Atlanta Falcons Interim Head Coach Raheem Morris
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
When you're looking at that Saints-Broncos game last week and the unique circumstances, is there anything at all you can take away from that?
"Yeah, talking about the Saints and their toughness, they absolutely went out there and they had the ability, the last two weekends that they have gone out and played, to dictate terms. They came out versus us and they were able to run the football, establish their toughness and (do) what they wanted to do on defense. They established their toughness on defense and they played really competitive and they did the same thing versus the Broncos. They're not going to change who they are based on what's going on with another team. They (know what they) want to be and do what they do. So when (they) go out there and dictate terms like that, that lets us know, we need to figure out how to change the narrative."
Obviously, this is your second time playing the Saints in a span of three weeks. Really, it's only been two weeks since that game. So does that make things harder or does it matter at all?
"There's no love lost. When we go to play these guys, it's going to be a show and we can't wait to get there. There'll be some things that have to be played the right way. We've got to check, we got to go back and evaluate some stuff that we did the last time, we've got to change those things and get ready to play another tough football game. The Saints are a tough group of guys to play. But it was one week ago, a month ago, it really doesn't matter. You've got to be ready to play this really good football team that you guys got."
You mentioned changing the narrative, I guess, what are some of the key things you want to see your team do differently this time?
"We played a pretty good first half when you talk about defense, but we've got to get our offense going. We've got to get our offense off the bus. We've got to get them up and running early. And we've got to get you guys, got to get a little bit more pressure you guys and force you guys out of what you want to do. So if we can do some of those things, we'll have a chance to make this more competitive at the end. Those guys really controlled the second half and made it go the way they wanted it to go. Kudos to those guys, the coaching staff and the players."
When you look at Taysom Hill, obviously, it was his first time starting against you last time. I'm curious if the fact that he's playing more just kind of like a standard quarterback, if that makes it actually harder to defend some of the like quarterback power and stuff that they do now that there's kind of more passing looks than he was having before?
"He's a hard guy to defend just in general because of his ability and his versatility and flexibility. He can go back at quarterback and motion out like he's done at times, and let Kamara take the snap and run it. He can go out there and can dropback pass. He can do all the things with play action. He can all the things with his own feet. He's a problem. And he'll continue to be a problem. He's a 2-0 quarterback right now. He is playing really well. He's playing at a high level and we've got to find a way to get after him and find a way to get him uncomfortable a little bit."
The eight sacks you give up last time to New Orleans, it's not the first time in the last couple of years that's kind of been an issue for you guys. Is there any one thing that kind of stands out when you're looking at just protecting Matt (Ryan) against this front?
"Yeah, Dennis Allen, he's a problem. Dennis Allen has done a nice job with the defense. He has those guys really revved up and he's got those guys getting after us. We have got to find a way to do a better job of getting the ball of our hand. We've got to do a better job of protecting and we've got to find a better way of calling plays without putting ourselves in harm's way. So if we can go out and get those things done and try to keep Dennis Allen away from the game and affect it, we'll have a chance. Those players have done a great job for him and those coaches are doing a great job for him and it looks like they have a really well uniform team (on same wavelength)."
When you're looking at this offensive line that they have, it seems like they keep rotating guys in and out, but haven't really had any drop off. What do you notice about those guys?
"They've always done a really good job, Sean (Payton) in particular, what he does with whoever he's playing. We're always talking about the interchangeable pieces with the Saints and you've just seen it over the years. So whoever goes out there and plays, they're going to know exactly what to do, execute the gameplan and they do a nice job of getting that done every, single week. Wherever they put out there, they do a great job of absolutely buying into the next man up philosophy, which they've done over the years. It's been really good for those guys."
For you personally, you guys are 4-2 since you took over. What's kind of been the spark for you guys? What's been behind that improvement since that point?
"This whole spark for me right now is to go 1-0 against Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints. If we can find a way to do that, I really could care less. Everything else has been nice, but this weekend is big, it's huge because it's the next man up. If you can always think about the next man up, you can focus on that and go 1-0 mentality. That's what gets us going, that's the spark."
Deion Jones is a New Orleans native and has played a lot of big games against the Saints. Is there anything special for a guy going up against his hometown team even if at your home stadium? Does that even matter?
"You have to say yes. He enjoys playing in New Orleans. His whole family is down there (lives there). In a normal year, it's really nice to go to New Orleans sometimes and see his whole family. Obviously, we can't do that this year with the COVID but he certainly has a spark to play the Saints. I don't think it has anything to do with being the hometown team and wanting to show them up or anything like that. It's just a little bit of pride when you go play at home. We've taken him and adopted him, he's an Atlanta native now he's having fun for us. He's playing well against everybody. He's going to have fun, he's got a chance to go against some of his old buddies, (Alvin) Kamara being one of them. He's always fired up for this game."