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Su’a Cravens says coaches, team a lot more ‘serious, locked in’ this season

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Talking with Orange And Blue Radio, the safety says this coaching staff “isn’t playing games.”

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Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

More than once, Su’a Cravens made reference to head coach Vic Fangio’s “no-nonsense” style when he spoke with Ryan Edwards, Andrew Mason and Steve Atwater on First & 10 at 10 today.

And not in a “PR-cliché answer” kind of way.

In a “this coach ain’t messing around” kind of way.

For example, when Mason asked Cravens if he thought the current defensive scheme fit his style for coverage better, Cravens noted that “you ain’t got no choice but to cover” in this defense.

But it’s not because in the defensive scheme for the previous regime there was a choice to cover or not, it’s because under the Vic Fangio regime, players will get called out for not doing their expected jobs - in front of everyone.

“We watch film as a team, so if you can’t cover, you gettin’ exposed,” Cravens said. “The whole team is gonna know. It makes you focus in, so those things don’t happen.”

How about that? Actual accountability - not just a t-shirt slogan.

And when the crew asked Cravens if some of Brandon Marshall’s recent comments to The Athletic had some truth to them, the safety didn’t think it was quite as discombobulated among the linebackers and secondary as Marshall made it out to be, but he still emphasized the difference in coaching strategies.

“It’s no-nonsense. No jokin’ around. We are locked in. It feels like it’s already in training camp,” Cravens said. “The coaching staff made it clear that they’re going to be real transparent and they’re here to do one thing - win games.”

Cravens added that he’s been playing “95 percent safety” so far, which he really likes.

“Safety is what I do. If there is one thing I know how to do, it is tackle and play safety,” he added.

Cravens noted that part of his frustration during last season wasn’t just his lack of playing time but what he considered bad choices by the coaches for who would play.

“I was more frustrated because it was not even about the best player. It was more about preference...I had to bite my tongue not speak my mind when Lord knows I wanted to,” Cravens said, adding that Atwater had to “grab me a couple of times” and tell him to relax. “We were losing games we should have been winning with talent that was not even on the field. I’m not just talking about myself. There were five to six guys on offense and defense who just should not have been playing. From a player’s standpoint it was very frustrating.”

But some of that frustration could have been just sour grapes over being deactivated at the end of the season.

Either way, the good thing is Cravens knows he can’t be about complaining this season if he wants to see the field.

“This year I’m not worrying about none of that,” he said. “I’m just trying not to step on coach’s toes.”

Accountability.

“One thing is clear, it’s no nonsense. A lot more serious. A lot more locked in. Everybody’s going to get their fair shot and everybody’s going to get their opportunity to show what they can do,” Cravens added. “They’ll pick and choose who they want, but so far so good.”