New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan
Sunday, August 19, 2018
What improvements do you think the starting defense made from the first preseason game to the second one?
“I think there was a huge emphasis on not only controlling your primary gaps, but being able to play your secondary gaps. I think our interior D-line [defensive line] is growing as a unit. Our younger guys are getting reps and getting experience which is always a great thing to have.”
What do you think of the depth on the interior guys? There’s a lot of young guys and then Jay [Bromley] being added into the mix?
“When you talk about Tyeler Davison, Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata they are progressing at an alarming rate. I feel like they have potential to be a dominant interior. You add in the likes of Woodrow Hamilton IV, Jay Bromley, and you feel like you have some good young guys when you talk about, Mondeaux [Henry] and Stallworth [Taylor]. I feel like we are going to have solid depth and when we talk to the edge, the edge speaks to itself. Alex Okafor comes back from his injury in a week or so, whatever that timetable is. That’s a strong starter right there. Marcus Davenport got back into some practice today. When you talk about Trey [Hendrickson] and his progression, he is probably the most exciting in my mind in terms of how he is going to progress this year. Of course you have Mitch [Mitchell Loewen] behind him. When you talk about the defensive line, I am overly confident in us right now, and at the same time I am trying to inspire the guys to rapidly try to improve every practice. Not just take practice for what it is but try and get better each and every practice at some aspect of the game.”
Are you looking more forward to the joint practice or to the preseason game?
“I want to win. Whatever it takes to win the regular season. This is the next step. When we get on this plane to go down to Los Angeles, we have the same mentality that we’re trying to progress every day. It’s another chance for us to go against another team who has a talented roster and get after them.”
Being amongst the top defense, where would you rank Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram?
“They’re elite in their own right. We talk about being able to come into a tandem like that, you’re not going to face too many of those elite edge defenders. If you’re going to compare them I’d say Von Miller and Demarcus Ware. I am going to leave that up to you to figure out which one is which. When you talk about Melvin [Ingram], he is special. His first couple steps are special. Watching film I hear he explodes off. We talk about hand combinations, just as smooth as the ability to create pressures and pass-rush, and Joey Bosa’s up there. I love watching both of their film. I feel like our offensive line had it cut out for them but at the same time they’re been going up against me, Marcus [Davenport], and a healthy dose of Alex Okafor and Trey Hendrickson so I think they’re well prepared.”
You mentioned [Trey] Hendrickson a few times. Do you think he has had the most eye opening training camp for any defensive player? Out of all the defensive players do you think he has opened your eyes even more?
“Yes. I’ve said it for the past five or six years. I am always interested in that first or second year league. Your first year you’re trying to adapt and the second year’s really where you show how much you’ve grown. Last year you could see the intelligence of Sheldon Rankins, the up and coming power of David Onyemata, so this year it is on Trey [Hendrickson]. I always sort of emphasize that first and second year league.”
What is standing out about him?
“His ability to look into the backfield. He doesn’t have that skewed perception of just seeing a man in front of him now. Now he is broadening that vision, he is able to take in what emotion is and what the backfield looks like. He is growing nicely.”
Does that first and second year league also apply to [Ryan] Ramczyk?
“Of course. We talk about how Ramczyk was thrown into a fire early and he did well. So now it is about him continuing his growth.”
Where has he grown?
“He has changed up his sets a couple times on me. It has been interesting, he is starting to learn how to play chess. Some guys get stuck with just that first move, now he is trying to see beyond that.”
What is your impression, he came in last year and contributed, the veteran George Johnson?
“Yes. When you talk about the juice that he brought, surprisingly he stepped in that Detroit [Lions] game and made a splash play there, and never really left the film. When you talk about how dedicated he is to his craft, it is easy to sleep on George [Johnson] but he is dedicated to what he does.”
When you talk about how you like watching film on other players and you mentioned defensive players, when does that happen and is that something you have used to improve your individual game or is that something you just like to do?
