Saints quotebook: Ron Rivera (December 13, 2018)

Panthers coach talks about Alvin Kamara, other Saints stuff

Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera

Conference Call with New Orleans Media

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What made you want to add RB Travaris Cadet to the roster?

“Well when we made the decision and the move that we did, we needed to have an extra back when we let C.J. Anderson go.”

When the interior defensive line is playing so well does that make it tougher to stop Cam Jordan?

“Yeah it does. Whether interior line or the outside rushers (are playing well) at the end of the day you got to block guys.”

What have been some of your early impressions of Donte Jackson so far this season?

“He’s done a great job for us. He’s a young guy that made a couple mistakes, but he's also made some plays and the young man's got a bright future I believe. He works hard and he cares about that. That’s the other thing too, because last week when he gave up the big throw against Cleveland he took it very personal and went out and played the rest of the game pretty good. Unfortunately, it was the one play that stood out.”

When the Saints defensive line is playing so well, how hard does that make it to slow down Cam Jordan?

“Well that makes it hard. I mean when anybody on their defense is playing well it makes it hard to slow Cam Jordan down. Cam, in my opinion really, I think he’s one of the top defensive linemen in this league. We have our work cut out to play against that young man.”

Have you seen growth from Cam Jordan in recent years?

“Yeah, I mean the truth is he's a grown man. I mean that's just the way it is. The dude’s the kind of player that we look for in this league and that you look for in the draft and when you get a guy like you have to take care of him. They've done a great job. They really have and he's done (a great job). I can't speak enough about how highly I feel about who he is as a football player.”

What kind of problems specifically do the Saints cause when they have Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram lined up on the field at the same time?

“A lot of problems, because again you have a guy that on one hand is quick and fast out on the edges. You've got to be able to handle this stuff on the edges. What that does is it opens up stuff on the inside. But when you hand the ball off to Ingram, who runs very well, (he) runs well on the outside, but he's a very good inside runner. You look at the stuff that happened in the Tampa game in the way he took it over there for a couple series. That is impressive, it really is and that's the kind of problem that it creates.”

Are the two Saints running backs pretty interchangeable with what the Saints do on the field?

“No, you really can because they're both very capable of doing what the other guy can. Because they both run with a physical style, sure Kamara is a little bit quicker on the outside, but again when you watch the way Mark Ingram plays he's as impressive as any back in this league and because (of that) I think they split so much time. I think people really are aware how dynamic 22 is. I think the world of him.”

When you look at Christian (McCaffrey) and (Alvin) Kamara, do you see the similarities between those two how they pose kind of a similar type of threat to opposing defenses?

“Very much so. And then I would like to believe our guys are used to seeing that kind of guy because he (Kamara) and Christian are very similar the way they play. I think the thing that makes them both such a big threat is their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well.”

How are those two guys different? What are some things that are different about those two?

“I think when you watch the way (Alvin) Kamara runs, he has a powerful leg drive and I think that he is one of those guys that really can lower the shoulder like a big guy. Whereas Christian (McCaffrey) bounces off guys and keeps it going.”

How does what you've gotten from Christian (McCaffrey) this year compare to what you expected when you drafted him?

“We've gotten what we expected. We really did. And I'll tell you when you watch Alvin Kamara, you’d think, or at least I believe that's what Sean Payton saw in him. That's why they drafted him.”

The Saints use the most different personnel groupings in the league. Is that why they’ve had so much success on offense or one of the reasons?

“I think it is part of it. I think what happens is you have to, as a defense, you have to work on all those personnel groupings. You have to try and have an answer for them even if one guy comes in, how do you handle this guy? How do you handle that guy? How do you handle number seven (Taysom Hill)? How do you handle when 41 and 22 are in the game? How do you handle 41 22 and seven in the game? So they’ve really got you going, and so at the end of the day, you've got to be sound in what you do.”

What kind of challenge is it when seven (Taysom Hill) is in the game?

“Well first of all, you’ve got to identify where he is. Once you identify where he is, then you go from there.”

You played this Saints team three times last year. What's different about this team?

“It’s 2018 and that’s about it. They were very good last year and they were a heck of a Hail Mary-type play away from being in the NFC championship game. I think Coach Payton has done a heck of a job there. I think they are still a very good football team.”

Just to go back to Donte (Jackson), what did you like about him coming into the NFL draft?

“I loved his speed, his quickness, his ball skills, and his hip movement, his ability to transition and run, and how smart he is as a young man.”

I know there was the issue last week, but how would you evaluate his (Donte Jackson) overall season.

“I think he’s played very well for us. He's going to have his moments where he's going to make plays and he has moments where he’s going to give up a play. But I think it's all a learning process and I do think the future bodes very well for a young man like that.”

What you've been seeing from Mike Thomas this year.

“I will tell you what, I think he is just unbelievable. Michael Thomas is an elite player in this league. He's getting the respect he deserves and if you take him lightly, the young man will get after you.”

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