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New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams Media Q&A (Sept. 23, 2011)

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator

Media Availability

Friday, September 23, 2011

Can you talk about Jo-Lonn Dunbar and your thoughts on if he has to replace Jonathan Vilma?

“He’s had good practices, he played very well last week and he’s probably playing his natural position when we played him at middle linebacker.  We’ve played him at outside linebacker, the Sam linebacker, he played there last week, but he’s played well.  The times that he has played and has been the Mike here, I look back on that first preseason game, he had like 17 tackles in that preseason game.  He’ll be ready to go if we have to pull the trigger and I feel real confident in him.  He’s very smart.”

He seemed to have a real active game the other day.

“He plays well and it’s his instincts.  You can’t coach instincts.  You can’t coach the anticipation of what the offense is going to do before it happens and he has those kind of instincts like Jon  (Vilma) does and like a lot of the nose-for-the-ball linebackers. He made a lot of really good instinctive plays the other day.”

You guys had Marvin Mitchell planted there for a while.  What made you decide to let Jo-Lonn Dunbar take his role?

“What we’ve done since I’ve been here is we multi-train everybody.  Defensive ends have to play tackles.  Defensive tackles have to play defensive ends.  Can a defensive end play an outside linebacker position?  Can an inside linebacker play outside and an outside play inside?  We are a little bit better versed in when you have to have injury situations or you have matchup problems.  The fact that we cross train those guys, people say all the time, ‘Gregg, what kind of football players do you like?’  Well, I like good football players, guys that can do more than one thing.”

Can you talk about the development of Junior Galette?

“He has deserved the opportunity of a chance to shine.  When he came here, he was so green.  He had no understanding about what the NFL was about, the discipline and the accountability you have to have, and I’m real proud of where he’s come in one short year.  Now, because he slows the game down mentally a little bit, his speed can show up and he has a chance to make some plays for us.  He’s really had a real strong offseason, probably really the end of last season, and whatever he did on his own he did a good job of coming back in shape and being ready to go.  He’s competed for a spot and competed for an opportunity to get some chances in games.”

Do you have an opinion on these fake injuries?

“No, that’s no quote for me on that.  I’ve heard a lot about that this week, but I’m not in on that.”

You’ve talked in the past about being gap sound.  With the zone blocking scheme, Sedrick Ellis has said you can’t be gap sound because there’s really no gap to hit.  What’s the key to defending that?

“You have to keep your anchor points.  Basically when we’re talking about anchor points, your linemen have to do a good job of occupying territory and what (the Texans) do is, and they’ve done a great job of doing this for years, Bill Walsh did that for all those years in San Francisco and Gary Kubiak has done a tremendous job throughout the years of taking a smaller lineman and equalizing a bigger man by putting him on the ground.  They do as well as anybody in the league with legal cut blocks.  They cut you on the line of scrimmage and get you on the ground so your anchor point is gone and it gives running lanes that way.  We’re going to have to do a good job.  In order for us to play well, we’re going to have to play well and stay on our feet.  It hasn’t been a problem in the past.  We weren’t very good about that in the preseason game and to be quite honest with you, we hadn’t repped it.  We didn’t care about it.  It was just like a practice when we went over there.”

Who have you faced that does it to the extent that they do it?

“Atlanta used to do that and the reason is because that family of coaches.  Alex Gibbs was the line coach there and I think he’s one of the best all-time ever zone blocking teachers and his disciples are over there in Houston and with the Redskins now.  The Redskins are doing it.  There’s a very close union between what the Texans are doing and what the Redskins are doing right now.  Everybody has a version of it and we’re prepared for it at all times.”

Why don’t more teams do it?

“I don’t know. You’re sacrificing some size and those other deficiencies areas hopefully we can capitalize on.”

Isa Abdul-Quddus seems to be playing a little bit more and you’re shifting Malcolm Jenkins down.  What has he done that has stood out?

“He’s very smart and he can fly.  He has great speed.  I have an affinity for smart, tough football players and don’t care how much money you make and don’t care where you came from. I was proud I was a high school football coach at one point in time in my life, and I imagine the big jump from Fordham University to this level, but the kid came in and is smart and tough.  He really wants to be an NFL player and he has some of the measurables and some of the skills, but from an intelligence standpoint he’s caught our eye and I think you’ll continue to see him grow and he’ll play a little bit more each and every week because he’s earned that right.  He’s interviewed well.”

 

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