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Transcript: Phil Snow conference call


Defensive coordinator Phil Snow took part in a conference call with local media Tuesday. Below is a transcript of the Q&A session.

On core values of defense and his expectations:

"Well, the personnel thing, we're still in the process, so we'll be able to do that later on. Any time, I don't care who coaches defense, we didn't invent the game. There's a way to play it and you've got to play it fast and physical and you've got to create turnovers and not give up big plays. That's what we're all trying to do. If you characterize a good defense, you see them, they play fast and physical, they don't give up big plays and they create turnovers. That's what everything we design is intended to do."

On relationship with Rhule and process of taking the job:

"Well, I've known Coach Rhule since 2001, and our roles have completely changed. He was my graduate assistant when I was a defensive coordinator at UCLA, and now I'm working for him. We've got great respect for each other, he's really a good football man, really a good head football coach. Players like him, he gets to know them, but we've just had a great relationship. When he took the Carolina job, he asked me if I'd come as a coordinator and I said yes, so here we are."

On plan for Panthers' defensive scheme:

"Just to give you a brief, I've done just about everything on defense over the years. Last year at Baylor we were a three-man front, so we've done a variety of different things. I think what's smart to do, we'll be multiple, but what's smart to do is use the people that you have. Our team is not settled yet. There's a lot of things that have to happen before we know what we have, so we'll utilize the people that we have. We're going to be multiple, anyway, so you'll see us in four-man, three-man, bear. You'll see us in a lot of different stuff, so I think today you have to be multiple to give the offense some problems from a schematic standpoint. We'll see what we have and then we'll put it together."

On losing Luke Kuechly, evaluating linebacker group:

"I only know Luke from watching him on TV. Obviously, he's a great football player and any time you lose somebody like that, you know, I wasn't here, but we'd have loved to have him, but he's not here, so we have to move on. We'll evaluate the linebacker situation as we go. We're in the process of doing all those things right now, so I'm not educated enough yet to comment on how that's all going to unfold. As the weeks go by, I'll be much more knowledgeable in those areas."

On key to turning around the Baylor defense so quickly:

"Well, you know, when you say quickly, normally I've gotten to places and turned them around in one to two years. We actually did it the third year there. The reason was we started with 20 freshmen, and they had to grow up a little bit. We've had good success. If we can coach players for two to three years, we can develop them, and they end up playing pretty well. It was just a developmental issue and we got them to a point where they understood football and went out and played it the way it's supposed to be played."

On familiarity with new coaches, Charlotte and the Panthers:

"No background really with anybody here. The staff, we're going to wait until they announce the whole staff and all that. I'd rather not comment on the staff yet, let Coach Rhule do all that first and then after it's announced I'll make some comments."

On challenges or opportunities making the jump to the NFL:

"You probably know this, but I've coached in the NFL before. Here's the deal -- any time that you can make somebody better and they know you can, they're all the same, whether they're 18 or 25. I have kids and have gone through all those stages. People are people. It's not that big of a difference. Now, if they don't think you can make them better and stuff, then they don't listen. But if they know you can make them better, there's not that much difference. You're a teacher and you're teaching people how to play football and other things in life. Even when a person is 26 years old, you can still learn from older people things about life. We're still educating people, even though we're dealing with men. I'm 64 years old, so I'm sure I can shed some light on some subjects they need some education on. You're still educating and teaching, no matter what level you're at."

On his teaching style:

"I'm very aggressive. I'm loud on the field and those type things, but a good teacher makes the complicated simple. The only way to do that is you have to know your subject matter. Anybody that really knows their subject matter can make it simple, and we believe we know our subject matter. We've been doing it a long time. It's easy to communicate with somebody when they can understand what you're saying. We're still teachers and that's what we do."

On biggest lessons from time with Lions:

"We actually, I think, learn more from failure than we do success. You find out about who you are, and I think you learn a little bit more. I was in the NFL with Detroit; we were not successful there. There were a lot of things I learned from that experience that'll help me today here. I'm not going to share a lot of those, but they will help in the long run."

On early takeaways from reviewing Panthers' 2019 defense:

"I just don't make judgments on anything. I watch a tape for what it is and then go from there. I'd prefer not to comment on that."

On adjusting to Charlotte:

"I've been here about two weeks. I was at the Senior Bowl. I've seen my office and then the hotel I'm staying in, so I haven't seen much. Hopefully this weekend I get out and about, because I've got to buy a house here, so I've got to start looking."

On using unusual looks in the secondary at Baylor and shifting philosophy based on personnel:

"It was based on the personnel that we had. I think that's what good coaches do. You just don't run a system if you don't have the players to run it. The players win the football games, not the coaches, so we've got to put them in the best position to play and we'll decide from a technique and schematic what that is as we develop this roster."

View photos from the 2020 Senior Bowl practices and Media Day from Mobile, Alabama, as the Panthers coaching staff gets a look at the 2020 prospects.