Saints News | New Orleans Saints | NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints players post-practice quotes: August 19

Kenny Vaccaro, Ramon Humber, Kenny Stills, Zach Strief and Jay Richardson talk after practice

New Orleans Saints Safety Kenny Vaccaro
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

Have veterans talked to you about the jump from the second to the third preseason game?

"Not really.  Today was like a normal practice.  I understand that the third game is more like an actual game but they haven't really said anything about it."

What are the takeaways from your performance last week?

"Just execute out the defense better, get better and better each week.  I thought we did a great job first half, second half of the game.  Houston has a good offense so we have to be prepared."

What are you learning about blitzing in this defense and how much of it is different than the college level?

"Blitzing in the league is a lot different than college.  Quarterbacks are smarting so they can catch you in your blitz.  Just learning when blitzes are going to get home and when blitzes are not.  Sometimes you have to change.  As far as me, if I'm not blitzing I have to know if the blitz is going to get home I can sit on a route, if it's not I have to make sure I stay deep.  I am still learning in that concept, but blitzing is blitzing to me."

Do you think you are going to get a lot of opportunities this year?

"I haven't done much blitzing in the games yet, but it's only the preseason so we have a lot more for me."

Do you like being in coverage?

"Oh yeah, that's all I did in college.  Big hits, I am just out there hitting.  I'd rather get turnovers any time of the day, but I'm just tackling honestly."

How strong of a running back is Mark Ingram?

"He runs hard and he has an element where he can get tricky on you too.  So when a guy can run you over and trick you, they keep you on your toes."

What did you do special teams wise at University of Texas that translates now?

"As a freshman at UT (Texas), the year we went to the National Championship (game), I was on their special teams. I am kind of (like) a freshman here now.  I am on a lot of special teams.  I think the more I play as far as on defense, the less that will be, but for right now I am starting on punt return."

Is there a skill that pertains to that job?

"I think special teams is all about attitude and effort.  Honestly, guys that have effort want to be out there and want to play special team are good special teams players."

New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

How do you think the running game has been so far?

"There were a couple of runs where I left a couple of yards on the field, but that just comes with getting a feel for it, coming out here practicing it, getting the hang of it, knowing how the line is going to block it, (and) knowing where our cuts are going to be in different fronts and defenses.  I think we are definitely making an improvement in our run game.  I think it was a lot better week two than week one."

Healthwise, are you still feeling 100%?

"Yes, I'm still feeling really good."

Do you think you are going to get more touches this year?

"Yeah, I came in healthy.  I came in in shape. I think just both of those things together might help me get some more touches.  I'm a lot more comfortable with the offense and I just want to keep improving every single day and being productive.  That's the key, just being productive and I'm sure more touches will come with that."

Do you feel faster this year?

"I dropped a few pounds, I feel healthy and that helps me be a lot quicker, a lot faster, a lot more decisive, and I haven't been worrying about injuries or anything like that.  I definitely feel healthier and quicker."

Do you have any goals for yourself this season?

"You always want to be above four yards a carry, but I like to be around four and a half or five, that's where I usually was in college, around five yards a carry.  That's just a goal.  That's a high number and that will put you with some of the elite backs in the league with around five yards a carry.  (You) Just work at it and try and be as productive as you can."New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

How do you think the running game has been so far?

"There were a couple of runs where I left a couple of yards on the field, but that just comes with getting a feel for it, coming out here practicing it, getting the hang of it, knowing how the line is going to block it, (and) knowing where our cuts are going to be in different fronts and defenses.  I think we are definitely making an improvement in our run game.  I think it was a lot better week two than week one."

Healthwise, are you still feeling 100%?

"Yes, I'm still feeling really good."

Do you think you are going to get more touches this year?

"Yeah, I came in healthy.  I came in in shape. I think just both of those things together might help me get some more touches.  I'm a lot more comfortable with the offense and I just want to keep improving every single day and being productive.  That's the key, just being productive and I'm sure more touches will come with that."

Do you feel faster this year?

"I dropped a few pounds, I feel healthy and that helps me be a lot quicker, a lot faster, a lot more decisive, and I haven't been worrying about injuries or anything like that.  I definitely feel healthier and quicker."

