Opening Statement: “Just a few things after going through the tape. I think early in the game we had a little bit of momentum field position wise. I thought that kind of slipped away towards the end of the second quarter and the second half. I think fundamentally we have to do a better job starting with us as coaches, myself and the rest of the staff. There are some things that we saw on this tape that were a little different than some of the prior games, so just some of the base fundamentals of blocking, tackling, securing the football, the proper depths on routes, those are some things that were apparent. We will have a full week schedule here with a Sunday night game to make those corrections. I thought the first half the clock was an issue and a lot of that is on me, getting the play in. Their team (Jets) defensively does a lot so we are going to try and do a lot at the line of scrimmage with protections. So we had the timeouts and delays and that is not something that is good obviously. It is not something that has been like us. We have to clean that up. There were two key situations in that game, certainly the third and one where they called the time out then we run the play on third and one and then fourth down play that gets thrown for a loss. That sequence hurt us obviously. I though the sequence at the end of the second quarter where we were able to create some field position. We had them backed up on their two yard line and then Chris (Ivory) was able to make a big run. That was a pretty big change of field position. I thought in the kicking game we didn’t cover as well. (Josh) Cribbs had some good returns. We weren’t able to get much going. We played (Travaris) Cadet as a kick returner in Darren’s absence and then Lance (Moore) filled in as punt returner. I don’t know if the opportunities existed so much in the punt return game just based on the type of punts we received. We didn’t win that battle with regards to field position when you are measuring our kick (returns) against theirs. It’s a tough loss and I said this yesterday, I thought the Jets deserved to win that game. They played better than we did and we have to do a better job coaching and playing. We will start that this week when the players come in. We have an important game this week against Dallas and go from there.”
Were you able to tell if the Jets got that timeout in on the play where it appeared Jed Collins had rushed for a first down?
“No, you can’t see that on coaches’ tape and I wouldn’t be able to tell on the field. You guys might have been able to see it television wise. It is so loud that it is not uncommon for a head coach to go over to the official and quickly call time out. That can happen. And then a whole play can be run. I’m fairly certain that probably did get called, but I wasn’t able to tell during the game or on coaches’ tape.”
How did Jonathan Vilma look?
“He looked okay, rusty. There are some things that we have to get cleaned up and I’m sure he will.”
Can you talk about Darren Sproles’ health?
“No, Wednesday we will update you.”
Is it a concern for you the amount of rushing yards per game you are giving up?
“Well I think the difference, there are games where you play and look stopping the run is important for us, it starts with that defensively and we’ve gotten a lead maybe if teams have become a little bit more one dimensional. The thing that is disappointed about yesterday was that we knew getting off the bus that this was a team that was going to run the football and they knew they were going to run the football. I think everyone at MetLife Stadium knew they were going to run the football and we weren’t able to stop them. That’s frustrating and we have to look at why and make those corrections and then conversely and I will say this, we felt going in we were going to throw the ball a little more just because of the type of defense we were seeing and actually when we ran it we ran it pretty efficiently. I didn’t call enough runs just looking at the tape. I think that might have because they were playing us more of a pass mode but our guys, with regards to the run, the opportunities that we gave them did a pretty good job and the backs did a pretty good job. That’s something that is on me.”
Can you talk about how Mark Ingram seemed to have a pretty good day yesterday?
“The opportunities he had, both he and Pierre (Thomas) that way. There weren’t many, but yes.”
Was the passing game affected at all by conditions?
“I don’t think so. I didn’t feel like it was that windy. I didn’t feel like it was that cold. I think they did a good job defensively with some hurries and some pressure in Drew’s (Brees) face. We had some tips, some drops. We were sloppy in regards to our routes. I think those things all let to a couple of turnovers. Balls were deflected and it just wasn’t really clean.”
You guys seem to play better at home and indoors than on the road and outdoors.
“I think you have to go back and do some research, away games versus home games. I don’t think it has been (simply road struggles versus home successes). We struggled in 2006 in Chicago in some pretty tough conditions, but I think there are other (times we have played well in those conditions), I don’t view that as a challenge for us. We won some pretty good games here in cold weather. We played up in New York (Giants). We played in Cincinnati. But again, home and away, I didn’t think weather was a big issue yesterday period. Just being on the field, I thought the temperatures were great. The sun was out a little bit and more importantly there wasn’t much wind. Besides from it being outside on the road I think it was pretty clean.”
Was this game a culmination of other games and a good lesson for these guys?
“I don’t know if that was. I think yesterday was specifically, we didn’t play well enough. We played very well in some big spots. We just haven’t been very consistent. With regards to the running game we haven’t been very consistent and that is something that we feel like is going to be important throughout the second half of the season. I don’t know that yesterday was a culmination of other games to answer your question.”
