New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Friday, November 2, 2018
When you look at the Rams offense and the way then Sean Payton and yourself and the offensive staff like to do things, is there similarity there. Do you see some kind of similar concepts?
"I think this; I think that both coaches have been obviously successful. They're doing a great job. Coach McVay is doing a great job out in LA. The one thing when you get a chance to study them, you see the explosive plays and the efficiency of the offense to conversions on third down and the great job there during the red zone. We have our offense, they have their offense, but sometimes you're studying the other teams, seeing what they're doing. But clearly they're doing a great job there."
Have you ever seen an interior duo like Aaron Donald and (Ndamukong) Suh?
"They just create so much disruption. They play with energy. They're strong. they're quick. They're powerful. Clearly those guys make quite a difference and they're going to present a challenge for us."
Are there ways to scheme around those guys or does it just kind of fall on the linemen to block them right?
"Well, I think that you clearly have to pay attention to where they're at. Obviously, Wade (Phillips) does a great job with his scheme and so we'll just have to be ready."
How has Dan Arnold been progressing?
"He's been progressing well. He has been doing a good job. It is more and more each week that he's having time on task with Drew (Brees), but he is doing a good job taking in the volume. We expect his future to just keep getting brighter."
Is he somebody that you guys see as a player that has a unique skillset and think of certain things he can do?
"I think that, clearly, he has a unique skill set in the pass game and yet we're not afraid to use him in the run game and. obviously, we will look at what we're doing at those times. He brings some speed to the pass game and, like I said, you know his role is going to continue to increase as we go along."
Do you think the way you guys are using are using Taysom (Hill) in this year is that something you think that maybe could catch on other places in the league when they're looking at what you guys are doing there or does that really require somebody with a very different, unique skill set like Taysom has?
"Well, I think you said it best. I think he has a unique skillset and there's some other guys in the NFL doing what he's doing already. But I think it's going to be something that some teams probably look at in the offseason, kind of see what they're doing. Teams are studying other teams just to get good ideas. I think having a person like that gives you the ability to do some of those unique things and so (if) teams have a guy like that on the roster maybe that's something that'll grow."
How do you see Tre'Quan (Smith) and Cam (Meredith) continuing to fill this this absence what would Ted (Ginn) being out?
"Well, I think those guys have progressed just throughout this whole time and just like you were talking about Dan Arnold, the volume that these guys are taking on is going to be more and more. More time on task with Drew (Brees). But, clearly, both of those guys are here because we like them."
Do you have any anything that really sticks out about a matchup with a Wade Phillips defense in your career?
"I spent a couple years in San Diego being on the offensive side and him being on the defensive side, but I know this; he is a great football coach. He has a great scheme. He is always going to put players in spots to make plays. He will challenge you in the secondary. He's always got a great pass rush. I think he's a great defensive mind."
New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen - Post-Practice Conference Call - Friday, November 02, 2018
This is a three years in a row now for you facing the Rams. Have you seen Todd Gurley change? Is he kind of the same player he's always been?
"Certainly I think he's playing at an outstanding level. I think what Coach (Sean) McVay and their offensive staff have done with the way that they are operating their offense, I think they're operating at an exceptional level. I think he's really dynamic, both with football in his hands and also without the football in his hands. I think he causes a lot of problems and you got to pay a lot of attention to him, which I think helps some of the rest of their skill position players be able to make some plays. So, certainly this is a top-flight offense with a ton of offensive weapons. Their skill guys are playing really well. The quarterback is playing outstanding. So it's a really tough challenge for us."
Same sort of question with their quarterback. He's a lot different player from the first time you saw him his rookie year to last November until now. How much has he grown from that year to now?
"Again, I think they are doing an outstanding job with him. I think he is a really good talent. He throws the ball exceptionally well. What they're doing in their play-action passing game is pretty special in terms of offensive football. I think he does a really good job of operating the offense. Gets them into the right plays versus particular defenses or coverages. Certainly, we've seen a lot of growth from him from maybe where we played him – I believe he might have made his first start against us if I'm not mistaken. But he's playing at a really high level."
What's the challenge with defending their receivers? Not necessarily from their skillset but in that tight bunch splits that Sean (Payton) has been talking about.
"Well certainly they do some things formationally. They do some good things in terms of some of their motions and stuff. Coverage identifiers. Things that they do to try to get a beat on what you do in pre-snap. I think they have a complex offense, but yet, you see a lot of the same concepts show up over, and over, and over again. And so I think they're really good at running those specific concepts, but they change the formation up a lot to give you a little bit of a different look. Maybe a different motion, something of that nature. So yes, certainly with those tight splits in how they try to create space for their offensive players to be able get free access into the defense, I think gives them a good chance."
And what about the balance they have? I think its 255 pass attempts and 253 rush attempts. Is that unique in football nowadays?
"I think really good football teams are able to be able to be balanced. I think that just speaks really not just about their offense, but it speaks to their whole football team because when you're in competitive games, or you're out to a lead, it allows you to be very balanced in how you operate. And so it causes problems defensively when teams are able to run the ball and pass the ball and be multidimensional. It makes that challenge even tough for the defense. Certainly, if you can make a team one dimensional, then things that you do defensively – say if you're able to stop the run and now you can change some things in terms of your coverage to put you in a better position to handle a passing game."
Have teams been forced to play in sub packages against (The Rams) because of how often they're in that three-receiver look and does that make it harder to defend (Todd) Gurley?
"Certainly, I think that's part of the issue. But I think I certainly can't speak for them, but I think they're using their players to do the things that they do really well. I think their offenses with the receivers that they have, I think it makes sense that they would be at a three wide receiver set and utilize their skillset. It can present some problems in terms of being able to stop the run when they get you in a little bit lighter personnel grouping."