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Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen talks about playing Cardinals

Saints defensive coordinator held conference call with New Orleans media

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, December 16, 2016

Do you agree that Bruce Arians is one of the more innovative offensive minds in the league?
"Yeah I definitely think so. He has an aggressive mentality as a play-caller and they do a lot of good things and they understand how to utilize their personnel and put their guys in the best position to be successful. I have a lot of respect for him and his staff and what they have been able to do offensively."

What kind of pressure does it put on the secondary when he goes deep as much as he does?
"You have to be on every play. You can't have a play off because they, like I said have an aggressive mentality and they try and get the ball down field and they have a quarterback that can do that so certainly it presents some challenges for us."

How frustrating is it when you can't play team football?
"I think the biggest key is what you just said. It's a team game and its team football and our job is to go out there and get the ball back for the offense and each game is going to be played out differently and there have obviously been games where the offense has bailed us out and sometimes we're going to have to bail the offense out. I think you have to play each game how it plays out and we have to do our job and maybe create more takeaways and get the ball back for the offense in a little bit better field positon."

Are turnovers second above total yards?
"The most important thing is scoring defense. That is the number one thing and then how do you eliminate teams from getting points? Well you take the ball away, which steals possessions from them and you play really good in the red zone. Those are the kinds of things that we really focus on and try to do to the best of our ability and sometimes we've done a pretty good job at that and others times we've left something out there that needs to be improved."

Are you pleased with the progress the defense has made this season?

"Yeah I think we've played better as of late as we've begun to get some guys healthy. I think since the bye. I say that I've been pleased with the direction that we're headed. I mean you're never a finished product and we'll never be a finished product, but we're working in that direction."

Is there a reason that it is harder for the offense or defense to play well when the other side is playing well?

"I just think that each game plays out differently. You never really know how that is going to play out until you get in the game and you get a feel of it and a flow for the game.Sometimes the way the game is dictated may mean that we have to be a little bit more aggressive or sometimes it may mean that we have to bleed a little bit and try to stop them in the red zone. You don't know how these games are going to play out until you get in them and then you get a feel for it."

What have you seen out of David Onyemata?
"I think he has improved a lot. Obviously, he came here kind of as a lump of clay that we have had to mold into being a football player. He had the athletic ability, he had the size, he had the strength, but yet some of the instinctive things and just some of the baseline for playing the game of football was still fairly new to him. I think he has done a really good job of continuing to work and study. I think he has gotten better as the season has gone on."

What have you thought of how (Tyeler) Davison has played this season in an expanded role?
"I think Tyeler (Davison) has done a good for us. The best thing he does is that he does a good job of playing physical in the run game. That is probably the number one thing that he does. I think he has done a pretty good job of that. You have to remember now, some of these guys are still really young football players. Tyeler Davison is only in his second year. I have seen significant improvement to where he is at now to where he was last year."

He is a quiet guy; how much is his personality maybe a fit for that sort of unsung nose role that he is in?
"You have to be an unselfish guy to play that position. We're asking him to do a lot of things that most people on the team wouldn't want to do. He takes on a lot of double teams and does a lot of the dirty work inside and eats up a lot of blocks so that the linebackers are able to make some plays. It certainly takes an unselfish guy to play that position."

With the game going more and more towards passing, how important is it to still have a guy like that?
"It is still important because you've got to be able to rush the passer. We still take great pride in trying to be a good run defense. You have to have those big physical guys to be able to do that, and yet Tyeler (Davison) still has enough athleticism that he can still help us out in the pass rush too."

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