New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete CarmichaelMedia Availability Friday, September 18, 2015
What did you see out of the running game in week one?
"I think that we were going against a defensive front that is very good against the rush. Obviously, the 2.7 (yards per carry), we'd looking to improve on that."
If and when (C.J.) Spiller comes back, how does that change things? Do you guys feel like you got enough work with him in the offseason that he could hit the ground running?
"From a mental standpoint, we feel good about him. When you talk about roles and stuff like that, any guy that is active on game day (will have a role). That is one of the things that Sean (Payton) does a great job of, is if they're active, they have a role."
Benjamin Watson played all but maybe three or four snaps; is that something that, going forward, there might be more balance between him and Josh Hill, or do you see him as an every-down player?
"He does a great job for us. He knows what to do but I think that, in that situation, like you said, we'd probably like to look for a little more balance."
I know you called some plays during the preseason; do you expect to do that at all during the season?
"Coach (Payton) wore the headset last week and I think that's the plan."
New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob RyanMedia Availability Friday, September 18, 2015
What stuck with you the most from week one that you wanted to improve on in week two?
"We were playing a tough game, obviously. They had a lot of speed and everything. I thought our young guys were playing hard. We were advancing the plan. Sean (Payton) laid out the plan. We were going to try to play this as close to the vest as we could and win in the fourth quarter. We were right there for everything there at the end (but) it just got away. We went all in and tried to make a play and we kind of lost sight of the back. That cost us. Those little details, especially in the fourth quarter, can really cost you. I think our guys played with effort. I think a lot of the new guys, rookies especially, got their feet wet for the first time. They did a good job. Obviously, there are some things that we have to work on. We need to finish and winning these games. Overall, the effort is there. The mindset of the team was there. We just have to finish and win the game."
What were some of your takeaways on the pass rush?
"The pass rush with (Cardinals quarterback) Carson Palmer, we were trying to send five guys at him, we'd have some guys get open late, but he gets rid of the ball so quickly. That is what he has historically done. Obviously, we need to keep finding answers to develop a four-man pass rush so we can be more effective. I thought Cam Jordan rushed the passer real well but he didn't have enough company. That is on us to find the right combination to be able to affect the pass rush, that's for sure."
Affecting Jameis Winston doesn't necessarily mean just blitzing him, but confusing and disguising is important with a rookie quarterback as well?
"Absolutely, you can't (let) this young man have an easy day. If he knows what you are in, I mean, he won the Heisman trophy so they probably lined up and played, and he tore them apart. We have to do a great job of disguising coverages, especially in the National Football League. Every week you have to do that, especially with a rookie quarterback. You want him thinking and not throwing, that's for sure."
Game-planning for big receivers is nothing new, but is Tampa Bay unusual in that they have two big receivers that are that talented?
"I think so. Every once and a while you run across one of these big ones, but they have two (of the) premier big men in the league at receiver. One of them in (Mike) Evans, (who) I don't know if he made the Pro Bowl last year but he should've, and then (Vincent) Jackson who has been there before. These are two excellent receivers. We're excited about our corners and the way the play. It ought to be a physical war out there with our corners versus their receivers. We've got to cut back on the fouls. That hurt us last week. Our guys never flinched (and) they are not scared of a challenge. This is a big challenge, absolutely is."
Is Damian Swann a guy that could play safety if there were an emergency situation?
"Yes, (both) Damian Swann and Kyle Wilson (can). These guys are corners that both have experience playing safety. In a pinch, absolutely they could. Swann did it in college and was pretty good at it."
Is that something that you guys prepare for at all? Maybe get a guy some reps?
"You have to. When the injury happened to (Rafael) Bush, we had (Jamarca) Sanford in there and he played well. He is a strong safety, he is playing free safety. We didn't have a whole lot of depth there but you have to prepare for that. We have done that before so we have a plan b or plan c, if we need it."
Back to Jameis Winston, I assume that you try to coach your players that since he struggled last week, (it) doesn't mean to take him lightly; what is the danger that he presents?
"This guy really has a strong arm. He can fire the ball, has two premier receivers on the outside and has this big tight end (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) who had a good week last week. They have tons of talent out there. The quarterback's very talented. I know the game did not go their way and they started off about as bad as you could start a game. I saw some good things out of those guys and the young quarterback. I thought that, at the end of the game, he was playing well. We have to be ready for it. We're excited about it. Both teams are hungry for a win and both are probably going to be ready. These teams always play each other close. The bottom line is that we need to win the game and that's what we're going to do. We have to."