New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Virtual Media Availability
Monday, October 11, 2021
I know you guys have been missing Kwon Alexander that lineup, but can you talk about the job that Pete Werner's done in his absence?
"I think Pete's done a tremendous job for us. He's shown that he's smart, he's very instinctual, downhill and physical in the run game, he can guard out in space, can make open field tackles, a high motor guy. He's everything that you want as a linebacker and he's showing it in his first year on the field and to play in an exceptional way. It bodes well for him and it means a lot for our defense, for him to come in and play at that level.
Given the type of leader that you are on the team, do you take a young guy under your wing a little bit? How do you do that?
"I'm the most experienced guy in the room. I have that responsibility in general with all the guys. I think he is unique in his ability to not shy away from big moments. A lot of times with young guys, the game can get too big and you can forget details and that's what sets him apart for him to be a rookie, it's like he's made big moments, he's all the way down in his assignment and he's always going to get better. That's a quality that you can't teach. There's nothing that I can do to give that. He has it from the time that he shows up. I think the wisdom I can offer him is things I've learned in ten years in this league on things you're going to see week in and week out, kind of know what you have to be prepared for, things of that nature, whereas he can't get that except with time and play the game. I think that's the area where I can offer a little wisdom to him. He's doing a phenomenal job and that's a credit to him."
Five games are a small sample size, but how would you assess the team in its entirety where they have been this season, given you guys have had some good wins and difficult losses and some swings. How would you assess overall how this team's been?
"Every team is different. Every year you are not going to be the same team, every team is different and you have to formulate that identity. That's what I think we're doing, coming into our identity. I think we know what our strengths are, the areas where we know we need to improve and as you formulate that identity, you tend to do it and become a lot more consistent and dependable in the areas that you are kind of formulating it around. I think that's kind of what we are as a team, where that gel is starting to turn into cement and I think we're in a good place in all phases of the game, especially defensively. The thing that we've always tipped our hat on is our ability to stop the run and if you can make teams one-dimensional in this league, you're going to be alright, There are a lot of things to clean up even in the run game, but I think we've built a solid foundation and we want to keep building and that's the thing that you are able to do once you have a solid identity and a good foundation to build on. That's what you need so you are constantly ascending as the season goes on and we know October is a very important month in football, because you want to be set up for success when it comes to November and December to be playing meaningful games and setting yourself up for where it matters most in the playoffs"
Yesterday Blake Gillikin got a game ball to recognize the outstanding work in the words of Sean Payton. How important is it for you as a defense when Blake is pinning opposing offenses within the three yard line?
"That's a great question. I think when you play the game on the other team's side of the field, the game heavily weighs in your favor. For him to punt the ball (there) we certainly get excited because their percentages of scoring goes down tremendously when they're inside their ten-yard line let alone their five-yard line and so at that point, special teams has done their job, it's now the defense's job to keep it on that side of the field to make them punt and give our offense the ball back in a favorable field position where our percentages of scoring goes up and that's where you get complementary football from and that's what the good teams are able to do, play good complementary football and so certainly we were excited when he continues to pin them with their back against the wall and then our job was to get the ball back to the offense and then they capitalized themselves. He did an extremely great job. He is to be commended for that. It certainly was a game-changer for us. Coach Payton challenged us to play the game on their side of the field and in those situations we were successful. Defensively I think DA (Dennis Allen) had a good gameplan for what we were doing in those backed up situations. Their play call sheet shrunk tremendously, so we kind of knew what we were getting to play great defense and put the offense in good positions. That was definitely a game-changer in the game."
How has your process for studying film, preparing for upcoming opponents changed and evolved?
"Yeah, I've always harped on the fact that I feel like I got trained by one of the greatest film watchers in the game and that's Ed Reed. And I think I was always an avid film studier, but he just allowed me to help me to become more efficient at it. And I think from that foundation that he taught me I'm able to kind of put my own spin on it and you know, it goes from just seeing the plays that they run and the formations and their tendencies in certain situations to understanding the offensive coordinator and what he's looking for when he likes to go to his matchups, when he gets in certain field positions, what he feels comfortable calling and it's really about understanding the identity of the offenses. It's not just the plays that they call, but what type of team are they, right? Are they run or play action team? Are they line up and gun and play action pass and quick game you down the field, you know, what is their identity? I think I'm able to look at that big picture and make it make sense for every play call that they're going to be calling. When I see a certain formation you just line it up without information that you know about who they are as their identity, this offensive coordinator and what he likes to call and also the people that they have, whether it's certain guys that are going to be playing that week or not. So you kind of have this whole catalog of information and based on a play call you can literally kind of pinpoint. That's another thing is I try to study so much in a week that I don't have to think about it again, because it becomes second nature."
What's the difference between being efficient and inefficient where you're watching film?
"Yeah, Coach Payton says that a lot, he talks to the young guys and says, a lot of young guys need to learn how to watch film, so it's not about the amount of film you study. How do people classify how much film you watch, right? How many hours of film (do) you watch? And you can watch an hour of film and so you can just be watching games or you can just be watching cut ups. And you can kind of have a general understanding of what they like to do, what their favorite play calls are. But it's so much more to see if you were to really break down that hour and to focus in on specific things and that's how you become proficient."
What are your plans for the bye week?