**“**Over the offseason, it’s a nice little schedule of waking up, hopefully before the family does, and in my quiet time I read a bible verse and then get to some highlights. It is one thing to hang out in my shoe room, I got a shoe room that happened this off season. Laying on my shag rug, my old lady picked it out. As I am laying there I am just sort of watching Keith Mullard, Chris Doleman, Reggie White. You are going through the pass rushers of old and of course I grew up around the Vikings so I’m always emphasizing like one year he had 19 sacks, 16 sacks, 17 sacks. Just going through the legends but then you keep current. You look what Calais Campbell did last year and how he inspired Yannick Ngakoue to have the best year he had. How Dante Fowler had the best year he had, Malik Jackson. You go through and pick out different edge rushers. You’re Von Miller, I don’t think I am going to get his first three steps but I don’t need that. We have different things. You go ahead and you look up your Derek Wolfe’s, and you look up all interior rushers, your Jared McCoy and how he goes through the gaps. You shoot over to Cincinnati and you go to Carlos Dunlap and Geno [Atkins]of course. I don’t think I could do what Gino [Atkins] does, the way he jumps through gaps sometimes its impressive. I don’t think I am ever going to be as short as Aaron Donald but be as strong and quick as he is. You just try and take all the hand games you can from him. You get to Joey Bosa who again probably has the cleanest, smoothest hand games, hand combos you are going to get. Somewhere in the off season you are just chilling out watching these reps thinking how am I going to implement any of this into my pass-rush. I say I watch offensive linemen but I would be lying.”
Chandler Jones the past two years what he did, tackles for loss, sacks and all, what was so special about him?
“He is 6’6” and he knows how to extend. When you talk about his speed, his power, his long arm for some reason is slept on. He is able to create that space and when he does he makes big plays. I even like the way Markus Golden rushes. When, I don’t know how to say it [in-audible] Robert, when he gets motivated he gets special. It will be interesting to see how his [in-audible] works.”
Where do you feel like this group is now compared tolast year?
“Growing, growing for sure. When you talk about that first or second year leap, I’m looking for Marshon [Lattimore] to progress and he's got that fire in him, he wants to be the best. Which is amazing for us. Talk about Marcus Williams, he has worked his…arsenal off this entire season. I'm pretty sure you guys have seen the workout videos, I was inspired. You talk about Von Bell going into year three, everything about our defense feels like we could have something special. Our linebackers take care of themselves. I feel like we’ve got a solid veteran group there, sort of pushing each other, so I let them be who they are. Talking about the younger guys, it’s always interesting to see how well they can progress. Each practice they’re challenged. We talk about our wide receiver corps, leading with Mike Thomas, you’re going to have to push yourself to the limit.”
Speaking of younger guys, I think because of recent success you've had with Michael Thomas and last year with Lattimore and [Alvin] Kamara, that everyone just expects [Marcus] Davenport that he's just going to fall right in. Is that unfair pressure for a young player to just say he's expected to be as good as those guys?
“I mean if that's the outsider perception, it is what it is. Outside of expectations, I always push Marcus to just know himself and try and better himself every day. Without divulging too much, I'd like to say that Marcus has the abilities to be special, we’re trying to make sure he progresses in the right direction.”
You try to keep him encouraged just because he hasn't been practicing?
“That's easy enough, you don’t have to encourage somebody who's been on the sidelines and sees his brotherhood working and he's a step behind. When I say step behind I mean he's on the sidelines looking in and he's not in the line of fire. You see that he wants to get out there, he's trying to push his reps where his body will let him. So as long as we let him go back to getting healthy. I'm sure the coaches will have a view for him.”
Did you give Marcus you’re highlight list?
“We always push, just words for him. I'm like, just check out Carlos Dunlap, check out your taller rushers but at the same time be aware that you're going to be one of your taller defensive ends out there. So be aware of your leverages, be able to look at Von and the way he bends. Check out a couple my rushes, see the way that after contact you have to be able to dip and get as low as you can. With height comes some easy swim overs but at the same time, leverage is going to be key for you.”
What’s that thing a lot of your defensive guys have been doing with the ball whenever they set it down in practice?
“We've been doing that for a couple of years at least. Just always making a game out of effort, trying to be the first one there. If you’re not first, you’re last. So, if we can create that rally mentality of if you’re not first you’re last for tackles, if you’re not first you’re last trying to punch the ball out, getting to the quarterback, everything we do try to make it a competition.”
Does Dennis Allen really emphasize to get off the field at three and out? How important is that?
“I mean it’s same as almost a turnover, if you get a three and out. Short field give the offense another chance to score. So, anything we can do to get the ball back in our offenses hands, I want to say Drew's [Brees] hands, but you know we have the potential to score every drive.”
I know you sent a tweet out using the word ‘Goober’ was that just a kind of a spur of the moment thing or is that something that you realize that you all still talk about as a team?
“Anytime you talk about 45 [Donald Trump] that’s just a whole other subject. I’m going to try to be more positive moving forward when we talk about what I can do for our community, so I know exactly what I can bring to the table to our community. I'm trying to re-emphasize and focus on that. We have talked about bringing in a guy like 45 who is sort of left unchecked, it is what it is. I'd love to say, ‘hey it doesn't affect our lifestyle’ but he affects our daily life as a community, as a nation. So, when you’re talking about that guy, next question, you can catch me off camera for that one.”