New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael - Conference Call with Local Media - Friday, September 7, 2018
Do you feel the offensive line is just a position that's naturally underappreciated?
"I think if you ask the people in this building, truly, we appreciate what they've done, the job they've done. Coach (Dan) Roushar and (Brendan) Nugent they do a great job with those guys and I think anybody realizes the importance of what they do for the success of this team."
You obviously have some new pieces running back and wide receiver. How much will it help just have the continuity up front?
"Well I think that's important. Last year there was a group of guys that were playing and they did a great job for us, but you love to have that continuity."
What have you been seeing from Tre'Quan Smith this summer leading up to the regular season?
"He's a guy that I think has just gotten better and better as training camp went along. He's young, but I feel pretty good about him."
What could he add to the offense?
"I think that he runs very well. I think he has good hands (and) he's a good route runner. I think that, like any guy that's on this team, he's a guy that is going to have a role for us. We'll try to put these guys in the best position possible for them to be successful."
Is this Tampa defense a little bit more talented than it was last year?
"I think it's a very talented defense. They're fast, they're athletic, I think they're physical, opportunistically. They led the league last year in forced fumbles. I think it's an excellent defense and I think we've got our work cut out for us."
Adding a pass rusher like Jason Pierre-Paul, does that make things even harder?
"I think that they've, obviously, made some moves in the offseason and there's one of them that you're talking about that you've got to account for where he is on the field at all times."
Where have you seen growth from Austin Carr this Summer?
"I think when he came in last year it was later in the process, but he's a guy that is smart and he can play multiple positions, he knows what to do. I think that all over the time that he's been here just getting on the same page as Drew (Brees) has been where the most improvements have been made."
Are there any similarities between (Mike) Gillislee and (Mark) Ingram in terms of their style?
"Well, I think this. I think that we looked at the tape on (Mike) Gillislee and really liked what we saw. Physical, downhill type runner. Those were kind of qualities that we're all looking for in that position."
New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Friday, September 7, 2018
After the step forward that your defense took last year, do you feel like you guys have added enough to take another step forward?
"I certainly like some of the additions that we made in the offseason. I like the fact that we've got a lot of guys back that are in their second year in the system and understand what we're trying to do and how we're trying to do things. I certainly like where we're at right now, obviously we've got to play games and we've got to perform in these games. So, I'm anxious and excited for our guys to get out there and play and see what they can do."
How much does it help you guys have an identity now after last season?
"Number one, I would say this is a totally different team from last season. I don't really look at it as 'We did this last year and so we're starting from there and we're trying to build on that.' This is a totally different unit from where we were last year and even though there's a lot of the same pieces there, a lot goes in to having success in the season. What you hope and what you want to be able to do, is to come out of the gates and start fast and play well early in the season to begin to build that confidence because really confidence breeds confidence. If we can come out and play well, I think that'll be good for us moving forward."
One of your additions this year, Kurt Coleman, he's coming into this with plenty of experience against Tampa.
"Yeah, I think that helps. I think the fact that we were able to acquire a player like Kurt that's a really good leader, he's a good football player, he's very smart and intelligent, and the fact that he's played in the division and had opportunities to play against Tampa, Atlanta and those teams I think that's a little bit of an easier transition. That'll be beneficial to us."
I guess with Patrick [Robinson] too this might apply, but is it weird to think about the guys that you added have more experience playing this team than the guys that were returning from last year?
"Those guys having the experience of playing Tampa is certainly beneficial to them and their ability to come out and perform well. Also, us as a defense, but again there's some new pieces on Tampa's team too that we're going to have to deal with and see how they're using certain individuals. You're always looking at the first game of the year. There are always a few kinds of little wrinkles that you are going to have to be able adjust to."
How talented in general are their wide receivers and tight ends?
"Offensively, they're a highly talented group. Their group of receivers are really talented. Obviously Mike Evans, we know how good a player he is. DeSean Jackson has (been) a really good player in this league for a long time. He is still an explosive player in terms of getting down the field and catching the deep ball as well as run after the catch situations. Chris Godwin, I think is another player that we saw late in the year that you see how much this guy's an improved player and I see him kind of similar style to a Mike Evans in that he's a big physical type of receiver. Then Adam Humphries inside in the slot, I think he presents some real challenges. So, I think when you throw in their tight ends with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, it's one of the more talented and explosive type of offensive units, at least from the (perspective of) skill position players."
Taylor Stallworth, what did you see from him throughout this summer?
"I saw a guy that continued to get better from the first day we had him in OTA's, all the way through the preseason games. I just saw a guy that continued to get better and better and better. He is lining up in there at defensive tackle and doing some pretty good things in terms of being able to stop the run, hold double teams and things of that nature. When you're able to get young players like that, that have some upside, that's something that can bode well for the future.
[Mitchell] Loewen, obviously he missed months of last year but what did you see from him this year?
"Mitch has been a guy that we've been excited about really for the last couple of years. Unfortunately, some injuries have really slowed him in terms of his ability to get out there and play for us, but he was a guy that we kind of knew going in that was going to be competing for one of these roster spots and we felt like there were some things that he could do as a defensive end. He's a pretty good run player, he's big, he's physical and then he's got a little bit of the versatility that we can move him inside specifically on some passing situations and rush from a three-technique position."
What about J.T Gray?
"J.T Gray's a guy in terms of defensive football, he's probably got some growing to do and has some learning to do, but the thing that you like about him is he's extremely tough and he can run. So, there's a skill set there that you like to be able to work with and develop. Then obviously, we talk to our guys all the time about the importance of special teams and when you start talking about the 46-man (gameday) roster and who's going to be active on gameday, if you're not one of the starting players, you need to have a primary role on special teams and that's where he really excelled this offseason."