New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael - Conference Call With New Orleans Media - Friday, January 11, 2019
Sean (Payton) was saying in the last game that they showed you guys more man coverage than you're expecting to get. I'm just curious how that kind of affects how you guys go through the game and just what kind of adjustments you had to make last time?
"I think that you have to be prepared for all situations as you go into a game. These guys do a great job mixing up their schemes by gameplan, so I think that as the game progresses along, you start to get a feel for how that game is going. And you get to those things that you feel have a chance to have success against that."
How have they looked since (the last meeting). I know they've got some new guys in corner and what you see from their defense?
"I think first of all, I think they do a great job getting pressure on the quarterback up front. They have a group of athletic linebackers. I think they have a smart, instinctive secondary. Malcolm Jenkins does a great job leading those guys back there. And then as you look at the defense as a whole, they're playing great situational football. They are tops in the league and third down (and) red zone (defense) and as of late, they have been forcing a lot of turnovers. So we've got a challenge ahead of us."
As a fellow offensive coach and one with extensive work with quarterbacks, do you have a respect for what the Eagles have accomplished with their two quarterbacks over the past couple of years. How difficult is that to kind of switch things up late in the season like they've done the last couple years?
"I think Doug Peterson has obviously done a great job and the opportunities that maybe you have had a chance to watch them offensively as you are maybe studying a different defense you see that they have got a group of players that are all on the same page. And that's a credit to the coaching and the players for them."
With Drew (Brees) coming up on his 40th birthday, just what are some things about his approach that you think have allowed him to have the longevity and still playing at the high level he is at his age?
"Well I think he just does a great job. It's a year-round process for him as far as having a routine and what he does not only during the season, but once the season is complete. Just everything, the way he eats, the way he works out, the way he trains. He always has a plan and a vision going forward. And so he's obviously been able to continue that success and we've been fortunate for that."
At this point in Tre'Quan's (Smith) rookie year, do he and Ted Ginn do pretty similar things, or are there still some differences in their roles?
"I think that you would say that there are obviously are some similarities in their role. And yet, you would say that there's also a few things that maybe we use them in different spots for. So I don't know if I'm really answering your question, but I think that yeah they have a lot of similarities. And then there's just a few things that they do differently."
Is there anything about the stuff you guys do that changes based on which offensive linemen are playing?
"I think this – we have our offense and every week we pay attention, obviously, to who's lining up for us, who's going to be where. And for us, one of the biggest things we do is just kind of you know paying attention to matchups, not only up front but also out on the perimeter as well."
When you're sitting down – and you've spent a lot of time with Sean (Payton) over the years, what you think his greatest strength is as a play-caller and a gam planner? What have you seen out of him?
"I think he has such just a great feel for how the game's unfolding and getting to the call that is just, 'Aw man, that was – in that situation, that was the perfect call.' So obviously, he's done a great job throughout his career. He's not afraid to be aggressive. He just knows when the right time is for certain plays to come up. And I think one of the things is that him and Drew (Brees) are always so much on the same page. It's been fun to be a part of."
Is that something that is built during the week and seeing something on film and knowing kind of what you can do to either exploit or take advantage of that? Is it a feel for the game? Feel for how you or your personnel are is playing? How does he do that?
"Well I think that's all part of the gameplanning process throughout the week, studying film and even part of it could be adjusted as the game's unfolding. I said by the time we get to Sunday, Drew (Brees) and Sean (Payton) have such a good feel together of what they're comfortable with. What they like that's been put in the gameplan and obviously have had success (with)."
New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Friday, January 11, 2019
What impresses you about Nick Foles?
"I think Nick Foles does a really good job of distributing the ball to his playmakers, gets them the ball and lets them do a lot of work for him. It is certainly going to be a big challenge. I think schematically there's probably not a ton different in terms of what they do, but yet how they operate I think is probably a little bit different. I think, again, they're a team that won a World Championship last year with Nick Foles as their quarterback and they have a lot of confidence in that."
How tough is it to match up with all the weapons they have? So many different guys with different body types and athleticism.
"Certainly it's a challenge. They have exceptional skill players with (Zach) Ertz and in and (Alson) Jeffrey and (Nelson) Agholor, and (Brandon) Tate and Darren Sproles coming out of the backfield. It's certainly a challenge for us and we're going to have to be able to do a really good job on those guys and I think our guys are up for the challenge."
