New Orleans Saints Linebacker
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Does the defense feel that they are giving the offense a little bit of trouble because you are changing things up?
“I think with addition of so much more zone and zone pressures, there is just a lot of different bodies on defense going (in) different directions. It definitely makes the quarterback and offenses hesitate a little bit more. I think that is what you are seeing, guys getting in to the next window where the quarterback doesn’t see him.
How much should we caution fans that it’s going to be different, because everyone is one the bandwagon about the unit’s performance?
It is preseason. I think we understand that as a defense. It’s a good thing that people have been excited about what they’ve seen, so that’s a good start. But once you’re in the regular season so much changes with game planning, obviously, instead of playing 10 or 15 plays now you’re going to play 60 to 75 plays. And you have to do over the long haul. So I think that’s going to be the difference. I think we’ve laid a good foundation and started in that direction.
What do you think of the banner?
We all got a chuckle out of it. Somebody noticed and then everybody noticed it. It doesn’t surprise me with the support for Coach Payton off the charts.
Do you hold out any hope that any point he might be back this year?
Well I think the one thing you don’t want to do is have too much hope because then you get disappointed. I think we’re going into the season with Coach Vitt, and obviously whoever the interim coach is, but we’ll roll with however it goes. And if something positive happens we’ll adjust but you definitely don’t want to go in the other way and have your hopes dashed.
Are you as curious about the head coach situation going into the season?
I really haven’t thought about it, and there hasn’t been too much conversation among the players about it. I think when you’re in the training camp part of the season, it’s like a season itself so guys are worried about practice, learning the game book, but we’ll deal with it when the time comes. You know we have a lot of great coaches who I think who can fill that role, a lot of coaches that have a lot of respect from the players, so I really don’t think it’ll be a major difference.
Does it make a difference whose voice is leading the room?
No, I think there are so many quality coaches as far as the respect that players have for them that I really don’t think it will matter. That’s one thing, the players have great respect for the coaches who are in the building.
Can you talk about being back in the Superdome in front of the fans after a long offseason?
Yea, absolutely, especially when you’re playing on the defense. To have the crowd behind you and to get that excitement going inside the Dome. It’s an advantage for the defense. And more than that it’s just exciting to be home. Playing two away games, it’s been a long time, and for the new guys who have never played in the Superdome and now being apart of the Saints, it’s going to be fun to get in that atmosphere.
Have you noticed that the atmosphere during the preseason since the Super Bowl has been more like the regular season?
With just these two preseason games for sure. I mean, that first NFL game was the first of the year with the Hall of Fame game, there’s a lot of excitement behind that. And obviously the second game at the New England Patriots who just played in the Super Bowl. There’s been good competition and good matchups in both games we’ve played in; there’s been a lot of excitement.
We were talking about this in the linebacker room the other day, we feel like we have the two biggest mismatches for linebackers in the league. And we happen to have them on the same team. They’re great work for us in practice to go against but obviously we’re just happy that we don’t have to go against them on Sunday.
Have you noticed around the NFC South more players coming again purposely to combat these players?
I think you’re seeing it all around the league, especially when you look at the tight end position. I mean, this is year 10 for me and I think that position evolved more than any other offensive position as far getting mismatches. I mean you get guys the size of Jimmy Graham who are too big for safeties to cover but too fast for linebackers to cover. So, I think that’s why you see the seasons that you see out of those types of guys.
Is the combination between Sproles and Graham tough for defenses?
Exactly, because if you have just Jimmy or just Darren you can do a double team with the safety of linebacker. But you can’t double everybody, so that’s what makes it tough.
A couple guys got doused with ice water over there, what happened with that?
Oh that was just the annual rookie thing that we do. We had a linebacker over there, and then the DB’s jumped in on our parade and brought one of their guys. It’s just fun and games, though, it’s kind of a rite of passage.
When it’s this hot out here, how important is it to do stuff like that?
It’s fun. We do stuff throughout training camp whether it be at our night meetings. Coach Vitt will have a rookie get up there and make him sing. Things like that just to kind of kill the monotony of training camp is nice.
Can you give us the rundown of the song selection these guys have to sing?
Man, I don’t even know a lot of the songs. We’ve had a couple good singers; we’ve had a lot of guys get booed off the stage as well.
New Orleans Saints T
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The other night,
“Longer drives. Continue to try to execute all 11 at a time. When you have three and outs, it’s really a small problem. It’s usually one guy not doing their job and that’s really kind of starting with myself. We just have to continue as an offense to continue get better day in and day out. To put these plays together, we have a breakdown one play to just get back out there.”
That doesn’t matter in a preseason game?
“It all matter because you want to put your best foot forward every time you go out there. You have to learn from your mistakes. It’s not always going to be pretty. This is a tough league to get first downs and touchdowns in. We just have to continue to fight as one and keep playing together like we always do.”
How about Jimmy Graham? How is he doing?
“Good. We had him down as limited but he took all the reps. I thought his movement skills were good out there, coming in and out of breaks. I thought he did pretty good on the goal line stuff that we had, so good.”
What did you think about the airplane?
“It was pretty sweet. It kind of caught us off guard. I was over there taking a knee after our reps and I saw it kind of flying around. That is kind of neat. We’ve got a city that’s got to back their coaches and players.”
Nothing surprises you in this town anymore?
“No. Coach (Sean) Payton, (Jonathan) Vilma and all of those other guys are a big part of this organization since day one (when they got to New Orleans). I understand why the fans are upset.”
Who has impressed you the most at practice, other than
“I’m excited about Cam (
Are you guys frustrated that the regular officials may not be there for the start of the regular season?
“It’s a learning experience. My first game out there wasn’t the prettiest thing that I put on tape. But as far as we’re going to have a replacement or the real refs that is out of our hands, that is something that we can’t worry about and put too much thought into because we’ve got to worry about the task at hand and that is becoming a better team.”
You think that new guys are going to try to get away with more stuff?
“No, I didn’t. It is going to be tough on them the first few games but after they get a little bit of experience on them it will get easier for them.”