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Rob Ryan talks about facing Colin Kaepernick

Quotes from Rob Ryan's post-practice press conference on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, November 7, 2014

What did you think of the ESPN E:60 last week?

"I was right, the wife stole the show.  She was outstanding.  It was good.  Actually, you (Mike Triplett) stole the show.  You were solid now. I'm telling you that was great.  It brought a tear to my eye that performance you gave.  It was good. They did a good job with it."

Where does Colin Kaepernick rank among headaches for defensive coordinators?

"Man, it looks like every week we are getting one of these guys.  They're a problem.  He's an excellent talent obviously.  There's a reason why he does all the commercials and things.  He's a superstar in this league.  At this point we are seeing the best quarterbacks in football every week.  We're on point.  We're ready to go.  We know when the zone read is coming.  We know the scrambles and the thing he does do that is unique, he does throw the ball well when he is on the run.  He is a hard sack.  I know despite last week, it is one of those things that something was in the water that night.  But he is one of the better players in this league."

Was that the one thing that was the disappointment against Carolina was letting Cam Newton get a few of those runs?

"Yeah it looks great on paper that we got him you know?  But those talented players do seem to make plays and unfortunately three of them were on third down.  We had the coverage real tight, guy got out, Junior (Galette) beat the guard by half a second or faster.  You say one thing but you have to go out and do it.  And I thought we did an excellent job on Cam (Newton) most of the night but those three points, those are three first downs.  One was a critical run into the end zone so we have to do better than that."

Do you feel like after these last two or three games you are pretty close to where you thought you would be?

"We have to get better and that's our whole thing.  We want to get better.  Obviously we started slow.  I think in the preseason we were slow. Coming out of the gate we were slow but we're getting better. We want to get better every week.  Our guys are buying in.  They have good leadership with Curtis (Lofton) and Kenny (Vacarro), these guys are really taking control and I think our defense looks different too.  We know how it looks when it is not right.  We are better than that.  We need to be better than that.  We are working as hard as we can to get it right.  We are all in it together."

During those first three or four weeks was it hard to stay up beat or can you stay confident because of what you did last year and because of what you know what you can do?

"I think you stay confident because you have the right players.  We have the right players.  We weren't functioning the right way together but we definitely have the right players.  We just need to play better together and that's what we need to do, keep improving.  We are not satisfied by any stretch.  We are a long way of where we want to be or going to be.  This week is going to be big for us.  We are excited about the challenge."

Can you talk about Corey White and his confidence?

"I think he knows the defense real well.  He is a real bright kid.  So I think the more he is out there the better he is going to do.  He disguises his coverages, moves up, back.  He knows exactly the situation so he is really growing quick and it is because he is a talented kid but he is also a very bright kid."

Can you talk about Vinnie Sunseri?

"We have a lot of great safeties on this team and he is really going to be a good football player.  We are giving him more work because first of all he deserves them and he works really hard.  He is doing a great job with Andre Curtis, he's a great coach.  So he is growing just like we thought he would."

Why do you think you have the number one rush defense at home?

"I don't know.  We really don't know the numbers.   We just know that we have to play better.  We have to play together and we are going to have to be on point.  This team, trust me, this team has Frank Gore and they are going to ram that ball down our throats.  We know that.  Nothing has changed.  We know who they are and believe me you have to be ready to go or this guy will run wild on us.  We have to be ready to go.  Whatever the numbers say they say but we know this is a great challenge for us."

Is Curtis Lofton playing better this year or is he just being recognized for it more?

"I think he played really well last year, but I think he is exceptional this season.  I think he and Keenan Lewis, these two guys are really dominating.  I know there is another thing with numbers, someone said Keenan is giving up 300 yards receiving, that is just not true.  I don't know how that happened.  A 70 yarder went over his head and he was the closest guy to him.  That wasn't even his player.  Someone needs to fix those.  Those two guys are really playing exceptional."

Is it funny to hear people say that Keenan Lewis had a breakout game against the Panthers?

"Yeah, I mean you guys see him every week because you follow the team.  I think nationally they probably don't know this guy like they should.  But obviously you guys know what a great player he is.  There is nobody that works harder than he does.  From the day we lost to Seattle last season he was in the office right away that next morning.  We've got a few like that and he is really special."  

Is it their temperament?  You see these corners that are willing to talk and get in somebody's face and your guys just don't do that.

"I think whatever it is, let's see, that's an ultimate matchup position.  You can see those defensive tackles go one-on-one but you don't notice it like you notice a corner playing a wide receiver.  I think everybody sees that.  It's tough.  Corey (White) has talked about adjusting and being out there on that island, it really is (like that).  That is a place where grown men to stand up and be accountable.  Thank God we have one of the better ones in football and Corey is really on the come to so we are really excited about it."

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