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Quotes from Dennis Allen's conference call - Friday, September 21

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen spoke to the media following practice on Friday, September 21

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen - Conference Call with Local Media - Friday, September 21, 2018

What did you see out of Marcus Davenport last week? I felt like he had some good players in the run game.
"I've seen I've seen improvement out of him as a player. I think the more and more he gets comfortable with being out there and playing in games and gets more comfortable with what we're doing defensively I think you'll see him continue to progress and continue to get better. I've seen some improvement out of him and our hope is that he continues to do that."

Does he have some good instincts for how to get to the ball in the run game?
"He certainly seems to have some good instincts. A lot of that is just natural ability and wanting to get to the football. I think he plays extremely hard and you see on some of these chase plays you really see his athleticism show up. That's encouraging to see."

Just overall, what were some of the improvements you saw from the defense?
"I thought for the most part I thought we were able to execute a plan. We wanted to stop him (Tyrod Taylor) from being able run the football. We wanted to limit the explosive plays and then we needed to contain the quarterback in the pocket. I think for the most part of the game we were able to do those things. Each week's a different challenge. Obviously, this week is a different challenge as to how we have to defend Atlanta and the certain weapons that they have. I think you've got to go win every game and you've got to really be able identify in this particular game, what are the things you have to be able to do to give yourself a chance to win. Each week that's different and certainly we'll have a different plan as to how we need to attack and play against Atlanta."

How is P.J. Williams doing?
"I think P.J. is doing well. He's continued to practice well. He's continued to put himself in a competitive environment. That's the thing that you have to be able to do in our league because you never know from week to week who is going to be playing, when they're going to be playing, how they're going to be playing based off of injuries or whatever the case may be. I think he's done a nice job."

Is he a guy that you guys have a lot of confidence in?
"Certainly he's a guy that played a lot of steps for us last year. I thought he played really well and in some instances and a guy that certainly we have a lot of confidence in and have zero issues with putting him in the game."

When you play a team that has so many of the same personnel on offense and you guys play them twice a year, do you ever have to change what you've shown them before in other games?
"Certainly each week, teams will come in with some different things and then a few new wrinkles that they'll have in there. Specifically, I think early in the season, you see a few new things early in the season from offensive teams because they had all offseason to prepare for those things. Certainly we would expect that there'll be some new things that we'll see. You've always got to be able to change up your game plan especially when you're playing these good teams like this. You can't just go in and say 'well, we're just going to take our last game plan and throw it out there and let it ride.' We've got to look at how their other attacking some of the teams, what things they're doing differently than maybe they've done in the past, and how we can most effectively try to stop them."

What about Ken Crawley? It seems like a couple big plays have been made on him. What have you guys seen from him?
"I'd say last week was very much improved in terms of Ken's play. Obviously, there are still a lot of things we have to work to improve on and continue to get better at. We have a lot of confidence in Ken and that comes from demonstrated ability. That comes from past experience. We're still excited about him and feel good about him.

What are some of those things that you guys are working with Crawley on to improve in meetings and at practice?
"I think with everybody, and it's not just Ken, it's with everybody on our football team, we have to continue to work on understanding what we are trying to get done. Then, more specifically, continue to work on the technique in being able to execute whatever assignment that we're asking guys to execute."

How do you go about getting good pressure on Matt Ryan?
"I'd say with this offense that we're playing, I think a lot of this starts with your ability to stop the running game because that is where everything starts. I think if you said 'what does this team do the best,' I think this team is able to run the football and they're able to (use the) play action pass and get some vertical routes down the field. I think that's as much of trying to defend this team. They run the ball extremely well. I think they're one of the better teams in this league in terms of running the wide-zone play. That obviously, has to be where it starts and then if we can limit the explosive plays and make them have to go the long. hard way, I think that's the formula against this team."

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