Today, I feel the need to discuss the Saints defense under Gregg Williams and to justify the defensive coordinator’s comments about “remember me hits” when he spoke about his club’s Super Bowl matchup with the Colts.
Yes, I am biased — very biased — when it comes to discussing anything related to Williams, having played for him in Washington under Joe Gibbs. I think he is the best in the game, and that is why I was turned off by reports that Williams was trying to conjure up a way to injure Colts QB Peyton Manning next Sunday down in Miami.
Come on folks, this is defensive football in the NFL.
And, with Williams you are taught two things when you get to the quarterback, no matter if you are a defensive lineman or a blitzing linebacker or safety.
One: cause a “ball disruption.” What I mean by that is make the sack, force a bad throw or get the football on the ground. These plays are charted and displayed in Williams’ team meeting room.
Two: if you can’t get a ball disruption, then put his ass on the ground. Simple and effective.
We saw it in both New Orleans playoff wins. Arizona’s Kurt Warner took a beating, as did Brett Favre of the Vikings. It isn’t a solution to stopping a playmaking QB like Manning — who can tear up pressure teams with the 3-step hot reads and the inside vertical seams — but getting hit, repeatedly, does have an effect on a QB throughout the course of the game.
I understand how “remember me hits” can be flipped, spun and drove into the ground with opinions, but having been in that meeting room and on the sidelines with Gregg, those hits aren’t supposed to be malicious — but they are supposed to leave an impression.
I heard the term “remember me hits” plenty of times under Williams in D.C.
No different, really, than a fullback leading up the hole on a Mike Linebacker on an Iso play. His job is to bury that linebacker, put him into the ground and run right over him.
Yes, with Manning, Favre or Warner we are talking about quarterbacks — “Jersey Sellers” as I like to call them. No one wants to see these guys get hurt, but when you play against Williams’ schemes, isn’t that kind of the objective here? To get to the quarterback and to hit the quarterback?
Sounds like defensive football from my perspective.
As for the game plan and the idea of pressuring Manning and making it a point to knock him down, don’t buy into all of that yet. Just as the NFP’s Mike Lombardi wrote this morning, Williams’ game plan will have to be scripted throughout next week and will have plenty of coverage aspects to it, as well as the pressure schemes we are used to seeing.
But, if I was going to put money down, I would bet that hitting Manning early will be a priority. And, I am fine with that — as we all should be.
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