Dennis Allen on Marcus Davenport: 'We’re certainly excited about the player'

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen

Post-Practice Rookie Camp Availability

Saturday, May 12, 2018

You can’t get too high or two low on Marcus Davenport at this camp considering this is the first time you’ve seen him perform as a Saint?

“Yes, I think it’s no different than any other year. Obviously, you have the athletic qualities that you are looking for. Mentally he has the things that we are looking for that gives him the chance to have success. This camp is really kind of about getting accustomed to some of the verbiage that we are going to use, getting use to some of the techniques that we are going to ask him to play. It’s kind of an introductory phase, but we’re certainly excited about the player.”

How do you envision using a guy like that?

“We’re going to play him at the right end to start off with and evaluate him there. I think the one thing that really stood out to us throughout the draft process was his ability to rush the passer. We felt like he had a unique skill-set that allowed him to be able to rush the passer. He has size, length, speed, so all the qualities that you’re looking for, he has. It’s getting him out here, getting him accustomed to what we’re going to ask him to do and helping him to deveolop.”

How excited were you that the club traded up to be in the position to pick up an edge player like that?

“Those aren’t decisions that I make. Obviously, we were certainly excited that we got the player, because he was somebody that we targeted very early on in the process that we felt like he really had a unique skill-set and we felt like we could utilize his talents. Obviously, I was excited when Sean (Payton), Mickey (Loomis) and those guys decided to move up and take the player. We feel good about him.”

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What’s Marcus’ grasp right now when you are trying to not overload rookies?**

“I think certainly it’s been pretty good. This camp is pretty limited in what we are asking guys to do right now, so we’re not giving them too much, kind of the basics of what we do defensively. This isn’t a process that happens instantaneously. It’s a process that happens over time and we’re going to continue push and develop. We’re excited about what we have and we’re going to continue to work with him and continue to watch him get better.”

What are you most excited to see when a guy comes in from a smaller school like Marcus has?

“I think the first thing you are looking for is how does he acclimate himself into the locker room environment, how does he acclimate himself when he comes out onto the field and he has Cam Jordan sitting on one side of him and Sheldon Rankins (inside), some of those guys that have established themselves in the league and how does he fit in with that group and I don’t think he’s going to have any challenges there.”

Some have called him a raw athlete. Do you see rawness?

“I see a talented player. I see a guy that has all the qualities that you’re looking for in a right defensive end with the ability to rush the passer. He has the size, the length and the athletic ability. Now, it’s really up to us as coaches and him as a player to help develop those athletic qualities and turn him into a good football player.”

When you guys bring in a Demario Davis who has been a Mike linebacker, do you anticipate him competing for the type of role A.J. Klein had last year?

“You can’t ever have enough good football players. A lot of times guys get caught up about where a guy is on the depth chart right now and that’s really not any of our concern, no different than what we did last year. We’re going to put all those guys out there. We’re going to move them around. We’re going to let them compete. At the end of the day between the process of OTAs, minicamp and training camp, we have time to evaluate. Our job as coaches is find out who can play, put them in positions that allow them to do the things that they do really well and try to limit the things that maybe they’re not quite as good at. Healthy competition is what you’re striving for as a team, because that’s how you get better as a team.”

Do you see Klein and Davis competing for that signal-calling type of role?

“I see a competition all across the board and not just at the linebacker position. I see competition at every level of our defense. Nobody has made any concrete decisions as to who’s playing where and how much guys are playing. That will be determined throughout the process of this offseason and in training camp.”

How influential were you in the return of Patrick Robinson and what has it been for you as a coach to see him develop away from here?

“I was here when we drafted Patrick. I like Patrick as a football player. I’ve seen him develop from the time when he first came here to where he is now. I thought he had an outstanding year last year. I think he can provide a function and serve a role inside and in the nickel. I think that’s primarily where we see him playing and I think it adds another quality player to our secondary room and to the corner position specifically.”

How has Marcus Williams been in getting back at it?

“He’s been outstanding. We felt great about Marcus when we drafted him and we still feel great about him. I think he’s really developed as a player. He’s going to continue to get better.”

Did you feel the need to discuss with him the last play of the playoff game at Minnesota or have you guys moved on from it?

“We haven’t even spoken about it. There will be a point in time when we start going through the install and start talking about those situations in a game (and) we’ll discuss those things, but you live and you learn, you move past it. One play’s not going to define that player.”

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