Following the Wednesday morning practice, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams met with the media to discuss the progress of 2009 draft picks Stanley Arnoux and Chip Vaughn as well as discuss some of his coaching philosophies. Below is a transcript of the session.
Can you discuss the progress of Stanley Arnoux?
"That position group is the only group that doesn't have a true rookie. Because he didn't play last year, he suffers the most because he's the youngest guy out there. He's really having a really good camp. We're anxious to see him in preseason games. We're anxious to let him play because we really, really like him. He had a redshirt year last year. He just happens to be the youngest one on the block, so he gets the worst of it. The biggest part of it is I have to see if he can block it out. I'm adding external stress that he's going to have on game day. That's what practice is for. On game day I back off, but during practice we try to put as much organized chaos on these guys as we can so that they can learn to focus. Especially being two years removed from competition he has to block it out. I really like what I've seen so far. He's having a good camp."
Can you talk about the progress of Chip Vaughn?
"It's the same thing. He had a redshirt year last year. He's light years ahead of where he was last year. What will be the telling point with both of those guys will be special teams. We'll find a place to play those guys on defense if they can make the 53 on special teams. That's what all young guys have to understand, especially with undrafted free agents. You have to play on special teams and then we'll find a place for you."
What's the difference in familiarity with this defense this year as opposed to last?
"It's light years. You truly don't know a person until you go through the ups and downs and stresses of a season. They don't know me and I don't know them, so it really is light years. There's a trust factor. I've talked to these guys all the time. What is trust? Is it 85 percent, fifty percent? No, the word trust is 100 percent and when I start trusting people they can start trusting the routine of what I'm going to be like and what we expect. It's light years ahead of where we were last year. I'm really able to evaluate more than just athletic ability right now, because I'm not looking at that. I know what it is."
We know what a premium you put on takeaways. There have been some dropped interceptions in practice the past couple days. How do you deal with those?
"We actually document those and we call those MOBPs and those are missed opportunities for big plays. It goes down and as a pass breakup which is a positive point and it does down as a missed opportunity which is a negative point. It's kind of a wash of a play, because we're looking to make those plays. (We emphasize) to slow your heartbeat down and make the play and I go back to the Super Bowl. That was a calculated play we know we were going to get when Tracy Porter picked that ball off, but realize he slowed his heartbeat down and gave himself an opportunity to catch it. How many times have you seen a guy out there as a defensive back, drop a catchable ball? That's a slow your heartbeat down situation. You put yourself in that position over and over again. We're very critical of those things, know the next time they're going to make the play and don't let that slide."
Some guys have told me you never want mistakes out there, but if you do, do you stress to keep it fast?
"I can live with a fast, wrong mistake, but what I can't live is with an overanalyzing small mistake. All my life I've been trying to speed up decisions, make people tougher, make people nastier and make people more physical. If you're playing that way, that's what they hired us to do. If you do that in practice, we can correct that fast, wrong, tough decision in practice. When high schools analyze their film, most are from game week to game week. In colleges, you see from halftime to halftime. In the pros, you better be able to do it from play to play and to change it from play to play, otherwise you're going to get hit on a weakness that you showed to somebody on the last play. That's why we practice so hard and so fast, is to analyze that hard and fast mistake and decision we can correct by Sunday."
Is it a goal for you to be a head coach?
"Usually head coaching opportunities come because there's something wrong there. I don't care if they resurrected Vince Lombardi. He probably won't change it either. What I'll do from now on is analyze it with the four W's. What am I doing? Where is it at? Who's it with? And I will not discount who's it with ever again. Then, the ability to win. Some people aren't truly committed to win. I happen to be in a place right now that's very committed to winning. That means a lot to me. I'm enjoying coaching. I'm enjoying being with the players and coaches, so it's not one of those things where I have to be a head coach now."