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Saints Transcripts: Cam Jordan, Alvin Kamara, Blake Gillikin Media Availability | 2021 NFL Week 3

Saints players look ahead to Week 3.

New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan

Virtual Media Availability

Thursday, September 23, 2021

We hear from players and coaches all the time about the 24-hour rule after a game. Why is the 24-hour rule important to you specifically?
"For a win, loss, draw, whatever it is, it gives you enough time to process the tape, know the mistakes and know what corrections need to be made from mistakes made in the game. From the good plays, it gives you a reprieve to take away positives from a game. At the end of the day, it is all about striving to get better. So, whether it is the positives or the negatives, there is always somewhere to get better each and every play. That is what you have to focus on. The 24-hour rule lets you get your emotions out from the game and gets your mindset focused towards the next game. So, the 24-hour rule's something I have bought into, what, 9-10 years ago at this point from my 11-year career. It gives you the calmness of knowing that this is a 17-game, 18-week season, so it's a marathon, not a sprint. You can't have this emotional rollercoaster. It has to be a calm, steady mindset to attack the gameplan each and every week."

What does it take to legitimately buy into the 24-hour rule? Is the 24-hour rule something the team adapts? It seems like this team hasn't lost back-to-back games in years.
"I think super early on in my career, there were frustrations with the highs (and) the lows. It was a rocky, emotional play of a younger Cam. But, in that, seeing how great veterans work; from guys like Drew Brees, Jon Vilma, Will Smith, Big Baby (Shaun) Rogers and all the greats we played with when I was younger. It's the idea that it's not a 13-week college season, it's a 16-game, now 17-game season. It's just the continuity of being ever constant is what brings the great ones out. It's knowing that you may have a bad play or a bad game but knowing it's never as bad as you think it is and there's always ways to correct and improve (your game). That's sort of where you get the buy in of starting to say it but then actually believing it."

What are your impressions of Mac Jones?
"He's a part of the Bill Belichick system. It's a methodical offense that has playmakers, but at the same time they don't live and die by a deep ball. They're going to be very even and try to identify our weaknesses and attack those. As a defense, it's more on us and what we do as it is every week and trying to be better than the week before. I do think with having a couple players pop back up this week, we'll be even stronger against the run than we were last week, even though I think we had a good showing against the run last week if you go by numbers."

What'd you think of Payton Turner's debut last week?
"I think he showed a lot of energy. He showed a lot of grit. He's got plenty of room to develop and grow. Without diving into referees and erroneous roughing the passer penalties, I think we have potential there. As the season goes on, we'll know exactly what we have. I liked the way he played."

How hard is it playing defense now with all of the implemented rules designed to protect the quarterbacks?
"Quarterbacks practice with red-jerseys on in practices. At this point, they're going to have red jerseys on in games as well. That is just the game we play in at this point. We might as well attach a flag to their hips and go off that (laughter). But no, seriously, it's a part of the game we have to play. I think it sucks that, from 11 years ago when I first entered the league, you saw quarterbacks fearful of being hit in their blind side, but now they're fully protected. I think it takes away from the game, but again, that's the game we play in today. It's something that we have to overcome and apply more pressure as the weeks go on."

Demario Davis posted a picture a few weeks back calling the Saints defense "The Juice Boys". Is that something you've embraced, and if so what's the origin of that name?
"Man, I do not even know where that came from. But it is big juice. The defense has to bring the juice. I'll let Demario talk about where that came from. It probably came from Demario and Kwon (Alexander). Next thing you know, it's been adopted already. It just is what it is. We have to bring the high energy each and every play. You have to bring your own juice."

How can you play physically but possibly avoid any way of being flagged?
"We have to play fast. If anything, we have to play faster. We'll correct penalties on tape, but we will try to get better from that. What you can't do is play with fear in your heart in this game, especially as a defense that's trying to attack an offense. It just is what it is. We had a Malcolm Roach hit on (Christian) McCaffrey that was a phenomenal play by a defensive lineman getting out the stack and making a great effort play, but it resulted in a penalty. I still don't understand it. When you have guys running as fast as they can, sometimes you can't always play heads up football. The stipulation of that is that it's just a part of the game. At that point, you can only make yourself play faster. When I think about the rules implied, at the end of the day we still play football. People still have to be tackled, people still have to be hit, but you have to live with some of these (penalties) and learn from a lot of them. When you have something like 11 or 12 penalties worth over 100 yards, that's something that has to be cleaned up. That's on the defense, that's on us. That's something that's been addressed and something we have to focus on for the next game. We were our own worst enemies, and we can't be that every game."

New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara

Virtual Media Availability

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Now that you've watched the Carolina film, what can y'all do to move forward to fix what happened last week?
"I think just communicate better. Limit the self-inflicted wounds. We had a lot of penalties early in drives that kind of killed us. It's just communicating from the start of the play. That contributed to the penalties. We had (multiple) false starts and trouble getting lined up, things like that. We have to clean up the self-inflicted things."

How good was it to have Coach Joel Thomas back at practice today?
"It felt good. He was excited to be back, and everyone was excited to have him back. We have to keep working, but it was good to have him back."

What's your thoughts on what you've seen on film from the Patriots defense and what kind of challenges do they present?
"I think they're disciplined. You don't see a lot of busted coverages or mental errors. They show a lot of different looks but it's one of those teams that shows a lot of looks but they play them well. They're pretty sound in what they do, and they know what they want to do to get an offense off-schedule. We have to be good in our communication when we see those different looks and we have to be good in executing what we want to do and what we have schemed up to combat those looks."

