I always tell Matt (Burke) it's about the trust. Who is going to make the most plays without messing one up? They're all really doing pretty well. I like what Matt's doing with them and each one of them has shown up for big plays. Travis made a couple today. Last week he was responsible for two interceptions. He didn't get it, but he made the interception happen by his drop. He's a real vocal player and sometimes that worries me. I told him the other day, ‘Just make sure you learn everything. The other stuff will come.' He's been a leader all his life, probably high school through college and he wants to do that very much. But he's got to learn the basics first."

On the addition of S Glover Quin: "I don't know about the defense, but he's doing a lot for me. He is something. We had a meeting the other day and I turned to Sheldon White and I said, ‘Quin.' He goes, ‘Professional.' I said, ‘That's the best description I've ever heard.' That's him. All about business every day. Talked to Lou (Delmas) yesterday about Quin and I said, ‘Have you talked to him?' He said, ‘Oh yeah.' I said, ‘You mean he said something.' Obviously, Lou started laughing because he doesn't talk very much. It's all business and he's doing a great job in the deep middle of the field. He didn't have a good background in that. Whatever the issues are he works at them. He's really improved that."

On S Louis Delmas: "You know, he's obviously emotional about everything and I think we get along for that reason. I'm a lot like he is and things bug me in a hurry. I think he's feeling better. I can't speak for his doctors and his trainers, but talking to him I sure like the way he's responding with me in those conversations. He wants to play and he's going to be ready to play on his part in my feelings about that. But like I said, everybody else has got to answer those questions."

On if Delmas will be healthy for the regular season: "Well, I go home and pray a lot. You know, I can't answer that. The only thing I can tell you is if there's a will, there's a way for Lou. There's a lot of will in him."

On gauging Ansah's adjustment: "You know, that's a good question. I really don't know how to answer it other than, one thing about this kid, I asked him at the Senior Bowl if he'd ever bring his family here. He said no. I asked him some other questions about going to BYU and he didn't have a scholarship or anything like that. I said, ‘Ok, that's good for me.' Well, what that tells you, he's all about this game. They asked him to do more things than any college player I've ever seen I think in that position. He played every position up front and he is very aware of football. I don't know how he learned all those things that quickly. Although, I do know, I don't know the name, but there's a defensive line coach that played in the NFL at BYU who coached him. I think he was a little frustrated by moving Ziggy. When we got him in the Senior Bowl, we wanted to find out. We put him in one spot and let him play and Kris (Kocurek) and I were laughing in the fourth quarter because Kris told me he's going to be the MVP. I said, ‘Well, he's probably our whole team.' I mean, he made I don't know how many tackles, had sacks, knocked the ball down, covered kicks, punts and kickoffs. He does it all. So, now we just have to get that transition into the league to see how he responds in preseason. You know, the upside of Ziggy Ansah is his character. There is no doubt in my mind about that. Those kids that come over like he does, they're on a mission. It's not just, ‘Well, you know, I get a chance to play in the NFL.' He made a path to go to the NFL and he worked hard to get here. He has tremendous physical talents. You know, he ran 21-something in 260 pounds. That's pretty hard to do. I know a little bit about track. He ran the 100-meter in under 10.8, 10.7, something like that. So, he can do those things. What we need to do is get into preseason and find out."

On how this year's defense will compare to last season: "Well, the number one thing, I got up Saturday morning last week and Nate Burleson was quoted in an article. He said, ‘I don't know how good they are, but they're getting their hands on a lot of balls.' I'm reflecting on the corners and the safeties. Marcus Robertson has done a great job to this point. He's coached them all by himself until we got Stevie Jackson about a week and a half ago. He's done a good job with them. I don't know what he says to them, but I'm going to find out because some of those young guys are really responding to him. But again, this sweat suit practice. You know, we need to find out what they're going to do when the camp starts. But they've all had a pretty good offseason and I'm really impressed by the secondary's ability, you know, physically. Now let's see if they can play like that in a real game."

On assistant defensive line coach Jim Washburn: "It makes me smile every day that I see him. I think Jim's one of the greatest coaches I've ever been around. He is something. It's all about the game and he's personable, he's tough, he's consistent. Those linemen will respond. Most of all is Kris Kocurek working with him. You know, Jim coached him, he recruited him, spent a lot time on that farm in Texas and they know each other real well. So, the camaraderie between the two is kind of going through the group. I see a much more cohesive unit. You know, we lost some really good players. It's not like the old days when we cut guys and they never played again. You're talking about (Kyle) Vanden Bosch, (Cliff) Avril, Corey Williams, Justin Durant, there have been a few players that are playing the League now and they were good football players. We replaced them and we hopefully we replaced them the right way. I thought the organization did a great job. I've always been an advocate of big, tall corners and I look out there and it's kind of nice to look up when I talk to them."

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