New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
*Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, December 1, 2017*
*What maybe looks different about the Panthers offense? I'm sure a lot of it has to do with Cam (Newton) the last time you saw him. *"I think obviously Cam is running with the football a little bit more than he did the first time that we played them. That's obviously something that's a little bit different. I think Christian McCaffrey's a guy that has kind of played a little bit more of a predominate role as the season's gone on, so that is something we'll have to be able to deal with. Then I think Devin Funchess has kind of taken over the lead role as the top receiver and they are using him in a lot of the same ways that they used Kelvin Benjamin. He's kind of moved over to that X receiver position and they run a lot of individual routes with him. I think they're operating really well. And I think they have a good mix of things that they do with the run game and the play action passes that come off of it."
What'd you see out of Sterling Moore once he got in the game last week?"Sterling is a veteran player. He understands the game. Obviously he has been here. He was with us all year last year so he understands what we're trying to do with the defensive scheme. He's just a smart, savvy veteran that it doesn't take him a ton of reps to really understand what we're trying to get established. He's pretty easy to kind of plug in and play."
*Has Cam Jordan taken his game to another level this year or is it just that the way you guys are playing better defensively he can get more numbers? *"Certainly I think it's a combination of things. I think Cam is playing outstanding this season and he's played really well for us at least in the last three years since I've been back here. Maybe the sack numbers haven't been quite as high in the previous two years but yet those pressure numbers were still there. So I think if we can continue to try to improve from a pass coverage standpoint and make the quarterback have to hold the ball just a little bit longer, I think Cam will continue to have those numbers. But yet his production in terms of how we see his play, I think he's been outstanding all three years I've been here."
*This is sort of highly specific, how impressive was the way he played last week against Andrew Whitworth last week? That guy's got such a great reputation and it felt like Cam (Jordan) kind of pushed him around a little bit. *"Cam's a good player and so you expect your player, your dominant players or your best players to be able to go out and affect the game. And that's what we asked them to do last week and he was able to go out and do that. I think if Cam is playing as well as he's capable of playing, I think he's a tough matchup for anybody. I think that's just a testament to Cam as a player."
*Is there anything unique about Cam's personality that stands out to you? *"He's really matured over the last couple of years. I see a different player this year from a maturity level and the way that he approaches the game and the way that he approaches his job. I think that's part of where you continue to see his evolution and his development as a player. Because all of us as players are constantly striving to find that extra little edge of how we can improve individually and collectively as a team and I think Cam's kind of matured really as an individual and I think some of those things are showing up in how he goes about playing the game."
*I know we're not going to reveal the injury report that we'll get here soon, obviously Marshon (Lattimore) didn't play the first time you played the Panthers. Is there anything that's easier dealing with him missing practice because there are other guys out there that have played against the Panthers before? *"I don't know if that's necessarily a factor. Our guys prepare every week as if they're going to go out there and start the game and be the full-time player. We kind of deal with those things as they come along. It's cliché but it's true. It is a next-man-up philosophy so you can't really spend a lot of time thinking about who is not available. You have to think about who you have available and how you have to go out there and play with those guys. That's what we've done and that's what our guys have done all year long and they continue to prepare as if they're going to be the starter and then when they're called upon they know the level of expectation is to go out there and perform at a high level."
New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
*Conference Call with New Orleans Media
*Friday, December 1, 2017
*What's stood out about the panther defense on film? *"They have a great defensive front, a great front seven. They're playing well in the secondary. They're very disciplined. The guys are always around the ball. They tackle well. We have our work cut out for us this week."
*Can you ever figure out Luke Kuechly's tendencies? *"I think he is such a smart player and he clearly studies so much film and really you can see when you're watching the film that a lot of times he anticipates (plays) and has a very good idea of where the play is going or what play could be run, pass. He is an excellent football player."
*Why do you think Ted Ginn is such a good fit? *"I think he's been great with the ball in his hands. He's a great teammate. I would say Sean (Payton) does a great job knowing his skillset and finding ways to get the ball in his hands and make plays."
Is there any reason Michael Thomas hasn't scored as many touchdowns?"No, I think every week he's going to be a target down there for us and we have our plays designed. There have been situations where maybe we've run this year or just maybe the coverage didn't go that way. I don't think there is any reason for it other than obviously going into the games and trying to find different targets and it just hasn't worked out sometimes. We didn't have a lot of plays in the red zone last week, but clearly he's been productive down there in the past."
*Is it generally safer to run the ball in the red zone? *"I think that could depend partly on what you're seeing defensively and you probably go into some games where you think maybe running gives you a better opportunity and some games you think throwing it (does). I think part of that could be game situations."
Has anything surprised you about working with Ted Ginn Jr. *? *"First of all he's a great guy. Like I said his teammates love him. You love his attitude; he has great energy. He brings it every day. He's just been a pleasure to be around and obviously when you get the ball in his hands you get excited."
*Has Ted Ginn been better with the ball in his hands than you'd expected? *"I do think he has speed. He has a deep threat and we're just going to continue to find ways to get him the ball. Just as everyone else out there."
*Do you pay any attention to what Brandin Cooks is doing in New England? *"No. Obviously he's having a good year, but I wish him nothing but the best. We are focused on the New Orleans Saints right now."