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Aaron Kromer: "This Team Is On The Up"

Offensive Line/Running Game Coach Aaron Kromer met with the media following practice on Friday to discuss the injury report and facing the Packers pass rush


New Orleans Saints Offensive Line/Running Game Coach Aaron Kromer

Media Availability

Friday, September 28, 2012

Opening statement:"Turk McBride didn't practice, he'll be out. (David) Hawthorne didn't practice, he'll be out. Jonathan Casillas didn't practice, so he'll be out. Those three are out for the game. (We had) good prep today in the red zone and short-yardage and goal line."

With those linebackers out for the game, how difficult will it be only having five healthy linebackers?

"Health at linebacker always is a factor because those guys do so many things. Not only are they linebackers but they are special teams players so it wears thin. We've had this throughout the year in the last three games and, obviously, we dress six at times. We dressed five the first week. We just have to deal with it, we just have to overcome it."

When you only used five in the first week, did that put any extra strain on the guys?

"Definitely. Any time you're down a man it's going to put strain on somewhere. As the game goes on, it's harder and harder on those guys."

Are you confident Will Herring can get the job done?

"Definitely. He wouldn't be here if he couldn't get the job done. Will can do it."

Do you feel better about since you've had time to plan around the injuries instead of something popping up in the game?

"Exactly. They've had plenty of time all week to prep and plan and be ready. They also have plans for if we do lose one during the game. Those are just preparations you make each time. Obviously, you have to have a heightened awareness of it when you're down a guy."

Could you talk about the communication at that position because Hawthorne and Casillas are out and there will be somebody out of their normal position?

"It's definitely a factor. I would say that they know the defense in those positions but when you haven't practiced that positions you're not as comfortable so you can't play as fast. It's definitely a factor when a guy gets hurt and you have to bump to another spot."

How much of a challenge is it to play at a different linebacker position even if you know the defense?

"It's definitely a challenge. There is a reason we practice and those guys practiced in the positions they plan on being in. When they don't get that, and they have to move to another spot, it's the first time they are seeing it that week. When you have to fit a gap, you have to know which gap you have to fit. As far as that goes, it shouldn't be any thinking. As far as experience at the spot and working on it, it's definitely different."

How does Scott Shanle factor in with Will Herring?

"Both of those guys need to be ready to be full-time players and step up for the challenge this week."

Will Scott Shanle be the strongside linebacker this week?

"I'd rather not divulge that to be honest."

Is there any chance Barrett Ruud will get into the game?

"I believe that there would be a good chance that Barrett plays this week."

Does he have the system down since trading for him?

"It seems like it in practice but he hasn't been in a game to do it."

After week two, you said the team would win more than you lose. Do you still feel good about that?

"Definitely. This team is on the up. You can see it and sense it. When you look back and see where we are today and where we were week one, it's definitely an upgrade. Last week, you look at the game and you keep studying how your team is doing. You'd say for three quarters we were playing complementary football. We were taking the ball away and scoring off of the turnovers when the offense was able to get back on the field. We didn't finish the game in the fourth quarter but that was much more New Orleans Saints football that we're used to in those first three."

What do the Packers do well to get pressure on the quarterback? Do you feel that the team is well prepared for it this week?

"We are always well prepared. I would say this, we're learning and we are playing faster as a team, like I said, for those first three quarters last week. We are playing faster. We weren't playing fast enough early on for whatever reason. As the ball gets out quicker, the protection gets better. As the confidence builds, guys getting open, the throws get easier to make. Then, the protection becomes more confident. All of those things work hand-in-hand and there's 11 guys out there for a reason and they're all part of the protection system, believe it or not."

Why are the Packers so good at getting after the quarterback?

"They have great players, number one. They blitz a lot. They are a high-blitzing team. They send five guys, more than most teams. They have great athletes. If you go down their depth chart, they have a lot of guys that can rush the passer and they have a lot of guys that blitz with good intensity, technique and speed."

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