New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt
Post-Practice Media Availability
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Opening Statement: "Junior Galette did not practice today. Charles Brown did not practice today. Isa Abdul-Quddus did not practice today. Courtney Roby did not practice today and Tom Johnson did not practice today. Dave Thomas, Corey White and Zach Strief were limited and Elbert Mack was full go. He passed his concussion protocol yesterday. We worked our first and second down package today and third down. Tomorrow we will move on to short-yardage, goal line and red zone. The players are lifting right now and will go in to meetings at about 3:30 this afternoon and we will finish up our work."
Do you think there is any chance you could have Zach Strief available on Thursday night?
"(It's a) possibility. Possibility looks good."
Has he had a decent amount of progress since Sunday?
"Yes, he certainly has."
How much will another week help William Robinson prepare for what he needs to do?
"Our right tackle situation is going to fine in this game. There are a lot of ways that we can help that position. There is a lot of ways that we do help that position. We have the next man up theory that we have always gone to. There is not going to be any built in excuse for us not to try to play our best football."
Yesterday you mentioned that you were going to be looking at some players…
"Yeah, I'm sorry, I should have mentioned this. We did make some roster moves today. We had to put Bryce Harris on injured reserves. We brought Michael Higgins to our active roster which we're excited about. Michael has worked hard here. He is well-prepared and well engrained into our system. We signed Ryan Lee as an offensive guard/tackle prospect and put him on the practice squad."
Can you tell us what Bryce Harris' injury was?
"He has a broken bone in his leg."
How does not having Junior Galette impact your pass rush?
"Listen, Junior is a big part of what we've tried to get accomplished around here. He is a big part of our future. I've said this before about Junior's physical and emotional growth as a player. He is working hard right now to get better. This has been an opportunity for Turk McBride and Turk has played pretty well for us. These are things we have to deal with. This has been hard on Junior because really it is the first time he has ever been hurt, it's really the first time he has had an extended stay in the training room. He is working as hard as he can to get back. Junior misses what he does. He is very passionate about this game. He misses being around his teammates, not being in practice and being part of the game."
What does Atlanta do so well on third downs?
"I think it starts with the quarterback. I think he really does a great job with pre-snap read and where to go with the ball. All of a sudden he will have immediate pressure in his face and he's tall enough to get the ball out and go to the right target. I would say with some of their numbers in the last couple of weeks with turnovers that third down has really saved them both offensively and defensively. They've improved dramatically since the last time we played them."
Drew Brees said yesterday it is good to play so quickly after a tough loss like the one to the 49ers. Do you feel the same way?
"Listen, San Francisco, that game is like a year ago to me. It really is. We've been on to this next game now since seven o'clock Monday morning. We watched Sunday's game on Sunday night. We're excited about playing this game. I know he's excited about playing this game. With a short week, there are challenges to it. I don't really care if we played them on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, this is a great opportunity for our football team. I've kind of put San Francisco in our rear-view mirror and I know he has. I don't know what else to say about that."
How tough is it to condense two practices into one day?
"It's a challenge. We've done this before. We had the challenge when we played Dallas on Thanksgiving two years back. That was a one o'clock game and we're using every hour we can. This is an 8:30 start eastern time. Back then, we started our practices at 10:30 in the morning and tried to duplicate what time we were playing and we moved our practices and our meetings back to a nine o'clock start for team meetings and 12:15 for the start of our practices. We've been through this before. We took good notes from the first time that we played this game on Thanksgiving day and we're using the same formula as if Sean (Payton) would be here."
How difficult will it be to duplicate your success against the Atlanta rushing attack in the first game?
"Every week, every game takes on a life of its own and a challenge of its own. We played them on a short week, had to come back from a night game. These guys are professional players. We've got the right people in this locker room and they prepare properly. They are accountable to one-another. When you have the right people and you have some confirmed validity on how you approach the game as an organization and a team, there's always challenges but those challenges are never going to be an excuse for failure."