Interview with Roman Harper (1 Viewer)

eels

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Hey all, I was able to get an interview with Roman Harper for my blog. Seems like a really nice guy (except on the field, lol) - enjoy!

From NOSReview.com

One of the players who has benefited most from defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ aggressive scheme is strong safety Roman Harper. Through 5 games (they’re 5-0, you know!) Harper is leading the defense with 34 tackles. On Sunday against the previously-undefeated Giants, he sacked Eli Manning and forced a fumble. It led to a key touchdown and helped the Saints stay undefeated.

Taken out of Alabama in the 2nd round of the 2006 NFL draft, Roman has been a fixture in the secondary as a starter since the 2007 season. His hard-hitting and aggressive style has made him a fan favorite in New Orleans and has led to a new level of success on the field in 2009. He, along with veteran Darren Sharper are playing at a very high level so far this year and have helped the Saints become one of the most opportunistic defenses in the NFL.

Roman took time out of his very busy schedule to chat with me about his role in the new-look defense and his career:

1. A lot of fans and media have predicted that you will thrive in Gregg Williams’ defensive scheme. How would you describe your role in this year’s defense compared to the past?
I think he put a lot more on our shoulders and I think overall it’s a totally diff type of scheme you can’t really compare it to last year’s – it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I like it because it’s more aggressive, it’s a little more of my style, sometimes it cuts you loose. It’s a scheme to where after a game you’re not going to have the feeling that you didn’t get cut loose.

2. One thing I’ve noticed about Gregg Williams is that he likes to blitz the safeties more often. How do you like getting after the quarterback?
I enjoy it, it’s good, it’s a good part of my game. It’s all about timing – with good timing you can be pretty decent at it. As far as the game, anytime a DB gets to blitz we get really excited b/c we don’t get to do it that much.

3. Safety seems like one of those positions where you have to get fired up to go out and hit somebody! Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for contact on game days?

Wear a mouth piece, that’s it.

4. How valuable has it been to have a veteran like Darren Sharper join the team?
It’s been valuable, being around him as a true pro and vet of the game, he’s been doing this at a high level for very long. Playing and training beside him has taught me a lot on and off the field. It’s been great.

5. There are a lot of big receivers out there – who is the toughest to bring down after a catch?
Probably Brandon Marshall, he’s a younger TO, and TO is prolific after he catches the ball in his hand. He’s big and strong.

6. Does practicing against Drew Brees every day help make the defense better?
Of course, in my opinion he’s the best QB in the league with Peyton Manning of course. We go up against each other every day, really compete with each other and we work hard. There’s great competition every day when we go out there.

7. You guys are off to a great start this season, but I’ve heard coach Payton discuss the need to get better.
Defensively, what do you need to improve on?
We just need to improve on communication don’t give up so many leaky yards. Be better tacklers and improve on our fits.

8. Since you’ve been in New Orleans a few years now, I have to ask – do you have a favorite restaurant or meal?
Emerils is a really nice time, nice set-up, and sitting by the cook is the best place to sit!

9. Finally, I think you’re the perfect guy to ask about this. How does it feel put a big hit on Steve Smith (of the Panthers)? That guy drives me nuts, I can only imagine what it’s like to play against him!
I think Steve Smith is one of the best receivers in the league, there’s nothing bad you can ever say about that guy.
 

BigSlick

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Thanks, e!
 
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eels

eels

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Thanks, e!

You're welcome! With the mods permission, I will gladly post other interviews as I get them. Hard to get a lot of these guys during the season, but hopefully I'll have a few more along the way.
 

Daddy_Duke

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Awesome!

And yes, Harper looks to be one of the biggest contributors to Williams' new D. If that sack on Eli was any indication that Harper made that call to blitz at the line (Williams said the players make the call sometimes), then it just shows even more how much it has paid off to fire Gibbs and get GW.
 

Cuozzo67

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There was a play in the Giants game ... think it was in the 3rd quarter ... Roman was on coverage and never turned around. The ball hit him in either the helmet or should pads. Could have been flagged for face-guarding, but thankfully was not. Coverage still needs improvement. Very good on run support and the blitz. His neck ... what can you say? Awesome!
 

Jackavelli

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i would like to ask some starting db's why sometimes they never turn around when the ball is in the air. They can see the wr (for example) jump up to catch the ball and the db still wont' turn around.
 

Shawn

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There was a play in the Giants game ... think it was in the 3rd quarter ... Roman was on coverage and never turned around. The ball hit him in either the helmet or should pads. Could have been flagged for face-guarding, but thankfully was not. Coverage still needs improvement. Very good on run support and the blitz. His neck ... what can you say? Awesome!


These are grown men, and every other team, not matter how bad--even the Raiders or Titans--is going to make plays on you sometimes.

Turning around is a completely risky proposition--if you turn around at the wrong time, you risk having a completion, and then you aren't in a position to make a tackle or defend the pass.

In short: nitpicking. BTW, Sharper was late coming over on a couple of plays, and also gave up a touchdown at the goal line, when he could have easily knocked the pass down.
 
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eels

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I think Harper has improved his game a lot this year. The secondary so far has become a strength instead of a weakness!
 

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