Does the offensive line as a whole need to get better?
“The offensive line play has a lot of company with a lot of other groups yesterday. I thought we blocked the run well. I thought it became challenging for them with regards to the type of game we play. Sure is that an area where we want to be more consistent in? It is and yet it would be the same way on the other side of the ball with the defensive line play and the same way with the wide receiver, tight ends and defensive backs. It would be real hard looking at that tape that I just watched to pull out a position group or omit coaches and specifically say this is the reason they didn’t have success in New York. But I know it is Monday and that is what you guys do.”
To what extent is it fair or unfair to say if just a couple of balls that hit guys in the hand that were dropped would have been caught, does that change a lot?
“Look there are four, five, six plays that you could look at that are significant. I just mentioned the long run, minus two where (Chris) Ivory brings it out and all of a sudden he is on our end over the 50. Sure there are some tips in that game, there are some plays that maybe we had a chance to make a play on. Jabari (Greer) comes close on a trap coverage. But that is the game. That is typically what happens after each week. In a win or a loss you can point to six or seven specific situations that you don’t know it that very moment, but looking back at it, it can become very pivotal in the outcome of the game. Those are the things where we talk about the details you are constantly trying to work on so they go in your favor.”
The two drops for Nick Toon, do you think those were two hard plays?
“The one on the sideline was a bump and run, kind of like a locked Harvey route. Timing was good on it. I think he got on him pretty quick. Versus a bump and run, you might not get the same depth as you would versus off coverage. It is a half count and there is a hand on it and then (Antonio) Cromartie makes a real good play on the sidelines. Just a little bit more work, a little bit more timing and hopefully that ends up being a completion. That is something though that you make a note and you watch and you think, hey, we have to continue to work on the nuances, the little things, the details in the passing game within a specific coverage to clean those things up so those are plays that are in our favor.”
I noticed that Toon played the most snaps of all receivers, was it because he was the X?
“It might have been because he was the X. I think then with Darren (Sproles) being out we were in, the plan was going to be to play the four receivers, (Robert) Meachem in some personnel groupings, the other three, Lance (Moore), Nick (Toon) and Kenny (Stills) probably a similar amount of time. I don’t know if his snaps were that much more than Kenny for instance. They may have been a little bit because Meachem was playing the Z. But that’s kind of I think more of an end result.”
In general this year, sacks and pressure seems high, but pass protection is still pretty solid.
“I think it has been. I think despite we have been a little bit lopsided. I think last year certainly we were. It is something we wanted to emphasize. I think the pass protection becomes more manageable when you are running the football. So this gets back to me like in a game like yesterday of giving those guys a little bit more balance so that you are not sitting on the road in a one dimensional game. Look it is something, it’s an area that we continue to work on but again, it would be hard to point to one position group today on Monday.”
John Fox and Gary Kubiak both experienced health problems this weekend. What are your thoughts on these men and if perhaps this is due to working too many hours, etc.?
“First with regards to John and Gary. I’ve texted John and touched base with him. He’s a close friend, as close as I have in this business, and a great coach. Gary is the same way. We’ve built a relationship up just through the seven or eight years that we practiced with them and played them in the preseason. I caught the highlights of last night and hope he’s doing well. I hope both of them get back out there as soon as they can and when they can. Certainly there’s a demand, and you try to find that balance from a health standpoint. It’s a tough one because, by nature, that position – and it’s not just the NFL, it’s college, it’s high school – that job is competitive. They’ve gotten to those positions because of hard work and so you’re just trying to make sure you have that balance. That’s difficult.”
Do you think anything needs to be done in regards to monitoring the health of coaches?
“Well, I could say a few things...I won’t. They can’t have a union. The (assistant coaches) association is what it is. I don’t know that that is something that will come of it. Maybe it will. Who knows? I think that oftentimes maybe there’s a scare or oftentimes there’s something that might take place and it can change a little bit of your perspective. I don’t know specifically with regards to me the last year and a half with coming back and just trying to look at things a little differently and trying to stay active and trying to eat less or eat right. Those are challenges any time you’re traveling or working last hours. It’s hard to eat the right stuff to begin with, and to do it on a schedule where you’re traveling or you’re up late is more difficult. I think it’s good that it has been brought to (people’s) attention, and I think that hopefully John can get back quickly with his procedure and what he is having is successful. And the same way with Gary…I’m not fairly certain as to his condition.”
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New Orleans Saints (9-3) vs Carolina Panthers (9-3)
Sunday December 8th 7:30 Kickoff, WWL Radio
Last week's results: Seattle beat New Orleans 34-7 / Carolina beat Tampa Bay 26-7
Series History: The Panthers lead the series 19-17
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