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Saints transcripts: Dennis Allen looks ahead to Week 5 | 10/7/21

Saints defensive coordinator discusses the upcoming Week 5 matchup vs. the Washington Football Team.

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen

Conference call

Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021

What was your assessment on how Paulson Adebo played last week?
"I think everyone is always looking for the instant grade or evaluation after every single event. I like to look at Paulson Adebo overall in how he has performed. For a guy that is a rookie third-round pick who sat out all of last season, I think he's been absolutely outstanding. I think every opportunity he gets to get out on the field is an opportunity for him to learn and grow. I like where this kid is at. I think he's been a really good addition for us and will do nothing but just keep getting better.

What did you think about some of the negative reaction to how he played last week against the Giants?
Certainly, there's things that happen where we want to have a place to put blame, but at the end of the day, we play a team game. We need all 11 players on every single play to play to the best of their ability. Quite honestly, we didn't do that last week. That's the reason why we were unsuccessful and didn't win the game. Our job is to come back this week, focus on our jobs, make sure we have all 11 on every single play focused on their job to give us the best possible chance to win. That's really where our focus is and what we're doing."

Cameron Jordan hasn't had a sack yet this year. What's the best way to explain why he hasn't had one yet?
"It really gets back to the point of all 11 guys doing their job. Look, you watch last week's game and there are times when Cam has three guys blocking him. So, I really do not ever get concerned with sack numbers. I know a lot of people pay attention to sack numbers but that really does not dictate whether or not you win football games. We certainly did not do as well a job last week affecting the quarterback whether it was through coverage or the rush. That's certainly something we have to continue to work that. I wouldn't get too caught up, and certainly we don't get too caught up in the numbers. The only number we are caught in is how many W's we have and how many L's we have. Right now, that's not good enough, so we certainly have to be better there."

Do you guys welcome the idea of Cameron Jordan having more than one blocker on him?
"Well, we have to win in other places when that's happening. So, the way pass coverage works in my mind is no different than when we have a corner playing a wide receiver one on one. We expect him to win his matchup. In pass rush, we need some guys to win when they have one-on-one matchups. Certainly, the more protectors they have in, the less guys that have one-on-one matchups. That's just how the game's played. We've got to be able to adjust and adapt."

There's no concern about Cam Jordan right now?
"No. Zero."

What was the biggest issue with the explosive plays last week?
"Yeah, there was a lot of things going on. There were some plays where we didn't execute our job the way we needed to. There were certainly plays where those guys made plays. Look, this is the NFL. Every team is capable of making plays in our league. Those guys went out and executed and played better than we did Sunday. We'll learn from it, we'll grow from it, and we'll move past it. We're focusing on getting ready for Washington and what we have to do to win this game. We can't do anything about what's happened in the past, we can only worry about how to prepare for the future, and that's where our focus is."

What stands out about Terry McLaurin?
"No. 1, I think he is highly competitive. He is really fast. He makes some really good, contested catches. There was one unbelievable catch he made against the Chargers. He's a highly competitive player that runs well, gets in and out of cuts, and they do a good job of putting him in position to make plays. I think he's one of the better receivers in our league and probably doesn't get enough credit for being so."

How do you think Pete Werner has developed?
"No. 1, I've noticed is that he is getting back healthy. He has always been a smart player. Yet, you see each and every week a mental growth with him. With Kwon (Alexander) being out, that's been an encouraging thing. With all these guys, we try not to get too caught up and make an evaluation on how good the player is. We're just focusing on how we get the guys to play better each and every week. There's certainly been some signs with him that we've been encouraged with, but of course there's also some things that need to continue to be improved on. Certainly, we feel good about the direction he's headed. I feel good about the type of person that he is and that worker that he will allow him to keep getting better and better."

Do you feel like this defense will look a lot different in the weeks to come with all of the guys eligible to come off the Injured Reserve list?
"Yeah, I don't know that we sit there and look at it that way like 'Oh my gosh, if we can just get through the next few weeks and then we'll get all these guys back.' We just look at who we have available right now and how we can win that game, and then we'll move on week to week (with that approach). The thing with the NFL is, yeah there's guys coming back after the bye, but we also might be down someone else. You just never really know. I do think that, as you're earlier in the season, you're always still trying to figure out who you are, regardless of how familiar you are with your guys. I think we're still in that process and I think that begins to formulate itself once you get into the second quarter of the season and the back-half of the season."

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