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Joe Vitt Impressed with Defensive Line Through First Two Preseason Games

Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach Joe Vitt speaks with the media after practice on Tuesday, August 14, 2012


New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt
Media Availability
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A lot of players are leaving practice. Are you contemplating going inside?

"No. A lot of players? What is a lot of players to you?"

Four guys.

"Out of 90? What is that percentage? So it's not a high percentage of players going inside."

How about Jimmy Graham? How is he doing?

"Good. We had him down as limited but he took all the reps. I thought his movement skills were good out there, coming in and out of breaks. I thought he did pretty good on the goal line stuff that we had, so good."

Are you happy with what you see from Charles Brown?

"Here is the thing, I think that this kid has really matured. I think he had a total of 49 plays the other night. I think he is such the athlete that you can play him at both tackle positions. He could probably be a swing guy inside at guard.  And as yor saw a year ago, we could potentially put him in a tight end inline position in some short yardage situations or where we want to run the ball. I think he has taken it so far to the next step. Hey, it's really in the process and we've got to keep going."

Can you talk about why Courtney Roby left practice?


Do the small percentage of guys that go inside go because of heat?


When you have running back depth already with Chris Ivory and you have Travaris Cadet, how challenging is it when you have a fifth guy emerges?

"Listen, I don't know that anybody has emerged yet. We are going into our second preseason game. That is all we are going to. The first preseason game for us was a scrimmage so we've got great competition in the period and we've got position. Let's just see how this thing unfolds. We've got a lot of practices yet. We've got three preseason games yet. We're not filling our roster spots yet. This is where the competition is at. Let's see how it unfolds."

Can you tell us where Patrick Robinson is?

"I had a better idea of where he was in the OTAs. He is coming off an injury so he has practiced two days since he hurt his shoulder. We know the type of jump that he made last year in his sophomore season. Let's see if he can make that same jump in his third season. But he just got back out on the practice field on a limited basis for the second time since he was down for nine days with his shoulder."

How does this affect your big picture?

"Big picture wise, I'm trying to get through this afternoon's walk through. I'm trying to get the filmed looked at this morning and get to the walk through. Big picture we know he has the skill level. Big picture knows he has the downfield speed. He's got quick twitch. He's got short area power. He can tackle and he can make plays on the ball. We hope he can do all of those things in the future."

Daniel Graham said yesterday that he was sitting on the couch when he got the call from you guys. What did you see or know about him?

"What I know about him is a heck of an inline blocker. He's just one of those types of tight ends because of the body type. He can block the linebacker that is over him and that's under defense and he can block the end over end that's over defense. He can see that barrier and the power running game behind him. There is usually movement on the ball and he can displace some linemen to the second level also. This is his second day. We are trying to ease him into it but if he can be for us what he has been in the past, there is a place for him."

Do you wish to see more of Joe Morgan?

"He knows it and we all know it. This is still a young man trying to make this football team. We've said this before, for Joe Morgan this is a race for him to adapt to the way we do things and our expectancy level. That is going to be a work in progress and it's a positive work in progress."

Jonathan Casillas wasn't in OTAs because of his injury. Are you starting to see him get into a rhythm now?

"Yes. Saw it today."

Are you planning on being outside Thursday?

"I don't know that yet. Probably be inside Thursday."

Any difference in the defense from this year to last year?

"Yeah. I think you have seen that in the first two preseason games. We have the ability to rush the quarterback and pressure the quarterback with five and six defenders and play at multiple zones behind it. Which I think can confuse the quarterback. What you've seen at practice and what you have seen in the first two preseason games is what we are trying to do."

What element does Jonathan Casillas add to the defense?

"Speed, quickness, range and great space tackling and he's got good hands. I think he's really matured where he can pattern read now. I think he has had a positive growth experience."

What is wrong with Kamaal Mcllwain and Aaron Tevis?

"(Aaron) Tevis has got a knee and (Kamall) Mcllwain has got a groin."

Any update on Adrian Arrington?

"He came back yesterday. He looks good. The surgery has been deemed successful. He is walking without a limp. Hopefully sooner than later we'll see how his progress goes."

Was it heat related with Curtis Lofton today?


What is your plan for Luke McCown in the Jacksonville game? What do you need to see from him?

"We need to see him complete some balls and get the offense in and out of the huddle for one thing. We want to work on his tempo. We haven't talked about play time for this week. We will talk about that Wednesday night as a staff."

How impressed are you right now with Corey White compared to Johnny Patrick?

"I think it is a pretty even comparison. I think that Corey White right now is about where Johnny Patrick was as a rookie. Listen, the conditioning, depth, routes he is going to see, the multitude of offensive formations, the motions and now the vibe of defense we have in. His head is spinning right now. I've said this before, when you are looking at film it is hard to tell between a disinterested player and a confused player. They both look the same. But with a young guy like Corey, he has a lot on his plate so he is a little confused right now but that is to be expected. That is part of the growth process."

How do you think Andy Tanner is doing in camp?

"I think he is doing good. I think we know who he is. Again, he is a slot receiver that can get off the jam that can work the middle of the zone defense and has a good feel for that. He can make the tough catch and can separate from safeties and linebackers. He feels confidence and he is not scared to make catches between the numbers."

What it possible that there is room on the roster for both Travaris Cadet and Tanner?

"I can't tell you that. We have to let this whole thing play out. I've said this a million times. We all see some real good talent out there and everybody is working hard. As this whole thing unfolds it usually works itself out because of injuries or players falling to the waist side. We just have to go through this whole process and make sure we pick the right 53."

Do you know who Lawrence Wilson is and where does he fit into the mix?

"Lawrence Wilson right now, I think he's got to go through the process. Where he fits in my mind right now is when you look at him is he is going to have to show that he can be a dominate force on special teams. And if he can be that dominant force on the coverage units, especially in the preseason then maybe there is a place for a guy like that on our practice squad. Now maybe all of a sudden you start to mature him on the practice squad, like we did with Ramon Humber, and let's see how it unfolds. And I would say he is in the early stages of where Ezra Butler was this time last year. They just have to go through that process but for those types of linebackers there is a process. It's the coverage team and it's special teams, now work them into the defense, get them on the practice squad and let them go against Drew Brees every day at practice for a couple of months and let's see if he can take the next step."

We are seeing more interceptions is that because of the defense?

"I hope so. I really do and that is what we hope for in the games. All of a sudden now when the quarterback is on his third step and he may have a free runner or two free runners coming at him and he is going down field now to take a look at the coverage. Well is it two deep, three deep or is it quarters coverage so the variety of coverage that Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) has brought to our defense with the pressure makes us see hesitancy in the quarterback and his throws."

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