Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Monday, November 19, 2018
How much of a challenge is it facing all the Saints' different personnel packages?
"Yes, it definitely has a challenge element to it because they're certainly featuring the guys in those packages really well. We'd like to do that as well with the different groups that you use, in different ways that you feature them and where it really adds into the preparation part of it because you have to, although they won't use all those packages in a game. You certainly have to have calls ready in preparation for it. They've got a big playbook and when you go through the years and different matchups in different ways they feature the guys, you have to have a bunch of calls ready and so the main thing is, as for the players' standpoint is getting them calls that they can execute really, fast really quickly and make sure there are no missteps or hiccups based on (a) new personnel package."
How tough is it when you have a short week and you're the road team?
"Well I think the number one, what I like when we're doing it when we have division games and so last year New Orleans came up here so (we are) going back down there. I think it kind of adds to the division having those games where the two teams know each other well and certainly on the matchups. I think it's even better as it's the second game when you play in the series of that year. Challengewise, it's there, but everybody does it and goes through it. It's just a matter of who can do it best and that's what it comes down to for us and getting the guys back mentally, physically. Those are the things that you are concerned about as a coach."
How much have the Saints gotten better since the first meeting?
"I think it really goes to show when you really start working together and keep gaining confidence and you keep gaining momentum. Some of the practices you are even gaining so much from those times as the year goes on and that is the goal every year. Can you get better in your fundamentals, can you get better execution and they bank a lot of hours, a lot of reps together now and now is (the) time you can see that starting to take place and (they have) their full complement of guys back. Certainly, Mark (Ingram) didn't start with the team at the first part of the year and the addition of (Taysom) Hill and the package he's had, the receivers and how they're developing and coming on. The rookies at this time we expect on both sides, ours included, for them to really start playing really good football. They've been coached for eight, nine, ten, 11 games in regular season play so we expect those guys to make an impact as well and they certainly are in New Orleans."
What sort of dynamic does Mark Ingram bring to the table?
"Yeah, he really can get his pads square and get downhill and as a running back he has the ability to jump cut and make you miss or try to lower his pads and run you over and it's pretty rare that you have a guy who has good size and good strength and that ability to still put his foot in the ground and violently explode left or right. If you think all the attention is going one way in the pass game they'll throw it back to him and he's already created big plays on his own. I think it's the ability and the combination of the size and strength and his ability to make you miss that we think makes him a great player."
Why do you think Drew Brees is having the best year of his career?
"Our media asked that same question, I said well that's a hard one to say for a guy who already is really at an elite level. I think maybe it's one thing to look at, is there more accuracy on the deep ball. It certainly feels like we take these shots (defend) down the field he's just hitting the guys in the very right spot to make plays happen. I've certainly been impressed by him. He's been one of the most difficult quarterbacks to compete against through the years for us, but to say it's better, it's hard for me to say because he already does it at such a high level. But I think their team is executing at a high level now and certainly most teams when they have to balance like they do now in the run game and the pass game that makes it challenging."
*Has Eli Apple added anything to the Saints defense? *"I think certainly he has because he has the speed outside I believe he was at the Giants when we played there on a Monday night. Although we have not played him him at the Saints, we had some film and some experience to look back from the Giants game when we competed against him. Now, new scheme and new coaches and that, it certainly adds an element because it's a challenging defense and they played a lot of different looks. So imagine the more time that he's there I'm sure he's able to feel more and more comfortable within the system. It's not easy to get dropped (onto a team) in the middle (of a season) and learn the calls and all the communication that goes with it. I'm sure they feel he's gaining experience in the system. That's good for them."
What kind of stands out about that attack just the way they're able to deal with both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara and the offensive line contributing all that.
"Yeah and I think that's the one group that you're not talking a lot about, but I think they've only allowed nine sacks and have all these long runs and it's the explosive plays and as a defense you're always trying to eliminate or limit the amount of explosive plays and so often we think of those as pass plays because here's a shot down to Mike (Thomas) or (Alvin) Kamara or one of the guys where they get a significant yardage play, but the explosives for them come in both the run and the pass and when you have that ability to have the runners create these long explosive runs that's a real difference. I've been very impressed by their ability to create the big ones for long yards and that's what I think in my mind makes them unique. Time of possession is something else to (look at) because of those runs as well."
How difficult is it to contain Cameron Jordan when the other guys on the defensive line are playing so well?
"Yeah, I think we've always really held (Sheldon) Rankins in high regard and love the style and I think as a big guy inside he's got the quickness to make you miss and make you move. Those are the two that totally jump out from pass rushers. I guess what I've always been impressed with (is) Cam's ability as a big guy that he can generate speed to where he can convert speed to power as a pass rusher. There's lots of big guys that don't have the speed to get up the field like he does. Because really you're trying to beat the tackle to the punch and get him to turn and then you can put the power on him and Cam has the ability to do that because he can run like a 260-pound guy, but plays way bigger than that. That's what makes him a challenge. I think Sheldon inside (what makes him special) is the quickness he has. He has good hands. I was very impressed with him coming out of Louisville. He was a guy that I followed for a long time and he certainly is making the development as a defensive lineman that you hope and expect a guy would."
How surprised have you been by Deion Jones getting back on this timeline so he can play this season?
"I hope so, he's pulling for it hard and he's putting all the work in he can. He's such a competitor and that's really what he brings to our team. It's the matchup yes because of the speed that he can play with and his playmaking ability. He thinks about the ball, trying to create takeaways and turnovers so he and Keanu Neal both have an ongoing competition about getting the ball and the physicality they play with. But I would say for Deion to get back this is a significant boost to our team because of the speed that he does play with. He's working at it hard even though the team's going to be doing some walkthrough work this week, he's still pushing it and seeing if he can make it back for this week."