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Gregg Williams: "I Can't Wait to Watch Us Play"

Defensive Coordinator previews showdown with Packers


New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
Media Availability
Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Can you talk about your defensive front four being a little different going into this game than last year?
"We have a lot of moving pieces, a lot of neat pieces to start the season out with. This is my 32nd season in coaching and every year there are different pieces to the puzzle and for various reasons of why that happens, but there's always a moving part in that in the National Football League. We're always doing that and then your health plays into it. I like the guys that we have here right now so it's going to be fun to see how they gel. We're going to play a lot of packages so what guys are up there, you'll see linebackers playing up front, you'll see defensive linemen playing linebacker positions, you'll see a lot of guys playing a lot of different positions on what would be standard positions in you all's eyes, but what we do is play a lot of different people and we're going to do that."

I know some players said the Seattle film wasn't hiding from them when they came back to work.  Did you still want them to have that chip on their shoulder?
"We discussed it sometimes this week. It's always brought up to them almost every single week. I coach with a chip on my shoulder and they play with a chip on their shoulders too. It's a good group of guys to start the season out with. I can't wait to watch them play."

The tackling wasn't always on display in the preseason, but do you feel differently about what it will be like in the regular season?
"I will say that tackling displays who belongs and who doesn't belong in this league."

How big of a challenge do you think this game is against Green Bay?
"These are fun games. Last year, everybody was talking about the same thing and this same setting last year. When you play in championship games, you play in playoff games, and you get a chance to start the season off, those are always fun games. It's really from a challenging standpoint, this is the first game of a long season. One of the things that I think our head coach does a great job around here doing this is you have to prepare for other distractions. There are all of a sudden a lot more of you guys around in games like this. There's going to be a longer pregame. There's going to be longer television timeouts to sell commercials. You have to do all those types of things, those are all distractions to the players. People came to watch these guys play, but there's going to be a big production around these guys. Our guys have to be able to block those distractions out just like everything else."

How good is Aaron Rodgers in your mind?
"I think he's talented. I shake my head of him coming out, how long he lasted and falling to a team like that and everything. I think he's a talented and really good young player. I think he has a lot of good years ahead of him too. He's playing very well. He got off on a roll at the end of last season, so hopefully he doesn't start off on a roll. We'll see."

How do you prevent that?
"What we have to do is we have to play our way. From his standpoint, I know he'll be prepared. That's a really well-coached team up there. I think Mike (McCarthy) and Dom (Capers) do a great job with how they go about approaching things. They have the right kind of people. He'll give him opportunities to make plays. There are going to be some funs plays for everybody to watch and see in this game when you have Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers playing. We're going to have to do our part and try to slow down as many of those plays as we can. It could be a track meet game. I think Dom and I would like for it to be a defensive struggle. Has the hurricane made it up there? I'd love for it to be blowing wind, raining, doing everything up there when it's kickoff but I don't think it's going to make it up there so we have to play under the circumstances we have to play under."

How many times have you coached against Aaron Rodgers?
"There have been several times, I can't remember off the top of my head. When he first got his opportunity to start playing I think I was in Jacksonville at that time. He's a really good football player. If we weren't going against him, I would really admire him watching him on film, but I don't like to admire him right now because we're going against him."

Last year you blitzed more than any team in the league on third down, and Aaron Rodgers ranked at the top of the league against the blitz.  How do you prepare for that?
"Quite truthfully, for the entire season because who do those stats don't know when we're blitzing on the run and so they have no idea that those run blitzes were a call too. What we'll have to do is we'll have to take our calculated chances, but that's the way we play. That's like all of a sudden telling Mike McCarthy to take the air out of the ball and run it all the time. He's not going to do that and we're not going to do it either. We're going to have to play our way and we're going to have to pick our times to do it and understand what we're telling the quarterback when that happens. It'll be a fun game. It's the same thing when they do it against us. Dom Capers, for anybody to say he's not going to pressure, Drew Brees knows that and he's going to have to try to find a big play, we're going to have to try to find a big play. It's going to come down to who does the best job at protecting the football."

How fluid do you guys feel at linebacker?
"I really feel good. That's a good group. I have so much trust in Joe Vitt and what he does and how he manages those people. That's a really good room right now and for the young guys, as they continue to grow and build trust in us and let you all see what we've already seen in those young linebackers in that room too, it'll be a fun group to watch the whole season. You'll see a lot of different linebacker packages throughout this season. I've always let you all in on this, because of the people we have this year and we've added a few more, we have 36 ways to add up to 11. Now are all 36 ways up this week, no, but 10 of them are."

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