New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
Friday, December 02, 2011
ESPN in their coverage showed a moment in the game with you celebrating with your team. What was going on?
"When you're as hard on them as I am, you try to get into celebratory fashion with those guys and let them see a different side of you. We were doing that and just having fun celebrating a big play. We were playing very well as a team and created another short field. I have a good relationship with the offensive players and defensive players, too. One of the kids I have the greatest time with every day in practice is Jimmy Graham. What a great story he is with his background. I get way too much credit with X's and O's. Hopefully one of my strengths is being around people and dealing with people. The fun part of it is going back and forth with the offense too. Some of the questions a while ago as I'm just sitting there smiling and listening to it is Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning are the top three guys at doing what you guys were talking about doing with the looks and being able to slow their brains down and not be overloaded with information. Most fun times we have in practice are when we do something defensively that bothers Drew. When it happens in practice, you don't see him look at Sean Payton or Jon Vilma. He's burning a stare right through me. Just the competitiveness back and forth of what we're trying to do and preparing each other. Sean Payton in all the years I've gone against him before I got here, he's one of the best one or two people that handle personnel packages getting on and off the field. We're the same way defensively. We're up to 40 packages now, but we only played 12 packages this past game. Every single day the packages change. Those guys have to get comfortable at the verbalization and the non-verbal body language. I really do believe that if you watch the difficulty of some of the defensive staffs that go against us, there's one particular team in our division that struggles with Sean's packages and they burn timeouts. It's a distraction to the defense when you don't know who's on the field when they break the huddle. If you can cause that little bit of a distraction and we can we playing something real simple but fighting to see who's coming on the field that cause you hesitation. I have a signal file on every single team in the league. We have advance scouts that do that type of stuff. The teams that don't signal like us are the ones that challenge you the most defensively. We get challenges the most in practice because we don't know what they're getting ready to do. It helps us when we play against someone who doesn't give signals. It's not a distraction to our defense. Vilma is real good with it and Jo-Lonn Dunbar is real good with it. Malcolm Jenkins is real good with it. We have a coach on our sidelines that's responsible for telling our defensive guys who they have in the huddle before they break the huddle through non-verbal communication that we're using. When they break the huddle, we know. When you have certain personnel on the field, you're expecting certain formations. You're expecting certain plays. When you don't know, and Sean and Pete do a great job with it, it causes a hesitation. When you have a guy like (Darren) Sproles that can line up anywhere, there's another hesitation."
Do you think this Saints offense ranks with that 1999 Rams offense when they won the Super Bowl?
"There are a lot of similarities. The best offensive player that I've been on the field coaching a defense against is Marshall Faulk. It's unbelievable. In his heyday, it was unbelievable what he could do and how he went about doing it. There are some similarities here. Our speed in certain areas is not as good as they were. We handle some of the other dead spots and concepts and how they create problems for the defense similar to that 'greatest show on turf.'"
Does having Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram, and Darren Sproles now make them even more dangerous?
"As a defensive guy, you ask if you're going to keep treating Jimmy Graham as a tight end or are we going to treat him as a wide receiver. You have to decide on your package. I like to say we're going to treat Jimmy Graham as a wide receiver so we can have a defensive back matchup on him. All of a sudden, he's not in that wide receiver position and he's down there blocking so they create that hesitation. Then you'll see Sean and Pete line him back up at a wide receiver. They get that the matchup they want on the corner and maybe you're light on the inside and they hammer the run with you with Pierre Thomas."
What do you think of the Ndamukong Suh incident?
"I would've been there pulling him back. He made an unfortunate mistake, but I'm not going to fault the kid. I want him to play tough and nasty. There are a lot of guys on that staff that I'm close to. Here's what I would say that's a compliment to Jim Schwartz, we're talking about the Detroit Lions being tough and good. What everybody wants to talk about you Jim, all of a sudden now they're criticizing you for being tough and good. They haven't won there in a long time. Go ahead and take it with a grain of salt. Live on the edge, play on the edge, never hurt the team. He hurt the team. He shouldn't have hurt the team, but he has to play hard. This is a fist fight in a phone booth for three and a half hours when you play linemen in this league. He fell off the edge and shouldn't have hurt the team. I'd love to correct him. I'd love to have a personality to get a chance to coach him to correct him."
