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New Orleans Saints player transcripts following Black and Gold scrimmage

Jabari Greer, Chris Carr, Junior Galette and Mark Ingram met with the media Saturday

New Orleans Saints Cornerback Jabari Greer
Post-Scrimmage Media Availability
Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are you encouraged by the performance of the defense today?

"Yes, this is the first time we had live contact and the amount of turnovers and the amount of contact we had on the quarterback was a good indication of where we are.  But we realized that we have a long way to go.  It was a good day today.  We are going to enjoy it.  We are going to take some time off tonight, get back in our books, spend time with our families, and get back to it on Monday."

How is your relationship with Chris Carr versus a rookie cornerback?

"I remember the first time that Chris came in.  He walked in the locker room and I immediately knew who he was being a guy who has a similar story as mine.  I've kept up with him throughout the league, throughout my career.  And seeing him walk in there I just knew we were getting a quality player.  I knew what kind of player he was going to be, so for him to come out here and have a day like he had, I'm happy for him because he is such a great guy in the locker room, a guy of character and is really a smart guy.  He's the type of guy that our upper level management brings in.  The type of relationship I have with Chris is awesome.  I definitely pick his brain and I talk to him, but mainly we talk about life and I feel like we are kindred spirits."

I think you guys had five sacks today, is it nice to see the pass rush?

"Yes, I think that we did a good job rushing the passer today and getting some pressure on them.  It makes it so much easier for our secondary and anytime that we can get the amount of pressure that we did today, not only makes my job easier, but it provides excitement for the fans.  Most importantly I am glad they get to see our defense react and be aggressive the way we were today."

Can you talk about the big plays the defense made today and how it puts the offense in a tougher predicament?

"Yes, it does.  It presents a different opportunity for the offense.  Anytime you can get them in third and long it works out for us.  We can play different coverages and we can get a little more aggressive on the (pass) rush.  We were able to get us some long yardage situations.  I think we had a good day, but ultimately we realized that when Monday comes along, no one is going to remember today and it's going to be another day of hard work and the offense is going to come out gunning again as consistent as they always are.  We are going to relish today, we are going to enjoy it, but realize when Monday starts this means nothing."

What is like to finally have Benjamin Watson as a teammate both in the locker room and on the field?

"Obviously Ben is a guy of high moral character in the locker room.  We can't have enough guys like Ben Watson in our locker room to provide veteran leadership that definitely provides great foundation for our team.  Mickey Loomis and Coach Payton do a great job of bringing guys like Ben in.  But the way he is performing on the field, he has been a starting for a long time, and a playmaker, so to have a guy of his ability opposite of Jimmy Graham, it definitely presents a problem for the defense, another matchup, a different type of matchup.  We are lucky to have him and I know that Jimmy is going to enjoy having him on the other side."

How hard is it to learn and unlearn three defenses in three years?

"It's kind of like learning a new language because you start with the formations and different coaches call different formations, different things.  You learn different terminologies, but ultimately it is just football.  They give you ample enough time to learn the defense.  As a professional you have to make sure that you study and that you make sure you are grasping the concept.  It's not extremely difficult but it is challenging.  It is something as a professional that you might have to do.  You hope that you don't have to but if the opportunity presents itself as a professional, you just adjust and you learn what you need to to be a professional."

Do you ever catch yourself, 'wait, this is the other defense?'

"No, only on certain terminology.  When we have guys that carry over that can understand terms from our old defenses then we might use them, but when we are calling our plays and calling our adjustments it is strictly what we address in our certain defense.  Now, if a receiver runs a certain route we might call another route that we learned in a previous defense, but as long as we are adjusting and calling the play we are all on the same page with the new defense."

New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram
Post-Scrimmage Media Availability
Saturday, August 3, 2013

You have to be happy with that opening drive, you had a couple of nice runs.

"We just wanted to come out and execute. On the first drive we had a good drive. We moved the ball pretty well and converted on third and short. We got the ball to the goal line and got in the end zone. I'd say that was a productive drive."

Of the first three runs, was the third one the most gratifying because of how you had to bowl your way in to the end zone?

