One of the highlights of each game week has to be defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's regular press conferences. He speaks each week, usually on Thursday, and answers media questions for 10 or 15 minutes. The reason I enjoy them, and I know many of you do, is his brutal honesty. While he will not give away scheme information, if he can be brutally honest about a player or situation, he will do just that. He had no problem calling Ahmad Brooks overweight, or pointing to Perrish Cox's history of under-achieving.
Due to the short week, Fangio was the man of the hour on Tuesday. He spoke with the media, and managed to answer some questions about defensive tackle Tank Carradine. There has been plenty of discussion here and on Twitter about Tank. People wondered when he would be active, until finally he was activated in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints. He only had five snaps that week, but he is now regularly getting double digit snaps, and slowly starting to produce.
Fangio was initially asked if Tank would see more snaps these final two games, and he said no. He then went into a pretty good amount of detail about what he has seen from Tank, and what to expect moving forward.
And what did you see from Tank on Sunday?
"He's getting better. He's definitely getting better. Like I said last week, the arrow is up on him. He got the two sacks, which is nice, but one was a screen play that really [DT] Tony Jerod-Eddie made that play because Tony felt the screen, he had nowhere to throw it, and by the time the quarterback saw the screen was covered, Tank's guy had let him go and he clobbered the quarterback, which was nice. And the other one, he got flushed to him. Feel encouraged by Tank's play and definitely the arrow's up."
Is that what he needs to do, is doing things like Tony did on that play? Kind of sense things?
"Yeah. That comes with experience."
He was, I know the talk when you guys got him was that he was doing stuff in college that wasn't really applicable to here as far as just getting up the field. How has he done as far as learning what you expect of him to do at that position?
"Much better. He's made progress in that area. To me, you throw out last year. Last year was a total nonexistent year for Tank when it comes to learning and getting better playing football. It was a zero year for him. So, this was his rookie year. And he was struggling early, but he slowly was getting better and better. Then he hit another plateau. Struggled a little at that plateau, and now he's taken off from that plateau. So, it's a nice progress he's got going and I think the arrow's up is the best way to say it. I keep saying that."
What can you do? You're about to lose him for a number of months before he comes back for the offseason program, what can a guy like that do in those months to make up some ground on what you're talking about?
"Well, I don't think we'll lose him. I think he'll be around here and I think he'll be working out voluntarily under our supervision. He's got to play. He had meetings. He had every meeting possible when he wasn't playing last year and he's past that point. But, he's got more knowledge of playing now. The film means a little bit more to him now because he's been out there and he's got some experience to draw on. So, he can get more out of film now than he could last year. So, I think he'll get more before we hit the field than he would have gotten last year."