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Transcript - Alex Anzalone Conference Call 10/1/20 | Week 4 vs. Lions

New Orleans Saints linebacker Alex Anzalone talks about minimizing penalties and the defensive game plan for Week 4 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, October 4, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Alex Anzlaone
Video Call With New Orleans Media
Thursday, October 1, 2020

With the issues that the Tennessee Titans have been facing with COVID, has Sean (Payton) placed any emphasis on this with you all, just how important it is to just, you know, to stay diligent?
"Not necessarily, I feel like we've been doing a pretty good job of doing the protocols. Obviously, with the Titans, I think it was what, four players that contracted the virus and we know how contagious this virus could be and only four players getting it. I don't want to say only, as in, not a big number, it was big enough to postpone that game. But, it is not a huge outbreak. I think that anytime that happens around the league you're going to take notice and be maybe be a little bit more careful, wash your hands a couple more times then the normal COVID day."

Can you point your finger to one kind of consistency you've seen with some of these defensive penalties? And how do you guys fix that?
"I think anytime you get penalized in football, it's attention to detail. It's whether it's being out of place, whether it's jumping offsides, or it's just a lack of focus and attention to detail. I think that's the biggest thing and that is just what we are trying to be consistent on."

You are playing a lot of subpackages this season. So, how do you go about just trying to create those mismatches when you're playing different teams? Like you are playing a lot more dime this year than you did last year, that type of thing?
"Yeah, I think that just is based on what the offense is giving us and what they like to do and the personnel they have, I think you saw with the Raiders we did some base downs with six DBs and I think that was obviously because of who they have on offense and I think we just adjust accordingly per game and personnel wise."

Obviously going against Detroit this weekend, Adrian Peterson is their running back, I guess just, what do you remember about him? And just in general your thoughts on him?
"Yeah, I would say first of all, he's a good dude. I remember coming here my rookie year and when I first got drafted and I think they just signed Adrian Peterson. And I was like, oh man, I am about to meet him. And obviously he is one of the best running backs to ever play. Obviously a great guy in the locker room and everything like that. And sad to see him go when that happened. But, , obviously a physical back, he runs hard, he runs downhill, he still has the juice. He's a really good player. The perception of him is, he's an older running back in the league. But I really don't see a misstep in his game."

What stands out about their offense, they've got AP (Adrian Peterson) and they've got Kerryon Johnson, DeAndre Swift, all those guys. They also have (Matthew) Stafford and (Kenny) Golladay and Marvin Jones. It seems like they kind of, can hit you in a number of different ways. So what kind of stands out in your eyes?
"Yeah, I think they do a really good job of being a balanced offense. Like you mentioned, they have a ton of playmakers, maybe not as well known to the mass media. But in the football world, they do have really good players on offense. And just like any game, we have to match that personnel, attention to detail and execute our gameplan and we should be good. But yeah, definitely, they have a good run game, and they have a good pass game. And (it) starts with their quarterback, everything like that."

Then kind of piggybacking off the subpackages stuff. What do players like, like CJ (Gardner-Johnson) and Malcolm (Jenkins) just being able to kind of play down in the box like that? What do they give you guys flexibility wise, defensively?
"Yeah, I mean, when you have a DB that can play in the box like that, obviously, it gives you a better opportunity in the pass game. With heavier personnel (groupings) coming in the game, you're able to put a DB in there, he's able to hold his own. And at the same time, not be, because some teams get into bigger personnel (groupings) and like to spread you out and pass the ball to get those bigger guys on the field that are not necessarily good against the pass. So I think that's the biggest thing with guys like that, that are able to do that."

With this team being 1-2, is there a different sense of urgency this week or you feel like you are right there to, you know, to get everything clicking?
"Yeah, I think that, you know, there is. Obviously we were not used to a whole lot of losing around here and we don't want to lose this game, or any game for that matter. But this is the most important. Coach just mentioned it after practice. It's the most important game because it's the next one. And we approach every game the same and with a similar sense of urgency and maybe some guys are a little more excited to get the bad taste out of our mouths from last week."

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