New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, December 11, 2015
What kind of growth have you seen out of Jameis Winston as the year has went on?
"I think I have seen tremendous growth out of him. When you watch him and you watch him operate the offense, here's a guy that is making a lot of checks at the line of scrimmage and trying to get them in the best possible play. I think his ability to read the defense and throw the football down the field has improved tremendously. Probably the biggest credit that I can give to him is that when his team needs a play, he finds a way to come up with it. That is the mark of a good player. The great players are able to rise up in the critical situations. I think that is what you have seen out of Jameis, specifically as the season has gone on."
What would having Dannell Ellerbe back mean to the defense? In his absence last week, how did James Anderson do?
"I think that if Dannell is able to be back this week that that'd be a big lift to our defense. Everybody's been able to see that when he's in there, he's made a significant impact on our defense and what we are able to do defensively. I thought James Anderson played well. Again, here's a veteran guy that's kind of been around the block a little bit. He has come in, he's extremely intelligent and has picked up the system. I thought he did some good things last week."
What is your takeaway from the defense's overall performance last week?
"I'd say that we were inconsistent. I thought we started out really strong and played really well there in the first few drives of the game. We made some critical mistakes at tough times in the game. We had a couple of touchdowns that we gave up on third-and-12 down there in the red zone that were critical plays. We let the ball get over our head once. Those are the things that we have to eliminate because when you really look at it, you would say that for a majority of the game I thought we did some really good things and thought that we played some pretty good defense. Unfortunately, in this league, you don't get do-overs. We just have to tighten up the execution and make sure that we're doing our job and doing it exactly right, and make another team have to try to beat us, rather than do some things that end up kind of beating ourselves."
There was a big deal made about a certain exchange you had with Brandon Browner; what was your take on that and what's your relationship with him like?
"I have a great relationship with Brandon Browner. I have a ton of respect for him, as well as all the guys that play this game. It's not easy to play this game. It's obviously a very difficult game to play. It takes a lot of time and energy and a lot of work to be able to play this game. When you look at it, it's two guys that are passionate about the game and that are trying to win. That is what happens in this league. It is not the first time that there has ever been two passionate guys get after each other a little bit on the sideline. At the end of the day, we're a family here. Just like anybody else who has a family, brother or sister, there are times you may get aggravated at each other and you may say some things that you wish you hadn't had said. At the end of the day, you move on. That is where we are. We're a family here and I love all of these guys. They are competing their tails off for us every single day. I have a lot of respect for him."
How much have the injuries at cornerback maybe changed what the defense is capable of and what you guys wanted to do?
"I think injuries are a factor anytime in the National Football League. Injuries play a part in what you are able to do or what you can and can't do. That's obviously been a little bit of a factor with what we have been dealing with. Again, it's a next man up philosophy. The guys that are healthy and eligible to play, those are the guys that we put out there. They're expected and we all expect them to do their job to the best of their ability."
What do you think of the way that Brandon has played this season?
"I don't think that he is much different than we've been at as a defense. I think there have been games where he has played exceptionally well. There have obviously been games where he hasn't played quite as well. What I can tell you about Brandon is that he comes here every day with a passion and energy to get better as an individual. He has a passion and energy to try to help this football team get better. That's what you look for in players. Every day they come in here, they love football, they're willing to compete and they're willing to put the team first. I think Brandon Browner epitomizes that."