Rookie Camp Media Availability
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Is it exciting to be able to finally get on the field with these players?
“It’s exciting. It’s great to see these guys in person. We’ve studied them for so many months. It’s actually good to see them out on the field, to teach them out on the classroom, to watch them go out and apply it. It’s been fun.”
Are you curious to see how well
“Yes, I think the biggest thing is we have a really fine talent here in Baptiste. He’s going to be really special, but he’s working with someone who to me is two of the best secondary coaches in football in Wesley McGriff and Andre Curtis. I can’t wait to see how good they’re going to make this kid. They’ll do it right away. They’re already with him, he’s eager to learn and he’s already applying techniques that our coaches are teaching him for the pro game and he’s going to be something special.”
When you draft a guy like
“Yes, I think all the picks that Mickey (Loomis) and Ryan (Pace) and Sean (Payton) picked all have tremendous upsides and as coaches we pride ourselves in that we want to get the best out of those guys. Obviously with all of Powell’s ability, we have a tremendous upside there with him. We’re working with him a great bit. We’re looking forward to really good things from him?
What is the initial vision for Powell?
“Right now we’re seeing him as a SAM linebacker. We’re not putting in any special defenses for rookie camps or OTAs. We’re just teaching guys the regular base positions. As it goes, once the season gets on you get your 53-man roster, put those guys together. Whatever your packages are, you try to come up with the best players on the field at that time. He’ll be working at SAM linebacker and he’s doing a good job.”
From a defensive coordinator’s standpoint, what kind of problems does
“He’s got tremendous speed and quickness. Anytime a player is handpicked by Sean Payton to play offense and is a receiver, you better believe he’s going to be something, so I’m anxious to see him. This guy opens your eyes. You can feel his speed, so it’s something that Al Davis used to say ‘Can you feel his speed?’ You can feel his speed and I’m looking forward to seeing him. I know Sean and he’ll create roles to get this guy involved and it will be awesome.”
Do you see that with any of the defensive players?
“I think all these guys do (fit what the team likes to do on defense). I think all of the draft picks and some of the (undrafted) free agents, they’re all big and tough, big, tough guys that can run and that’s what we want to be on defense. We thrive to be a big, physical defense and those are the players that we have. Whoever we bring in to the group, these are big, tough guys that want to compete and get better. And these new guys in the room, we want to bring the same qualities that their teammates already have.”
Do you consider Stanley Jean-Baptiste and
“Yes, absolutely. I think the game’s that way now. You have to be able to press. Champ can do anything. He can lineup backwards and cover and he’s done it before. This young guy (Jean-Baptiste), we’re getting a piece of clay and Wesley McGriff’s going to mold it into something special.”
Ronald Powell was knocked down a little at Florida based on the billing he received going into Florida. What do you see in his desire?
“He has great desire. He knows has a lot of upside and we’re going to just keep working him and getting it out of him. He’ll have the opportunity in New Orleans.”
Is it an example that you can’t coach size, but you can mold some skills with Stanley Jean-Baptiste?
“He’s a tremendous athlete. He doesn’t just have size. He has everything. He’s just a little green for the position (outside linebacker), but for us, he’s the perfect guy. Everybody believes in Wesley McGriff and we believe we can make him into something special. He takes coaching very well. He’s only been out here three times, but he’s listening. It’s important to him. He wants to be part of something great and we’re really excited about him. Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis) drafted us a great player and it’s our job as coaches to make sure that great player is playing great on Sunday.”
You and Vinnie Sanserif have something in common being the sons of defensive coaches?
“You’re right and he certainly knows football. He’s another smart, tough guy that’s going to be fun to coach. He has great demeanor. He knows what it’s all about. I don’t think you can work a coach’s kid hard enough. He’s going to be great.”
Can you talk about the overall approach to adding this talent to the secondary?
“There’s competition everywhere. It’s on all throughout the roster. On defense, we’re stacked up on numbers. Competition makes everybody better. It’s not always comfortable, but it ends up always making whoever you ended up picking deserve it and work hard for it and you can’t ask us more in the players we have here as a coach. They gave us a ton of talent and it’s up to me and our coaches to do a great job with this group and we will.”
Will we see more 3-4 packages with
“We’re going to do whatever’s best for our team. The first thing is to play them in a base defense, get them to execute that way and evaluate the talent we have. I think whatever we do best is what we’ll end up playing. If it’s 3-4, 4-3, it will hopefully be whatever we do best.”