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2021 Saints Training Camp: Transcript of Sean Payton's press conference from Thursday, July 29

'I think just starting off inside was best. We’ll have plenty of time outside'

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton

2021 Training Camp presented by SeatGeek
Post practice press availability with local media | Thursday, July 29, 2021

What was the intent behind going inside today?

"I think it's best for the first couple days, just as we are in this ramp-up period. We will get outside plenty of times. I think just starting off inside was best. We'll have plenty of time outside."

Did this first practice have any particular emphasis? It seems like you ran a lot of running plays during team drills.

"Typically, going back 10-15 years, there'd be a lot of base personnel. There was a lot of first down, second down emphasis today. The last period was more of a pass period, but prior to that a lot of runs and play-action pass plays."

Obviously, player development is always important. You always have a number of second-, third-year guys poised to take on bigger roles. Is that going to be a bigger theme this year?

"I don't know if it will be any different this year. I think it is sometimes more pronounced when you lose a veteran player or at least a more visible player at a certain position, but I don't know that it is unique specifically to this team. We've been able to sign some guys that we think we have a vision for and draft some players the same way. We'll see how it goes in the evaluation process."

Has it sunk in at all not having Drew Brees here in training camp? Have you noticed a difference or are you not thinking about that at all?

"There's certain things that you notice in the first few days of the offseason or just in the start of camp. Obviously, it's more noticeable with the quarterback position and with someone like Drew. I thought this first practice was good. I think the rotation will keep changing day by day, and that's part of the deal."

I know it's early and might be unfair to ask at this point, but with being around Zack Baun in the offseason, have you seen any growth from him?

"I think so. Look, he's one of those self-starters that got in early last offseason. I am encouraged with where he's at in his second year. Definitely have (seen him grow)."

When you're evaluating the quarterbacks, is it in practice or in preseason games?

"It's all of it. We're evaluating everything we are seeing. We chart throws, we obviously understand what group they're with and all those other things. We evaluate all of it."

When you're evaluating everything and looking at the film every day, with the amount of experience you have in the NFL, how much does your gut feeling factor in your decision to select a quarterback?

"That's a part of it. The decisions you arrive with come from the evaluations and gut feeling. I was taught early on as a coach let's evaluate what we see on film. That process is formulated by giving a lot of reps."

What do you think of Adam Trautman's progression in year two?

"I'm pleased and I said the same last year. Part of his lack of playing time was our depth and the talent we had in the tight end room with Jared Cook and others. I think he is ready for an expanded role. I probably held him back as much as anyone last year based on the touches they received. I think he is ready to see more targets and grow into that starting position."

Will different quarterbacks work with different groups on different days throughout training camp?

"Yes. Absolutely."

Can you comment on the Deonte Harris situation?

"There's not much to say, other than you guys will wait and see what transpires relating to any type of discipline. You guys will probably know before I will."

Was Grant Haley's absence a personal-related absence?


With Cesar Ruiz, is the plan to work with him at right guard or will he also work any at center?

"Right now, he is working at right guard. He's had a good offseason."

There are so many different moving parts working as an NFL head coach. I know you're challenged every year, but are you more challenged by the situation this year due to all the new faces. Does that give you a spark?

"I don't know that it's any different this year for me. In other words, it's different because one of the players we lost was our quarterback that had been with us for a long period of time. Outside of that, there's a certain amount of attrition every year. The NFL is a young players league. Our job is to draft players, train them, develop them and get them ready to play. Certainly, there are some position groups that are younger than others, but I think that's pretty consistent with the job description year in and year out."

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