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Coach Sean Payton reviews Texans preseason game

Transcript of Coach Payton's press conference

"Obviously we have a lot of different combinations of guys going, penalties are still troublesome. The hidden yardage tonight was pretty significant when you have a return that comes back. We'll take a peek at the tape. That's one I brought up postgame with the players that we have to get cleaned up. That will cost us a game. We'll come in tomorrow and we'll watch the tape. The players are off tomorrow, but Tuesday they'll be back in reviewing this game and we'll have a practice Saints on Saints with a short week obviously (and on) Wednesday then preparation for Green Bay."  

On the offensive starters playing one series a little different than in other Week three preseason games:

"It has been much different for me than what we have done before. It is a different roster right now; have a lot of more experienced guys. The thing we try to look at closely are just the amount of snaps guys are receiving up to this point. The guys haven't missed any snaps and that was really a big part of it. The guys that I felt like hadn't missed any snaps, there were some early outs on defense as well and that is just the approach we took.  

On how much the fear of injuries affects early exit of starters:

"I think there is always that fear, but that has been present for as long as I have been coaching this league in the preseason. You take into account what you are seeing, but more importantly the snaps some of our veteran guys are receiving. When we are talking about Zach (Strief) of Drew (Brees), I am seeing a ton of work and we are seeing it in practice and we feel like it's sharp, it's just us trying to be smart about who is playing. It's never easy."  

On Marcus Murphy and Edwin Baker's play today making it more difficult to cut down at that position:

It does not make it any more difficult it just reaffirms what we have been seeing. Each week he's (Murphy) been close. I like the player. He's (Murphy) making this team. I think Baker did some good things, Baker played well. Obviously, it's difficult when you have a lot of guys making plays like that. In the return game, back to what I was alluding to, there have been a handful of kick returns he has been close on and the same way in the punt game, unfortunately, we had one called back. Baker had some good runs. Obviously, the fourth down long run on the toss play. He is a physical player; he has been with us so we had him a year ago." 

On Willie Snead higher in the rotation tonight:

"Part of that is a reflection on how quickly Brandin (Cooks) and a few of the others are out. Those other guys all end up earlier in the snap count. Without having seen the tape, it appears he made some good plays." 

On Delvin Breaux tonight:

"That would be hard to comment just without having seen the film. I would say he's been really playing well in practice. I like what we have with the player. He is smart, he is tough, he has good ball skills, but without having see him on the film I think that would be early,"  

On concerns about the pass rush:

"We got one (sack). I told them 'look we can have a second line tonight' with our first sack. Obviously, we have to improve in that area. I would say so (have concerns). It becomes a lot harder to play defensive back if we can't get to the quarterback or affect the quarterback. We pressured more tonight which was a little bit of the plan. There were a lot more one pressures or zero blitzes. If you were just watching I'd bet there were at least 15-20. But that is something that is a work in progress."  

On the chemistry and time together the guys who will start have gotten:

"They're receiving a lot of time together. We don't ever just think we're going to flip a switch, but those guys have received a lot of time together. We had a whole week with New England. It's back to the question that was asked earlier, do you want to see them get three quarters tonight? Do you want to see them get a quarter? If one of them gets injured , it's trying to be smart, especially when they are veteran players so we'll see."  

On significance of Ryan Griffin entering the game late:

"When you are trying to play a bunch (of players), it's more difficult, he'll play more in this game coming up Thursday. We typically have tried to, I think Pete (Carmichael) and Mike (Neu) have done a good in practice job of saying here is who is getting a lot of work with the two's and the three's. If you are trying to get four in, it's hard so Ryan will received more work versus Green Bay." 

On Marcus Murphy:

"I think he has pretty good vision, I think he is explosive. I thought he did some good things, not only in the return game; he did some things offensively underneath the coverage. I think there is a knack he has. He is not a returner that is going to try and run around the defense, he is going to run north and south and I think he is pretty quick, quick to accelerate."  

On if you evaluate red zone offense at this point in the season:

"Well, yes we do care about it. You evaluate it, you pay attention to it and you would feel a lot better if there was a touchdown on that first drive instead of a field goal. There are a handful of things after watching the film I'm sure tomorrow that I will put down as a point of emphasis for us on Tuesday's practice. Tuesday is an important practice for us. We are not on to the next team, it's something that you look at closely and you're not just going to turn the switch when (you) start the regular season, but we are not doing that with the amount of times that we've been practicing. There's area(s) that each week you look at and say this is something that has to be better. Penalties obviously jump out, pass rush, those are things that stand out."  