Do you have any goals for yourself this season?

"You always want to be above four yards a carry, but I like to be around four and a half or five, that's where I usually was in college, around five yards a carry.  That's just a goal.  That's a high number and that will put you with some of the elite backs in the league with around five yards a carry.  (You) Just work at it and try and be as productive as you can."

New Orleans Saints Inside Linebacker Ramon Humber
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

What was it like for you and David Hawthorne getting more of an opportunity on Friday night?

"It was a great opportunity. Our linebacker corps all work well together. We count on each other, everybody on the defense and play off one another."

How much confidence do you gain from a game like that?

"You gain a lot of confidence. Just in general, I know what I can do and how I can perform and it's great to go out there and have a game like that. You still have to be humble, (and) you still have to look at details."

Does Friday night give you the feel that you are comfortable in this new system and that you can thrive in it?

"I was already comfortable in the system, it was just getting an opportunity to play, an opportunity to showcase."

Were you expecting to fill up the stat sheet like you did?

"No, it just happened."

Do you realize that this is probably the best opportunity that you have received in the NFL?

"I believe so. I started in Indy. I had an opportunity there. When you are undrafted you are under the rader. I made the team there, things happened, I went somewhere else and just the system that this organization has really gives me a chance to thrive."

What would you improve on from the other night?

"Alignment. As a team we had some missed alignments and missed coverages. Just like things like that. Pretty much paying attention to details are what we need to do. "

Do you feel comfortable playing both inside spots?

"Anywhere they need me, I'll play. It doesn't really matter to me, as long as I receive an opportunity to play."

Did you receive all your snaps in the last game at Curtis Lofton's spot?

"Yes."

You put a lot of pressure on the quarterback in the second game. Is this what you can expect out of Rob Ryan?

"Ryan's system is a lot of blitz pressure. It depends upon the situation. With this system we go forward with the call. When we dial it up, we dial it up."

Don't football players like to bring pressure rather than sit back and react?

"You want to be aggressive, but there are times when you have to get conservative."

Does this defense match the personnel better than last year's?

"I wouldn't say that necessarily. I think last year we were going through the things we went through, (there was a) lack of focus at times. As far as the scheme, it fits a lot of the players they've brought in through free agency. Just being able to know that this is the guy (Rob Ryan) you want to play for and a guy that you like and a guy that brings energy to the defense."

With 11 sacks in two games, is this going to be the personality of your defense this year?

"I hope we get a lot of pressure and hope the defensive line can do their thing up front and the secondary and us can cover long enough so that they can get to the quarterback."

New Orleans Saints Tackle Zach Strief
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

Are you seeing positive signs in the running game's and offensive line's performance in the first two preseason games?

"You can see the run game developing. You can see improvement. I think we got out and ran a little bit better this week. There was a lot of yardage left out there. You can see the improvement and we just need to work on the consistency."

Do you see a healthy Mark Ingram ready to have his best season yet?

"Yes, you can tell he's a different player this year. He has a lot more explosion. We talked today that we're learning a different type of run-blocking up front and they (the running backs) are too. I think you see a little bit in the offensive line of guys thinking what to do, and you see Mark 'I know what I'm supposed to do but am not running instinctively yet.' That is going to come. That is something that with time it is going to come. Fortunately for him, his body is healthy enough this year to make those cuts when he is ready to make them."

What are your thoughts on what you've seen from Marques Colston?

"He is a guy that you know what you're going to get out of him. I think it is important for him to be healthy. You push an injury early in camp to be in camp and then it nags you another eight weeks and you might be on the field but you're 75%. In this league, you just can't be 75%. It's not going to get the job done. We know that when Marques comes back, he will do the things necessary to get himself ready. You look at a player that has been awfully consistent for seven years and I think they know what they are going to get out of him when he is physically ready to come back."

What have you been most impressed with in Charles Brown?

"I remember telling Charles in the offseason, physically he is there. Physically he is more than good enough. He is a very talented guy. His issues are all going to come with confidence. I think you see that confidence growing. I think you see him being more comfortable in his sets. I think you see him making better decisions in the run game. Physically, he's always been ready. I think what you're seeing now is he's in a position battle and I think he took that battle, grabbed it, ran with it and said ' this is mine.' With the confidence of doing that, I think you're seeing him becoming an awfully good player."

