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Transcript - Demario Davis Conference Call 11/12/20 | Week 10 vs. 49ers

New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis talks about the Saints defense playing at a high-level and shares insight about the defensive game plan for the Saints Week 10 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 15, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, November 12, 2020

A couple days now that you have had Kwon (Alexander) practicing with you guys, I guess what are your first impressions of him? And what do you think he can add to the defense?
"Really good football player. Plays with a ton of energy. Really smart. Incredible savviness at the linebacker position. Yeah, I think he's just going to fit right in."

Is there anything that you've got to do to help him get up to speed? Have you been spending some time with him and helping him out where he needs it?
"No, I feel like he came in and picked up the defense really quickly. Him and Coach (Michael) Hodges spent a lot of time together. They've done an incredible job. Of course, I'll probably be responsible for making a lot more to checks on the field and just helping him with like a few of those. But he's a really smart guy. He's a veteran in the game. So I think he will be able to come in and lock in on the things that we are doing. It's probably similar to a lot of the things that he's done before."

How important is it going be to have your eyes right this week, I know they're missing a bunch of guys, but it seems like they usually scheme up some ways to get guys open anyways?
"Yeah, I just think generally, as a defensive player, especially as a linebacker, it's vital for you to have your eyes right, especially when they're doing turbos and motions and shifts, and all the different things and they do a lot. Make sure that we're having our eyes in the right place. But also just playing with a ton of energy and being physical. They have a really good football team, and do a good job calling plays and getting the matchups they want. We've got to be locked in, disciplined and running to the football."

So when we look on offense, it's easy to look at stats and see who's kind of got getting on a roll, on defense is there anybody you feel has kind of really picked it up these last couple weeks, or is kind of finding a groove that maybe the stats don't show?
"I think you can't say enough about the importance of Marshon Lattimore and when he plays at a high level, I just feel like he's just an X-factor in that way. When he plays at a high level, the defense plays at a high level. But also, Malcolm Jenkins is playing at a high level, a lot of times he's going in and taking cats out of the game, but he also has applied a lot of pressure and can play in the box. You could just name a guy on the defensive line. All those guys that are playing at a high level. And even Ceedy Deuce has just been lights out at the nickel spot for us. So you've got a lot of guys that are playing at a high level, and it's important for them to play at a high level for our defense to play at a high level."

With all the dime you guys are playing and then you being at Mike a little bit more often, how has your role changed a little bit this year, compared to last year?
"Moving over from Will to Mike's an adjustment, I take a lot of pride in my game and find a way to be efficient at whatever I'm asked to do. Playing the linebacker position, you still have to be sound in the run game, you still have to be sound in the pass game, you still have to be a good pressure player. That's something I take a lot of pride in doing. It's a bit of adjustment going to Mike because I guess you could say like the angle that you're looking at plays is different. And so it's just about retraining your eyes and that's something that I've done before. But being here, I just trained myself to be locked in on the Will position as I adjusted to that. And now it's just adjusting back to the Mike. I feel like I'm probably more naturally a Mike. So it's easy for me to kind of learn on the fly, and get back adjusted to it. But just understanding that being in the center of the defense is important for me to help get guys lined up, it's important for me to constantly be getting to the ball and then when plays come my way being able to make them. As a central part, like the nucleus of the defense, it's my job to make sure the energy is there and all the guys are on the same page."

Do you feel like your eyes have been retrained to that and was it a little process maybe early in the season to get back to where you're comfortable with it?
"Yes, it's an adjustment, I can't kind of downplay it, it's an adjustment, they're not the same position at all. A Will is a lot more out in space, you're only looking at one side of the field, you generally just have tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield. In the middle, it's a lot more central. So you can be responsible for the flow that goes out to both sides, either time. You playing a lot more on the three side versus the single receiver side or just the two side. So that's a lot more to be able to train your eyes at, also seeing the run plays from a different location. It's an adjustment, but I mean, I welcome challenges. And it's something that I've done before. So it's not like I'm having to recreate the wheel or try to do something that I've never been on before. It is almost just like, remembering the way that I did it before and doing it in the nuances of this defense. So it says a lot that my coaches have that type of confidence in me to be able to make that adjustment in the middle of the season. So if they're cool with it, I'm cool with it."

It seems like you guys have been getting like a lot of sacks and stuff in third and fourth quarter this year. Do you think that's like a product of just how deep you guys are on the defensive line? Or is it something else?
"I think it's a testament to the talent that we have and to the scheme. I think our coaches do a phenomenal job in putting together third down pressure packages, and a good, sound rush game plan. We feel like it's more of our identity when we're getting pressure on the quarterback and we're forcing takeaways, we play better as a defense and as a team. And so I think that is just kind of how we look at ourselves, we want to be a disciplined defense and make them check the ball down and drive the long, hard way. But we're also kind of like a fast break type of defense. We play with a lot of energy and we create takeaways and get after the quarterback. And that a lot of times is drive killers for us. And so yeah, I think that's just a testament to the scheme and the coaches and the talent that we have. And I think of mixture of identity."

It's kind of stupid, but like, how long does it take to get a guy his own handshake? I saw a couple of you guys working on that earlier today?
"I think he's got a handshake with everybody on the defense already. It's just kind of like initiation on our defense. Everybody's got a handshake, except the rookies. The rookies don't get a handshake until they get out there and make some plays or they get into their second year. But other than that, everybody'd got a handshake. I think he's got one with all the guys. I've got one with him. So I think he'll fit in."

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