New Orleans Saints Safety Kurt Coleman
Sunday, August 19, 2018
What are the benefits of doing joint practices with another team and what can you gage from that?
“I think the greatest thing is, almost, I do not want to say complacency when you go against your own team, but it kind of ramps up the competition. I think if you look at what has happened over these last couple of weeks when teams have been practicing, there has been several fights because it's very intense. But I think the one thing that you want to be able to come out of it is going against a different opponent, different people, and pushing yourself. You want to be able to grow. Obviously, fights will happen, but that is not what you want. You want to have good, hard competing practices and hopefully both teams can come away with saying, ‘We learned this’. Or maybe you are going against a certain wide receiver. Keenan Allen is a really good wide receiver. Hopefully, whether it be (Ken) Crawley, Marshon (Lattimore). Whoever it is, you can learn some things from great wide receivers.”
Do joint practices break up the monotony of training camp?
“Oh absolutely. And that's what I'm saying because it increases your focus a little bit. It's a whole new setting. And like I said, we want to come out of this trip from out west and we want to be able to say that we got better. We want to take some steps forward because I think the Chargers are really good team. You're going against a great quarterback with an offense that's very experienced when they're run in it. So I think defensively, we’ve got a challenge and I want us to be able to rise to the challenge every single day that we're going against them.”
How much game work do you need in the preseason?
“I think I’m not immune. I want reps just like anybody else just to get a familiarity because there is a difference between practice speed. Even if you're saying full-live, you still are still trying to take care of your teammates versus game against another opponent. I still want those reps, but at the end of the day it's all about what is best for this team. And I think this next upcoming game, I’m assuming that I'll be out there. Be able to get some good reps in. But it's all about fine tuning. This preseason is just about shaving off the rough edges so when it comes regular season, this defense and this team is ready to fire on all cylinders.”
Could a joint practice be as valuable as a preseason game?
“I am of the one believer (in the value of joint practices). I think sometimes the practices are very, very intense. Almost game like at times. I have even talked to some people say if you just had a couple of these joint practices, you really do not need a game because they are very intense. You have teams that are fighting because it is mano a mano. You don't know this guy and you want to win. You want to show off for your coaches. You want to perform for your team. So it is like a game-like atmosphere going against those guys.”
What do you think the first string defense showed from preseason Week One to Week Two?
“First off, I’d say we had two straight three and outs. I think what you learn about your defense and you can look across the board from the first preseason game, there’s a lot of missed tackles. I'm talking about across the board in the NFL. The tackling’s a lot better in game two, three, four etc. But I thought for us in particular, I thought we did a great job on rundowns. I always say it starts up front. If your run defense is stout and you are just making them pass the ball, that is what you want. You want to be able to make offenses one dimensional and then you can play them to your hand. I think we challenge guys a lot more. And I think even so, we can still become better. We can still make some more plays on the ball. I like the growth from week one to week two. We've got to take another step though this next week.”
What have you seen from Marshon Lattimore?
“He has to be himself. And you do not want to change who he is as a person, because that’s whose made him. You just want to try to give him the tips, the motivation, the experience and really just help push him and raise his level. I tell him all the time greatness is upon him, but you have to be able to step upon it and really take on ownership of it. I do not know if you were watching practice today, he had a great practice today. Great practice today. And that's what we need out of him every single day because a lot is required of him because of the player he is. I think offenses are going to continue to challenge him because he is a great corner. I'm excited to see what is going to be able to do this year. I really am. And moving forward for the next coming years. He's going to be a special player.”
Do you believe Lattimore is a ‘gamer’?
“You would hope that everybody raises their level of play during games. So in essence, everybody is a gamer but you want to be able to have great practice habits. Because your great practice habits translate on the field. Obviously, you can go out here and practice and just be very talented and make some plays. But then when it comes to a game, maybe if your technique’s not right, your fundamentals, or you're just not locked in because you didn't do it in practice. It can get you beat even if you're very talented. And I think that's the growth that we're seeing. That's the growth that we're having with our guys. Yes, we are talented but do you know what? There's more to the game than just talent. And when you put all the pieces together that's when you have a great individual person. That’s when you have a great defense and a great team.”