How to you handle Isa Abdul-Quddus' hit?
"It was a good hit. Whoever wants to say it was whatever it was, the kid is everything in the world. We're teasing him all of a sudden because we can't find helmet-to-helmet contact. That's what you're supposed to do. I'm all for not hurting anybody, but it's part of playing pass defense. How come that quarterback made that throw? The quarterback made a dumb throw and shouldn't have hung his man out to dry. I tell that to Drew all the time. Don't hang your man out to dry. We've been teasing Isa that if he made helmet-to-helmet contact, maybe he has a bobblehead and he has too big of a helmet on. That's what you want him to do. We coach the strike zone and where it's supposed to be. Isa honestly thought he was in that zone and when I'm slowing the film down, I can't tell him differently. It just is what it is. I feel for the officials when they have to make that call because they're doing their job too. It's unfortunate, but again the quarterback made a bad choice. He shouldn't have thrown the ball there."
New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Friday, December 2nd, 2011
How much do you attribute the offense's success to the multiple packages?
"I think one of the tough things is for a defense to recognize who is coming on the field and who is coming off the field. I would say we are very multiple and that is a benefit for us. We don't signal who is coming in for the personnel groupings for the other team to recognize who is coming on the field. We do a good job of getting guys on the field when we are throwing it and getting those same guys on the field when we are running it. Just mixing it up. It's something they have to be prepared for."
Is that rare, common, or would you say the Saints are more multiple in comparison with other teams?
"I think we are pretty multiple compared to some other teams. We have been here for six years. The way our terminology is, you say it and everybody knows who is on the field and who is off the field. I think our players do a good job of that. That's a pretty smooth transition. Drew (Brees) does a really good job of relaying the information to the players that are out there. Curtis Johnson yells out from the sideline who is coming on so the players all stand there and hear him. Coming up to the week, they know that if that personnel grouping is called, they are in or they are out."
Is there a reason you don't signal?
"The main reason with Sean (Payton) is that it gives the defense an advantage. If they see the signal than they don't have to worry about recognizing the eleven guys on the field. They don't have to recognize anything other than here is him and here is him."
If Robert Meachem is running a go route 40 yards down field, how does he know if he is staying in or coming out?
"Ok, so Meachem is running a go route. He will see Devery (Henderson) come on and say 'hey, go ahead'. He is looking for that. They are used to doing that. If a guy runs a deep go route, the guy is going to be ready for the next play, and he is probably going to be off on the next play. Receivers have a good knack for knowing, 'hey, I know you just ran a couple go routes and am tired, I got you.'"
How can you do so much of that and avoid twelve men in the huddle and other penalties?
"The main problem, if there was a problem, was probably from the play-callers fault, making sure that Drew gets it. If he doesn't get the personnel, that's on us to make sure that he gets it and the players are getting it."
In the last game, Drew Brees was able to step back from the huddle to avoid a penalty…
"He does a really good job recognizing that. That was me getting in there a little bit late with a call and he did a great job stepping out and got the right personnel on."
On Drew's ability to read the defense…
"He sees everything. He is one of the best at it. Defenses, sometimes, will give us a different look than what we anticipated. He has it down. That is a strength of his."
Is that due to Monday through Saturday work?
"He does such a great job preparing. Another thing is that he always anticipates on what if he doesn't get a look. He always has this visualization on what he might have to adjust to. It's easy for him to go out there and they just called this play and we are expecting this coverage, it's going to be easy. He does a great job knowing what if it is not that coverage and his next throw."
He deliberately stands between the huddle and the sideline, is that because of the multiple?
"Yeah. He is going to stay out until he makes sure that the right group is in the huddle. Then we get in there and go."