Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Adjusting the Saints defense
By Kevin Seifert
MIAMI -- There’s been plenty of discussion about Minnesota’s penalty for 12 men on the field near the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game. But the intrigue extended to the next play, where New Orleans cornerback Tracy Porter's interception ended the Vikings’ chance of breaking the tie before overtime.
The interception came only after a last-second adjustment by the Saints defense. Hall of Fame safety Rod Woodson -- appearing Tuesday at Super Bowl media day as part of the NFL Network contingent -- picked it up right away.
“If you go back and look at that play, you see [Saints linebacker Jonathan] Vilma make a check to bring Porter to the other side,” Woodson said. “And what happens? Porter gets the pick.”
Indeed, the Saints changed from a man-to-man to a cover-2 look that proved advantageous on the play. Coach Brad Childress said last month that Favre’s first read was receiver Bernard Berrian, but the coverage dictated he move to his third read, which was Rice.
Woodson made the observation as a way to illustrate how Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has empowered his players to make on-field adjustments.
“That’s the sign of a great defensive coordinator,” Woodson said. “He’s not going to limit what his players can do. He allows his players to make plays for him.”