Dirk Koetter on Chandler Catanzaro Consistently Hitting Deep Kickoffs

Sports Xchange

(On the quarterbacks taking care of the football)

Well, not turning it over is a good thing. Overall in preseason and practice other than the second week. Week 1 I think we had one turnover the whole week. Week 2 we had a bunch. And then after that we kind got back kind of on a good track. So, we need to just keep it right where it is.

(On if he looked at quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick starting the first three regular season games as a possibility or if he liked what he did the year before and wanted him back)

Both. I mean Jason [Licht] always has an eye on whats ahead and does a good job of thinking about what situations could possibly come up. And then the fact that we had a possibility of Jameis [Winston] being suspended and then Fitz coming back. We signed Griff (Ryan Griffin) even before we knew Fitz was coming back.

(On the biggest hurdles he saw coming with the new kickoff rules and how well the special teams adjusted)

I think theyve adjusted fine. The scary thing is you dont know with the new rule change what, if anything, people have been saving. You know you always have that fear on offense and defense as well. Nate [Kaczor] and Carlos [Polk] have watched all of the new plays for whole league. In preseason, you get them every week and you watch all the new plays and try to get a feel for what different things people are doing. But I wouldnt be a bit surprised if these special teams guys around the league theyre creative just like everybody else is, so I wouldnt be surprised if guys are going to try to test the boundaries a little bit once the season starts. But were not going to know that until we see it.

(On how the new rule will change the strategy of kick returns)

I think that will still come down to teams. It factored in last year that if you were a team that was going to mortar it or kick it inside the five-[yard line], that most of the time by average you were going to keep teams inside the 25-[yard line]. I think the data shows tight now that kick-off returns in preseason were up about three yards per kick off, so every teams got to make those decisions. Are you going to pin teams inside the 25? Are you going to be content to take it on the 25? Whats your kicker capable of? And then, as the season goes on, whats the weather dictate you do?

(On how the indoor facility helps simulate the Mercedes Benz Superdome)

Yeah, much better. We actually have done a portion of practice inside the last two days yesterday and again today. And its absolutely with that in mind. I mean you guys have been in there and a combination of the acoustics and then how loud we can blast our sound in there, at least in our minds we feel like were getting work at it.

(On the versatility of the secondary)

You always have to have at least the whole nickel position is kind of like the center position. I mean youve got to have multiple guys that can play nickel, so if somebody goes down in a game, somebodys got to move. As you go through the season, when injuries pop up and you dont know whos up form week-to-week, then the more guys who can play nickel, the better or more versatile I should say it makes you.

(On if he sees special teams breakdowns because new guys are playing)

I think one of the things is when you get to 46 on gameday 46 players up, most of your linemen arent going to play on cover teams, so that narrows down who it is. Really youre talking about rookies guys who havent maybe in college they didnt play special teams because they were the guys that didnt have to or whatever. I think those are the guys that, until they adjust to, Hey I do have to cover kickoffs. I do have to cover punts, that can be a little bit of a challenge.

(On if the team signed kicker Chalder Catanzaro because he consistently keeps the ball inside the 25-yard line)

That was part of it. Just kickoff in general, a guy that had the ability to kick it to the end zone. Now you remember last year, when we played the Saints, [Alvin] Kamara the ball was nine-yards deep in the end zone and he took it out. That was definitely part of it and they did exhaustive studies, the guys upstairs along with Nate [Kaczor] and Carlos [Polk] and Jasons [Licht] guys. They looked at all aspects of that kicking situation and were happy with where Chandlers at.

(On Week 1 being different from other game weeks)

Sure, well its just the unknown. Once a team most teams use between a three to five game breakdown, so until you get to three to five games in the year, you dont know what a team is like. Some teams have new coordinators, or they brought in a pass rush specialist or you dont know who they studied in the offseason. Every team its well documented what our weaknesses are, guess what we studied in the offseason? We studied our weaknesses. Every team does that. So, if the team is perfectly with how they were playing, but Ive just kind of seen too many teams that dont add or subtract from their package. So, in that respect, playing a team that you know well, I mean were looking at stuff you know weve played against these guys five times with these coordinators over the last two-and-a-half years. Thats a lot of film to study plus all their other games and all their other games from last year, so theres a lot of stuff there. Youre always a little it paranoid of what they might do.

(On if some teams coaches change things every year)

I would just say it usually ties into new coordinators. Either new staffs or new coordinators or did they get a new O-line coach or a new D-line coach, somebody that would really have a factor in changing the scheme. New Orleans is not a team that falls into that category.