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Quotes from New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton on Sept. 12

Posted Sep 12, 2017

Payton spoke with the media and gave his thoughts on the team's Week 1 loss to Minnesota

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Is it accurate that you guys had only 10 men on defense to start the game?

“First play of the game, correct. We had (that) initially as a nickel call and we ended up with just two corners instead of the third corner.”

A frustrating way to start the game and set the tone?
“To say the least.”

Whose fault?
“It’s the communication that goes on between base and nickel. Without singling anyone out, we didn’t get it communicated clear enough. Fortunately, it didn’t end up hurting us on that specific play.”

How many other plays were there 10 men?
“That’s the only play.”

What were your main takeaways after you had a chance to watch the tape that stuck with you?
“It was not a good tape. I thought defensively we struggled in coverage at times. For the early portion of the game, the penalties hurt in the first series. There were 30 yards (of penalties) in the first series. It led to their game-tying field goal. As the game wore on, I thought the explosive plays hurt us. There were some MEs (mental errors), poor decisions. Overall (it was) not good enough. Offensively, I thought we struggled at times in protection. We were not consistent enough in the running game. In the kicking game, the snap-hold-kick, all of that was fairly smooth. I think there was one big play given up in the kick coverage unit. Then from a kick return standpoint, punt return standpoint, it was average at best.”

Were some of the struggles in coverage on defense, mental errors or more about guys just getting beat?
“Both.”

How do you go about correcting that in the next five days?
“The challenge is in a short week of making sure we are going make sure see this tape now. This isn’t one we can just put away and then get on to New England. That might be a little bit more longer practice times, tomorrow and/or Thursday. But there are enough things that we have to clean up that we have to see this before we get on to (New England). Obviously, we’re planning and game planning New England but we can’t allow some of those mistakes to happen again.”

There was a lot of optimism based on preseason and camp in regards to defense, and a lot happens between week one and week two. What outweighs what? The first real game or can you still have optimism that this was maybe a week one sloppy-?
“There’s a lot to clean up. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to get a handful of these things fixed or they will come up again. So we as a staff in all phases have to do a better job.”

Didn’t seem like Sterling Moore was with the ones for much of camp but obviously had some impressive moments, why wasn’t he among those top three cornerbacks last night?
“We just thought Aggie Harris (De’Vante Harris) had been working with the ones and that was our decision going in.”

And what had impressed you about Aggie in the offseason?
“Just the consistency through camp. He’s played really well.”

Do you plan to bring in any tackles this week?
“We’ll see. We’ll wait and see how we go and kind of look at our options.”

How’d you think the new group of linebackers played?
“I thought overall, pretty good. I would say both (A.J.) Klein and (Alex) Anzalone (had a) pretty active game. I was encouraged.”

Typically, the Will stays on the field every play, why were you guys mixing Craig (Robertson) in?
“Well the Will stays on the field. We just had Craig receiving snaps for Alex (Anzalone) in this first game. We were going to have every third or fourth series just to monitor the total plays.”

Have you had a chance to look at New England yet?
“Yes. That’s what we’re working on right now.”

What stood out about their first game?
“I’ve seen both sides of the ball. They move the ball very well offensively. It wasn’t until about midway through that game that Kansas City hit a few explosive plays. (They) Had some long drives. Obviously, they’re an outstanding team and we have a lot of work to do in preparation for them.”

What type of disadvantages do you have coming off of a short week and New England having a pretty long week from playing on a Thursday?
“None of it matters because you can’t control it. You try to stay focused on the things you can control. That’s just us getting back here and quickly getting up to speed and making the corrections from this past weekend’s game.”

One thing that stood out was Cam (Jordan) dropping in the coverage a few times, why is that something that you guys wanted to mix in?
“Sometimes you do that to tighter red area. The red zone situations where you’re looking for extra flare control or extra help on flare control. A lot of it is situational. It’s not unusual.”

Were there one or two things that prevented you from having success in the red zone or was it something different each time?
“That’s a good question. I think we had an ME (mental error) on a trap play for the most part was blocked well and (Mark) Ingram’s going to have a chance to score. I think that it wasn’t one specific thing. Unfortunately, when you end up kicking that amount of field goals, that’s certainly an area we have to spend more time on and be better at.”