New Orleans Saints Guard Larry Warford - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Monday, October 22, 2018
Do you think Alvin Kamara is underrated as a physical runner?
"Absolutely. I think people think of him as a speed back, real shifty, but when it comes down to it he's going to break tackles while running through you when he can. You see that from him at practice all the time. He has that strength and having two backs that can do that is a blessing. Yeah, that was a monster run (yesterday)."
Are you still surprised getting home late at night and seeing all the fans there to support the team?
"Oh yeah. I mean last year when I first saw that I was like people actually do this? That is the thing that's crazy and when you get back from these games and have those fans there. It's special. It really puts a smile on my face every time. I think it's awesome to have (a) fan base like that, showing their support and you can't ask for much more than that."
What do you think of the way Cameron Tom played in Baltimore?
"Given the circumstances, I think he did excellent. I don't think he took one left guard snap the whole week. He was working right guard and he had to be called in at that time, at a spot he hadn't played yet and he did his job and he did (it) excellent. Hats off to him, he played well. I'm excited for him and happy he got his (playing) time in, his first real time (on the offensive line). It's good to know that he can be one of those guys for this team this year, that can fill in when he needs to. He really is validating the way we practice and it's exciting to see that."
How much did Coach Payton talk about all the great statistics that the Ravens had going into the game?
"We have those statistics for every game, but we go through it with every team, hey this team is so and so when this happens or when this happens, time of possession, or scoring at half, all that stuff, penalties, sacks. We keep track of all that. I think that there is just a bigger emphasis on it this week since this was an important game. We knew they were a great defense. The way the gameplan changed up, I think we put more of an emphasis on statistical numbers and what we have to do specifically and it worked out. It's pretty crazy to watch something unfold the way Sean (Payton) says it will. It was real cool to watch."
How did your back feel during the week and how important was it for you to play?
"My back is going to be a maintenance thing throughout the whole year. I knew my guys needed me. Whatever I had to do to get back on the field and just try and take care of myself the best I could and get back out on the field with the guys because I knew it was an important game and I really wanted to be on the field for this one. The training staff did a great job of taking care of me and (to) get back to where I am able to perform the best I could. Just happy to support all those guys was great."
Do you expect guys to bring extra fire because of the way things ended in Minnesota last season?
"There is always going to be that taste in your mouth from that last game, because that was a wild one. There was so much at stake on that game and the way it ended just left a bad taste in our mouth. We are all going to have that feeling, but at the same time we aren't going to approach it any different that we do all our games. I think one of the great things about our team is our preparation is consistent. We don't get to caught up in narcissism or anything or any talk about the game or a certain team. We worry about ourselves at the end of the day and we get ourselves better. I do not see us getting to caught up in all the talk."
New Orleans Saints Linebacker A.J. Klein - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Monday, October 22, 2018
How important was that win yesterday and the way you were able to do it?
"It was very important. Anytime you can get a win on the road definitely helps. It was a complete team win yesterday. Offense, defense, special teams every single phase of the team contributed. We kind of escaped late with the missed extra point, but we'll take a win and move on to next week."
It didn't seem like you guys were sending a ton of blitzes. How much was that sort of the emphasis to just keep guys covered on the back end?
"I think a big thing for us was to stop their run early. We had some adjustments to make at halftime or early in the game with some of the jet-sweep stuff they showed us, but I think we were comfortable with the gameplan. I feel like DA (Dennis Allen) put together a good gameplan where we did not necessarily have the pressure a lot. We had a good understanding of what they were going to try to do and attack us with. It is just a gameplan week to week thing. I think towards the end of the fourth quarter, we did pressure more. It might not look that way, but we did pressure. I know Alex (Okafor) had a big pressure in the end. Unfortunately, we had the P.I. called, but he (Okafor) pressured (Joe) Flacco right in his face. When we did pressure, it was effective."
Do you have any sense of why the defense has been so good against the run this year in yards per game, yards per carry and rushing touchdowns?
"Yes, because we practice every single week. Obviously, it was a point of emphasis and every single week that's a point of emphasis. I think the D-Line has been playing outstanding, linebackers and even the back seven, the back end when we need them to get the run pitch. Everybody has been doing their job. It's just one of those things where you have to pay attention to detail and I think a good understanding of schemes and obviously D.A. and the defensive coaches do a great job of coaching us throughout the week and getting us prepared. Other than that I really don't think anything changes. I think it just goes to show that we're a damn good defense when it comes to stopping the run and I think that's something we're going to continue to emphasize and continue to work on moving forward."
Is this a win that maybe when you look back later in the season you can see as the impetus for getting to where you guys want to get beating a team that's as good a home team as that is and as good an overall team as the Ravens are?
"Yeah I think this will be a game that we come back to later in the season and say this was a pivotal win, but every single week is a pivotal win. Obviously, the more wins you get the better off you are and I don't want to separate any other game being more or less important because every week is important. Yes, for as talented as they are on defense and how, like you said, their homefield advantage and how good of a home football team they are, yes it is a big win for us. Again, we don't want to overemphasize too much. We've got to stay even-keel. Obviously, we're going to face another team this week that's a really good home team that's been playing really well too. So that's where our focus goes to."
How tough will it be to not be thinking about revenge for the way that the Vikings beat you last year?
"If you want to call it revenge, I don't call (it) revenge because 2017 is done. This is a whole new season, a whole new team for both sides. You can't look at each other, either team and say they (have the) exact same roster as last year. So I think at the end of the day we lived that last year, moved on from it, and we've grown from it. So I think we're just ready to play football and I know everybody will be motivated just because we went out there last year twice and lost. Again, we do not want to overhype up any game. Again, this is the most important game because it's the next one on our schedule."