New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Thursday, September 23, 2021
I'm just curious what you think of a Coach Belichick who has been in place there for over 20 years and has a big coaching tree. What is the respect for coaches like him and coach Payton staying in place a long time and having success? How does the coaching community view that?
"It starts with the foundation they've built, building a winning formula, winning team, winning locker room, winning culture and that just continues to grow. Obviously, the success he's (Belichick) had is really amazing. But I think it starts with the culture. They have smart, instinctive football players and they're well-coached."
You have been with Coach Payton the entire time here, what do you think goes in both instances for these teams maintaining that culture?
"I think that between Sean, Mickey (Loomis) and our scouting department, it's bringing in players that fit what Sean wants and how he pictures. You talk about bringing in smart football players, team guys, guys who do what you ask them to do. There's great character and leadership in the locker room to build a program around."
You hear about other teams taking the stuff you might do in terms of plays. Is that true in both ways?
"I think it runs both ways. I think that there are concepts that we've run since '06 and there are times when we've seen something that other teams have seen. It goes on the flip side where you are studying the other team in situational areas or with their offense. We're not afraid to steal or pick up a good idea either."
Can you walk us through the protections since it was an issue last week and how it works?
"I think it's a matter of us as coaches doing a better job, making sure when we're in and out of the huddle and at the line of scrimmage, doing a better job of communication."
What does that communication entail and who is talking to each other?
"It's part of the process of how you gameplan for the week and want to handle certain things, starting with the team. Everyone is going to have a little different defense here and there, but as long as you're solid with your communication, that's something to talk about in the meetings, gameplan, on the field, make sure that everybody's on the same page?
Was that just something last week that was maybe a perfect storm with everything going on? Is that hard to fix?
"We got behind the chains quite a bit. We weren't very effective on first and second down and we had some longer yardage situations and those are the areas that we have to be better at."
Looking at the Patriots, what are some of the things that they do well and what are the challenges they present?
"They're a smart football team, they're instinctive, they are well-coached, they tackle well, they have great ball skills, they are very versatile with their personnel. They move guys around and they play a lot of different guys. Again, communication is going to be very important. They are a talented defense that does a great job."
You guys play a lot of different guys on offense. Are they the inverse to that? What's the challenge?
"They move body types around. They might have the same 11 guys on the field but just in different spots. Similar to what we do offensively in moving guys around. It's just a matter of all being on the same page."
New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Thursday, September 23, 2021
When you see Mac Jones on film what are the things you've seen that have jumped out so far?
"I think the number one thing is that he's protecting the football for the most part. I think that's critical with any young quarterback. Certainly, when you look at what coach Belichick's been able to do, one of the hallmarks is obviously they don't turn the ball over and they understand how to help a young quarterback. I see this quarterback doing a really good job of being smart with the football. I think he does a really good job of going through his progressions and he takes what the defense gives him and doesn't try to force the ball. He's willing to check the ball down some. They certainly have an alert system within their offense and they can check from a pass to a run or a run to a pass based on the look that they're seeing, maybe it's a run or a run check, but you certainly see all the checks at the line of scrimmage that you would expect from a New England offense."
Is the theory that you can confuse or harass young quarterbacks kind of a fable?
"Yes, certainly I think that does. I think their coaching staff does a really good job of putting him in a position to where it makes it a lot more difficult to try to get after him and confuse him in certain situations and certainly when you're able to run the ball as consistently as they're able to run the football and stick with it, it helps the quarterback."
Does James White pose some of the same challenges as Christian McCaffrey?
"I would say this, yes. Christian McCaffrey is one of the best football players in the National Football League, but in terms of similarities and things that they can do, I certainly feel like James White presents some of the same challenges as what Carolina does with Christian McCaffrey and utilizes. Certainly, I'm sure that they saw the tape and saw how Carolina tried to utilize Christian McCaffrey and we'll see similar things this week."
What were your thoughts on Payton Turner's debut last week?
"I thought up and down. Certainly, I felt like there were some really good splash plays that you saw. You saw a guy that has ability, but certainly, overall you saw a player that missed three weeks of training camp, is trying to get accustomed to our system, playing things the way we want them played. Encouraged by the things that you see, some things that are going to allow him to have success, but understanding that it's his first game as a rookie and he has a lot, lot of improving to do."
He was one of those guys that got hit with the roughing call. How hard is to keep guys out of the quarterback's way when they are going out there to make a play, especially young guys like Turner?
"It's a challenge. It's a rule that doesn't get called in college football. It's something that you have to get used to very quickly in our league and you just have to understand that regardless of, it's a natural instinct, there's the quarterback, he's on the ground, that's what you're trained to do. That's my job. But you have to understand that regardless you can't hit the quarterback at or below the knee level."
Bill Belichick has been in New England for over 20 years and Sean Payton here for 16 years. You hear a lot about the respect they have in the coaching community and are at the forefront of innovating. What the perception of those guys among your community, the coaching community. Do you ever find yourself borrowing something from the Patriots defense?
"Certainly in an answer to your second question, we're always looking at things that everybody's doing, seeing if there's anything that fits into our scheme. Certainly the Patriots under Coach Belichick have been one of the best coached teams in the National Football League. I think they understand not just schematically what they're doing, but they understand all the different situations in the game and they understand all the different rules in the game, always trying to find ways to utilize the rules in their favor to gain an advantage. What they do is they execute at a very high level in every aspect of the game and they force you to outexecute them and that's what you have to be able to do to beat the Patriots. If you don't do that or you're off a little bit, they find ways to exploit those weaknesses, so you have to make sure you're on point with everything that you're doing."
With Pete Werner getting healthier in practice a little bit, what are some of the things you saw from him before he got knocked out with that injury?
"Certainly I thought he was playing well. He's athletic, has good size, speed, strength. He's a smart football player, has really good instincts. There are really just a lot of good things that you see with that player and certainly we're looking forward to hopefully having him back this week and trying to begin to work him into a plan where we can utilize him, because he's done a lot of the things that we thought we would see from him when we drafted him."
Is his coverage something that stands out at all. I know he played some safety at college and has experience in space?
"Yes, I think that's certainly one of the aspects we like. Again, when you have a player that has an athletic skillset and the intelligence to match, then certainly that allows those players to kind of good in just about anything they do. I think that certainly his athleticism and mindset kind of gives us some tools we can work with."
How are Sean Payton and Bill Belichick viewed in the coaching community, having been able to have the sustained success they have?
"Number one, in the coaching profession, for especially in this day and age, for you to be able to stay in one organization for this period of time, that just tells you what a great job that those guys, both of those guys do. Both organizations are run extremely well. One of the things you see is with both these organizations being coach-driven organizations and everyone within the organization, their job is to help the head coach and do whatever the head coach needs to give himself the best change to be successful. In the NFL as long as I've had an having a few opportunities to go up against Coach Belichick and his team, every play is a critical play because they stress you on every play to play it exactly right and to play every situation exactly right and if you don't they take advantage of it. So I think probably, one of the best things that I can say about a coach Belichick-coached team is that they don't beat themselves and that's the first thing you need to do to understand how to win in our league is to not beat yourself and I think they've done as good a job as anybody in the National Football League. Certainly I'm fortunate I've been with Sean as long as I have and I've learned a lot from him just in terms of how an organization should be run and a team should be run, a lot of the same similarities you see with Sean in terms of being situationally smart, understanding what the situation is and how to play the situation and again creating stress on the opposing team to have to be able to execute play in and play out and situation in and situation out."