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TE Benjamin Watson's and DT Kevin Williams' conference call quotes

Audio and quotes from Wednesday conference calls

New Orleans Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson
Conference Call With Local Media
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You've been through this before with Drew (Brees) being hurt; what is the uncertainty level when the quarterback has an injury issue?

"Not much until we get close to gametime, which is obviously a little ways out. We'll just kind of proceed as we go every week and see what happens as we get closer to the game. If Drew is unable to play, obviously Matt (Flynn) will play. Right now, it's really early, as far as game planning. We'll just worry about getting our game plan together and we'll see how he progresses throughout the week."

So if Drew doesn't play, you guys assume that Matt would be the starter this weekend?

"That would be my assumption. As far as I know, he is the backup quarterback, correct? The only reason I say that is because during the game I know that Matt was warming up. I know he was up. That would be my assumption, but obviously that would be a coach's decision once we got to the actual game. As a team, we deal with injuries like this all of the time. Not specifically with the quarterback but everybody deals with different injuries. A lot of times during the week a guy may or may not practice. He may play or he may not play. The situation is kind of fluid always until you get to gametime and you have to make those gametime decisions. Right now being Wednesday, it is kind of hard to really even think that far in advance. You have to deal with what is going on today."

What has been your impression of Matt since he joined the team?

"It actually was my first time meeting him once he got here. I've known a little bit about him from other people that have known him and have kind of seen him play a little bit over the last few years. I know coming to a new place that there is kind of a little bit of a learning curve. I know he has been around a lot of football. Obviously, the coaches brought him in understanding that he could learn some of the things that he needed to do if he were to have to perform. Garrett (Grayson) has been here as well for the whole year. I don't know who it would be if Drew wasn't there but again, I'll reiterate the fact that since I've been here Drew hadn't missed a game except for the Carolina game this year. He is usually pretty reliable so the idea is that we'll just go through the week and see if he is going to be up or not."

As a guy with a family, what is working through Christmas every year like and how do you handle that?

"Usually on most teams that I have been on, including this one, you usually come in late on Christmas. On Thanksgiving, you sometimes come in a little early and get done a little early because everybody likes to have a family dinner. On Christmas, the kids and the family obviously want to get up early in the morning, open presents and do whatever Christmas traditions they have. Pretty much every team that I have been on, we've always come in late, whether it be around noon, so that you could have that Christmas morning together with your family."

Outside of that, what are some of the challenges that you guys have on a short week?

"Monday nights are always tough. (The only thing worse than) Monday night is (playing on) Monday night on the road. At least we were at home so that is a positive. You're able to (at) least get home and get a little bit of sleep. You don't have to deal with that plane ride and getting home at the wee hours of the morning. The challenges are being able to turn the page quickly because you only have that one day off, and then you have to move on to that next opponent. Physically, there is a little less time to recover from the game. Mentally, playing a night game can be challenging (to get) back into it the next week. It is something that every team has to deal with. It is something that we have all dealt with in this locker room. If you've played for any amount of time, you've had to deal with a Monday night or a Thursday night (game). It is just part of the NFL and part of the landscape that we navigate. It is nothing really new to anybody. We'll be fine come Sunday."

How have you seen Brandin Cooks grow in his second year?

"He has been healthy this year, number one. I say healthy but what I mean is that he has not missed any time. He has had his issues that he's had to deal with, definitely, like many people have. He has been able to be out there for some capacity, even if at times it was a little bit limited because of a nagging injury or things like that. He is very mature anyway. I will not say that he has gotten more mature this year because honestly, when he came in as a rookie, one of the things that really impressed me about him was his maturity and work ethic, and the fact that he's very meticulous when it comes to taking care of his body, which you do not see that often in a very young player. He doesn't miss his chiropractor appointments, his massage appointments or whatever it is. He's going to be on top of his stuff so that he can keep his body in the best shape. That's going to serve him well a decade from now when he's still running around super fast. That's something that was already in him once he got here. This year, it's just been him understanding a little bit more of the offense and kind of where he needs to be and when, and obviously, getting the reps with Drew (Brees). Throughout your first year as a rookie, the talent's there but a lot of times, the system is new. You are not able to play it full speed because you don't really know it as well as you do in your second year. The quarterback does not know you as well. This year, having gone through a whole offseason, I think you're seeing he and Drew getting on the same page and getting used to each other. There's more confidence in that connection. Brandin has more confidence as a player and he's able to let his natural ability just shine through."

New Orleans Saints Defensive Tackle Kevin Williams
Conference Call With Local Media
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How disappointing is it to follow up the good performance against Tampa Bay with a poor performance against Detroit?

"I was disappointed. We have been making strides in the right direction especially on defense and then we kind of knew what to expect in Detroit and yet we stayed had problems trying to stop them and get them covered. I think we had a great gameplan it was just one of those games like we had early in the year. We did a poor job of executing it all the way across the board and it's going to cost us in games."

What do you attribute missed gaps and some of those things too? Is it youth?

"You can still use youth, but we have played 14 games at some point you have to take heed to what's going on and have a to adjust your game. I think we don't carry over as well from the classroom to the field and that causes problems sometimes when we blow assignments and things."

Why do you think it's not carrying over from the classroom to the field?

"I don't know I couldn't tell you. You can't keep saying we are young all the time. We are young, but like I said we played 14 games. This is your job have to grow up and I think those guys will take heed, but all of our mistakes and sometimes our miscues are not always coming from the young guys either. We have veterans to myself included we all have been out of position sometimes and it hurts us."

What have you seen out of Kasim Edebali this season?

"I have seen him work his game extremely well this year. He went from playing a lot of special teams and very little defense to the back half of the season now playing a lot more defense and he is making plays and trying to find his niche wherever they put him in the game and the stuff they ask him to do is not easy task. You see him in the three man fronts and he is the nose guy in the middle of the rush and that's where both of his sacks came from on Monday night. It is a difficult job playing in the middle (when) you're rushing against basically three guys, but you have to keep working. He has a great work ethic and it payed off Monday night with those sacks and plays he made."

What is his (Kasim Edebali) best asset as a pass rusher?

"It's definitely his speed because he is not a big guy and to go against some of those big 300 pounders they lay it on you as much as they can and I tell him all the time use your speed, speed, speed you should never change that up. You should always show that speed and quickness and then you can switch it up with some power every now and then, but power can't be your go to pitch when you're as quick and fast as Kasim is."

Is that something that young pass rushers don't understand you don't always have to switch it up just for the sake of switching it up?

"When you pass rush you like to get a chance to set the guy up. I mean it is very seldom to see a guy getting sacks the first play of the game or the first pass they see of the game. It usually comes four or five passes into the game. When he has rushed against the guy three or four times and you get a feel of how he is setting you get a feel of what you're capable to do or not able to do. It's just the fact you're getting reps against a guy it gives you a chance to set up up what moves you can use and what that you do well will be good that day."

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