New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, November 28, 2014
What do you see that lends you to believe the defense can improve?
"You have to take your hats off, obviously, to the two teams we played. They did a great job. They have good talent. They did a great job of scheming. They had the extra week off but hey, we have to play better. If we keep working hard I think good things happen to guys that work hard. We are ready to go. We are excited about this. This is about a tough of an environment going down there in Pittsburgh. It is a great venue for a big game and we need it."
Is it more of a mental or physical approach when you are looking to make improvements on third down defense?
"I think we have had both. The biggest thing is you aren't going to beat anybody even as great as Drew Brees and our offense is, if we cannot get off the field on third down it makes it almost impossible to win a game. Obviously we put a huge emphasis on it. Two weeks in a row we were very poor and that has to change. Again, we have to play better and we are working hard to do that."
It looked like you blitzed more often on those third and longs. Is it frustrating?
"Yeah it is frustrating when it doesn't work. Blitzes are coming open but (Joe) Flacco did a great job executing and throwing the ball. At the end of the day we have to execute better and I have to call better third downs."
What is frustrating you most about the last couple of weeks when you guys seemed to be improving?
"It looks that way but every week you are tested. This is the best of the best, the best players and the best coaches you go against every week. You have to be on point and those third downs are absolutely critical. That is something that we have been harping on. We have to get better at for us to go forward. That is a big point of emphasis obviously and we have to do that."
Guys have been upset that people are blaming you and not them. What do you think about that?
"That is outstanding to know. We have to get better. We are a group. We like to function like a group. We know what we are here for. We are here to be great and help us be a little tiny part of the success of the Saints and right now we have to hold up our end and we haven't done it. It doesn't mean we are not going to work like hell to get it fixed because we are."
Does it frustrate you even more when players say little things cause breakdowns and then little things continue to happen?
"I think in this league it's always little things. I think it's the minutest details that show up and that's what happens every week. I'm sure it's not just with the Saints. I am sure it's everywhere in the league because you're dealing with the best. We have to be better than that, if you have an alignment issue that is a problem, if we get a call in late let's say that is on me (or) if we do not execute or if we have a matchup that is not ideal every little thing like that gets exposed in this league. It always has and it always will. We have to be as close to perfect as you can be to get out of this funk and we need to do it."
What kind of toll does it take on you personally?
"I'm not quitting. We're just going to keep working hard. That's what you have to do. It hasn't gone always perfect but obviously we have to get it right. Every year's different. Every game is different. That's what you keep battling for. We have a great room there to work with. We have great coaches and need to fix it. Right now we are hurting our team and that is not what I was hired to do. I am here to try and be a tiny part of our success."
Has your being out in public in New Orleans changed?
"So far we haven't celebrated as much but I mean I am who I am and what you see is what you get. Maybe that's not perfect but it has been close enough for my wife so it will be good enough for the people here in New Orleans."
What do you see with Cam Jordan's production being down? Is it the way offenses are paying attention to him?
"I think it has something to do with that because they know what a dynamic player he is, how we moved him in to tackle some so it gets harder in there. Just like him, we are all looking out for the good of the team. Whatever is best for the team is what we are going to do. I know stats say whatever they say. We don't really care about that. We are just trying to get better. We are just trying to have a great game this week, go down and win out there and it would be an incredible victory for us. We need to work as hard as we can to get it and we have been doing that."
How do you compensate for the loss of Brodrick Bunkley?
"Bunkley's the heart of the middle of our defense. This is a league that no one sends you any bouquets when guys get hurt. I feel sorry for the young man. He works so hard. He's really a great leader for us and he's right there in the middle. He does such an awesome job clogging up the middle and doing an unselfish job. Again, he is a tremendous football player but we have to move on, the next man up. (John) Jenkins is an excellent player so we are excited about him and we just have to move forward. It doesn't mean you don't miss him because you are going to miss these great guys."
Can you talk about the Steelers offense?
"It looks like the best one we have seen on tape. We have seen some good offenses in here. They look pretty good. This one is on point there is no question."