New Orleans Saints Safety Rafael Bush*
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, December 26, 2016*
What was it like having Christmas off for a change?
"Yeah it was really good. Just being able to spend time with family and hangout and just kind of decompress a little bit so it was real good."
How do you feel like the defense has played over the last couple of weeks?
"I think we've played pretty good. I think that in Arizona we kind of had some lapses sometimes. We played good overall I think, but sometimes we have little lapses that we need to get cleaned up and communication and different things like that, but little things turn into you know unnecessary things or stuff that can be eliminated easily."
What's the biggest difference in the defense this year under Dennis Allen?
"I'd say obviously Dennis (Allen) is really detailed and I think that he does a good job of making sure guys eliminate the white noise so to speak as he calls it. (He) doesn't give guys too much. (He) just gives them what they need to know and lets them go out and play fast and I think that's what he's done and kind of put his staple on is just don't overload guys with a bunch of this, what if's, just tell them if you see this this is what they are going to do, this is what they like to do and go out there and play fast and have fun."
Has a big part of the Allen's success been managing the defense through all the injuries?
"Yeah I think so I mean look we had a lot of guy's miss games from injuries since the beginning of the season and stuff like that. The secondary I know for a fact (lost a lot of games to injury) and up front our first round pick (Sheldon) Rankins (missed the first half of the season). It's been throughout the whole season and he's done a great job using what he's had and putting together game plans and stuff like that. He has definitely done a good job with that and made the best of it."
Did you look around for flags on Saturday after your two interceptions?
"Yeah I didn't know at first. I thought the second one was going to be. I didn't know I saw a flag so I didn't know what was going to happen, but yeah I saw it late on the sideline actually."
How bad was your injury last year, was it every game thing?
"Oh yes it wasn't good. I'll just keep it at that. I don't like to get into details. What was last year whatever, but like I said if I am able to play that's what you are getting you know what I mean. There's no excuses at all so I was able to go out there and get on the field and play so that's what it was."
Did your injury linger into this season at all?
"Yes, I mean there were some things that needed to be done after the season that's all I'll say and going into the offseason and so it was kind of something that was still there."
What has Dennis Allen done for you as safety in the NFL?
"I think DA has done a good job of just kind of (breeding that) that mentality, like a mind-set that you play with. I think he has done a good job kind of giving me more things to think about like your attitude when you're on the field and different ways of talking about how you play as a defender and what it means to be a defensive player and how you are feared and bring that as a defense. Not just as an individual player, but as a defense I think he brought that attitude a little bit in that way."
What's it like for a safety who goes through numerous defensive coordinators or is it more aligned with your position coach?
"Yeah it's tough you have to really build continuity with anyone and it's the same there's always a lot of turnover so you're always learning something new, but it goes the same (with the) position coaches if you don't have that continuity there is always turnover and change so it makes it difficult."
How significant is it being 8-8 instead of 7-9?
"Definitely, any time you go out there you are playing to win and 7-9 versus 8-8, you definitely just from the fact that we have been 7-9 these past two seasons. To go 8-8 that is improvement right there. Honestly, it is not what everyone wants to see and what our goals were, but that is showing we have a young team that is showing improvement right there. Definitely anytime we go out there we definitely want to win."
What would you attribute your strong play too over the past few months?
"I think just everything is starting to come. I mean obviously like I said it took longer than I wanted, but just everything is starting to come back from playing. That's all starting to fall back in place."
How much do you think a strong close to this season can jumpstart you for next year?
"I think any time you can go and keep getting that rhythm I think that always helps and I think that's always the plan is to continue to just (see) improvement and continue to get back in the groove of seeing things, like everything is coming to me and stuff like that. I think that definitely going to bodes well."