New Orleans Saints Offensive Tackle Zach Strief
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, October 16, 2015
I saw a stat where Tony Hills had only played 75 snaps in his career heading into last night, and then he had 67 last night. How tough is that to go in cold with a new team? How do you think he did under the circumstances?
"I think what Tony did last night was pretty incredible. He had been here for 10 days. I don't know that he has gotten one rep with our first group. We were on a short week with little prep time. It was pretty amazing. I think he got better as we went, and (he) got more and more comfortable. (He) really held up well. We were sure glad to have him because I think he made a big difference for us, considering the circumstances. Pretty impressive deal for him."
How much confidence do you guys get from a game like last night? With the young guys, how do you get them to balance it and not get too high with the wins or too low with the losses?
"What's important is the feeling, (which) is kind of hard to explain. It is almost a feeling of confidence, a feeling of swagger and knowing what you're capable of. People can tell you that you're capable of something but until you actually do it, there is no way to really have confidence. Having a game like that where you kind of take one wire to wire, where you are winning the whole game and are in control, is a big deal. The good thing about this group is that it seems like it has been so level in terms of the preparations and the practices. Guys have come, worked and the attitude has been right the whole time. I don't expect it to be any different. We are still 2-4. Everyone is well aware that we're still in a big hole and that we have a lot of work to do. Getting those guys in a situation where they can feel what it should feel like and what it can feel like is pretty invaluable. You have to experience it to believe in it."
When you have a free weekend, do you like to watch college or NFL games? Do you want to have a football-free weekend where you are doing other stuff?
"I'll watch my Cats play, I'll watch Northwestern. I don't know how many NFL games I'll watch this weekend. I think it's good to kind of get away from it. Some guys will watch. It is not really super high on my list. Getting away for a weekend and kind of recharging the battery, mentally and physically, is really helpful. It is definitely the silver lining in these Thursday night games, as tough as it is to turn around and get a few days. It is honestly more of a mental break and since it is that way, I'll probably take a little break from football for a few days."
How much do you take the highs and lows or inconsistencies this year on the offensive line? What changed from the first half to the second half last night?
"I would say that most of the time offenses go or fail with the offensive line. I just believe that. If the line is putting guys in positions to make plays, there are so many good skill players in this league that if you give them those opportunities, usually those plays are made. I think we all accept that the failures of the offense is going to be on the offensive line ultimately. In the second half of that game we got into a situation, one we were in a good situation, and we've talked about this before, the offensive line is not going to look great coming back (from being) down 21 points. Nobody's is. It is just not a good situation. The same way that a team who is running the ball for 250 yards, their play-action stuff is going to look really good. It is not necessarily that the team is so good at play-action, but because the situation allows it to be. We ended up in a situation in the second half where we were in a good situation, in terms of the score and where we were at in the game. We were able to sustain some drives. I think we were 50% on third downs, which gives you a chance to keep a defense on the field. I think we were kind of wearing them down a little bit. I think they were either last or second-to-last in the NFL in snaps on defense. They hadn't played in a game where they were on (the field) a lot, obviously with that offense and how good it has been. I think we had the chance to wear them down a little bit. At the end of the day, your job gets a little bit easier in those situations. I would say that was the big difference, second half to first half. I know everyone wants to talk about Drew (Brees) and his importance, but if he doesn't have time, it doesn't matter how good he is."
How about the run game specifically and why that has taken a while to get going?
"(It has been) the execution. You look at it and there are plays where a guy doesn't make a block that he needs to make, and then you look at plays that you see a hole that we didn't get to. There are plays where we didn't get something identified correctly where we are turning someone free. It is really execution and it's across the board. Obviously, we take a bulk of it because we're ultimately responsible for that. It is definitely something where we feel it's getting old talking about, having to get that straightened out. At this point, we have to keep taking these games, looking at them and figuring out what we need to do to get better."
New Orleans Saints Cornerback Delvin Breaux
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, October 16, 2015
You tweeted about watching the game after you played last night, was that because of the excitement from the win or is that something you do a lot?
"Yeah, I always do that every game. My wife and I drive home after the game and listen to hear what the commentators say and stuff like that, it's like I have to watch it just to see and hear what they are saying. It's just something I do after every game."
Could you have shadowed Julio Jones in Week One also?
"Man, that's my game. Any team's top receiver, that's what I do. I could have done that in Week One. It's just how I play, and certain refs make calls, and that's how I play, and last night was one of my great challenges of checking Julio Jones and I could have done that in Week One."
Have you had to dial back on your aggression or are you the same guy?
"No, man, I just play my game as I play week after week. I do the same thing, and yesterday was just one of those great things, especially after getting the win. I was just doing what I do."
Do you think as the season goes on opponents will start to learn more about you and maybe treat you like an elite NFL corner?
"Right, I mean that is with everything. I mean teams don't have enough film on you, then they can't really get an identity of you. As the weeks keep progressing and they keep seeing film… I mean offensive coordinators and head coaches make the decision either do they want to throw this way or do they want to continue to keep testing him to see how he plays, but as the weeks go on teams will find any little thing they can on you to try an exploit, but I mean I would not say I'm elite, I would say I'm good, but I have to continue to work and keep adjusting to the game and just do what I did last night and I think we will be fine."
When they told you this week that this is what we're going to do and this is what we're going to do with Julio (Jones), what goes through your mind?
"Excitement, because I know that I only have this task to focus on. Just them telling me this is what we want you to do makes it so much easier on me because I can just actually go in the film room, study this one person and understand what he likes to do and how he likes to come off of the ball. There is just excitement, and I just like having my little island."
What do you feel that it means that they are saying about how much they trust you?
"I am doing well. I don't have everything mastered down to be elite like a Darrelle Revis, (Patrick) Peterson or Richard Sherman. I just try to take on that role and do the best I can each week. I just want to win, that is my thing. The coaches give me the assignment and I just do the best that I can."
With having the weekend off, do you get away from football? Do you take (your dog) Diesel out? What do you do?
"I actually just bought me a big house and it has a nice size backyard. I just go out there, throw the football around with him and just enjoy it. Normally, if LSU has a home game, I'll go out there and maybe tailgate. (I) just live the normal life. I can't change the things that I have been doing since I got here. I just try to enjoy it. My wife and I get away to get my mind off of football and just have fun."