Defensive Line Coach Patrick Graham
September 16, 2016
Q: What did you take from your group in the opener?
A: In the opener? I thought the guys played hard. I am glad that they won, but there is obviously stuff that we have to improve on and we will just keep building and getting better each day. That is what the goal is and we are putting all of our focus towards the Saints now.
Q: What has Romeo Okwara shown to warrant the current role that he is in?
A: I think that since we got him, in the spring, he has been working really hard to get the playbook down and he has been out there almost every day and he has just been steadily improving his technique both against the run and the pass and any playing time he got on Sunday, he earned it and he was productive in his role, so as long as he keeps doing that, we will be okay.
Q: What was it like getting Montori Hughes back?
A: It was good. It was good. You are always glad to have good football players and guys that you have worked with and that you are familiar with and I think it is going to be good for him. Obviously, as you know, this time of the year, guys start bouncing around from different teams, learning different terminology, learning a new coach, getting used to them, but whenever you are familiar with someone, it is always a good thing
Q: Who do you view as the leader of your room?
A: I think all the guys have some role in leadership in terms of whether it is vocally or something out there on the field, but I really let them determine that. I let them determine that. That is something that I donít talk a lot about in the room. I donít think that is something that you can really manufacture. I think you have to let those guys develop into leaders and it might be multiple people, it might be one person. I donít think it is something that you have a cookie cutter. I just canít tell you who the leader is, I just know that there are a lot of guys out there that guys listen to. We all talk to each other in there.
Q: How does Snacks fit into that role?
A: I love being around D. I call him D, I donít call him Snacks, but I love being around D. He has been a solid, productive player in this league. He goes out there every day and works at his craft and guys definitely listen to him. Shoot, I listen to him. It is the same thing as previous jobs I have had --- you listen to veteran players and you get an idea because again, I tell them, ĎI didnít play, so I can always learn from you.í I think that is important as a coach, in my opinion.
Q: Ben McAdoo said that Snacks gave a pretty good speech to the defense. How would you describe it?
A: I am going to keep that private. I just think that is something where he said what he needed to say and he was talking to the guys and it was good, but that is between him and the players and the coaches that were there.
Q: How much of an asset is it to have defensive linemen that can play DE and DT?
A: I think I said this before, but the point of defense is to have 11 guys out there defending the field. However Spags wants to deploy those guys, whether it is ends, corners, safeties, it can all be multiple, but whenever you have guys that can play multiple roles and fulfill a need as a five technique, a three technique, a shade, whatever it may be, it just adds a level of complexity to the defense where the offense has to prepare for it, so it is always a good thing. Whether it is a D end, a linebacker, you have systems where linebackers are playing three technique or linebackers moving back to safety, all that stuff is good stuff because as smart as these guys are on offense, especially when you are talking about this week when you are dealing with Drew Brees, you want to give him something else to look at. Maybe the guy playing tackle is rushing or maybe he is dropping, you donít know, so it is always good to have that.
Q: How is Jay Bromley coming along?
A: I think he is working hard to get better and he is working his technique. He is out here early all the time, going through his technique and progressions in terms of playing the run and the pass, so it is going well with him right now.
Q: You had JPP for 70+ snaps the other day. How do you think he is coming along with being able to use his hand?
A: You watched the game, right? I donít even think about it. I just know that JPP is out there and the guy played well last week, but we are looking forward to this week. That is the only JPP I know. This is my first year here and, hey, the guy played well last week, so we are moving on to the Saints now.
Q: With OV, he got a kick out of someone commenting that they didnít know he could play the run that well. Has your perception of him as a player changed or has it been reinforced?
A: This is the only time I am going to ever do this. The previous place that I was at, we talked about guys that could wreck the game. He was a guy that could wreck the game, run and pass, so I already had a ton of respect for him as a player. I already had a ton of respect. Run game, pass game, his intelligence, his athletic ability, all that stuff. I already knew about all of that. Just to be able to have the opportunity to work with him has been great for me. This guy comes out here every day doing whatever he has to do to get better and it is just going to improve. I canít wait to see how he grows into his role, but to question whether he can play the run? I would have laughed, too, if I were him.