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Saints Rob Ryan On Installing A New Defense

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan spoke to the media Saturday afternoon after training camp wrapped up for the day.

It looks like Kenny Vaccaro has made some plays. Do you like his impact so far?

Yes, weve identified him. We worked real hard to identify who we wanted in the draft and our prayers were answered and we got the guy we wanted. Hes done nothing but work hard and try to get better and learn from the veterans since hes got here.

You knew what you had coming in but what have you learned from this defense in this short period of time?

Im so impressed with mentally how quick theyve picked thing ups. Physically were going to learn a lot about that in the next few days when we put the pads on. I really like our mental approach to everything. Weve got outstanding coaches. These guys take coaching. Theyre smart and they adjust well. There are a lot of excellent veterans on this defense so things come easily to them.

Are you pleased with the installation so far and where are you percentage wise in terms of getting installation in?

These things take time but were good. We got a lot of defense in, more so that Ive been able to put in with other defenses before. This is a smart group and a disciplined group. All the things that the Saints and Sean (Payton) preach here, the discipline, the accountability, the getting better every day and the working hard, all thats right there.

We havent talked to you since Victor Butler got hurt. Can you talk about what a loss that will be but also some of the things youve done? It looks like Junior Galette is running with the ones more and Will Smith is being more versatile among some of the things you are going to do?

Victor is a young player that is really on the rise and he had an unfortunate injury but knowing Victor hell rehab and come back better. Hopefully hell come back like Adrian Peterson. Everybodys looking for that one in a million. But in the meantime weve got excellent players here and were going to move on. Weve got a lot of ways to handle that position and a lot of candidates in there that are going to work hard. Were going to get a great ID on these guys and our philosophy is to work hard, do the right thing evaluating these players and choose the right ones to have the best team.

What do you like about Eric Martin? Ive noticed of the young guys, hes stepped up a lot so far.

Erics done a nice job. He works hard; hes got a knack for pass rush. Were going to find out a lot about these guys when the pads come on. Hes a smaller guy but hes got good leverage. Hes got to hold the edge for us in this defense. Ive been impressed with him mentally so far.

Hows Will Smith transitioning so far?

Wills doing an excellent job. I know hes had his hand in the dirt his whole life but some of those guys make great outside linebackers in a 3-4. Wills doing it and his coverage is coming along real well. He works hard at it so hes got a good chance to do well there and improve. And the nice thing is youre going to be able to get an edge set with Will Smith, thats for sure.

Is this your normal routine coaching style on the field or does Sean Payton have his own rules that you are adjusting to?

No, I just coach the way I always coach.

Whats the walkie-talkie you talk to?

Theyre headsets. They give you these headsets to make calls nowadays. Its not like I cant speak to them in public but its the thing you call the plays into. All our inside linebackers have headsets so thats how we do it. Instead of having 18 million signals nowadays they give you a walkie-talkie.

Your reputation is as a big rowdy guy but on the field Ive watched you act differently. Is that reputation overrated?

We got a lot of work to do. We got some excellent coaches here. We allow our coaches to coach. We got Joe Vitt coaching linebackers. Thats always been my thing. Hes been coaching 35 years so I dont step on his toes. He knows what hes doing. If theres a correction to be made Ill make it and Ill be the guy standing up saying Youre doing a good job.

What are some of the success stories where youve seen a guy transition from a 4-3 defensive end to an outside linebacker in a 3-4?

DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer were both defensive ends and they play outside linebacker and theyve done pretty good. I guess if you want to say, Anthony Spencer never had over six sacks and hes an underachiever but he had 11 with me. I know how to coach. Mike Vrabel was a guy that was always a lineman when we got him in New England. He started at outside linebacker. He did pretty good. He had double-digit sacks and we won Super Bowls with him. I think I know what were doing. I know I do. I pretend I dont, but I know I do. Weve got a great group of players. Were just trying to get better every day. We want to be poster boys for this Saints program, which is discipline, accountability, and toughness and thats what we need to show on defense. Thats what our goal is and thats what were going to do.

Im assuming thats why you think Will Smith can make this transition? Youve seen guys transition and you think Will can make the transition.

Sure. Will Smith can do it. Martez Wilson, who is an excellent athlete, Junior (Galette), these guys will be fine. Theyre edge players. Theres a lot more mentally to the position, but physically its very similar to what theyve been playing.

Source: New Orleans Saints Media


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