"The closer you get the harder it is. When you get a good push from the offensive line, I just hit it in there and fight for that half-yard. It means everything. It means we play physical and that we are able to execute and hit pay dirt. That's what it's all about when you get down there by the goal line and get in the red zone. You want to score touchdowns."

Can you talk a little bit about the tempo of today's scrimmage versus a regular practice?

"I think everybody did pretty well. I think anytime you're running a twelve-play series and guys aren't running out every four plays to catch their breath, you get a little winded. That's what this scrimmage is all about: getting into football shape, getting to those long drives, getting to those plays where you just have to take deep breaths and get your breath back when you're in the huddle so you can get back and execute again. It's very beneficial for everybody just to get that football tempo, that game tempo."

It looks like the way some of your plays developed, you were able to cross the line of scrimmage with some momentum.

"We've been emphasizing outside zone a lot. The line has been getting the defense to move and making the right reads. We are still getting a better feel for it and still learning from it and getting better every single day. We get to make our decisions and get downhill fast. That's one thing that we've been working on is the outside zone scheme."

What happened on your fumble? Usually you are known to take good care of the football.

"The defender made a great play. He came up from behind me and just punched it out. I have to fix that. I take pride in holding on to the football, ball security. As a running back, you have the ball in your hands and you have to take care of it. You can't be on the field if you can't take care of the ball. I take a lot of pride in taking care of the football and not having any fumbles. The defender just made a great play and I have to just make sure I keep that ball tighter to my body. "

How important is it to be the number one running back on this team when so many duties are shared?

"Of course you want to be number one wherever you go. But, like I've said many times, it's about the team. I do whatever I can. I just go out there every day and try to get better every single day. I try to take a step forward every single day and never take a step back. I'm just trying to be the best player I can for this team. If that's being the number one back, handling more duties, having a heavier workload, I'm proud to do that. I especially welcome it. "

It seemed like every run you had was for positive yards

"I've been trying to be more decisive, make my cuts and get upfield. On the fumble, I think I was slightly indecisive and (the defender) came from the backside and punched it out. For the most part the entire day was positive runs. On the first drive I had a couple of nice runs, a nice screen pass, and got in on the goal line. Overall I think it was a productive day, but definitely a lot of room for improvement."

How is the offensive line looking on the running plays?

"The line is looking great. They're learning the blocking scheme and they're getting it down. They're getting a hat on a hat. They're a push off the line of scrimmage. They're making seams for us to run through. That just says a lot about how much we've been emphasizing the run game in training camp. They're just doing such a great job and it was good that finally we came out here in the scrimmage and it was tackling and football tempo, and we were able to move the ball on the ground."

New Orleans Saints Outside Linebacker Junior Galette
Post-Scrimmage Media Availability
Saturday, August, 3, 2013

Junior, we knew you were going to love this defense. Today, the fans got to see it firsthand how destructive you can be, coming off the outside. Just talk about your performance.

"I think it was a little bit better than practices have been. I took it hard on myself how I have been practicing. I felt like I haven't been where I need to be. But I felt like today was a big step. I'm not even close to reaching my potential. As a defense, we are not close as well. We know that we have to watch the film. I need to watch the film, and then I will let you know."

How encouraging was what the defense did today?

"I think we got a few stops against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. We haven't really seen the film yet. It is the other things that we are worried about, jogging back to the huddle and not showing the opponent that you are tired. The little things that will become the big things and key for us throughout the season."

Overall, how did you think the conditioning was on defense?

"I think we looked pretty good. Like I said, there is always room for progress. We are not ever going to be satisfied. As a defense, we are not going to be satisfied with whatever it is we do even if it is the best game we play. We are always going to be looking at film and watching for the minor errors that we can improve on."

Can you talk about the added sense of responsibility you've been given in this defense now?

"I think it is just maybe a little bit more leadership, showing my veteran presence to the younger guys, showing them how to be a pro, just learning how to be a pro, more off the field, and that's what Joe (Vitt) and Sean (Payton) emphasize, to be a leader to the younger guys coming up."

What was the feel as far as the scrimmage today, with the fans lined up all around you. What was the feeling like on the field?

"It felt good. It felt like I was the gladiator again. Just coming out. It's not quite like the stadium, but it felt real good. It took the heat out of it. Knowing that the fans were out here in this heat, (it) made you kind of want to give the extra push."

