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Rob Ryan, New Orleans Saints players talk about Tuesday's practice

Safety Jairus Byrd, Brandin Cooks met with the media

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is there such thing as having too many pass rushers?
"I don't think there's a team in the league who has too many pass rushers. The more you have the better you're going to be."

How does Ronald Powell look so far?
"He's doing a good job. Joe Vitt and Brian Young are doing a nice job with him. He's a young guy who's got a lot of talent, and we're excited about him. He hustles, (and) he's doing great on (special) teams as well. We're really excited about his upside."

Corey White has had one interception in each of the last two practices. What do you think of him so far?
"We really like him. We love him as an inside corner, but he has done some good things outside as well. We're excited about him. He started for us down the stretch and did a really good job in those games. We know he's an ascending player and he's going to be really good."

What have you seen from Vinnie Sunseri?
"I think he's doing an excellent job. He's really had a good camp. The OTAs, he struggled a little bit just getting the information and playing the way we want to play. He's doing a much better job. He's taking coaching from Andre Curtis, who does a great job with the safeties, and he's getting better every day."

Junior Galette has been described as an unconventional pass-rusher because he can do so many things. Does that stand out compared to a lot of other pass rushers?
"I think so. He's got more variety than probably any rusher in the league. He works at it. He's a great worker. He loves this team; he loves to compete for this team and be better for his teammates every day. He really works at it. He's got so many tricks in his bag, I really think he's going to have a great year this year."

Is that a lot of hit and miss, then?
"I think with Junior it's a lot of hit and hit. He works so hard at it and cares so much that he's just getting better and better."

Who yells more during practice, him or you?
"I hope it's me, but I'm not so sure. He loves his teammates, he loves his team, and he's a star on the team. We love Junior too."

What are you seeing out of the run defense right now? It seems like you are trying to get that together a little bit.
"You're talking about the scrimmage (on Saturday). First of all, we got our butts handed to us the first week of training camp. We know that; we are not hiding that. We have had two good days in a row. The biggest thing is getting your run fits. That always takes a little bit of time. One you get that down, you'll be better. I think that's a work in progress. We've got to be better than that, and we will."

Is that where you keep emphasizing to press and set the edge, to avoid those cutback-type runs from running backs?
"Absolutely. When you're in a 3-4 defense, you have to build a wall and set an edge. When you do neither, you look like we did on Saturday (at the scrimmage). We're much more focused on exactly what we want to do. We've had a couple of real good meetings on this. Bill Johnson is doing a great job with the defensive line; he gets them right. I like what we've done the past two days in 3-4 defense."

Do you see Keenan Lewis on the verge of being an annual Pro-Bowl player?
"Yes. I think we all know, (and people) that cover the team, you guys all know he should've been that last year. I don't know who made it, but that guy must have been really good if he beat him out. Keenan's outstanding. He's one of the top corners in football without a doubt. We know that and every team that prepares for us knows that."

He likes his nickname and the give and take with him?
"The West Bank? Well that's where he's from and he's proud of that. I'm holding down Uptown. He's definitely West Bank, but he's one of the best corners in football, without question."

What do you want to see from the team going into Friday's game in St. Louis?
"I just want to keep improving every day. We've got a lot to work on. When you handpick players like we have, they're the guys that you take first in any kind of fantasy thing. We have defense, we have talent like that, and we need to play like that. Our guys are excellent players and as coaches we know we've got great talent here, and we need to do a better job to get them to play to the best of their abilities because they've got more ability than any defense I've ever been around.

New Orleans Saints Safety Jairus Byrd
Training Camp Media Availability
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is it tough to gauge an overall feel in getting everyone on the same page or is it expected to have these injuries?

"It's a long season so things like this happen.  We're just preparing for all situations unfortunately.  Obviously, we would like to have everybody out there but situations like this do come up so the more you are able to get accustomed to working with other people the better you are going to be."

Are you getting a good flow from the personnel out there?

"Yes, definitely.  The more you can get out there and go do different things with the guys around you, you get to kind of get a feel for what they like to do, how you guys work together and things like that."

How are you feeling and when do you feel like you will be back in team drills?

"I feel good.  That timetable is with the trainers.  They are going to let me know, like I said, we are keeping the big picture in mind here.  I am just working with them, getting my work in everyday, doing the things I need to do from the mental part and the physical part, actually being out here now, that stuff will come.  That is up to them."

Is it really about being in football shape?

"Definitely, it is all of that, football shape, make sure you are going over calls, things like that, getting a feel for the personnel, everyone around you and everything like that.  It is a culmination of everything."

How tough is it to be patient?

"It is definitely tough, but I am glad and thankful that I am able to be out there now.  I am doing different things like seven-on-seven drills and stuff like that and make calls.  That is the biggest part is doing that."

Do you have any sense of what your status is going to be for the preseason game?

"No, like I said, that is something that we all will talk about.  I will talk to Sean (Payton) and the trainers and we will all talk about that."

Have you ever played at St. Louis?

"No, I've played against them at Buffalo, they came to us, but I haven't been back there."

Did you love baseball over football?

"I wouldn't say that. I played baseball and I was OK at it. I like football."

Are you intrigued at how unique this offense is to defend?

