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Final Q&A with Coach Sean Payton ahead of Lions game

Payton spoke with the media for the final time ahead of Sunday's game vs. Lions

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Friday, December 2, 2016

What are your thoughts on the report that the league will add an eighth official?
"All I know is they have been discussing for the last year and a half the addition of an eighth official on game day. From my information it's just something that's just been discussed. I don't know, while I'm fairly certain it isn't finalized yet. It's been discussed pretty in depth."

What does an eighth official add?
"Well it would be on the defensive side of the ball. In the back end to get a look. When they took the umpire if you recall the umpire used to sit at linebacker depths if you will and a few years ago they moved him back behind the offense opposite the referee. One of the challenges is capturing or seeing defensive holding on the defensive line or screens down field. There are some calls that become more challenging to make. I know that's one area, the one thing these guys all do a great job with are their eyes. On every play are trained to go here, here, here, here and that person's eyes would have the same type of assignment. Here than here and I know that's one of the main reasons."

Did you have any personal relationship with Joe McKnight?
"No, I never met him. I've heard the name only because of Reggie Bush."

What do you think about two former NFL players being killed in New Orleans in the last two years?
"It's tragic obviously."

How do you think Von Bell and Rafael Bush have been able to play off one another?
"I think there is obviously experience with Jairus and both guys play well in space and both guys I think have real good ball skills and I think to Dennis' (Allen) credit you're seeing the combination of defensive looks that are getting some of your better players on the field if you will and also Kenny (Vaccaro) allows you that ability to do that because he's played over a slot all the way to his final year in Texas. He is comfortable playing in that role. It has just given us some flexibility."

Has having Von Bell allowed Byrd to play down maybe a little bit more than he would have say last year?
"Depending on the call, I think a little bit to some degree we're seeing Detroit in some three-safety looks, with a linebacker that's been injured and all of sudden you're seeing a true nickel and you're seeing a big nickel, a three safety package. As the game has opened up a little bit more the defenses have changed a little bit."

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