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New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton talks about playing Bears

Posted Oct 4, 2013

Transcripts from Coach Payton's, Rob Ryan's Friday sessions with the media

Opening statement from Coach Sean Payton:

“We’re just finishing up our Friday routine which was pretty normal. The change, I mentioned yesterday, we’ll leave early evening here, seven o’clock into Chicago and have our walk through in the morning there.”

Is there a difficulty with being an indoor football team with going to an area like Chicago?

“I think that the challenge always is trying to simulate the conditions. Fortunately, though I think we’ve been a pretty good road team. There are a number of games that I can think of where we faced some challenges, whether it was weather or field conditions. Those are all things that good teams have to deal with. I think our players understand that. I think the pregame is important to make sure they have the right shoes on and being ready for anything. The weather can turn there quickly. There is a good chance for rain. Just getting acclimated very quickly and still understanding the turnover battle and all the little details that go into winning.”

I’ve heard that the team that plays there all the time is at an advantage. Do you agree with that theory? Both teams have to deal with the same conditions.

“You start more with the home team in our league is at a certain amount of advantage. If you’re going to be a good team you have to be able to play well not only at home but on the road.”

What kind of challenges does Matt Forte bring?

“He has good balance, good vision. He’s a versatile player in that he does a lot of things very well, catches the ball well, good protector when they’re throwing it. He’s smart so he’s not a one dimensional player. He’s a 3D player. He can block, run and catch. He’s been very productive for them in, I don’t want to say (a) short period of time but right from the start when he arrived. It’s something that you can see on film. He does a lot of things extremely well.”

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Media Availability
Friday, October 4, 2013

Playing in difficult weather situations is thought of as an advantage for the home team who are used to these conditions. Do you believe that to be the case?

“I think elements are part of football. We’re going to be fine, whatever it is. Both teams are playing on that surface and we have just been talking about the right shoes and shoes that work for any kind of condition on that grass. We’re worried about the Chicago Bears and if it’s raining, great, if it’s snowing, great, if it’s hot, we’re doing the best we can to be ready.”

Other than the Jimmy Graham/Darren Sproles combination, do the Bears offer some of the more unique matchup issues with Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte?

“That Forte is really a class act. He’s a hell of a football player. (Martellus) Bennett has always been a problem in the red zone; he’s an underrated guy. I think they might have the tallest group of receivers with Bennett, (Alshon) Jeffery, and of course (Brandon) Marshall. These guys are gigantic, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. Of course (Jay) Cutler is going to throw the ball as hard as he can, so we’ve got to be ready for it because I don’t think anybody’s got a fastball like he does.”

How much steadier does Jay Cutler look this year with Marc Trestman being there now?

“I think Aaron Kromer is doing a great job out there protecting him, doing the things to allow Cutler to use his big arm instead of running for his life like he has been in the past there. I think they do a great job. I know Trestman has been around a long time and he’s back in the league. They have some fine coaches; Skip Peete does a great job of teaching protection. We have our work cut out to get to this quarterback. They’ve protected Cutler which he’s probably never had in his lifetime, so he’s playing pretty well too.”

What do you think has been the best part of your defense up to this point?

“I think the best part is our guys try hard every week. We try to get better every week, and that’s our mindset. I think everybody puts everything they have into it, and we prepare hard. We play hard and we’re just trying to get better each week. If we can be a little tiny part of our success, that’d be great.”

Has the unit surprised you a little bit in the start of this season?

“When I got here, it was all through the OTAs and the training camps, this group works hard. They’re a well-coached group by our (defensive position) coaches Joe Vitt and Bill Johnson and Wesley McGriff and Andre Curtis. This has been a well-coached group. It’s a highly motivated group. I think we all have egg on our face from last season and take that seriously. We want to be a hell of a lot better than what people think we are, so we’re just working hard to be a little tiny part of our success.”

locker room photosYou got the game ball after the game. Was that a touching moment for you? I know it must have been a tough weekend.

“I think that’s just Sean (Payton) being Sean. Everybody goes through those things, they experience those things and it’s a class act by Sean and the organization and they are (a) class act all the way. For me getting down there for the funeral and everything else, for Mr. Benson and Mickey (Loomis) and Sean and Joe (Vitt), that’s the way it is. Certainly not that I deserved it, but it was a nice gesture for sure.”

A couple of weeks ago, you said that you hadn’t put so much on a rookie as you had on Kenny Vaccaro. Is it fair to say something similar about John Jenkins?

“He’s playing nose tackle, so he doesn’t have to do quite as much thinking (as a safety), but he’s got to do a lot of fighting. These rookies, they’ve been well-coached in college but they’re an exceptional group. They work really hard (and) they’ve got great veterans in front of them that are showing them the way to do it. These guys have bought in. They work hard, and our thing is every man here coaching, playing, whatever it is, we want to get better. We want to give everything we’ve got and try to win one game that week. Our guys are responding. Whatever their roles are, everybody is taking to them. They work really hard and we are just trying to get better each week and be a little tiny part of our success.”

Has Jenkins done enough in his time in the lineup to present you with a tough decision when other players get healthy?

“No. I think Jenkins has done a great job and we were counting on him to contribute right when he broke training camp, so none of that has changed. Right now, whoever we line up with is going to play as hard as we can play. When we get veterans, that’s going to even make it better because when the rest of the league is getting banged up, we’re getting healthy. We’re looking forward to that. We’ve got a lot of excellent football players who will eventually come back and help us, and we’re excited about that. John Jenkins was always going to be a key guy for us when we broke training camp.”

You mentioned taller receivers earlier. Is there a different point of emphasis this week looking to defend them?

“I don’t think. I mean we have played some giants. They just have them all over the field. You usually have one gigantic guy, and this team has got them all. Wesley McGriff does one tremendous job with these guys, so we’ve been working on the high throws that (Jay) Cutler will fire in there to these guys. It’s a constant state. It looks like all these guys nowadays get like that; I mean they’re gigantic. We’ve been working hard at that and we know we’ve got our hands full, but we prepared really well and we just want to be successful. That’s all.”

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