New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator
Rob Ryan Post-Practice Media Availability *
**Friday, September 20, 2013
Can you talk about the challenges you go through week to week with all of the injuries?
"This time of year, everybody get nicked and bumped and everything. I haven't really noticed, and I know we have good players out and everything. We have a whole roster, and whoever is in, it's the next man up. It's always been that way in the NFL and we just go on with what we have. We game plan the best we can (and) our coaches are working tirelessly to make sure we that have a good plan, a solid plan. The guys we have here are conscientious and they have to go out and execute. They've done an excellent job."
When you lost Tom Johnson on the fourth play last week, who is it that gets together to remedy the situation during the game?
"That's all (defensive line coach) Bill Johnson. He's done an excellent job of piecing those guys together on personnel. During the game, I'm trying to focus and trying to call it, but our guys do a good job of figuring out the plan and who's going in and all of that."
The three healthy defensive linemen must deserve a lot of credit?
"I'd say, especially for young players, they're really coming (on). They work hard every day with Bill and he obviously is a great teacher. These guys are smart to listen, and they work hard. They are going to only improve. Each week I think we'll get improvement out of those guys and we got a lot of fight out of them last week; they got a lot of snaps. That was a player's game all the way. There weren't a whole lot of checks to it or anything; it was just us lining up and playing. I thought our D-line competed really well. I know we gave up a lot of yards, but some of those yards are on me calling the game just with the way the game was being played, and living with some of those runs."
Kenny Vaccaro said he thinks you said something to the effect that this is the most you have ever thrown on a rookie in your years in the league or close to it. Is that accurate?
"Absolutely. We drafted a special guy there. Mickey Loomis and Ryan Pace and Sean (Payton) wanted this guy. When I had just gotten introduced to him, the first thing that jumped out I said, 'Sweet tats he's got.' The second thing is how much he loves football. You can do so many things with him. We're just scratching the surface with this guy, I think. He's got a lot of talent. He can play man coverage, he can blitz, he can play zone, he's smart, he's tough. There's a lot of great things about this guy, and probably the best is how much he loves football."
Have you ever had a guy in the past that you have used as much?
"Not starting. Chris Carr is with us now (and) has been a backup in all of those spots before in Oakland, and he started on our third down. He was the only one. Of course I think he's a Phi Beta Kappa and he's a lawyer in his spare time, and doctor and something else. This kid (Vaccaro) loves football, and I think the more you put on his plate the more he wants."
What are some of the things you've seen that you are really liking from this defense?
"Again, I don't know anything about last year. I know we have a lot to prove, and I think our guys come with the mindset that we want to get better each week. If we can be a little tiny part of our success here, that's what we want to do and that's what we strive for."
How close are these guys to grasping that attitude that you want them to have?
"I think our guys have the right attitude. I think we all have a lot to prove. Again, we want to be a tiny part of our success. We truly mean that. We know we can get a whole lot better, and that's what we plan on doing each week is getting better."
How are you liking New Orleans?
"I love New Orleans. It's an awesome city. As great as the city is, there's better people here and (great) football. Being around here with Sean Payton and Joe Vitt and these guys and these players obviously, this is a great place to come."
Have you ever experienced a rain delay like you had last week?
"Never have. We had one in Miami. We played them for a couple of minutes. Nothing like that, but we handled it really well and our guys handled that well. It's like everything else; everything went just like it was perfectly designed. We just went out and played and everything was fine."