New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Opening Statement: “Clearly today for us feels like a Friday, just from a schedule standpoint. We’ll finish up tomorrow with a little light walk-through and go from there.”
Going into this game, what are some keys your team needs to improve upon going into Monday night?
“I think really looking at ourselves and saying, ‘Hey. How do we improve with our protection? How do we limit the number of times Drew (Brees) is getting hit? How do we eliminate some of the big plays?’ We looked at some red zone numbers today, both offensively and defensively, and those are key points of emphasis. I felt better coming off of that game in the second half in regards to the running game. Of course we want balance, and yet each game kind of can take on a life of its own. We tried to spent a lot of time on the self-evaluation just as we would spending time on the opponent. We’re looking for the consistency that we hope to have in understanding that there’s a lot of things we’ve got to improve on. We’ve gone through a little bit of guys coming up off of injury, guys potentially being down because of injury, and I think we’ve handled that pretty well. Some of the younger guys have stepped up and done a good job, and we’ll get a few guys back here. Overall, those would be some things that stand out.”
Do you have to counteract the questions that we and the national media ask talking about how good the defense is after three weeks? With a young group, do you have to make sure that they don’t buy into the hype?
“Honestly you’re always kind of paying attention to (it). You guys have a difficult job. What sells in your industry is something to either extreme, but the 85% in the middle is typically what we deal with on a weekly basis. Bill (Parcells) was really good at this: when it was all the way to the right, favorably, you were making sure that we have a lot that we have to improve on, and you show them the tape and emphasize that. No different than all of the sudden, you go through a stretch when things aren’t going well. I think just eliminating the outside distractions and eliminating what we call ‘the noise’ is more difficult today than it ever has been because of the amount of coverage and the amount of exposure to the game. I think they understand that and they get that.”