New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, November 9, 2018
Cincinnati already announced that A.J. Green is not going to play Sunday. Does that change anything with their offense? Sean Payton said, schematically, it's just taking out one big player.
"Well yeah, I mean obviously, you know A.J. Green is a great player and so obviously we'll have to see how they go about trying to fill his role. Certainly you've got to still defend the offensive scheme and then we'll have to be ready to make any type of adjustments based on what they do relative to A.J. Green not being in the game."
I think that the obvious conclusion to draw would be that maybe Tyler Boyd plays a bigger role. What have you seen out of him as a player this year?
"Well look, I think he's playing at a very high level. I think he's a really good receiver. They work him in their 11 personnel. They work him inside in the slot and I think he does a really good job of running routes. He understands how to get himself in position, to get open, set up his routes to beat man-to-man coverage and finds the open zone or the open area in zone coverage. This is a top caliber offense that we're facing. I think the quarterback's playing at a high level and certainly I think Joe Mixon is one of the better running backs in the league. So it'll be a tough challenge for us."
This is week three for Eli Apple, how do you see him progressing?
"Look, I think he's getting better. I don't think it's very easy to just come into a situation and you are kind of thrust into a starting role and playing a lot of snaps. I think he's still developing in terms of the things that we're asking him to do and what we're doing within our defense. I continue to see improvement and here's what we're looking for out of him. We don't expect to see the finished product right away. We're looking to see him improve on a week to week basis and so this will be another tough challenge for him this week and we'll see how it goes."
Vonn Bell has been playing a lot for you guys. Maybe a little bit different role than we kind of saw last year with you. What's he been doing well?
"I think Vonn has been doing exceptional in terms of stopping the running game. I think he's been a big part of our ability to have success in defending the run. I think he's an athletic player. He's a really good player in space. He's developed a lot in terms of his understanding of offensive concepts and how teams are trying to attack us. Here's a guy that you know really is in his third year in and has I think really developed into a nice player for us."
We're not seeing him as much this year in pass rush situations?
"Well look, I think each week is different in how you go into a gameplan and how you're going to utilize your players. I think we're always looking each week to figure out how to put our guys in the best position to do the things that they do really well. It's not something that we've made a conscious decision not to rush Von (Bell) as much, but certainly the game plans haven't called for that as much this year."
How has (Taylor) Stallworth been able to carve out such a big role considering he was an undrafted free agent coming in and playing a critical role for you guys?
"Yeah, I think certainly it's just a testament to his hard work and what he has been able to do. This process started a long time ago back you know really back in an OTA's, minicamp, and then on through training camp. He's a guy that you just saw continue to get better every week. I think he's done a really nice job for us in the running game. He's played stout inside and he's got enough athleticism that he gives us a little bit of rush inside."
How crucial has Demario Davis been in this run defense that you have been putting together? How well does he fit with this defense?
"I think he's obviously been a bit a big part of it. I think it's really a mindset of our team. Defensively, I think to be a really good team, it starts with being able to stop the run and so that's something that we've tried to emphasize. Obviously, there's some things in the passing game that we've still got to improve on, but when you make teams for the most part make them one dimensional, it gives you an advantage and that's when some of those takeaway opportunities tend to present themselves."
I'm not sure if you were at all playing a part in the decision to sign him, but I am sure you guys scouted him and just kind of saw how he would fit in your defense. What did you see with him in that kind of evaluation period?
"We saw a guy that was really fast. A guy that was a really good tackler. Athletic guy out of space and those are some of the things that you're looking for. This game is such a space game and you need speed on the field. Certainly his ability to run and tackle was certainly something that we noticed and felt like that was a good fit for us."