New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
What did you think of the Superdome practice?
"I've said it before about this place, that I think Sean (Payton) covers everything. We went down there yesterday and got a chance to practice down there again. It's supposed to be your home stadium. They've done some renovations down there to our locker room this year. They've done some renovations in the seating capacity and the field being different. We try to cover all those things we can. There's really no excuse when a guy's not wearing the right kind of cleats. Field turf changes from one venue to the next venture. The fact that we have that hassle done and that our guys aren't packing the wrong shoes in here or packing the wrong equipment is good. It was a little break in the routine. We got them down there maybe a little more focused again. "
Can you talk about having to juggle the linebacker position in camp and even more with the injury to Jonathan Casillas?
"You guys asked me about that in camp with (Scott) Fujita leaving. One of the things I said was that we're going to piece out throughout our 28 packages of defense that we have and piece everybody in. One of the things this staff does a good job with. It's one of the better staffs I've had I inherited this staff and what I had to sell to them is that we take the strengths of a guy and don't necessarily focus on the weaknesses of a guy. You have a weakness, I have a weakness. Every player does. What we try to do and Sean does a good job of it on offense and we do it on defense too is to put in packages and have them do the things they do best. Casillas was only in on certain packages, so he wasn't in on every package anyway. Of all the linebackers that dress for this ballgame, it will be pieced out through all of them, so usually if you watch us on game day, whoever we dress on game day, there's a package for that particular guy that's in and it's called. Morale stays high when they all know they're going to play. It's just another way for us in team building and also utilization of bodies, and reps and wear and tear with bodies through a long season. We can highlight a lot of different packages. To be honest, it's going to depend on what Minnesota plays. We match up two or three different types of packages versus two or three different types of packages of them too. It's going to be dependent upon what they play."
How confident are you of Malcolm Jenkins starting at free safety
"He's really come a long way. I really like the look in his eye and like how he's prepared as a rookie, how he prepared this whole offseason and the kind of camp he's had. I like studying people and I step back and watch our people accept him. It doesn't matter how much I like him. Roman's (Harper) got to feel comfortable with him. Jabari's (Greer) got to feel comfortable with him. (Jonathan) Vilma's got to feel comfortable with him and that camaraderie and that chemistry that has already been there is good. Will there be a learning curve? Sure there is. There's a learning curve and he went through several things just this preseason, where I don't think he'll make that mistake again. He's not a repeat mistake offender. That's one of the things I like about him and what I liked about when I researched him up in college. I told you before I thought I'd be making this move in his third or fourth year, we just had to do it out of necessity in his second year, but the reason I fell in love with him and really liked him as our draft pick last year was because I felt he could do this and I felt mentally he could do this. I knew physically he could do it, but I needed to see mentally and from a chemistry standpoint, would he fit in from the leadership at that position and I got no worries about it. I really am anxious to watch him play."* *
Will he be doing the same things that Darren Sharper did in terms of calls and stuff?
"Yes. We're really not changing our coverage's, assignments, any of that stuff. He does certain things better than Darren. Certain things he can't do better than Darren, but guess what? (Marvin) Mitchell doesn't do some of the things Vilma can do. Vilma can't do some of the things Mitch can do. Whoever's playing that spot, they're not robots. This is a game where human error comes into anyway. There are a lot of things he can. He can certainly cover a lot of ground. Instincts on the ball, I think Darren's rare. I would have liked to have coached him his whole career and we put a couple of new wrinkles in to our package of coverages that I learned by watching Darren, not that he wanted us to but, but I said I was going to try this and see if he could fit in. Now we've taught that same thing to Malcolm. We'll see."
Do you have him deeper off the line of scrimmage?
"No, we really don't. We play deep for a reason back there. It's the way our technique is. If you watched there, the coaches in my family tree and you look at them with the Redskins and the Seahawks and Texans, if you look at places where guys have coached with me before, that's a valuable resources in how we play that guy back there, some of the other coaches have taken that other places and I see it. Interesting enough I see the Dolphins and some of the other teams come in here and watch what we do and why we do it."
Is it easier to prepare for the Vikings this year than last year?
"I think personally they're one of the top two talented football teams in the league top to bottom. They've done a great job there in the last four or five years in assembling a roster that is as talented as there is in the National Football League. The fact that we had the numbers and could transpose those numbers from last year…I don't think they're an easy team to prepare for because they have an awful lot of weapons and I think they're very well-coached and in that respect, but probably from the memory of a matchup maybe you'd have to ask that of our players. Our players will remember them a little bit sooner than we were on the field the last time competing against them. Those were the things that when you start a game, I worry most about. We're going to do things the same way. The other team's going to have the same type of play they had the week before, but the guy you're matched up on is different. There's a different body strength, a different quickness, a different height, a different weight, so the guy getting acclimated to his matchup, maybe he's going to get quicker acclimated to his matchup because he has a memory of it, if that answers your question."
How serious do you take some of the complaints of Brad Childress and some Vikings players about your style of defense?
"Brad and I are friends and all that stuff. The number one criteria when I was hired here by Sean was about changing the attitude of how we play defense here. If you go back to wherever I've been I've had some of the most dominant defenses in the National Football League and there are a lot of good teams before I started coaching defense. I love what Bud Carson did in those days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I love what Buddy Ryan, who's probably my closest protégé of what we do schematically. I love Dick LeBeau. We play hard and that's just how we play. It had nothing to do with those kinds of things. Brad has to say what he has to say for his own team. Our players are going to play hard and always are going to play hard. If they don't, they're going to stand by me. I'm one of those coaches that have enough stroke in the league that the reason an owner hires me is he can't coach the team, so when he wants to coach the team, he can coach the team, but if my players don't play a certain way, they can stand by me."