Over the past four years, after losing a game early in the season, you guys have been able to reel off a winning streak. How have you guys been able to do that in past years and what's the key to doing that?
"It's knowing what the standard is around here. We're one of those teams, where I feel like we usually are the aggressors. When you poke or punch a bear, you get bit back. It's football in the NFL. It happens where you'll lose games, but I think we do a good job of responding around here. I think that's what we plan to do, go out and respond and do what we have to do and want to do, which is winning on Sundays. I don't like losing. I do not like the way it feels."

You've barely lost any back to back games since you've been here. What's the reason behind that?
"I think, me personally, that is where we get cocky at. That is where we have an ego. We take pride in being able to win games and not lose very often. I take pride in that. I do not see us going out there and losing two, three games in a row. We go out there and lose, cool whatever. Anybody can lose any given Sunday, but I'll guarantee you we go out there and win the next game."

Do you notice a difference in Sean (Payton) after a loss?
"I think we're all the same. I don't think we try to change everything and figure out a way to switch up our process. Our process is always the same. I know Sean always takes it personal, for sure. I know he takes it personal; I take it personal, Demario (Davis), Cam (Jordan), all the leaders on this team do when we lose. I feel like, when we lose, those next games we want to let people know we're not losing. At least that's how I feel."

New Orleans Saints Punter Blake Gillikin

Virtual Media Availability

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Coach Rizzi said last week the biggest thing for you is consistency. How do you feel your consistency has been over the first two weeks?
"I think it's been a lot of good but also stuff to work on. At this level, consistency is the number one thing that separates you from the rest of the pack. So, I'm just constantly fighting for that and fighting for consistency in practice and translating that to gameday."

I know you had some 70-yard punts in college. How do those fare with the 60 and 59 yarders you hit in the Carolina game last week?
"Those 70 yarders in college included roll yardage, so, air yardage of 59 and 60 yards is what I maxed out at in college. To hit those in the first couple games of my career has been great. I think, obviously, if you do that every time that'd be awesome. It's not realistic, but I make sure that if I mishit a ball, it's not catastrophic. That's a key for me and a key to being consistent. Those big punts will come, but that's not how it will always be with weather and stuff like that. So, just being able to be consistent with my process is key for me."

What does a game like last week do for your confidence when you have two long punts, including one downed inside the 7?
"I think it does a lot for my confidence. You know, being back after a whole year of not playing a game and getting back into the flow of things, figuring out different wind patterns of stadiums we play in, it's a lot different than the practice field where wind is coming from a known direction. Wind in these NFL stadiums kind of swirl around a lot, so just kind of getting used to that again has been great for my confidence. I am obviously looking forward to taking on another challenge up in New England."

What's your impressions of what Ty Montgomery has done at the gunner spot?
"If you are playing opposite J.T. Gray you are going to get a lot of action, a lot of single coverage. Ty's done a great job for us, and he'll be a key to our success all year long. He needs to just continue to do what he's doing. He's getting single coverage a lot like I said, and he is beating those guys on the outside. He is obviously really, really fast. Just playing at a high tempo has really helped me out and helped me be confident in where I'm placing the ball. We'll need that from him the rest of the season."

How much time goes into studying NFL stadium wind patterns during the week?
"We have a general idea going into a game what the wind will be like. I think, when you get to the stadium, the wind's usually the opposite of what the forecast says it is. The wind usually bounces off certain walls. Whether the stadium has two decks or not really makes a difference. You really don't know until you're there. For example, in Jacksonville, there was a wind that was corner to corner, but the wind was opposite on the field. You kind of had two sandwich-level winds that were completely opposite of each other. There's just little nuances with that and navigating that throughout a game."

Did you study wind patterns in college as well?
"Yes, it's something every punter has to deal with. I played up north (Penn State), so it was windy and cold most weeks. Some weeks you get lucky. Going up to New England this week's a great challenge for me and our unit. We're looking forward to taking that on."

How has your chemistry been with Zach Wood so far?
"It has been awesome. No hiccups so far. I do not anticipate there being any. Aldrick (Rosas) has come in here and done a great job of trusting me and Zach. We are trying to give him what he expects out of us, which is a great hold and great operation. Zach has been great on punt and field goal snaps. He's really our leader right now and he couldn't be doing a better job."

Did you have any nerves going into week one? How did you feel going into that not having played in over a year and a half?
"Yeah, I always have butterflies before games. That shows me that I am ready to play. It comes down to channeling that the right way and that's how I use it mentally for myself. (Playing against Green Bay in) Jacksonville was a great experience. We did not punt the whole first half. I was comfortable going into the first punt having sat there watching for two hours. That was definitely good for my confident with also getting two holds in during the first half. I think as the weeks go on, the confidence will continue to build, and those nerves will kind of fade."

How happy are you for Thomas Morstead signing with the Jets?
"Yeah, I always told people it wasn't over. I'm happy he found another spot to drop some bombs. Hopefully we will see him later in the season. I saw he had one punt last week against New England. I am hoping we also punt only once against New England. I am just really happy for him. I reached out to him via text, and I also put out a tweet. He was such a great mentor to me and he's such a great human being. I always wish him continued success."

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