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Pete Carmichael, Rob Ryan preview prime time showdown with Cowboys

Rob Ryan and Pete Carmichael met with the media on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, September 26, 2014

There have been a lot of changes to NFL offenses over the last 10, 20 years, but the home field advantage has stayed pretty constant, is that just a crowd noise issue?

"Obviously they talk about it so there is something to it. Crowd noise is a factor but all of those things are things that you need to prepare for and you need to be ready for when you are going on the road."

You've only had one play over 50 yards this year, what do you attribute that to?

"I think whether it is missed opportunities or just what the defense is presenting to you and we are going to be just fine if we have to take a check down low or something like that to maintain a drive and stay on the field. As long as we are executing and the defense may be playing soft, those are things that come up during the season."

Is it something that you are focusing on?

"I think we do what we do offensively. When we are game planning we put together our thoughts for the week in those areas and if we feel like during the game it is an appropriate time to call it we will."

How did Josh Hill grade out last week?

"He has done a great job for us. He is a guy that goes in and knows what to do. We are very comfortable with him on the field. He wouldn't be out there if we didn't have trust in him."

Have you done new things with Brandin Cooks that weren't a prominent part of the offense last year with the 2013 offensive roster?

"I think we've done some different things with him. We've put him in some different spots. I always spend time in the offseason looking at guys that maybe are similar body types or do some things like that and try to incorporate those into your offense if it fits."

Is that fun?

"We will take whatever weapons we can get."

Has Sean Payton done the play calling the first three weeks?

"Yes he has."

Is that a week to week decision?

"No I think that is the way it is going."

What has the process been in looking at the Dallas defense?  Is three games enough under a different coordinator for you to look at or how far back to you have to go?

"Clearly you put value into what they have done so far in their regular season games but you pay attention to what they did in the preseason and then you can compare to how similar are they to last year or how different are they from last year and take those into considerations."

Do defenses kind of hold on to their characteristics or are they somewhat unpredictable?

"I think there is probably a little uncertainty the first couple of weeks of the season because it is a new season and you don't have as much film available to you.  We are going to do our homework."

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, September 26, 2014

When you face a team that you know so well, have you ever gotten a sense that one side has an advantage?

"That's a great question. I think they've had a change in coordinator like they do every year so you have to know it. Scott Linehan and those guys, I think they know our tendencies a little bit. We know theirs. I think what it is going to come down to is you are going to see two well-prepared teams going at it. We are excited about the challenge. We are working hard. We want to be a little tiny part of our success and I know we will."

What are your favorite road venues and least favorite places to play?

"You don't really get to go out much anywhere, maybe a movie if you are playing the night game, but that's about it. Shoot, I like New Orleans on a home or road game."

Do you still get an extra rise playing in Dallas against your old team?

"I am sure I will be cheered heavily there. I just think we have a lot to prove. We are working hard on defense. We want to get better. We have to get better. We want to be great. We have a lot of work to do but our guys are working hard. We are excited about this game. We know they are a well-coached team and have a lot of great players there. At the end of the day, we can't wait to go out there and play."

What are your feelings towards some of the personnel that are still in Dallas?

"There are some great people there. I think Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Sean Lee; these are three great guys just to name a few. That is the one thing; this game is played by men. Everyone is going to compete with all they've got and we need to win this game. But as people, they are great people and they are friends of mine."

Is Tony Romo a type of quarterback that can take over a game when he is hot?

"We've seen that. He's brought back more teams than anybody. He's a great quarterback. We know that. We are excited to play. That team has been rolling, they have been doing great every week on offense. DeMarco (Murray) has been doing a great job running. We are excited about the challenge, we need to be ready to roll."

You want to win with game planning and scheming and then you know your players will play faster, has that been a balance for you?

"I think here in New Orleans with the type of players we had and we have it's the same. I think we do better when we have less checks. Some times I've had we did fine but it was all about the system. Here it is all about the players. It's not a check balance, this is the way it is. I think I was hired and came into something special here. I am not going to screw it up. I am going to work hard and make sure we get it right."

How do you go about forcing more turnovers? Is it one of those things where maybe you have to fool a quarterback into making a throw?

"That's a great question. Right now, man, nobody's doing worse than the Ryan brothers. We might say we are two of the best coaches, and I believe that, and I know that. We're doing everything we can to do it, but we have to do more. There's got to be something else out there. We keep emphasizing it and all of that, but that's lip service, we need to start getting turnovers and it needs to start happening this week."

Why has Demarco Murray been so successful this year compared to the past?

"Probably giving him the ball. He's a great running back. So I think if DeMarco Murray stays healthy and you keep giving him the ball he's going to lead the league in rushing."

When you left Dallas there was a lot of talk about how your scheme was too complicated. Was that an overblown thing? Can the scheme get too complicated for players?

"Obviously it can. I think whatever excuse people need to make about letting me go, there is probably a long line of them, it is what is and we are looking to going back there and playing them."

Was there a lot of checks in this defense last year?

"I think there are certain ways to play things that we do and obviously it wasn't good enough the first two weeks. So we cut down even more and, look, football is still a complicated game and your players have to be the most physical people in the world and they also have to be really smart and mentally be able to handle everything and checks and on defense you have to be able to adjust to the offense. There is always that kind of game. I know it's a big story. We have to do a better job of keeping the game still a game played by guys on the field and not people playing a chess match or something."

How do you balance doing what you do well as a team and adapting to the offense you are playing?

"I think that comes down first of all to all of our coaches and we have an unbelievable coaching staff. In our defense we've got Joe Vitt, and he's been around a million years and Bill Johnson and these guys. They are great coaches. So we get together, this isn't a dictatorship, this isn't a one man show, we all get together and we try to identify the team on what that team is, how we match up. And it doesn't matter how anybody else does it, it's what can we play best to be the most successful, and that usually works well for us. Every once in a while you might have something where you have to adjust right away but we don't like to do that. We don't like to go into a game and have to scrap by halftime. Has it happened before? Yes, but I think the better coach you are the better job you can do and you do not face those situations all of the time. That's a big thing and that's not a one man job, that's on our entire staff."

What does John Jenkins have to work on to get himself back on the field?

"The biggest thing with John is that he missed all of that time (in training camp) due to injuries. When you're a big guy missing that kind of time, it's hard to get back. It's hard to make the sweating in training camp and all of the hard knocking and all of that. It takes a while for a defensive lineman. (Brandon) Deaderick is doing a great job playing. He's working really hard, he'll get back, but it's a long process. You can't play this game on your own terms; so if you're hurt it is hard to get out there and play it. If you miss all of training camp it is a hard thing to do, especially for a defensive lineman."

What have you found is the best way to defend big, physical receivers like Dez Bryant?

"I don't know, he's a great player. It's always something."

Are you going to be physical with him at the line or …

"The thing with a great receiver is they are used to seeing everything that people do. They are used to seeing a jam at the line and a guy on top. They're used to having two guys, like punt protect, on them. They've seen all of that. It's really difficult. I think the elite receivers are elite and they are awfully hard to take away from somebody that's for sure."

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