"I'll be spending a lot of time with my family. I just had a little one so, getting a lot of time with her, get some skin to skin bonding time. My kids are excited, because we have a little one (and) also my little one can't leave the house just yet so we'll be staying local. My kids excited to go to (Children's) museum and all my kids are home schooled. So it's kind of their week to do field trips with daddy. So we'll go to the Children's Museum probably go to the aquarium. My kids love Barnes and Nobles, probably (go to the) movie theaters and some different stuff like that, just hanging out with them and then I have to go to Arkansas State at the end of the week to get an award (Hall of Honor) and so that's kind of what my week will look like."
How important is it to get that time to reset during the bye week?
"In any arena you need that restoration or that reset in the season that can be doing like this or even have had some really high, highs and every team is different. So some teams are really high right now, some teams are really low, some kind of up and down. No matter what's going on it's always good to kind of get back to what I would call your baseline and then from there you just kind of, start building it back up again. I think it rejuvenates your energy, it rejuvenates your mind and it rejuvenates your body and when all those things are clicking that's when you are able to be your optimal self and so I am really big into that, finding ways to reset, I even do that during the week even if it's not a bye week. Monday and Tuesday I try to come down off the game and reset so that I can build it back up for the next game and so having an entire week to do that's very important."
Does the bye come at a good time for this team?
"It is something that is outside your control, so you just have to take it wherever it is and make the most of it. I think there are certainly some positives about the bye happening when it's happening. It gives another week for a lot of our guys to get healthy. We got some very big pieces supposed to be coming back after the bye and so certainly excited about that. It makes our team better and when we come back we just got to pick back up and get rolling and get ready for a very good Seattle team."
New Orleans Saints Tackle Ryan Ramczyk
Virtual Media Availability
Monday, October 11, 2021
Why has the offensive line been able to manage various injuries during your time here since 2017?
"Yeah, playing in this league, playing this game it's a physical sport so you're always going to have injuries, no matter what position you're playing. But I think we have a solid, great group of guys here on the offensive line and I think you guys have seen that we're able to bring guys off the bench and they're able to step into those starting roles and do a good job at it. But like you said, obviously excited to be able to get Erik (McCoy) and Terron (Armstead) back hopefully after the bye. I'm not sure when they're scheduled to return, but definitely excited to get them back in the action."
When the play call is a Hail Mary, what goes through your mind as an offensive lineman thinking from the perspective of yesterday?
"Yeah when I think Hail Mary, like just protect as long as possible. We know it's going to take a little bit for the receivers to get downfield for the quarterback to set up to launch of deep ball. So for us up front it's protect as long as you can."
What goes through your mind when Marquez Callaway catches the Hail Mary?
"I think everyone was surprised, that's not a play that's completed very often so, obviously a great job on his part going up there and grabbing that. But it's always awesome to see when you're the ones scoring the points."
You saw a lot of five-man front yesterday from Washington, I'm wondering how often do you see that type of front seems kind of unusual and and what challenges does it present for you all front?
"Yeah, it's not a front we were used to seeing that much like you said, they ran a lot of it. I think it's well known that they have a very good defensive line. They've got really good pass rushers so it's kind of their strategy where it's like, alright, we're going to put our five best against your five best and see what happens. So from an offensive line aspect it's a little bit more difficult because it's five one on one blocking, so every guy has got their guy. You've got to go out there and block and usually out of a four-man rush you can get a double team somewhere and have eyes to the tackles or whatever, but yesterday I think we did a good job handling it."
Do you remember somebody else playing a five on five front in past games?
"Yeah, we've gotten it a couple times, couple teams here and there I don't remember I guess anything specifically, but we've definitely seen it before."
Is it a respect thing for Alvin Kamara and the running game or what do you think the strategy is for that?
"Yeah, I mean there's probably multiple different strategies, but I think in the pass game, like I said it presents one on ones in the run game, yeah, let's get up there and try to attack each individual guy and stop the run game as well."
How close do you feel you guys are to being the offense you want to be?
"Yeah, I think we've seen improvements each week. There's always room to grow, there's always room to get better. I don't think we're at that point obviously yet. We still got growing to do, speaking from an offensive line standpoint, there's still things we have to get corrected. The offensive line we've gotten better with our communication, but there's still things that need to be corrected. I think we're making strides in the right direction, but definitely room to grow, yeah."
Does the bye come at the right time for the team?
"Yeah like you said the bye comes when it comes and I think it is a good time there are guys who are banged up and getting a week to rehab, get your body back and kind of reset. I think it'd be good for this team."
How much did Blake Gillikin's punting performance yesterday help the team?
"Yeah that's a huge deal, those swings in possessions and field position are massive in NFL games. You make a team have to go whatever ,98 yards to score, you look at the statistics and they're not good for driving the field 98 yards. He had a heck of a game yesterday and everyone was very impressed. He did a great job."
How big of an asset has Gillikin been all season?
"He's been big, like I said, the field position game is huge, whenever you can pin someone deep it makes it very difficult. He's been outstanding this year and definitely a big help."
How different has this year been for the offense in 2021 growing from week one to week five?
"Yeah, you know, I think every year is a little bit different. In the NFL, there's always changes to rosters and stuff, but I think this year has been good. We've been feeling it out and growing each week, like I said, still have a lot of room for improvement, but I think we can see and learn and we can kind of see the progress we've been making week to week and we need to just, you know, keep building on that."
What do you personally do during the bye week?
"Yeah, the biggest thing for me is, just trying to take care of my body. Just take care of anything that's going on and kind of get off my feet and into the recovery mode and just try to try to get my body back to the best shape as possible."