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Transcript - Demario Davis Conference Call 12/22/20 | Week 16 vs. Vikings

New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis analyzes the Vikings offense and playing on Christmas Day prior to the Saints Week 16 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 25, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

You guys played 92 snaps on defense on Sunday, just how do you feel like you guys held up through that and what's the recovery process like for a short week?
"I think that's the biggest thing. Sometimes you're going to have games, where you play a lot of snaps. Ideally, you don't want to, but you're going to have games like that. I think the thing with the short week, rest becomes a premium, spending extra time in recovery, having that process right. Understand you've still got to try to get all your tape in. So it's just really about the process and making sure it's fine-tuned."

Is there anything you guys that any team can do to try to, quote unquote, peak at the right time in December, in January and play your best football at the end of the season? Or it's too abstract to even try to identify how to do that?
"No, I think it's about, it's all in your process. It's so important. That's why you hear so many people talk about the process, get the process right, it will kind of take care of itself. You have all year that you're all the way up to November to try to make sure that it'd right, so that you can be in stride in times like this and be playing your best ball. Making sure all those little details are fine tuned. Ideally, you want to be at full strength with your roster. Teams that can make it to this point a year and be at full strength and have like their process right during the week, they traditionally do better."

Coach Payton earlier today mentioned the Vikings and their explosive plays on offense, especially in the running game. Just what have you seen from that offense on film? And what are some of the things that they do that allow them to have those explosive plays?
"A really good offense, a lot of great personnel, guys that have proven themselves in this league for a long time. Some dynamic receivers (Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen), a tight end (Kyle Rudolph) that's been dominant in this league for a long time, a running back (Dalvin Cook) that's running like (one of the) top running backs in the league, a really good offensive line and a great play caller (Gary Kubiak). So it presents a lot of challenges for you going into a game. And so we've got to be locked in and ready to play at a high level."

I know you don't like to talk about accolades and stuff like getting sniped from the Pro Bowl again this year. But what was I guess your reaction when you didn't see Trey Hendrickson on that list either?
"It's interesting to see a guy to play at a high level like that this year, to be number one in the league in regards to sacks. And we traditionally praise that position, you want to have guys that can dominate the edge. It changes your defense and it changes the dynamic of the game when you're able to get pressure on the quarterback and he's done it at a high level. He's certainly Pro Bowl worthy, for sure."

You alluded to Dalvin Cook. What are the things that make him an elite running back?
"I think what makes him elite is his acceleration, his vision, his ability to be able to cut on a dime. He's a strong runner. He can do a lot in the passing game, a good pass protecting running back, he can do it all in all phases, and certainly playing like one of the best backs in the league right now."

Just the name of the game, playing in the fall and the winter. You played on holidays, Thanksgiving last several years and now Christmas. What does that mean to you that you're playing a game on Christmas day?
"You just have to enjoy it. It's tough being away from your family on the holidays, especially when you have little ones that do not really understand why you have got to be away. But you have to enjoy it, just being able to be a part of this game is a blessing. When you're growing up, you are looking at these games on holidays, and just wanting to be there and when you have the opportunity to be here and play in them, you definitely have to appreciate it and take it all in and just not take it for granted. It is an incredible opportunity. We're playing against a team that is playing at a high level. To be able to go out there (and) execute at a high level's going to be a great opportunity, a lot of fun."

Do you guys have to pace yourself at all this week on defense, just given that you basically played like a game and a half on Sunday, 92 snaps 40 something minutes, is this week a little bit different, just given how quick it is and how much you guys played?
"Like I talked about earlier, it is really in your process. Some weeks, depending on what happened the week before with what's going on, you have to tweak some things. I think anytime you're on a short week, rest is at a premium. You still have to be able to get your film in and understand what the opponent is going to be trying to do. And so I think we've got a good organization and a lot of guys individually have good processes and our process collectively is good. And that's what you lean on in times like this."

Just to follow up on asking you about peaking at the right time, what gives you the confidence this team's close to doing that, despite the two game losing streak?
"What I keep alluding to. You don't look at the results. The results are a byproduct of the product and the product is your process. And you have to constantly be fine tuning that. And as I said, I think we have a lot of guys that have been in this position before, that have the experience, that know how to prepare for these games, understand the importance of them. And knowing the things that they have to be able to do individually and what we have to do collectively to be able to be successful on Sunday. It's not an easy thing to do. Of course the results aren't going to be 100 percent, but you have a much better chance when you have guys that know how to prepare, and a team that knows how to prepare for these types of games than you do if you don't."

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