I know you interact a lot with fans on twitter. What does it say to you, that practice is twenty minutes in and there is still a line at Zephyr field full of people still waiting to get in.

"That was crazy. When I was coming in, I had never seen the line like that. I am very thankful to be here. To be a part of Who Dat Nation that has such strong fans. It is a blessing. When I saw that, it just gave me more motivation."

With five sacks last year, do you think you can get more with more playing time this year?

"Mathematically, you are correct, but it is not always like that. More snaps depends on how I am playing throughout the season. I am more concerned about progressing with the defense as a whole, not just myself. I am always going to try and come out here and get better, but as a defense and how we look, I think that is the most important part. That is going to make us a better team."

What has been the hardest thing in transitioning to the NFL for you?

"I really didn't feel like I had been given the edge I had. I wouldn't say that I got full. I am hungrier than before. I really don't know what it is. It is just me being able to look at myself in the mirror and seeing that I am not where I want to be. There is a sense of urgency. The fact is that we were one of the worst defenses in the league last year. The sense of urgency is what has been frustrating for me. We have to harp on that."

What worked today? Personally, individually, what do you feel that you did well today?

"I feel like I progressed. I think that my job is always going to be room for improvement. I have to watch the film and see. I can't really give you the details now."

New Orleans Saints Cornerback Chris Carr
Post-Scrimmage Media Avalibility
August, 3, 2013

Can you talk about your comfort level with Rob Ryan?

"I just try to play consistent. I know what Rob wants. I remember a lot of the calls that he used to call in Oakland. I know how he wants players to play. I have been in the league a long time now and I have played a lot of different positions. I fell like if I go out, play consistent, and do my job, I know what offenses like to do and I feel like I can make a lot of plays. I feel good, I feel healthy and today I had a good day."

There are some veterans who said earlier that they were unsure what their role on this team would be. You seem to have a pretty good idea of what yours is coming in as a first-year player.

"I know Rob (Ryan) knows that I can play all of the positions. I've starred at safety, cornerback, and nickelback for him before and so at this point in my career, I'm willing to do whatever I can just to help out and make sure I learn everything. Whenever they send me in, I expect to go out there and make plays. I feel like if I am healthy and know what I am doing then I can go out there and play well. I have been playing consistently over the past week and there is a thin line between good and great. I feel like I have learned a lot since coming here and it was an adjustment period because I was not around this offense, I didn't know how they like to run their routes because I just got here during training camp, and there is a learning curve because I wasn't here in OTAs. Just learning the different terminology, the different signals, and the different plays, it took me a while to get adjusted, but now I feel comfortable being out there with everybody."

You mentioned the learning curve and adjustment period. Was today a breakthrough day for you?

"No but I think today I just got a chance to play more. Once we started going nickel practices I haven't really gotten too many reps. Against the threes the last couple of days, we have been blowing a lot of coverages so I haven't really had a lot of time to go out there and play. Sometimes we cut the practices shorter and when that happens it's usually the threes that get their roles cut but today I ran with the twos and I ran with the threes so I got a lot of playing time. I think I just had a lot of opportunity to make plays. Whereas the other days, I had my guy covered but they didn't throw the ball my way.

Rob Ryan referred to you as one of the smartest players, if not the smartest player that he has ever been around. How do you feel when you hear a coach say something like that?

"It feels good. They always say a dumb player will get you beat faster than anybody else. He told me that my rookie year. It's just knowing what you are doing and its one of those things that once you get tired, your intellect is going to persevere."

Jabari (Greer) mentioned the fact that you made an impression on day 1 when you walked into the locker room. What was it like making the transformation here to the Saints?

"You just have to come in humble and you have to come in willing to learn. I have seen (Jabari) Greer play throughout his career and he has seen me play throughout my career so there is a mutual respect there and they know that I came from Baltimore where I played with a lot of great defensive players like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. He knows that I know how to play football and I know that he has played on a Super Bowl team so there is a certain amount of respect there and you just come in and you are willing to help people out. We are all competing against each other but it's one of those things where it's like hey may the best man win. You give it your all and if someone out there needs advice you help them out because you know when you are on this team, you need to have that chemistry and you need to be able to talk with your teammates. It's only going to help you out. So I think they sensed that once I came in and everybody has been really great. Jimmy Leonhard has been another great player that I played with that I've known throughout the NFLPA. I have known him for a while. Plus Rob (Ryan) and (Wesley) McGriff are great coaches. So I just feel really comfortable."

