Saturday, 24 September 2011 22:11

New Orleans Saints v. Houston Texans News: Avian Foster Or Ben Tate, Dunbar or Vilma?

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TexansTexans coach Gary Kubiak indicated that RB Avian Foster's (hamstring, questionable) status for the Saints game will be determined in "a little workout before the game." Foster said his hamstring "feels like its gone" but the Texans could hold him out because Ben Tate is just as good an option and Houston doesn't need another setback...

Saints defensive coordinator Gegg Williams is confidant that Jo-Lonn Dunbar can handle middle linebacker if Jonathan Vilma is unable to play on Sunday against the Texans. Williams also talked about how he likes the way defensive end Junior Galette and free safety Addul Ouddus are playing.

 Here is a media Q and A with Gregg Williams from Friday:

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.

UNO plans to field a Division II football team by 2015 and has formed a football developmental committee, including former Saints quarterback Archie Manning. The school also hired a consultant, Russell Wright, managing director of Collegiate Consulting. Tad Gormley  and Pan American Stadiums are suitable for Division II football teams..

Will the last person to sue Shaq please turn out the lights?...

MAIL: From Pat Murray, owner of Pat's Pub in Metairie: "I  noticed during pregame that Drew Brees and his Saints teammates have a new pregame huddle chant. The Saints have been known for their awesome pregame chants over the past few seasons, and this year's chant is no different. From what  I could gather from my supersonic heaing, these are the lyrics of the chant:

Brees: We take the show on the rooaaaad!
Team: Beat Everybody! (Hoo!)
Brees: Big plays all day!
Team: Beat everybody! (hoo!)
Brees: Send 'em all hoooome!
Team: Beat everybody! (Hoo!)
Brees: Big hits, no quit!
Team: Beat everybody! (Hoo!)

Brees and team:

I'm in on my own zone (What!) x 3
We bout to showwww off! (hoo!)
I'm in my own zone (What!) x 3
We bout to swhowwwww off! (Hoo!)

In the past Brees has revealed that his pregame chants were inspired by things like the Marines, and the city of New Orleans. This year, the Saints have found their inspiration in a completely new place to get them fired up for their 2011 matchups.

The club.

Once I scoured the web, found a decent video, and broke down the footage of the  new huddle chant, I knew that what I heard on TV sounded really familiar. It was then that I finally realized Drew and the Saints got this year's inspiration from the mega-hype club banger "Throwed Off" by Dallas rappers Treat Lee and Prince Rick.

This just further proves that we have the hippest quarterback in the league, and all other QBs should take a page out of his book."



The NBA has announced that preseason games have been canceled. Is that a threat or a promise?...I don't know what to make of this proposed new BCS conference that would be a 24-team conglomeration of Conference USA and Mountain West schools stretching across five time zones. Maybe they could call it the Golden Corral Conference. The food may not be that great, but its all you can eat...

Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall says he will be aiming for Tony Romo's injured ribs if the Cowboys quarterback plays Monday night. Hall, it should be noted has been playing 10 years in the NFL and has a grand total of 1 1/2 career sacks. The only ribs Hall will tackle this weekend with be at a bar-b-que restaurant...

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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