"Yes, definitely, they do a good job of getting guys in different positions and using them and their talents in unique ways.  It meshes really well."

What are the defensive backs saying about covering Brandin Cooks?

"He's good.  He does a lot of the little things well and that is rare for a rookie coming right in.  He is mature beyond his years.  He is good."

What do you do to get back into the swing of things and actually making tackles?

"You have to work on that.  It is definitely something you have to work on and prepare for.  Like I said, that is stuff you have to work on in practice.  You can work on that and your body posture. There are a lot of phases that go into making a tackle."

Who was your favorite player growing up?

"Aeneas Williams was probably my favorite.  Marshall (Faulk) and him were probably my two favorite (players growing up). Marshall is a great person. Obviously everyone knows he's a great player but he is a phenomenal person and just a great guy, down to earth.  He is great."

Rob Ryan compared you to Aeneas Williams today, what is that like?

"That is high praise obviously; I would say I have a lot of work to do.  I am not there, but I just want to keep working every day and get better.  It helps having a coach like Rob (Ryan) helping you, calling plays and stuff like that. He is a great coach. I'm thankful just to be a part of something like that, defense and stuff."

What does it mean to watch him get into the Hall of Fame and has he helped you at all?

"Definitely, really since high school, he has been someone that has been a role model for me.  Kind of being able to watch him growing up in St. Louis has been a privilege and something I am thankful for."

Is he a role model watching him or have you spoken to him in the past?


Any advice stick out that he has taught you?

"There's a lot (of advice he's taught me).  A lot of things are parallels between your life and how you play the game.  They carry over.  A lot of it is hand in hand."

What do you remember about the issues the Saints faced in 2012?

"Obviously it was news, but I was kind of keeping up just like you guys would, from afar, keeping up on it, but it wasn't something that I gave too much thought about.  I was focused on what I had to do.  It is something that you obviously hear about what was going on down here.

Has there been any talk about facing Gregg Williams?

"I haven't heard anything."

New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks
Post-Practice Media Availability
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

So far, has your first experience of training camp been what you thought it would be or has it been more or even less?
"It's one of those things I thought it would be. Watching film of it from last year throughout rookie minicamp, I'm kind of getting a good feel of it and it's what I expected."

You watched film of training camp?
"Yeah, I did actually."

Tell us about your thoughts on your performance in the scrimmage on Saturday.
"I feel like I did alright. Some of the things I've got to work on, the little things. But as far as catching the ball and running routes, I feel like I did a pretty good job of that and I just need to continue to learn and build."

What do you want to work on?
"Just my blocking and how people are going to play me and getting used to coverages that the guys at this level can disguise a little better than in college."

How will playing with Jimmy Graham benefit you?
"Come on, that guy's is probably going to get triple coverage every game. That lets guys like me and the other receivers be able to make plays one-on-one."

You've already seen defensive backs adjust to you already in camp. Is that, in turn, helping you adjust?
"Yes. Guys like Champ (Bailey), Keenan Lewis, I can tell the difference in how they played me the first couple of days and now. That's helping me as a player too, just because I've got to fix other things and work on my craft in different areas."

You look like a guy who is not at all overwhelmed with the first training camp. Do you feel at home? Do you feel relaxed?
"I feel good. It's football. I just come out here and have fun and do what I do best and just (try to) be a playmaker, learn from older guys, and stick around guys like Drew (Brees). I feel like I'll be alright doing that."

How excited are you to play in your first game Friday?
"I'm extremely excited just to have this opportunity that I dreamed of my whole life. It's right around the corner."

What kind of response are you getting from your teammates? They were excited for you, the way you performed Saturday.
"They're just telling me to keep up the work, keep working hard, (and) don't get complacent. This team is going places, and I'm going to help them and continue to work. That's what it is."

What has the learning process been for you with Drew Brees?
"It's been easy being with Drew because he's so smart, and obviously he's a great quarterback. Watching film with him and learning just the little niches of the game and where he wants me to be on certain routes has been an easy transition."

When you watch film with him, is it one-on-one or in a group?
"It's more a part of the big group. He might single you out and tell you some things that you did wrong, and it's great because it's the whole group."

A lot of young guys have trouble adjusting to the speed of the NFL. It seems like you have almost turned the tables and they have to catch up to you.
"Well it's one of those things. I have to use my strengths to my advantage, and that's my speed. As far as the speed of the game, it's not that much different to me. But how smart people are, that's the different part from college to the NFL. That's where  you have to work on your game."

Do you find yourself going to the veteran receivers for advice or are they coming to you?
"I find myself going to them (for advice), and they're going to me (for advice). Guys like (Marques) Colston, Robert Meachem, I continue to just learn from those guys because obviously I have a lot to work on and they've been in this game for a really long time. After every practice, I come up to them and ask them what I did wrong."

Do you get a sense that people – whether it's the fans, the media, or your teammates – consider you the missing piece to the offensive puzzle?
"I haven't thought about that to be honest. I just come in and play my role."

Is it going to be difficult to adjust to and offense that spreads the ball around so much?
"Not really, because the concepts at Oregon State are pretty similar to this offense, spreading the ball around to different receivers. It's not going to be difficult to adjust to that, and I'm just here to help win. It doesn't matter how many balls I get."

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