New Orleans Saints Offensive Line Coach Dan Roushar
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, January 1, 2021
I just wanted to ask you a little bit about the offensive line. I know, obviously, you guys have had to put a lot of different groups out there this year with injuries and whatnot, and just curious to get your thoughts on how the group has been able to still play so well, despite the week to week uncertainty in the roster?
"Well, it obviously goes to the fact that it's a talented room, number one. Number two, it's a very close knit unit. I think the one thing that each of them has done is they've worked very hard at not only what they do at their particular position, but they pay attention to all the things that are going on at all of the different positions and know that they can be ready at any moment. I think it's a credit to the room. And then I think Brendan Nugent does a phenomenal job with the group as well."
Obviously, I know you guys, you mentioned the talent in the room. A lot of versatile guys. James Hurst has played guard and tackle. Cesar Ruiz has played on both sides. Just how much does that help?
"Well, their ability to adapt and play all the different positions, and not only play them, but play them at a fairly high level, really, is a tremendous credit to our management in identifying the personnel and Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis') ability to select and or to go get, we recognize that the value of your sixth, seventh, eighth offensive lineman is incredible. You see it each and every week with all the teams and we've been fortunate the last few years to be able to attract guys and plug them in and they play there at pretty high level when asked to do it."
We've talked about this before, but how important is Brendan Nugent to what you guys do? And how do your styles work together?
"He's incredibly valuable. As I have said in the past, he is a super talented coach. He is extremely smart, a great communicator and has a real vision for how we want to do it. And he and I have been working together since really call it 2015. We were together with the tight ends and now our time working with the offensive line here. I'd say that, like anybody that's done this for this long, and growing together, we I think complement each other very well. And I know that the players and myself and our staff, Sean (Payton), just have a phenomenal amount of respect for how talented he is."
Terron (Armstead) was saying that he's kind of like an on field guy, and you're the meeting room guy, is that a fair characterization?
"Oh, I guess that would be his perception. We've been together for so long. When we initially started, everything was good in terms of fundamentals and all those things, but I think he's super talented."
How much of a challenge has this year been just with all the guys you've had to kind of mix and match? Has that been like a fun thing as a coach or is that too stressful to even worry about that sort of thing?
"No, listen, I think it's part of what we do in this league. You adapt and you develop and this year was much different than years past in the sense that you don't have an offseason, you don't really have all those times where you take the guys out early and start really working fundamentally in developing all those skill sets. And yet, I think, as I've mentioned, this room is a talented room. It's a room that really gets along so well, and they share knowledge to such a high level that really, at the end of the day, we expect the performance to remain at a high level and have a consistency and we're disappointed when it's not. And I think just in general, we just come to expect that the next man up does it at a high level. Over the past, I guess four or five years, we've had to deal with these things and we feel like the guys have done a good job."