Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera
Conference Call with Saints Local Media
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Do you see any similarities between Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara?
"Yeah there are a lot of similarities, both have good hands, good runners, good vision and cutback ability stuff like that. I mean they're similar in a lot of aspects."
Does Alvin Kamara make the Saints offense different to prepare for than the last couple years?
"When you watch them you see them do similar things that some of the guys they've had in previous years do. I think now from the perspective that it's a running back doing them as opposed to a wide receiver, yes."
How much does having two former players on the opposing team affect what you want to do play calling wise and even hand signals?
"We've worked on changing them since last year since we had so many guys leave and we ended up playing them, like we had to make adjustments for Buffalo, obviously we've made adjustments for New Orleans."
What do you remember about A.J. Klein*'s draft evaluation?*
"Solid football player, smart, good lateral movement, plays downhill and plays with this hands."
How much did you get the sense that A.J. Klein wanted a bigger opportunity?
"Oh big time, we knew we couldn't keep him. He's just too good of a football player not to be every down player. He just ended up in a tough spot with us. He's more of an inside Sam type backer as far as we were concerned and we had guys in that position already in terms of Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly."
What have you seen out of the Saints former tight end Chris Manhertz?
"Good football player, young guy learning. He's has a couple good opportunities the last couple weeks and he's made the most of them. He's a guy that was a projection because he played basketball in college and now we're trying to make a tight end out of him."
How much of a role do you see Chris Manhertz playing Sunday?
"It's going to be expanded obviously, but we'll have to see the flow of the game as to how much he plays."
What has been the difference in your defense start of this season versus start of last season?
"I think a lot of it has to do with personnel obviously. We had a different mix of guys. I think part of it to is our corners are a little bit older obviously and have a little bit more football savvy to them. We've been a little bit more affective early on with the pass rush."
What do you think about Julius Peppers ability to still have an impact at his age?
"Tremendous, I mean he is a phenomenal athlete. He works hard at everything he does and he's been a great inspiration to our younger players."
Is there anything that you specifically look for when you are drafting a linebacker?
"Just a guy that plays the game the way it should be played if you ask me. I like how physical guys are. I really like Manti Te'o, I think he is a solid player and I like the young man Alex Anzalone the rookie. We liked him coming out and we thought he was a football player. Just one of those guys that goes out and plays hard and makes plays."
How have you evaluated the Saints defense so far this season?
"First of all, they have played some very good football teams. I'll be honest about that, I mean you play the defending Super Bowl champs and you're playing a pretty dog on good Minnesota football team and they have come up against some stiff completion. I thought they have done some nice things. I think they are a young team. There are a lot more new faces as I look down their roster and go wow ok. They really are playing a lot of new young guys."