On his initial thoughts of Garrett Grayson's performance:

 "The first thing that comes to mind is the time clock with our game is much different than the college game so you're pulling your hair out with 'let's go, quicker, quicker, quicker, in and out of the huddle, to the line of scrimmage', so that is something that he needs work at. I made a comment to Pete (Carmichael), I said 'look we are down two scores, we are going to need three quarters at the rate we are playing', the tempo we are playing. I think he made some good throws. I'm sure there are a couple where he is trying to force it into coverage. We'll see on the tape, but I think overall that speed of the game, and I'm not just talking about the speed of the players of the game, I'm talking about the tempo and timing of the game is noticeably faster at this level and is something that he has to work on."

On the pass rush pressure needing to be manufactured:

"Part of our install was to get more of our pressures in today. In other words, get a look at them on film and practice them. Whether or not that becomes something we have to do more of, if we feel like we are not getting enough of a rush is still to be determined. Hopefully, we are able to have a pretty good balance and mix there where it's not just relying on pressure. That is something we have to work on."  

On Willie Snead and Josh Morgan and if they earned their way playing with the first team:

"It's really first half-second half, the ones as it pertains to Drew (Brees) and you have the offensive line, but the challenge is you go through the roles so you hit each position and the plan was with the offensive line you are going to get 12-14 snaps and take certain players out. Brandin (Cooks) and Drew (Brees) were going to receive a real limited amount of snaps so we have some general guidelines with the phases of how we are going to rotate players and yet there is going to be some exceptions. We got (Tim) Lelito more work, we got Akiem Hicks more work; Marques Colston, for instance, maybe hadn't received the snaps so he played a little more tonight. We wanted one thing to happen tonight with these guys like Josh (Morgan)  Joe (Morgan), Snead, the safeties, the corners; these positions where jobs are on the line we wanted to make sure we came away from the game with those type of players receiving at least 20-30 snaps. We didn't want to come away having to make evaluations on guys having eight snaps so that was purposeful, that was planned."  

On the receivers still crowded at the bottom:

"I think there are a handful of guys competing, but it's impossible to go through that right now. My mind coming off the game is upset about the penalties, one sack, we'll sit down after watching the tape and begin to discuss some of these position groups but obviously there is some pretty good competition going on in a few of these spots and I'd be willing to say most of those areas guys were north of 25-30 snaps so it should give us some additional information to evaluate." 

On if it's hard to evaluate the team collectively with have to evaluate so many positions individually:

"Sometimes it is, that is part of the preseason. It's always a challenge. I think the time when we had practice with someone else, that is always important because you get a chance to see another team, but I think that is always a challenge."  

On ever making a decision on a player based on one play:

"No, I don't think I'd ever do that. I think it has to be a sum total. It's more difficult when I guy returns a kick for a touchdown and its one play. I've seen that be 2hour meetings." 

On how close the kicking competition is:

"Close. We're still talking about it in the third week of the preseason. I'd say it's close. It was good to see (Zach) Hocker hit the long one, but it's close. I said this last week, we are hoping that there is an easy separation and there hasn't been."  

On the NOLA message written on his jacket and if the events of 10 years ago (Hurricane Katrina) ran through his mind while on the field today:

"It did. I was kind of mad, I hadn't really thought about it and I don't think anyone else really had, but it is 10 years today which was obviously the devastation more so than the hurricane itself. In hindsight we would have had a patch or something. It just seems fitting. I was at the pregame meal and started going through, everyone who has lived here has seen the homes with the insignias on them, but actually looking up and seeing the quadrants, east, north, south, west, it's pretty interesting to study or learn about how they were used with regards to any home being searched. I wasn't specifically aware of what each one meant; I just knew it meant a house had been searched, so today some time I remember looking it up and it was kind of a spur of the moment I think."  

On Jalen Saunders and Marcus Murphy and the return game overall:

I would say this; there have been some good signs. The penalties will drive you nuts, but again there is another element in the kickoff that whoever returns has had a green light. I think you earn that green light in the regular season. Typically you use some judgment with how deep the ball goes, how high it is, but there are some returner in this league where if you are coaching them it's you got it, you go, you don't have to worry about it and those returners have earned it so that has allowed us to evaluate more returns as opposed to touch backs. I like it when the young player, regardless of where he's at in the preseason is saying it's not a question of whether I am going out, its where am I going, I'm coming out. I like that; I think it gives us a chance to evaluate some guys. I think Marcus is taking advantage of some of those snaps. We saw more kick returns up until tonight and then we obviously get a few punt return looks for him. The personal foul on the long return is stupid. It's dumb football. That's the type of stuff that will drive you crazy. We have to get that corrected."

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