New Orleans Saints Offensive Line/Running Game Coach Aaron Kromer
Friday, September 14, 2012
Opening Statement:"Turk McBride didn't practice and he will be out for the game. Devery Henderson did not practice and he will be out for the game. Johnny Patrick did not practice and he will be out for the game. We had Scott Shanle practice full, (he is) still questionable. Jabari Greer practiced full and he is still questionable as well. (It was a) good, fast practice. We were inside again today and got the red zone done, short yardage, goal line. (It was a) typical Friday. When you put the week in a whole, of practice, it was fast and they felt more confident. It looked like they were responding as opposed to thinking as much as we were earlier. I thought it was a good week."
Where is Cam Jordan on his learning curve?
"Cam Jordan, last year, in practice, you could see the potential that he had. Any rookie that comes in and plays on the lines, the veterans really take advantage of them because they just don't have the technique knowledge yet. What Cam has done, he has developed that, received the experience and developed the technique that he needed to counteract some of these blocking schemes. That is where his maturity has come. He has always been talented. He has always been extremely strong. He has very strong hands to shed blocks. That maturity level of playing and understanding the techniques of d-line really is where he stepped up."
What are your thoughts about playing on the road for the first time this season?
"You practice all training camp and this week for noise. You want to make sure you are ready for noise whether it's silent snap counts or anything of that nature where you know you aren't going to be able to hear the quarterback. You might not hear each other. You've been preparing for the road and now it's time to do it. You have to go out in the grass and play the best we can."
Does the way Cam Newton holds the ball in the pocket create more opportunities for sacks?
"He understands that he is a good quarterback. He understands he is a good athlete and he understands how much size and speed he has. I think that he is able to take some risks that other people aren't because he could be in the grasp of a tackler, still break a tackle and go somewhere and gain yards. I think, over time, he'll decide one way or the other whether he is going to run as much as he is going to pass. That will be his choice when he drops back. When you are that good and that talented and that big, I think you can take some liberties and hang in there a little bit more and take off running when you break a tackle."
Was it a good experience to go through last week's loss and get everybody refocused? In retrospect, will it have helped?
"I believe so. I think it is going to help everybody. I think it is going to help the team, the coaching staff. We could have come back and tied that game, and possibly won it in overtime, with that last play and then a two-point play and I don't know if we would have learned as much from it. We would have rather won it that way and then figured it out how to learn from it. I think that it was a wake-up call for us. Not that we weren't doing things right before, because I think we were, I think it was a case where they, everybody is in. Everybody is full-out in, not concerning themselves with other things but keeping the main thing the main thing."
What has made Steve Smith so productive in his career, especially in his later years?
"Steve Smith, what makes him so special is that I bet you he could play running back. All of these years, he could have been a running back. When I say that, I mean he could probably have played safety. He could have played a lot of physical positions. Here he is out there playing receiver, doing a great job blocking, being really physical and catching balls and running people over when he does catch it. He is just a physical guy and mentally tough. I think that is what has kept him going through all of these years is his mentality and his physicality has allowed him to just keep continuing to play."
How important is Steve Smith to the success of Cam Newton?
"He is the absolute reason that Carolina has had success for years on offense. He is such a weapon with his speed and his ability to catch contested balls and his physicality in the game. He is a force to be reckoned with. He is going to continue to play as long as he wants I believe."
With his size, does he go against the conventional mold for a tall, deep-route receiver that fights for contested footballs?
"He is built like a running back. He is built like a safety out there playing wide receiver. He is able to battle a smaller corner. He might not have the height but the physical stature is what he has and the toughness. That is where he can fight for balls."
Is there somebody, a friend, that you can talk to that can serve as a sounding board for you?
"We've tried to stay in-house with all of our things that we talk about these days with the situation that it is. We have really conversed as a staff, tried to solve problems as a staff. There are always guys that you worked for or worked with that have had success in the past that you want to communicate with. It is a group of guys and not just one."
Do you have a sense on how much warning you would get if Will Smith couldn't play?
"To be honest, I am not clear on when Will Smith will be in or out. We are just planning on him being in and when that happens, we will deal with it."