Talk about the progression of Jahri Evans and what you see from him going in to another season.

"We get into camp and he obviously has a lot of reps on him already. He's missed out on 10 snaps since he's been in the league. It's pretty amazing. You see him come in to camp and he is like 'man, I can't get my steps, I can't get my steps.' As camp goes and he loosens up, he just gets better and better. You turn on game film and it's the same, everyone is fighting at the line of scrimmage and Jahri is eight yards down the field blocking somebody. He is a monster on gameday and he is as good as he's ever been right now."

New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Kenny Stills
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

What does Coach Payton's willingness to cut two veteran receivers say about you and Nick Toon?

"I just think in order to be good at this level you have to be confident. I feel like Nick and I believe in ourselves. We've worked hard and we hopes it shows out on the field."

How would you assess your confidence right now?

"I'm just getting more comfortable being out there with the guys. It's different. It's like when you guys go to work and you have a bunch of new colleagues. Just getting used to being in the huddle and those guys trusting me. I wouldn't say my confidence is anywhere different from the weeks before but it's just getting comfortable and getting used to being in there with those guys and gaining their trust."

Do you pay attention to the depth chart or is that something you stay away from?

"(In) Talking to the older guys, it's not something we're supposed to pay attention to. (I'm) Just doing my job every day and hope and pray that I'm doing my job and that I can be a part of this team."

What showed up on film different in game two from the first game?

"It felt like I was more relaxed. It felt like I was back out there playing football again. It wasn't the bright lights of the NFL or my first time being out there. It was just football again. Like I said, having that first catch early in the game just made me feel like I was just out there playing ball and it made it a lot of fun for me."

Do you see Mark Ingram having a big year?

"I hope so. If Mark's having a big year, then we are going to have a big year at the receiver position."

What have you seen from him out here at practice?

"He looks great. I loved watching Mark when he was in college and (I) just (love) to see him here on my team. He's big, strong, fast, makes people miss, so it's exciting to see him out there."

New Orleans Saints Defensive End Jay Richardson
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013

How was the defense able to get so much pressure on the quarterback on Friday?

"It was one of those things. Things opened up for us and we just kept the pressure coming. We had a lot of good one-on-one players too but a lot of times there were protections that were just kind of blown on their side too so I don't think we can take the full credit. It was still a good showing."

For the guys that have not experienced the 3-4 defensive system before, including the younger guys, is it coming easier to them now?

"Yes. Game one, everyone especially the young guys for their first time out there, a new defense and being in the NFL was a little nerve-racking for a lot of the younger guys. Second time around, a lot more comfortable. A lot of the reads were faster. A lot of the pre-snap reads were faster. Guys were getting lined up, that was a big stress last week. Guys were getting lined up early. The calls came faster and everybody played a lot faster."

Has there been more blitzing than normal for you guys in the preseason?

"You know what, not more than normal I would say. That isn't Rob's (Ryan) style, he isn't a huge blitzer. He is big on coverage, big on using the guys up front to get there. He will blitz in certain situations. But I wouldn't say that the blitzing has been over the top. We've been pretty balanced."

Have you been kind of vanilla in preseason?

"We've kept the good stuff for later. It's been just trying to get guys lined up. And when you have the second unit coming in, especially in the second half, you don't want to do too many crazy calls. Just keep it simple and let the players play so you can evaluate talent."

So the playbook hasn't really come out, until September 8 right?

"Of course. The good stuff."

Do you have to take your preseason performance against the Raiders with a grain of salt?

"We have tons of work, trust me. There are a lot of yards left on the field defensively. There are a lot of things that we could have done better. I thought we got lined up quickly. I thought a lot of guys played fast. It was good energy, a lot of emotion out there so that was always fun to see from the defense. You want your defense to be into it emotionally. Some of our checks could have been a made a little bit faster, the back end for some of us, some of the different coverages we could have been a little bit tighter on. There is plenty of work to do."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising