New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
Conference Call with New Orleans
Friday, January 5, 2018
Some of the players who've had extended absences from the postseason expressed in recent days the importance of embracing the moment. How much does it mean to you and members of your staff to be back in the playoffs?
"This is why we do what we do to be in these types of situations. All the hard work that you put in throughout the offseason into training camp and those things and then everything that you do during the season is to get this opportunity and fortunately for us we were able to put ourselves in position to be where we're at right now. It's an exciting time for all of our guys, coaches and players included, are excited about the opportunity and we're looking forward to it."
Does Marshon Lattimore in theory have the skillset to cover a tight end if need be in a game?
"I think he has the skillset to do just about whatever he wants to do. Obviously we always go into everything with a game plan as to how we want to match up and what we think gives us the best opportunity to have success and sometimes those things work out during the game and sometimes you have to make some adjustments. Obviously we had a plan coming in. I think Greg Olsen is a tremendous player and so we know what a factor he can be in a game and so certainly we have to have a ways that we can try to eliminate that."
What is it about him (Greg Olsen) lining up at tight end that just makes it a little more challenging than a wide receiver or something?
"I don't know necessarily it is where he lines up. It is really how they utilize him and really it is his skillset the thing that makes him a challenge is that size-wise, he is a tough matchup for defensive backs because he is such a big target. He is a good athlete, runs good routes. He is very savvy as far as how he runs his routes. He is bigger and more physical than most of the DBs that he has to go against and he is more athletic than most of the linebackers that he has to go against. And I think that is what, if you look across the league and look at the tight ends that people would say are challenges to cover, that's generally the consensus is that DBs, they are (tight ends) a little bit bigger and stronger than the DBs that cover them and they are a little bit more athletic than the linebackers."
The changes in the other defensive assistants, do you think you guys have maybe a more technique-oriented staff this year?
"We have a technique-oriented staff. We have an outstanding defensive staff. I couldn't be more pleased with the guys we have and the way they've performed this year. Obviously I couldn't do my job without their help and certainly I'm glad that they're here."
Have you guys emphasized pass-rush drills in practice more this year than maybe in recent years?
"I think every year is different and obviously we try to look at things that we really need to work on and really need to improve on. Obviously, we felt like we needed to be able to get a little bit more rush. Some of that is schematic. Some of that is technique and some of that is just the compilation of we've been a little bit better in the back end and covering and so therefore we've had more time to get to the quarterback."
What did Jonathan Freeny do to earn a role so quickly here?
"I think it's a little bit of a combination of a couple of things. Obviously we look at him on the tape. We some of the things that we saw with him. He has some veteran presence. He's played in big games before and so we knew he was smart. We knew he'd be able to figure out what to do. I think how fast he got into that role is probably somewhat predicated on some of the other guys that went down in front of him and again just like always it's a next man up philosophy and he was the next man up on the list. We had to get him ready to play. He had to get himself ready to play and go out and perform."
How glad are you that Cam (Jordan) was named to first team All-Pro?
"Well you guys are the first ones to let me know. I didn't realize that. Obviously that honor is extremely well-deserved. I think he's had an outstanding season. I think he's been a really good football player for us and really been a good leader for us. I think it's an honor that's certainly well-deserved. The lesson that we all learn from that is that when the team has success than the individual accolades come along with that."
With so many young guys on your defense, do you feel like there's a foundation there for this defense to keep having success moving forward?
"I'm looking at how we're going to beat the Carolina Panthers. I'm not really worried about where we're going to be in the future. I do think we have some really young players and hopefully they'll continue to work and they'll continue to get better."
We haven't seen your name pop up in any reports, but have you been pursued by any teams for some of these opening?
"I'm worried about the Carolina Panthers and how we're going to win this game. That is the only thing that any of us are focused on here. Anything that's happening outside the building, that's no focus of mine."
New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichae*l*
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, January 5, 2018
How does this team feel different than some of the other playoffs teams you've been around here?
"I think this team in particular does a great job preparing. It's a team that really passionate about the game. Again I'm not taking anything from any of the other teams we've had because we've had some great teams here over the past but I really like this group of guys that we have. It changes every year. But this group works hard and prepares like the best of them."
What have you maybe pinpointed as one of the reasons you've had third down struggles this year?
"I think there's a variety of reasons. Obviously, you have to coach better. We've had some opportunities where we feel like we've missed whether it be execution or just something going on. Again, it's an area focus. For us to get where we want to go in this playoff run we're going to have to be better."
Is it surprising at all the offense had the amount of success and ranking, they were at the top of the league in so many categories when you weren't as good as third downs as most years?
"I think when we were efficient and we were having efficiency on third down and second down and maybe some games we were able to avoid many of the third down situations but again we still aren't at the numbers that we want to be at third down wise."
How glad are you for Alvin (Kamara) that he was second-team All-Pro?
"Well-deserving. I think that obviously when your team is successful some guys are going to have these awards. But again he's well-deserving. I'm sure there's a lot of great candidates but we're happy for him."
What has Ted Ginn brought to the offense this year?
"First of all, his teammates love him. He brings speed to the field. He does a great job with the ball in his hands. I think he's a great route runner."
He's won the division in three of his four years in the NFC South, after all those year and win two years in a row is that the key to winning the title?
"That's a good question. We like having him here."
Any interview requests for coaching jobs yet?
"My focus is on the New Orleans Saints and this game. To answer your question, no. But, again my focus is on the game."