Greg Roman held a press conference Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the Saints defense, courtesy of the 49ers.
“Looks like a lot of people left early to get that turkey on their plate. I hope everybody is doing well. Happy Thanksgiving, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Getting ready to play the Saints in a tough environment. The last time we were in that environment was the first preseason game last year. We know how tough it is to play down there and how talented their team is, how well coached they are and what a winning tradition they have built there. Kind of have a half a day today here on Thanksgiving, but the guys came in early, got a lot of work done and we’re progressing on schedule. Any questions?”
About the Saints defense, how different is it than the one you faced 10 months ago?
“Great question. It’s a little bit of a hybrid. They have kept some of what they did last year and then they’ve combined it with what some of what the Rams have done. It’s very multiple. It’s a lot of different looks, and they’ve gotten better as the year went on. They’ve got really good players. WThey’ve got [LB Jonathan] Vilma, who’s a great leader and [DE] Will Smith, who’s one of the best defensive ends, one of the most physical guys you’ll see. They’re just getting better as it goes. We’ve got our work cut out for us and we know that their whole team, they’ve got great formula for winning there, with their offense, defense and special teams. So, it’s going to take a complimentary team effort here to go down and beat the Saints.”
Regardless of the quarterback, who on that defense or what about that defense is a key, a focal point, something that the Saints really try to confuse guys with?
“Mainly protections. I think we, as a staff, have a lot of respect for their staff and how they try to attack protections. They understand what the offense is doing and how they protect. It’s obvious that they study it and then they try to violate it. And they’ve got good players, so that’s a lethal combination. A multitude of overload blitzes at times, and then at times they make you think they’re bringing an overload blitz and then everybody drops. So, they’ve got it all. It’s graduate work, is what it is. It’s graduate level football and they’re good at it.”
Is S Roman Harper kind of the catalyst?
“Not really. I mean, they all are. It’s not like you can just say, ‘Hey, there’s Roman Harper. This is what’s going to happen.’ They definitely, pretty diverse at this point.”
Is there any lingering resentment over what was said about your offensive players, before the playoff game about what former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had to say to his team?
“I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s any resentment whatsoever. What was said in the past is just that, it’s the past. It’s irrelevant. I think our players are really focused on 2012 and how important this game is to our season.”