Highlights from Sean Payton with Brett Favre on his SIRIUSXM program:
Sean, Bruce Murray, along with Brett Favre. We thank you for the time. How are you today?
Good morning guys. We're doing well. I appreciate you having me on.
I'm sure you really do appreciate that Sean. I know you don't have better things to do.
Listen, they told me that you had this radio show. I said, "Hey sign me up. I'm on." We're coming off a bye week so we are a little ahead of the schedule. We're playing Carolina who obviously played last night and will be on a shorter week. For us, part of that bye is spent on the preparation of this next game but a good part of that bye last week is really spent on our own team. You know, we came off of a fourth quarter win against San Diego in a game that could have easily gone either way and we played in a couple of those games early in the season with Oakland and then New York. I think the key for us really is more about ourselves, evaluating "hey what are we doing well" and then "who are we asking to do it." You guys are right. There's a good part of that bye week you're spending on yourself rather than the opponent.
I guess really, I've got one football question that kind of interests me. You know, Bruce and I talked about this right before the show. You and Drew have been as prolific as they come. And I'm going back in the history of this game. That part of it that is you know week in week out that that's there. How much of the defense do you, and I know you're an offensive guy, but especially with the struggles, and I don't even know if I call them struggles as much as youth and inexperience and injuries. Not that you're going to make excuses but how much are you involved with the defense more so the last few weeks than ever before in your head coaching tenure?
I think this, I think just as we finish playing San Diego, you know Dennis Allen and I've worked together for so many years. I mean he was on our original staff here in '06,'07,'08,'09, I can't remember the year we lost him but he went to Denver as the coordinator and then of course went to Oakland. We've got a real good relationship where when we got to this bye week you know we met a few different times just about, and it was less about scheme and it was more about hey, you know the best 11 sometimes is tough to find because as coaches you can get engrained to position groups, all of us can. And sometimes it might be a sub group as opposed to base. You know, we've been nicked up at linebacker. We've had a number of guys down and the same at corner. I think really trying to look at the four weeks we've played, look at those cutups, you know talk, make some recommendations and say "hey let's see if we can't get these packages on the field featured" even if it's not a subgrouping on offense. You know the game has changed so much that you know it's really about deployment rather than who's doing it. In other words, just because I'm in nickel doesn't mean I'm giving you a good run look. So I think I would say in the last couple weeks that's something of course as a head coach you're watching the film, you're meeting as a staff. But Dennis and I have the ability for us to just close the door and go in and just sit and talk about "hey who do you think is playing well," "who do we need to feature more," and then "what do we want them to do?" So I think for me that's probably been the case the past couple years. Now we played at times, the thing that's encouraging and we're kind of holding on to something but the first half at Oakland was real good and played just how we wanted to. We went up to New York and really held them from scoring a touchdown and gave up seven on a blocked field goal and played real good defense up there.
We really struggled against Atlanta and without making any excuses we tackled poorly, we did a lot of things poorly and you do that against a real good offense like Atlanta and you have the result like we had. I think that, I know D.A. well enough and the staff and I think back to the complementary game we're talking about even in years we've had real good teams. The takeaway numbers are encouraging and that's the thing, red zone defense, you know they'll be some yards given up but you know how are we when we get in the red zone and then man, I think some of that's on us offensively too. When we get back to being smart with the football, we had two turnovers in the San Diego Chargers game that really are going to keep us from winning that game. Then defensively we get three of them late in the game. But I think we've got to be a little bit more consistent running the football, I think Ingram's playing better right now, playing well. Those things kind of go hand in hand. I think the time of possession, a handful of those key numbers can certainly help our defense and then I think this bye week we've got a number of guys getting healthy and coming back. I know two weeks ago we were down nine starters and I think we have a chance to cut that in half. So I'm encouraged with the way we've handled the week and I think Dennis and I visit quite a bit and will spend time on it and yet just as we're talking, we're in watching offensive cutups of Carolina.
Yeah, well best of luck to you this week. It never gets any easier as you know. Regardless of the team you're playing's record and how they fair it almost is, you know this team is backed up into a corner and everyone's writing them off and for you and the rest of the team, it's scary you know. They never get any easier. You know I don't miss those days one bit to be honest with you.
I think this. I think certainly with how Carolina has played over the years, we understand, you understand, how fragile 1-4 can be from being 3-2 and you look at their a little wide left in their week one game against Denver on a kick and you start to the season off 1-0. You can point to some specific plays. Last night's game, they get down and control the game inside the 10 and have a little play action pass and it gets intercepted. There's so many of these moments where they're game changing events and in our game, number one, you don't have a lot of possessions, it's a pretty quick game relative to the college or high school game. It goes by fast and I think, you know I kind of consider ourselves backed in a corner a little bit as well though. So both teams are going to a have to come out. We've always had a good rivalry with these guys. It's been a hard fought game every time we've played them regardless of who's been winning, of course they've been playing real good football of late, but I think it's going to come down to keeping them and minimizing the mistakes and taking advantage of those opportunities. There's just so many games, I don't want to say lost in our league, but you see it happen time and time again and there's things teams will do to keep themselves from winning. We've got to make sure and minimize those things.
I have to ask you one thing Coach before we let you go and I know you're very busy but you've been now with Drew Brees for a decade and I'm going to whisper this because I think my partner knows it but there's a chance that Drew Brees when he's all done will be the leader in yards and I would have thought that at one time was impossible. It's a league about winning I get it but can you appreciate what you're going through while you're going through it? I know it's great to be with him but can you really appreciate what he's doing historically?
Well I think this, I know he would say the same thing, I think our interest in history would certainly be more focused on the success and the success we've had and whether it was the '06 team, the '09, '10, '11, '13, it's about playoffs. And when you get in the postseason, it's like you get one of those golden tickets and you get to go see Willy Wonka. You know, you have a chance and there's nothing like it in the world. So back to your point on his longevity and consistency, I think you do appreciate it. Last year on week three we played Carolina and he was out. He had hurt his shoulder and it was the first time he had missed a start in the whole time we've been here. And Luke McCown is getting ready to play and Luke played his butt off in that game at Carolina and had an outstanding game. But there's certain things you take for granted and then the minute that's gone, all of a sudden this one completion that you just look at, it's different. And I think that, I think in the end it's the preparation. It's knowing right this second at 10:18 as we're sitting on the phone and we're working in there on a game plan, I know he's down there with Luke, he's got his little notepad, he's real, real anal here, so he's got his pencil that's sharpened, he's made his notes. He's going to poke his head up in probably a half of an hour just to get an update. Today's Tuesday in our league so everyone's working on game plans and we're kind of a little bit further ahead, we had a practice yesterday. But the process and consistency, those are things that amaze you I think. And Brett had it. And when you have that, man availability for so long, that's the rare exception. That's not the norm. That's something that makes it so hard to identify and it's so important in the process as we're looking at each class of quarterbacks. You know, "Who are the next guys? and you hear stories, "Oh, they're going to be there. There's going to be more great players and the key is to find them." Most importantly then is to find them and then do the things that they do well. And Mike did that with Brett from Atlanta to Green Bay had a vision and created it and implemented it. I think that's our job as coaches.