I know you have been in the league for a long time. Since you're coming into a new defense, is there anything you haven't seen? When you have been in the league for ten years, there really isn't much that can surprise you right?

"There really isn't anything I haven't seen. There have been a couple of routes that this offense uses that I haven't seen before but defensively there is nothing especially coming from Baltimore. In Baltimore we had so many different defenses and you really had to be a student of the game and you really had to use your intellect. So going out there in this defense after you have been to Baltimore, you can pretty much play any kind of defense and mentally the learning curve is not as fast. You see plays and you have been out there for a while so its really, on a visceral level, you can just go out there and just fill and make plays."

What were you thinking when you signed with the team that had the worst statistical defense in NFL history last year versus what you have seen as far as a talent level?

"It's crazy because I think this is a very talented team. We have good young players and a lot of good vets. We have a lot of old safeties. I know what they are doing and with the addition of Kenny (Vacarro) and somebody like Jimmy Leonhard coming in here and (Jabari) Greer is a good player. I'm not sure what exactly happened last year. I know Rob Ryan is an excellent football coach. I think guys are rallying around him. I think guys are always excited to play for a coach like that. The Chuck Pagano's, Rex Ryan's, and Rob Ryan's are all coaches guys love to play for. Like I said earlier, there is a thin line between good and bad. If you blow a coverage here, you don't pay attention here, or you don't watch film here and there, those little mistakes add up. Sometimes once you make those little mistakes and things are going bad for you, your confidence goes out the window and once your confidence goes out the window then it's really hard to be an effective defense. I think everyone's confidence is high right now. It's a new start with Sean Payton and Rob Ryan. I think we have all the talent to be good, we just have to make sure that we continue to learn and continue to be better because there's a lot of smart coaches in this league and a lot of smart offenses in this league. If you are not a smart football player and if you are not a unit back there as a defensive secondary then you are going to give up a lot of plays that you shouldn't give up."

Talking about being a student of the game, I have seen you a number of times. You had a big play today. Is that something you do with your experience because I have seen you do it a number of times?

"Once they line up and they have one receiver to the wide side of the field, sometimes they motion back over to get people spread out and they do a play fake and so there's all that space in the middle of the field and so instinctively, I am thinking my first shot is like OK if they fill this spot right here I am going to jump it and if I don't see it then I'm going to play my regular technique. It's just being aware of how offenses like to attack certain defenses. I just always have that in the back of my mind when I play and that's always going to help you out as a player."

When you come to a new team, how much do you look at what they did the year before or was it just a Rob Ryan thing?

"I haven't really watched any film of them playing last year. All the film that I've seen has just been of them in OTAs and the different calls and just studying the playbooks. So I really couldn't tell you what was the deal last year and a lot of times you are going to watch film and you're not sure how they were coached. You can go out there and say well what's this guy doing but you're not sure if the secondary coach last year told him last year to play it this way. It's one of those things where it's one of those unknowns because you weren't there so I am not really concerned about that. I am just concerned about the mistakes we are making here and now and just trying to rectify those mistakes and making sure that we are all on the same page and play smart football. I think if we can do that, we have all the talent, we have good young players, and we have very smart and athletic older players. The sky is the limit. It's just up to us to put in the work and willing to be that good."

I know you have done it in the past but how did it feel to be returning some punts today?

"It felt good but I was tired though. I'm still getting used to this heat here but it was good. My first five years in the league I was primarily a returner then I started at nickel then I started at corner but if they want me to do returns, I will do it. (Darren) Sproles is a good returner. We came into the league the same year so I have seen him many years in the AFC West return well. Returning kicks is another thing that I feel that I can do well."

Did you think your career would last this long?

"I wanted it to be long. Eight or nine years. My body is still intact and I felt like I didn't want to be in this league when I couldn't run just as fast or I had a lot of concussions but I have been fortunate to not have any concussions. I'm going to need my brain when I am done playing football. I have to make sure that's intact."

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