Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams spoke with the Saints Radio Network WWL 870 AM about the team's 2011 draft picks at the Saints Hall of Fame Golf Tournament. Below are highlights from the interview:
On DE Cameron Jordan:
"I think that Cam has great versatility. I think he will be able to do a lot of different things that we have been doing defensively in the past and what we have been working on to expand on this year. He gives you that ability to play hard against the run but we can also move him inside on passing downs. He can play right and left. It's something where he isn't pigeonholed in any one position. I have said many times that I like players that can play multiple positions. When you do that, you get good football players. You don't get athletes that are trained and pigeonholed into one area because when that guy goes down, what are you going to do? The versatility of the defense is to be able to play more than one position. Not only Cam, but every single (draft) choice we had (can do that)."
On RB Mark Ingram:
"Mark Ingram is maybe the best choice we took and he is on the offensive side of the ball. I really like him because he will keep our defense off the field at the end of the game because he can run the ball in the power running game."
On LB Nate Bussey:
"I am really looking forward to (working) with this young man. I think Saints fans are going to be really pleased when they see how versatile of a player he is and how tough of a player he is. He is a former high school quarterback who moved to defense. He moved to free safety then strong safety and finally grew into the Will Linebacker position that we are going to play him in space.
"As good as a defensive player as he is, wait till you see this kid play special teams. He can flat out get it done. I get irritated when I hear scouts, coaches or media talk about 'Maybe he doesn't play good on offense or defense but he will be a good special teams player.' No, it's the other way around. When you are a good special teams player, we will find a place for you to play on offense or defense because there is less space to play in. You have to play in so much more space as a special teams player. You run further and run longer. I am excited about this young player. Not only just from his physical abilities but more from his mental abilities, the chip on his shoulder and that he is out to prove something. He wants to be good."
On LB Martez Wilson:
"He is going to be a Sam linebacker for us. We are going to move him over to the outside linebacker (position). It will be the first person that we have had in here that fits the profile of a Scott Fujita. What we did last year is take four guys and played them in different packages (as opposed) to everything that Scott did by himself. When Martez deserves the right to get on the field, he will be competing in those roles. I think it is a natural position for him.
"We were very fortunate to get him where we got him. I thought he would be gone a long time before he fell to us in the third round. He is another one of those guys that will fit in well just as Johnny Patrick and Greg Romeus."
On DB Johnny Patrick:
*(on the draft analysts that said Patrick's weakness is in the run game) *
"In the 32 years I have coached, there have been a lot of guys who supposedly weren't good in run support till I got a chance to coach them. They all changed because they want to be on the field. If you want to be on the field you are going to be issued shoulder pads and a helmet and we expect you to use them. There is no doubt in my mind that he will jump on board and be able to play the way we play. He has really good instincts in the passing game and he will have improved instincts in the run game after we get done with him."
On DE Greg Romeus:
"How about that? We get the 2009 Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the seventh round? That is a tremendous job that Mickey (Loomis) and the guys did to be able to bring him in here. I think the blueprint with how you go about handling (his knee injury) is what we did with Jimmy Wilkerson. Jimmy had a December ACL reconstruction after he hurt it against us in the fourth quarter two years ago. How we were able to get production out of him and brought him along, with Greg a month (ahead) on that recovery.
"Once again, here is a guy with versatility that can play along that line of scrimmage in a lot of different places. I like the fact that he has a basketball background. As long as he will stick his face in there and he is that brawler that you had on the basketball court then he will do well with us. He has very good athletic ability."
On the Saints defensive draft picks as a group:
With all of our (defensive draft picks), we have a vision for where we see them playing. They will be good contributors to us. When you take a look at these guys stature, we look different getting off the bus. These guys are big, physical and a lot taller. They have more of a presence about them when you see them getting off the bus. Now, they have to go out and play too. I am looking forward to coaching them."