New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan Post-Practice Media Availability Thursday, January 9, 2014
What did you take away from the last time you played these guys to how you can slow this offense down?
“I think pretty much everything. We did not play our style of game at all. I think that’s really the only game that I just don’t think we were ourselves at all. Whatever it was we just made mental mistakes. We made fundamental mistakes, some technique things and we pride ourselves on playing the game the right way. I don’t think we really did that and I think obviously the execution of their quarterback was something to be seen. Hopefully he doesn’t have that type of game against us again or we are in big trouble.”
How do you keep him from doing that?
“I think we have to get pressure on him. We have to attack the pocket and we have to do a better job of keeping him contained. I think he was out of the pocket. A lot of that was calls on me. We went through some three man rush and he definitely exploited that and then when we came on all out pressure he made the throws and we didn’t quite execute the coverage. It made for an awfully long evening out there and we are looking to do better than that and we will.”
Do you think you have a better understanding of what it takes to defend Russell Wilson now?
“I think I better have a better understanding of it. I think he was exceptional. My previous experience against him was the second week he ever started. Obviously he has come a long way from there. I see him as a premier quarterback in this league. We all see it. We have to be excellent and be at the top of our game to slow this guy down and that is not even mentioning the great running back (Marshawn) Lynch that they have and their commitment to running the football.”
Was that priority number one?
“Yeah, I think they did a lot of things. But you are right, we had aggressively planned our attack on their running game which we did for the most part, but anything other than that we did not, execute very well. They obviously played a great game and deserve all the great credit that they got.”
Are you getting a little tired of facing these good running backs every week?
“No. I think in this league whoever is back there is a great one. This league, and especially at this time of the year, you see nothing but the best so you always see a great back, a great quarterback with great coaches also. It’s the best of the best. It is why this league is so great. That is why I think if you are a great coach you want to be in this league because this is where all the best are.”
What are the challenges when you go against a back like Marshawn Lynch? Did you show the team the beast mode run?
“No, we’ve had our game and then four others that we have been showing to see how they’ve changed a little bit and how they haven’t. We know who he is. I don’t think he is hard to find. I think he is the premier power back in football. I love him and (Frank) Gore. They both pound that football and run it hard. They run it the right way and they run it with the passion that those great backs do. They are right there. You have to gang tackle Lynch or you are not going to get him down by yourself.”
How about Percy Harvin? Does he add yet another degree of difficulty to this offense?
“I think so. He’s an elite player when he’s healthy, so absolutely. I’m sure he’s had a couple of good weeks in there to get back with (Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell) Bevell and that offense. They do a great job and they do a hell of a job using all of his talents. One time he’s lined up at running back, at receiver, hell they can put him at center probably and hike the ball. He’s all over the place. We know who he is; we’ll have him identified and we’ll do a great job.”
Bevell was quoted today as saying that he doesn’t know what to expect out of your defense. Do you believe that or have any satisfaction in that?
“No, but we plan on being a lot better than the last time he saw us. We’re going to get that fixed. We’re excited about this opportunity. We know how great they are. They’ve earned the home field advantage; they beat a lot of good teams. They’ve lined up and played everybody in this league and still have that record, so it’s no fluke. They’re a great team and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Overall, how enjoyable has this season been with the Saints and knowing that there is still a lot to come?
“It’s the best. This is what I’ve been waiting for since my days in New England…everybody seems to forget that I did win six playoff games there. That wasn’t my virgin win last week. It’s great. There’s nothing like being in an opportunity to just be a part of something successful. I think that’s the best thing. We have the best head coach, we have an unbelievable staff here. Everybody in this building is there for one reason, and that’s for the Saints to win. There’s no hidden agendas, there’s no politics anywhere. It’s just guys working their butts off to try and get something done right and with a great leader like Sean. This is a great place to come to work. I have a smile on my face every day because I’ve been in other roads that weren’t quite as much fun to get to work to, I can promise you.”
Earlier this year you talked about being flexible, listening to players, and emphasizing versatility. Do you think that came into play a lot this year with all of the unexpected personnel changes in terms of managing that and keeping this defense performing well?
“Sure. I think a lot of that is experience. We’ve had injuries. Wherever you are, you’re going to go through some injuries. I had a lot of injuries in Cleveland one time, a lot of injuries last year in Dallas, and then this year is no different. It’s tough because you’ve got great players. But again, our roster is full of a lot of talented guys, and I think that’s what makes this place so exceptional is the job that Mickey Loomis and Ryan Pace do. They put great players in your room – and some of the faces change in there. We’ve lost some tremendous football players, but we’ve got some really high quality guys behind them that are just waiting for an opportunity to play. They’re getting that opportunity and they’re doing well.”
The Cajun Cannon made it here, and now, as they say, "the hay is in the barn." We are all up here in beautiful West Virginia and tomorrow we will hear from Mickey and Sean.
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