Dirk Koetter on Drew Brees, Michael Thomas & Saints 'Aggressive' Scheme

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(On playing a game on a wet field)

“There’s plenty of people out there that think a wet field is advantage offense just because you know where you’re going and the footing. There’s wet and then there’s sloppy wet, there’s cold wet, there’s wet and windy. Let’s just see how it is. It’s not going to be freezing cold – it’s going to be in the 70s. They’re saying 10 to 15 [mph] wind. We’ve played in wet before. The other thing would just be if it’s really bad and the field gets torn up and it gets sloppy then we’ve just got to adjust. Same for both teams. Footing just becomes – guys have got to be able to stay on their feet. Whoever can do that if the field get torn up. We’ll worry about that when it happens. We’re prepared, but you just can’t control it. You’ve got to wait and see what happens.”

(On if he is concerned with Jameis Winston’s ability to throw the wet ball)

“No, he’s fine.”

(On the Saints practicing with a wet ball)

“Good for them.”

(On if defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will play on Sunday)

“We’ll be putting an injury report out.”

(On if cornerback M.J. Stewart would fill in at safety if needed to)

“Yep. M.J. is able to play both spots. We’ve had so many that behind the scenes we’re cross-training guys left and right. I think we’re going to have nine DBs up. Those nine guys have got to be able to fill five to six spots, depending on if you’re in base, nickel or dime.”

(On if the Saints defense double cover teams’ No. 1 wide receiver or play one on one coverage)

“They’ve done both this year. They’ve had 23-match, but they’ve also done some different things since they traded for [Eli] Apple. In the past, they’ve had 23-match Mike [Evans]. We’ll just have to see, but they have done both.”

(On if Mike Evans gets called for offensive pass interference more often than other receivers)

“I think big receivers in general. You’re having a meeting with the officials before the game and coaches can send stuff into the New York Office. I’m sure every single week the other team say, thirteen’s pushing and every single week I’m going to say 13’s getting held. I just think that’s probably not unique to Mike, but probably every guy in that size range in the league. It’s no secret teams try to hold Mike up at the line of scrimmage. Mike’s an aggressive player at the line of scrimmage and he’s going to try to get guys off of him. It’s up to the official to set the standard on how they’re going to call it, then call it consistently. Then it’s up to us to adjust to that.”

(On if the officials calls are consistent)

“They try to keep it consistent, but I think you just look at when you really think about who these guys are, how elite of athletes these guys are, can you really be perfect, consistent? That would be tough to do. They try and the officials do a good job of putting out videos of what is and isn’t. In fact, we just watched a couple clips of that today with the team along with some other stuff. We’ve just got to remember that stuff all happens split second. They want to let these guys play. The fans want to see these guy play, but there has to be some guidelines and they try to be consistent. I think it’s impossible to be perfectly consistent though.”

(On if other calls have been inconsistent)

“I would say it varies by team, but that one’s always consistent. I’d say there’s just other things that vary by team, by coaching staff and by scheme. We do some different things that we talk to the officials about. Talking to them about it, does that make any difference? Who knows.”

(On how the Saints offense challenges the Buccaneers defensive backs)

“First of all, they’ve got a very aggressive scheme. They do a great job with how they scheme you. Their multiple groups – I think we have them for like 28 different personnel groups – and they go fast. They’re really good at tempo, even when they’re not in no-huddle. They send their group in fast, they make your defensive coaches communicate it to your players and then your players have to be able to adjust on the field. We’ve worked hard on that this week because we know from past experience that that’s something that the Saints are good at. Then the fact that they’ve got a Hall of Fame quarterback (Drew Brees), they’ve got a really good receiver and they’ve got good skill players. Even though some of those guys aren’t household names – they’ve had some injuries at receiver – they all fit their scheme. Brees is such a good distributor.”

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