New Orleans Saints Offensive Line/Running Game Coach Aaron Kromer
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Opening statement:"Today, Turk McBride, with his ankle, did not practice. David Hawthorne with his hamstring did not practice. Lance Moore, hamstring, did not practice. Travaris Cadet, right shoulder, did not practice. Jonathan Casillas, was limited. Roman Harper did not practice with a hip. Malcolm Jenkins, right hamstring, was full. Akiem Hicks, right ankle, was full."
What was Casillas' injury?
"Casillas was neck."
What about Akiem Hicks' injury?
"Hicks was his ankle."
Is there something that you have seen each week to keep the running game from taking off?
"Especially last week, I didn't feel like we did a very good job of blocking the perimeter, to be honest. We can do a better job inside, but we didn't do a good job of identifying and blocking the perimeter. We need to do a better job there. I can do a better job designing to make it easier for the guys."
Have you seen the same thing each week?
"We just need to get in sync with our running backs and line together and it'll start clicking. We just have to get that done."
When Drew Brees has such a hot hand, what is your ideal balance between the pass and the run?
"That's a tough one because I just hope he'd throw it when Drew gets a hot hand like he did the other night. Just throw it. He'll ask, just throw it again. We need (to) mix some runs, and we did at times, but when he gets that hot it's only to calm down the pass rush, to call a run. That's a special player playing special on a night like that."
Is there any chance we would see Chris Ivory at some point?
"Yes, there is a chance every week that he could come in. He's healthy, he's available. He's working with the offense, we rotate all of our backs in. He could play at any time."
Because of his size, could he be an asset on the goal line?
"Yes. (Mark) Ingram has been a good goal-line runner for us in the past and we hope that continues as well, that both of those guys can."
Do you believe that Marques Colston's performance on Sunday got him and Drew Brees back in rhythm together?
"I hope so. It was a good game for both of those guys together. I hope he (Colston) can continue that. It appears that he's running much better than he was."
It was reported that the team worked out Seneca Wallace, was that as a quarterback or a receiver? Is Chase Daniel okay?
"Seneca Wallace did work out as a quarterback and threw to the receivers that we had in. Chase is fine."
With a potential record-setting day for Drew Brees on Sunday, do you prefer to get that out of the way early?
"Yeah, I'd prefer to score early. We'd prefer to throw a touchdown pass early and often if we can. It's obviously a huge goal and a huge situation but we are going to play the game to win the game."
Is there anything you can attribute the dropped passes to?
"Just like anything, you drop a pass you're thinking about something else. Whether you're thinking about running or you are thinking about a guy in a zone. It's focus and concentration and doing the thing that you do over and over anyways. They made a lot of spectacular catches and then they dropped some that didn't look like they were hard to catch. It's total focus every play."
Is it a bit confounding because these guys have not dropped as many balls in the past?
"Yes, it's a concern. Obviously, if we caught a few more of those balls, we probably would've won. If we'd blocked a little bit better, we probably would have won. If we'd have tackled a little better… There's a lot of reasons. Yes, we have to get that fixed."
San Diego is ranked sixth against the run, what do you see from them?
"San Diego is very good against the run. Last year, we were sixth rushing. It's an early stat but they are very good against the run. We still need to be able to run the football on them and I think we're capable."
Are you confounded about the inability to rush the passer?
"Yeah, that bothers me. That bothers the defense, mostly. Coach (Steve) Spagnuolo is working on it and (with) coach (Bill) Johnson. They're working at pass rush and how to get there with a blitz, how to get there with a four-man rush and how to get there and contain them with a three-man rush. They're definitely on it."
It seems obvious, but it makes it tough to win in this league if you can't get to the quarterback?
"No question. We talk about it a lot and we're working on it a lot."
Can you talk about going against Philip Rivers, one of the league's elite quarterbacks?
"Philip Rivers is definitely a quarterback that can throw the football down the field and they have fast receivers with (Robert) Meachem and (Malcolm) Floyd. We really can't let them have the big play. The guy is dynamic when he throws the ball down the field and Norv Turner's offense has always been a down the field passing game. We have to do a good job of not allowing the big play and making him chunk it underneath."
Is too much made of how much information a former player can give his new team about his former team?
"Yes. Too much is made of that. Definitely too much is made of that."
What's your message to the team this week?
"It's exactly what I told them after the game, I said 'Listen, you guys are right on the cusp of winning these game. These last two games, we had an opportunity to win it and we didn't. When you put yourself, in the National Football League, in that situation you have to finish the game. You have to win it. You have to catch a flat route, you have to block a guy, you have to make a kick, you have to stop a run or a pass but you have to make the play when you get yourself set up to win the game. That's what we've done the last two weeks but we've come up short so we're right on the cusp. Now, we are in a hole. We are not in a hole in our play. We can continue right at that edge and just win these games at the end. We feel confident we can do it."
What is the player's mindset? Are they getting discouraged?
"No. They are not getting discouraged. They are disappointed. They are not discouraged at all. They are excited about the opportunity. They wish it wasn't this kind of opportunity but it is. It's a mountain we have to climb. We put ourselves in the hole and we have to climb it. Like Drew (Brees) said, bring your climbing shoes because we have to get out of this thing. It's one game, one play at a time. Just finish these games. We are right on the cusp of winning these games."
Do you bring up 2007, starting 0-4 and winning four in a row?
"I bring up a lot of things, that included. Yes. There are a lot of examples you could bring up of teams overcoming adverse situations."
Do you feel like being on the cusp, you almost have an ideal situation with a primetime game and Drew Brees potentially breaking the record?
"For a fan, for the media, it is perfect. For us, we need to play football. We need to hit harder than they hit, tackle better than they tackle and so on."
Coach Payton was asked in the media what he would say to the team, do you relay that message?
"No. I don't even know what you're talking about."