New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
Thursday, January 12, 2012
We know you get psyched up about going up against great offensive players like Peyton Manning. Do you get psyched up about going up against a great defense like San Francisco's?
"I have a lot of respect for what they've been able to do. I've been in the league a long time and gone up against a lot of good defenses, but we understand here probably as well as I've been anywhere on how to play as a team. Sean (Payton) and Pete (Carmichael Jr.) and I have done a pretty good job of playing off each other and what it takes to win this game. I think that's one of the best things Sean talks about when he starts setting up our total plan as a team behind the scenes. Greg McMahon will talk about our special teams point of view, Pete will talk about an offensive point of view and I will talk about a defensive point of view and we will make a total team plan. What we have to do is use the guys here that we have a chance to coach and make a team plan. I think the 49ers, Jim (Harbaugh) has done a great job with Vic (Fangio) and Greg (Roman) and everybody out there in organizing their team out there to the best ability to be able to have a winning season and the best chance for them to have the success they've had this year. It's been impressive to see how they've been coached as a team with the three areas in synch for what's best for them. The way we play here is what's best for us. We're pretty much an attacking offense, defense and special teams. From that standpoint, our guys have somewhat taken a look at that, but there hasn't been a lot of overlap film in what we've seen them play on film this year."
How does having the opportunity to go against Jimmy Graham in practice, help you in preparing for another explosive tight end in Vernon Davis?
"It does help and I mentioned that last week as we got ready for (Tony) Scheffler. This conference has a lot of good tight ends. Arguably if not the best, one of the best is here. Being able to go against him in training camps and practices and scout teams, it does help us a lot. It does."
Can you talk about Carlos Rogers, since you were a guy who supposedly pushed to draft him in Washington?
"He is a real special player and I've had a chance to have in all these years several of these defensive backs. You have one here now with Malcolm (Jenkins) and I've had a couple in other places I've been. Carlos was a real good find and a real good draft choice for us. I'm really pleased with how he's been able to grow as a player. I've teased him for so many years about how hard it is for him to catch the ball. He hasn't been a very natural catcher. He's had a great year catching the football. It will be great for me to have a chance to see him after the game or something like that, but he's just like some of these young guys here that I have been hard on before, I (was) very, very hard on him with the Washington Redskins and he still remembers that. He's a real special player."
Are the practice sessions where you go against the ones on offense pretty common?
"No, it isn't, not during the week and really this place here and then when I was a head coach, we did that quite a bit. That's a special time during the week. Not only do we just do it on Friday's. We do it each day where we do good on good and we don't put any restraints on what the offense wants to do, whatever we want to do. It gives us some high-paced looks. It also gives us a chance to test the breaking points of adjustments for them and us. We've done some things this week that has challenged them in a few of their calls and they've been able to go out and get it corrected before we get on game day and we do the same thing."
What's been the difference with Alex Smith this year?
"He's done a great job. I think Jim (Harbaugh) has done a great job. Wherever he's going to coach, at whatever level, because he's played at all three, four, five levels of ball, I see a lot of Alex in Jim in how Jim played the game at those times. When you get a particular player who has risen up the ranks at this level, there's a little magic in getting him to listen to you. All a player at this level wants to know at this level is if you actually understand what he's going through, understand that you can help him get better, so I'm sure that when Alex looks at Jim, he knows that Jim exactly knows the pitfalls and strengths and weaknesses of how to play the position. He's listened very well. Jim's gotten his point across very well and has arguably done one of the best jobs in the whole national football league in what he's done with that team. That position right there in how he's solidified that position has gotten him in the position where they're in the playoffs with the second seed in this playoff race."
Do you handle your preparation of him differently than the previous time you faced him last year or when you were in other places?
"You look at each player individually. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. There's an adjustment that we've done on how we've viewed him. We've had to make those adjustments. But, we've played against so many top-flight quarterbacks that have produced at such a high level, we've played a lot since I've been here. We've played a lot this year. We'll pull out some things that have been effective versus some of those other guys that he'll see too. But, we'll have to gear some other things towards other aspects of our team, but he's done a good job and he's grown a lot as a player. He's accepted the coaching very well of what this new staff has come in and brought to him."
How do you compartmentalize the coaching carousel?
"I've always been pretty good. The people who have been around me the most tease me about the OCD stuff on being focused and attentive. I'm a grinding worker. I have a real good situation here. This is so much fun to be playing in the playoffs. This is why we do what we do."
With your family in town in the Sugar Bowl. Did you take stock?
"It was fun to see all of them in the same place at the same time. It's hard for us to get together for Christmas. It's hard for us to get together for different times of the year. Because my youngest was down here for the Sugar Bowl, everybody got together for Christmas and for a long time after that. In fact the youngest from Virginia headed out today. The daughter headed back. It was a good family situation for us. Unusual for us as I've bounced around the country coaching. This is a Saints family too. I've enjoyed being around the people here around the Saints organization and I enjoy playing when other teams aren't playing."
Do you plan to explore free agency?
"I love here. This is a great organization. I will tell you this about Jeff (Fisher) – He's my best friend in coaching. We're very close. The National Football League needs him coaching. They need him to be a head coach in this league. There are not very many people as good as he is what what he does. I'm anxious to see where he goes. I don't know. I don't know any more than you guys. I don't talk with him. I don't mess with him at this time of the year. He doesn't mess with me at this time of the year. We'll be back up at some time this offseason, maybe be able to do some hunting or fishing, but the National Football League needs Jeff Fisher back on the sidelines. It really does."
Did anyone reach out to you for a head coaching job?
"What we're doing here, my head's down and all we do is keep on coaching."
New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.
Friday, January 12, 2012
Can you talk about San Francisco's defense?
"I think it's outstanding. When you talk about them, their safeties are physical. In their secondary, they all have good ball skills. All of their linebackers are physical and fast and you need to account for all the guys up front. This is a great defense we are getting ready to play."
Can you talk about what you think of Patrick Willis?
"The big thing is studying the film and seeing what he's doing on each snap. All the time, you can't discount him on any play."
Can you talk about the job Jim Harbaugh has done in his first year coaching?
"Yes, he's obviously done a great job with them. I don't know him personally. You see what you see on film. He has his guys playing at a high level."