What's the difficulty facing a quarterback that's thrown the ball in 2.1, 2.2 seconds sometimes?
"I think when you look at it, our rush and coverage are going to have to work together. We're going to have to be able to do some things in coverage to hopefully get him to have to hold the ball and maybe go to a second or third read. The thing for our defensive line is that we can't get impatient. We've got to understand that he does a really good job of getting rid of the football and don't get discouraged with the pass rush and keep going at it for 60 minutes."
When you look at Doug Pederson and his game plans and play-calling on tape, how would you kind of define what he does? Obviously, he came up under Andy Reid. Just holistically, what is his offense and who is he as a play-caller?
"I think Coach Pederson does an outstanding job of calling plays and utilizing his players. I think he's very creative in how he utilizes his players. I think he understands exactly what they do well and puts those guys in those positions to do those things a majority of the time. I'd also say that he's an aggressive play caller. He's going to look for his opportunities to take his shots. He's going to look for his opportunities to pull out one of these gadget plays to try to fool the defense. He makes you have to work and focus and concentrate for 60 minutes. You can't take one play and just kind of play the play because at that moment in time he'll give you some sort of trick play, reverse, double pass, something like that that that's going to hurt you. We've got to do a really good job specifically in the back end of our defense, linebackers, and DBs, and making sure we've got good eyes in this game plan because they do a lot of things to challenge you."
Do you see any similarities between him and Sean (Payton)?
"Certainly I would say the similarities would be that I think both of those guys understand their personnel. I think both of those guys utilize their personnel and they're always looking for different and creative ways to attack the defense. That's probably the best way to describe it."
Obviously, we all know he didn't grow up playing the sport, but with that in mind what kind of growth do you continue to see from David Onyemata?
"I think he's getting better every week in terms of just understanding NFL football I guess is probably the best way to say it. It's a pretty amazing story in that he doesn't have a lot of experience, but yet the growth that I've seen from him in these three years has been really pretty impressive. I think this year was the year you kind of saw a little bit more of the production step up for him. I think every day that he's out there he continues to learn and continues to get better."
We haven't talked to you since Week 17. Did y'all end up pulling (Marshon) Lattimore earlier than some of the other guys?
"That's been that's been so long ago. I can't remember exactly what we did. There was a plan to get some of those guys out of the game and certainly at some point in time, we decide to get them out."
Not specific to anything, but just in theory, like if you're in a game and an offense starts doing a bunch of stuff you've never seen before or aren't expecting, what's kind of the adjustment process like for you guys and the coaching staff?
"I think each NFL game you go into a game plan with how you want to play the game and then you've got to be able to adjust to you're seeing from the offense. That's pretty typical in a game, that as the game's going on, you're seeing what the offense is trying to do and how they're trying to attack you. It's just a chess match. They make a move and then we've got to make a move to try to be able to counter attack that and then we might have something that they haven't seen and now they're over there on the sideline trying to make an adjustment to that. That's pretty typical of an NFL game."
When you say Doug Pederson is an aggressive play caller ball, I know they go for it obviously a lot in fourth down situations, but in terms of the big plays it seems like they can really gash you. Is that something that he's constantly looking for to really hit you big or is that kind of a function of repetition?
"I think as with all good play-callers, they're always looking for the opportunity to get the explosive play. I'm sure just like everybody else, they're watching what we're doing and paying attention to how we're playing and they're looking for where's the opportunity that I can get an explosive play. Then when they feel like that opportunity presents itself, I think he does a really good job of timing in terms of when he tries to do those things in and they do a good job of executing it."
I don't know how much attention you pay to him, but Drew Brees is coming up on age 40. Just watching him from the other side, is there anything about his approach that stands out to you?
"I think it is the best I have ever seen. Just watching him and how he goes about his daily routine. He's very meticulous about his routine and what he does. That's what the really great, great players do. They have a routine. They're very disciplined in how they stick to their routine and it doesn't matter what the game is whether it's preseason or it's in the Super Bowl. It's a constant discipline and a focus on the preparation process and I've never seen anybody do it any better than him."
Have you heard anything definitive either way from the Dolphins at this point?
"No I have not and quite honestly I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk to them. I appreciate the organization, Sean, and Mickey (Loomis) giving me that opportunity, but really since then the focus has been all about the Philadelphia Eagles and trying to win a playoff game."