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Transcript - Demario Davis Conference Call 12/28/20 | Week 17 vs. Panthers

New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis analyzes the Saints defense and the importance of staying focused prior to the Saints regular season finale against the Carolina Panthers on January 3, 2021.

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, December 28, 2020

You probably haven't often been on the other side of a performance like Alvin (Kamara's) and a running game like that. But, in the times that you have, how debilitating can that be for an opposing defense to have a team just chunk yards, chunk yards, touchdowns on the ground?
"Yeah, I think an important part of a good defense is you got to be able to stop the run and force teams to be one dimensional in already a tough passing game. And so when you can't do that, it's going to be a long day. But sometimes, no matter how much you plan and are prepared, you go up against somebody who's that special like Alvin. And when he's rolling, you've got a tough day on your hands."

As you guys head into this final game of the regular season, what are some of the goals and things that you're hoping to accomplish?
"The mission hasn't changed. We've had one goal since we entered the season, the mission hasn't changed. So we're close now. Got one goal in the bag, but the mission is not complete. We've got to keep going."

Winning on Friday I guess it was a super exciting, another division title, but not everything so positive with Kwon (Alexander) leaving due to his injury. Just how tough was that to see somebody who's really become a big part of this defense and this team go down like that?
"Yeah, it's tough because something like that happened to one of your brothers. And I always emphasize, like, our locker room and how we're like family, and I don't know if anybody's came in and gelled with a group as fast as Kwon has. So it's tough, because you feel that pain for him, but he's a strong dude. Strong mental mind. It's a minor setback for a major comeback for him. So he'll be good. Definitely. It just puts extra chip on our shoulder to go and do it for our brother."

I was wondering if there's any, like noticeable kind of turning point for you all when you really felt like you were starting to play kind of your best football defensively this year?
"I don't know when the exact turning point was, but we knew we didn't play as high level as we could early on in the season, with as talented a group as we had, and as much preparation as we put into our craft. So when things just started to catch stride, it was just something that we had expected all along. But I think we never really focused on why it wasn't happening. We just tried to focus on things that we need to correct and try to do that."

Is that that kind of the point when you have, like a really good defense or when you're confident in your team is to just kind of keep plugging away and be confident that it'll come around if that makes any sense?
"Yeah, well, since I've been here, we've been fortunate to win a lot of games. And so you don't win a lot of games without doing a lot of things right. And we've had a lot of success on defense. Our kind of mentality was go from good to great this year. And so we certainly felt like the things that we were doing were taking us in that direction. And early on, we weren't getting those results. But John Wooden talks about that a lot, one of the greatest coaches of all time. And DA talks about it a lot, it's about focusing on the process, and if we focus on the process, the rest take care of itself. And so I don't think we ever looked at the results and tried to fix the results. We just continue to critique our process and it's paid off. And that's certainly going to have to be in tact as we go down and final stretch."

In the history of the NFC South, there have been a couple teams that have won the Super Bowl, a couple other teams that have made it, but no team has swept the rest of the division in the regular season. I guess what does that say about the division itself? And then what does that say about this team that you have a chance to do it this week?
"It's a tough division. A lot of good team, a lot of good quarterbacks, a lot of good defenses, a lot of talent. So it's important to get this win because it helps us go where we're trying to go and do what we're trying to do and it's the next game, but I don't think sweeping the thing was necessarily like, oh, shoot. It'd be nice, but the mission at the end is what's most important."

This isn't a sudden death situation. These aren't playoff games, but you guys still are playing for something pretty significant these last couple of games. Does that make them kind of feel like a playoff atmosphere?
"Yeah, we've had a mindset that we have been in playoffs for the last two weeks, just our mentality. So you don't know what's going to happen across the league. So just win your game and let the rest take care of itself. That's what you have to do in the playoffs."

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