New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis - Post-practice Media Availability - Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Is this game sort of strength on strength, their run game against your run defense?
“It's football. They’re a well-coached team, have some very good guys on the offense. Great offensive line, two really good running backs, probably one of the, if not the best running back in the league, (Todd Gurley). (They have a) Great play-caller, great quarterback. It's going to be a tough challenge for us.”
What do you think about all the extra attention on the team this week?
“It’s part of it. At the end of the day, the game is played inside the lines. It is not played right here, but it's part of it. I do not have a problem with it, but the game is played inside the lines. That's what I enjoy.”
How do C.J Anderson and Todd Gurley complement each other and what are some challenges you see from the middle linebacker position when facing them?
“I think when you’ve got two dynamic running backs, you don't have to worry about when you’re going to call runs. They can call runs all game and don’t have to worry about somebody wearing down. If they’re having success they could call 50-60 runs in a game. It's our job to stop it, but they're tough and they can pose matchup problems for defenses and we've got to be locked in.”
Describe the emotions of this defense when you lost Sheldon Rankins?
“He's a phenomenal player for us. He’s had a career year. He created a lot of mismatches on the offensive line and was somebody that had to be accounted for. But (he’ll) definitely be missed, but it’s a next man up league. That is just the nature of the business that we are in.”
How did your first playoff game compare to your expectations?
“It was great, phenomenal! I enjoyed every minute of it. I definitely don't take this moment for granted, but at the end of the day it's still football. When you get inside those lines it's all about the team, it isn’t about the individual and we all have a role to play, I've got a job to do (and) had a job to do last week. (I) try to do it to the best of my ability. (I’ve) got another assignment this week. I just have to be locked in and ready.”
What does Todd Gurley do that’s special?
“(He is a) Complete (Back). Of course, a great runner, but can make plays out of backfield in the passing game. (He’s) very smart, so he can do a bunch of things in the offense. Whether it is lined up in the backfield, split at number two, lined number one, can pass protect. He's complete, he's everything that you want in a running back in this game.”
How loud is it on third down on defense when you're in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and how do you deal with that?
“I feel like we've got the best stadium in football, best fan base in football. We definitely love having our crowd behind us. It kind of energizes us and can demoralize the other team a little bit or at least it feels that way and for us we know when it's loud like that we have to communicate well, whether that’s verbal communication or nonverbal communication and I bet a lot of it is my job getting the call out. But at the same time it takes the entire unit being locked in.”
Why do you think the defense started slow this past week?
“Every game is different. We just try to play a game that’s in front of us. Sometimes we start, sometimes you start slow. Sometimes it's kind of even keel on both ends. You just have to be able to play good complementary football.”
How do you feel like the new additions on defense took this team to the next level?
“Defensively, they always say defense wins championships and the way I look at it you have to have some to defend. If the offense scores points and puts you in a position to win, it’s your job to defend that. You've got to be ready to get stops in crucial situations and I think that’s just part of playing complementary football.”
Is there anything unique about the way the Rams run their offense, anything that sets them apart?
“I think they do a good job of finding mismatches, finding weaknesses and keeping people off guard and they're very well-coached. (It) seems every week they have a scheme and a gameplan specific to that week and they do what they do and they do it well and it's just been tough for the whole league to kind of stop them.”
How do you not show your hand to their offense?
“Yeah, I think they do a good job of finding and identifying teams weaknesses and try to exploit it. They did a very good job of running the football against the Cowboys and they've done a good job running the ball all season. I think they're third in the league in running the ball and you can do that when you’ve got two good running backs.”
What makes C.J. Anderson so efficient running the ball for the Rams when you are studying the tape?
“In L.A he is playing (as) the number two back. He is probably a number one running back on most teams. I think not too long ago he was in the playoffs running through the league. He is used to running the ball in big moments and he is probably running with a chip on his shoulder.”
What were your thoughts on Marcus Peters’ comments?
“I didn't see the comments or what he said. I don't know what he meant. Yeah, I don’t know what that means.”
Do you like gumbo?
“I love gumbo, any kind of gumbo. I have not had a bad bowl of gumbo since I have been here.”
Did you have any gumbo this week by chance?
“No, I haven’t had any this week.”
How would you describe what it’s like to play for Sean Payton for a year?
“Great head coach, I think he sets the standard high and he demands everybody to rise up to that standard. He's very intense and when you play for a coach like that you just want to match that intensity. But we also have intense players in the building as well and coming here and seeing Sean's intensity be matched by Drew (Brees), Mike (Thomas), Alvin (Kamara), Cam Jordan and Sheldon (Rankins). I just kind of wanted to fall into that.”
Is it normal for a coach to be talking to opposing players?
“Oh, I don't know usually. Usually when the offense is up I'm on a bench going over what happened on the previous series or preparing for the next series. I don't know.”
Do you look forward to a game where you know they are going to try to run the ball a lot?
“You never really know, you can anticipate how the game’s going to go, but you only can play the game as it comes, but they have a lot of good weapons. They’re well-coached, quarterback’s doing great. Like I said, (they have) one of the most explosive, if not the best running back in the game. That's what this game is about, having challenges and rising to meet them.”
Do you think Taylor Stallworth will get more playing time and what have you seen from Stallworth as a rookie?
“I don't know how the coaches are going to do that. I'm sure they have a plan. But Stallworth’s been great for us. Young player, but he's been phenomenal, done everything the coaches have asked him to do. He made some big plays last game. He's definitely a force to be reckoned with.”