New Orleans Saints Offensive Line/Running Game Coach Aaron Kromer spoke with the media following Monday's practice.
Here's the full transcript of comments from Monday, October 15:
Opening statement: “Coming off of the bye week, we gave them off the extended amount of time that we talked about from Tuesday until Sunday. It looked like it paid off today with practice. We had a good practice. They were fast. We almost had a full length of time of a normal practice as a bonus practice today and I thought they came back with the energy and the focus that they needed and got a head start on Tampa Bay.”
Did you get the injured players back today, specifically Jabari Greer and Jimmy Graham?
“I’d rather not comment on injuries today.”
Are you going to take Jonathan Vilma off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list tomorrow when he would be eligible?
“Well, we have to see on that. He hasn’t practiced. We will see what we can do with that.”
Realistically, with all of the factors, how much would he be able to do if he is taken off the PUP list?
“Jonathan is a good football player and he’s been (one) for a long time. He has been around here a lot. He has seen a lot of this defense and knows it. We will see how this goes this week.”
What is Will Smith’s status for this week?
“Same as always. Nothing has changed.”
Going forward, how do you ride the momentum of a win before the bye this week?
“We control momentum. We control momentum with the way we practice, the way we prepare and the way we play in the game. Like we had in the last game, there is ebb-and-flow during the games and during the season. We’ve continued to get better each week and that’s our goal, to keep climbing and keep getting better.”
What have learned in your five weeks serving as acting head coach?
“Over the years, if you’re an assistant coach and your goal is to be a head coach, you just pay attention. You pay attention to the way Sean Payton does things, the way coaches I have worked for in the past have done things. That’s all I’ve done and (will) continue to do. What I’ve learned or not learned, I don’t know how important that is. It’s important that we win games and we win this week against Tampa Bay. Like I said, it’s not about me. It’s about the group. Our goal is to keep getting one game better and beat Tampa Bay.”
If three years down the road you are still an assistant coach with this team, do you still have the desire to be the head coach after having gone through a difficult situation?
“Yes, I have a strong desire to have my own team one day.”
What are your impressions about Tampa Bay’s big victory against the Chiefs and do you feel like that it makes it easier to get the team refocused?
“I don’t think we’ll have a problem getting refocused. We know what is ahead of us. Tampa Bay has a very strong defense and they did a nice job against Kansas City yesterday. We know it’s a formidable opponent, we are at their place, and it’s a divisional rivalry. We need to play our best football to win on the road and we can do that.”
Did you watch the game or enjoy a Sunday off?
“I would rather watch it on coach’s tape than watch it on TV. I like to form my own opinions of what’s happening on the field so I’d have to shut that off, number one, to watch it on TV. It takes too long. I like to watch it on the coach’s tape, see what I want to see and run it back and really study it. So, no, I did not watch it on TV.”
What were you doing yesterday afternoon?
“Yesterday afternoon I was spending time with my family.”
Why would Jonathan Vilma say that last night about being eligible this week?
“Because Jonathan Vilma loves football. If he can come anywhere close to being near-able to play, he’s going to say he is playing. That’s just Jonathan Vilma. He’s jumping out of his shoes, he has been since he got back here before game one. He’s worked really hard over these last six weeks on PUP and physically and mentally he feels ready. He is just stating that, he can’t stand it holding anything in. He wants to just play. He is excited and we will see what happens.”
Joe Vitt said that there is always a spot on this team for Vilma to play. If he is able to play, is it an easy transition to put him in the system?
“Well, nothing in football or adjustments that you have to make with these kind of situations are easy. Jonathan Vilma is one of the top football players in the National Football League and has been so it’s a necessity that we find a place that he can help us win.”
Is he versatile enough to play outside of the middle?
“Yeah, I think Jonathan Vilma could play anywhere.”
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