New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
*Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, January 12, 2017*
If you can think back to week one, why did you guys go so heavy using zone coverage in that game?
"I think every week is different. You have certain things that you want to do in a game plan and I think as the game goes on it kind of evolves. That was something that we felt like in that game was going to give us a chance to win the game. Obviously, we didn't play as well as we needed to and didn't win the game. Obviously, we've looked at that game and we've looked at how we've changed and evolved as a defense since that week one game. Certainly, there's still some similarities between the two teams, but yet both teams have evolved and changed since then."
The decision now that you guys seem to be playing more man, is that a result of what you've learned about your personnel or what the defense wants to do?
"I think, obviously, as you work together and grow together as a unit, each of us gets a better feel for the things that guys do well. We try to put those guys in those positions as much as we possibly can. I think throughout the season, there is always this evolutionary process. You keep trying to grow as a defense and, you keep trying to figure out new things and things that you can really do well, and how can you maybe get the same picture to the offense, but maybe change it up just a little bit."
You guys are ranked top in the league for defending tight ends. Is there anything you can put your finger on as to why you've been so successful at that?
"I think it probably depends a lot on who you're playing and the tight ends you're playing. Obviously, I think this league has evolved in the fact that a lot of the teams have tries to get this big athletic tight end and the athletic running backs to try and match those guys up on safeties and linebackers. I think we're probably a little bit more athletic at the linebacker position than we have been in the last couple of years. Obviously, you have to take into account who you're playing and how they're trying to utilize those players. What we try to do as best we can is take away the things that we know that the (other) team wants to do, who they want to feature, and kind of make them have to beat you left-handed so to speak."
What's your evaluation of Case Keenum?
"I think he has played extremely well for them. He has been very efficient in how he has run the offense. They have been able to be a productive offense, score some points, I think they are ranked in the top ten offensively in terms of yardage, I think they have run the ball exceptionally well. I think he has done a really good job of being efficient within the offense. I think he takes what the defense is going to give him, they'll take their shots when they get an opportunity to, and he's protecting the ball really well. I think that formula for them has been outstanding. Being an efficient offense, protecting the football, and play to one of their other strengths which is their defense. I think they've got a really complete team."
As a coach throughout the years, have you continue to evolve and modify your approach to younger and younger players?
"I think as a coach you are always trying to evolve. Not necessarily to change. I think you always have to pay attention to what is going on around you and the surroundings. Players have changed over the years and how you deal with players has to change. Anyone that's good at their profession is always paying attention to what the trends are and how things are being done, and they're trying to always improve themselves in how they do their job.
How have you seen players change throughout the years?
"For instance, back in the old days it was my way or the highway. You just grinded them and yelled and screamed, and all those kinds of things. Now I think people have changed, kids have changed. It's more of communication process than it is just kind of a my way or the highway type of mentality."
Have you seen Sean (Payton) change in some of those ways just from the first time you were here to now?
"I certainly think that he's continued to adapt every year. Every year there's something else that he's doing to try to motivate our players and get our players to perform at a high level. I think that's what you have to do to be successful in this league. The core values of what he believes in and how we're running this operation hasn't changed at all, but yet you do see him evolve as a coach. I think he has done an outstanding job with that."
Any chance you dance with him if you guys win this week?
"I don't think so. If he made me dance I guess I'd have to."
Have you or any of the other coaches been hitting the Sean Payton this week?
"I'm not sure exactly what that Sean Payton move is. I'll have to watch the video, but I've spent a little more time watching the Minnesota Vikings than I have the hit the Sean Payton video."
New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, January 12, 2017
What do the Vikings edge rushers do well?
"They present speed and power and it's really the whole front seven that does a great job executing pressure on the quarterback. They are stout against the run. You look at this whole defense and they're number one in points (allowed) and number one on third down, total defense, big plays. We have a big challenge ahead of us."
What is the challenge not always knowing when a Mike Zimmer-led defense is going to blitz?
"I think they do a great job mixing it up. They get pressure with just their front four and like you said they'll mix in some pressures that present their own challenges."
How much have you seen Ryan Ramczyk grow into a role at right tackle since that first game against the Vikings?
"Obviously he's grown up a lot, just from (the) experience and being out there and being in the flow of the game. He's clearly grown."
Is there anything in his skillset that makes Ramczyk a better fit at right tackle?
I think he's played both positions and he's played well at both. We are comfortable with whatever side he is at."
With the stuff that the Vikings disguise on defense, is that harder to deal with in a loud atmosphere?
"Yeah I think we have to be prepared for all situations and clearly the noise is something that we have to be ready for."
What does Trae Waynes do well in coverage?
"I think their whole secondary has done a great job. They do a great job within the scheme of their defense, they challenge receivers and get their hands on a lot of balls and again just like their front seven, this secondary presents a lot of challenges as well."
How well do Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram do in pass protection?
"I think we've asked both of them to do it. They've had their opportunities and I think they have both done well when the opportunities come up."