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Defensive, Offensive and Special Teams Coordinators transcripts

Ryan, Carmichael and McMahon held conference call with local media

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, October 9, 2015

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, October 9, 2015

We've talked a lot about the Philadelphia Eagles and how they try to run such a fast pace on offense. Does that put any added pressure on a young middle linebacker?*

"I think so. What we've been trying to do is match their tempo in practice. Our guys are working hard. Our receivers worked with Sean (Payton) to understand how fast the routes are, how precise they have to be run, and then we have coaches on each side to get guys lined up. If they go as fast as we do, it's going to be a quick afternoon. We symbolize an offense that was flying out there. Of course it does; middle linebacker is a position that is a difficult one to play, and when you're moving this fast. We have a very smart guy there and he'll be great. It is his first time seeing this type of offense. A lot of colleges run similar stuff, so he has experience doing a lot of this."

What is the hardest thing that you have to face? Is it substitution, attrition, what is the biggest stress that they put on a defense?

"At this level, usually teams huddle so it's different. Any time things are different there is always extra preparation that goes in. That is their thing. Since Chip Kelly has been there I think they have been the third-ranked offense in football. This is an explosive group. They have an explosive offense. The season is four weeks old and it is a long way from over. These guys have all of the talent in the world. They've got three all-pro running backs, a damn-good quarterback and all of these receivers. Their tackles are getting back and (Jason) Peters is about as good as there is. It is a huge test. We are young and our guys are working hard and are excited about the challenge. We are looking forward to getting better and we need to get this win."

What is your assessment of your defense one quarter of the way into the season? What is the high point and the low, I guess?

"Everybody mentions critics on our guys but we are a good group. We are going to be a great group. We are just going to keep getting better every week. We are in a race to improve. We have been since the first week and we buy into that. We believe that. We believe in developing as players, and then also as coaches. The more we know, the more that we know about our players and the more research we have, the better game we can call and the better plan that we can come up with. Obviously, we can improve. The numbers are what they are. We are 1-3 and that is not good enough. We're righting this ship, we're excited about it and we want to be a big part of it."

How big of an impact did it have getting Jairus Byrd, Dannell Ellerbe and Keenan Lewis back from injury last week?

"This is a players league. When you add three players of the caliber of the guys that we are talking about to our defense, you are going to make a pretty quick transition. It will be a hell of a defense. These are some great players, especially when they get fully healthy. That's going to be special. It was great to get them back out there with their teammates. I know they had been chomping at the bit. Some guys hadn't practice. (Jairus) Byrd hadn't even practiced and played real well. That is hard to do at this level. Dannell (Ellerbe) had only had a few snaps all of training camp. We're excited obviously about those. Whenever you can get Keenan Lewis back healthy, he is a tremendous football player. You're talking about three guys that are really exciting for us."

How about Byrd specifically? I don't think people around here have seen that when healthy and at his peak, he is not just a guy out there on the field, but that he was a really special player. When do you anticipate that he can show that?

"Byrd is a special player. It is not his fault that he's had to overcome all of these injuries. It is just unfortunate. It is part of the game. No one has rehabbed as hard as Byrd has. It is unfair for people to criticize him. All he has done is work his tail off to be a part of this defense, and to be a great part of the defense. When he is well, there is not a better free safety in football than Byrd. We are looking forward to that day. I know one thing – hard work and determination is (what) all these guys has been giving the New Orleans Saints. His teammates love and respect him and that is what's important."

Some of the players were talking about how much they got a kick out of putting the bullseye on the team bus when they went into Philadelphia. You've been there a bunch of times; was that a good way to embrace the atmosphere the last time you went there?

"The great thing is that that is Sean (Payton). That's what's great about being here with the New Orleans Saints. You have got a tough head coach who does not care what other people think. He is going to be him and that is what is great about it. I think our team fed off of that and it is beautiful. You know the Philly fans were cranking and throwing those snowballs and everything else. They have some good aim and some good arms out there. That is a tough town with tough guys. There's a genuine toughness out there in that town. My father was fortunate enough to be a part of that for five years. They were great years. He loved those fans out there and the character of people. We know it is a football town. It is going to be awesome to get out there in that atmosphere, in a football city, and to get out there and play in the NFL, the best league there is."

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, October 9, 2015

What do you see in Andrus Peat and where has he shown the most growth in the last two months and where does he need to improve?

"Well, listen I think this about him. He's a guy that you go back to when we got him in the building and he really has progressed every day and week. You see it every day progressing getting better every day. He's a guy that we want to use as a tight end in our jumbo packages. The experience he has been getting with those reps has been valuable, but I really like the way this guy has progressed."

 Do you think Drew Brees protection was better as the game went on last week and do you think it still needs to improve?

"Well, I think this, that as the game went along we settled down a little bit, but there are a lot of areas that we need to improve on and that's obviously one area we need to pay attention too."

Guys like C.J. Spiller and Darren Sproles, do they soften up the defense deep?

"I think that teams are obviously aware and maybe having that skill guy that brings the ability to be a matchup issue to a defense. So defenses will pay attention to that. For us, Darren was versatile and now C.J. is versatile. We've used them in the running game (and) use them in protection. Their ability to run routes, as you were saying that makes defenses pay particular attention too where those guys are on the field."

What do you remember about your time with Chip Kelly at New Hampshire and all the good coaches that came from there?

"I think it was a great experience for me. I played baseball in college. I hadn't picked up a football since high school and so I was trying to take it all in and learn. Like you said there were some great coaches that I had the ability to sit and just try and take it all in (from), keep my mouth shut and just hear and not being the one speaking. Being around a guy like Chip Kelly, I learned a lot of football."


New Orleans Saints Special Teams Coordinator Greg McMahonConference Call with Local MediaFriday, October 9, 2015

Talk about the threat of Darren Sproles. You know it firsthand. What do you have to look out for?

"We all know this guy. He's a tremendous player. We knew it before he came here and certainly when he played for us. He's a tremendous person, number one. He's a competitor and his numbers speak for themselves. He is one of the all-time greats. We will have our hands full. He is a tremendous competitor. It'll be a great opportunity to compete at the highest level."

What are your thoughts on Brandon (Fields) after having a few days to work with him on the practice field?

"(He is) talented. I was very familiar with him coming out of Michigan State, and then having a chance to see him in Miami when he was punting. It's been a good couple of days (out at practice). We have to see how it all unfolds out."

How has Zach (Hocker) handled this week?

"I think he has handled it like a pro. He has really handled it well. I told him 'you went from being the game ball (recipient) to being disappointed with the outcome of the walk-off field goal.' That is the life in the National Football League. It certainly tests your moxie and your ability to be mentally tough. He turned around this week and had a really good week of practice. That being said, as coach (Payton) brought up in practice, it is all of us together. That is the protections, that's the snap, the hold and the kick. It is all of us in this thing together. Certainly, at the end of the day, we've got to make that kick."

You guys have made the switch at the kicker position before. What is the difference between when it is time to make a change and when it is not?

"That is the age old (question). We really like this guy. We have spent a lot of time in the evaluation process. At the end of the day, we're all paid to get the job done. Whatever it is, whether it's the special teams coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator (or) the kicker. At the end of the day, we have to do our job. We have got to get it done. Certainly, there's no black or white answer. You just have to have a feeling about it. The thing that I think we do a very good job, and it comes all the way from Mickey Loomis to Sean Payton, is we just try to look at the numbers. We try to really believe in our process and how we go about evaluating and putting players in situations, whether it is in practice or in games, and making sure that we're getting all of the information that we can gather. We just try to cut our mistakes down."

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