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John DeShazier: Quick takeaways from Coach Sean Payton's press conference

Payton not pleased with run defense vs. Falcons

A few quick takes from Coach Sean Payton'sWednesday morning teleconference:

  1. Game film didn't at all change the perception of the New Orleans Saints' run defense against the Falcons. It was every bit as poor as the numbers (31 carries for 217 yards and three touchdowns) suggested. The breakdowns were both mental and physical. "We're late, we're behind blocks," Payton said. "Consequently, we're on the ground more, we're reaching more. Alignments were poor. In general, we didn't play well at all at linebacker and I would say in the front, it was average at best. It's one of those tapes that you want to make sure there's not a ton of copies of, because it isn't real pretty."
  1. Receivers Brandon Colemanand Tommylee Lewisboth graded out well against Atlanta in the absence of Drew Brees. "I would say both of them had some real good snaps," Payton said. "Coleman not only in the passing game graded out well, but in the run game did a good job getting on the edge. With Snead down in that game, part of Snead's value is some of the stuff he does in regards to the run game, handling the force. Some of that fell on Brandon Coleman. Tommylee Lewis, the same way – had a couple big plays for us, always there's a few things you want to clean up from a technique standpoint or alignment standpoint. But both those players had solid efforts."
  1. Back-to-back weeks of huge special teams errors are another obvious area of concern. On Monday night, it was a fumbled punt in which Lewis, the returner, first was run over by one of his blockers, cornerback De'Vante Harris, who then compounded the error by retrieving the loose ball and fumbling it. Atlanta recovered to set up its first touchdown. "You look to reduce and you look to make sure you're keeping it simple," Payton said. "Typically, when you're returning a punt backed up like that or fair catching a punt, past 15 yards we're off and using eyes. It's a young mistake, it was costly and there's really no excuse for it."
  1. There were no defensive snaps for Harris against the Falcons; B.W. Webbmade his Saints debut. "The first part of it is getting Webb involved," Payton said. "He'd only been here for a week last week. We like the progress of Harris, we feel like he's a young, talented player and yet, there's some experience factors that go into that." Webb played outside and when he played, Sterling Mooremoved inside, where it was hoped that his size would be an asset against the Falcons' run game.
  1. Free agent rookie cornerback Ken Crawleymade his first NFL start Monday night and for the most part, held up well. "I know this: It's not too big for him, and I like that," Payton said. "He's stepped up and has really handled the coverages. He has good ball skills. (Against the Giants) he's in position there and granted, he's not able to make the play (against Victor Cruz) but his location, his head around – all those things are on point. There's going to be some bumps along the way for a young corner like there would be with anyone, but I thought he played overall pretty well. I thought the corner play (against Atlanta) was pretty good."
  1. For the first time, quarterback Drew Breeswill play against his former team in San Diego; he was a Charger from 2001-05. His homecoming is a subplot, rather than the major storyline, for a team that's 0-3. "I think the competitor in all of us needs to get this first win," Payton said. As for Brees, he has passed for 1,062 yards, with eight touchdowns and one interception, in the first three games. "He's playing at a high level. I know this: He's not interested in the numbers, nor are we, aside from wins and losses."

A few quick takes from Coach Sean Payton'sWednesday morning teleconference:

  1. Game film didn't at all change the perception of the New Orleans Saints' run defense against the Falcons. It was every bit as poor as the numbers (31 carries for 217 yards and three touchdowns) suggested. The breakdowns were both mental and physical. "We're late, we're behind blocks," Payton said. "Consequently, we're on the ground more, we're reaching more. Alignments were poor. In general, we didn't play well at all at linebacker and I would say in the front, it was average at best. It's one of those tapes that you want to make sure there's not a ton of copies of, because it isn't real pretty."
  1. Receivers Brandon Colemanand Tommylee Lewisboth graded out well against Atlanta in the absence of Willie Snead IV. "I would say both of them had some real good snaps," Payton said. "Coleman not only in the passing game graded out well, but in the run game did a good job getting on the edge. With Snead down in that game, part of Snead's value is some of the stuff he does in regards to the run game, handling the force. Some of that fell on Brandon Coleman. Tommylee Lewis, the same way – had a couple big plays for us, always there's a few things you want to clean up from a technique standpoint or alignment standpoint. But both those players had solid efforts."
  1. Back-to-back weeks of huge special teams errors are another obvious area of concern. On Monday night, it was a fumbled punt in which Lewis, the returner, first was run over by one of his blockers, cornerback De'Vante Harris, who then compounded the error by retrieving the loose ball and fumbling it. Atlanta recovered to set up its first touchdown. "You look to reduce and you look to make sure you're keeping it simple," Payton said. "Typically, when you're returning a punt backed up like that or fair catching a punt, past 15 yards we're off and using eyes. It's a young mistake, it was costly and there's really no excuse for it."
  1. There were no defensive snaps for Harris against the Falcons; B.W. Webbmade his Saints debut. "The first part of it is getting Webb involved," Payton said. "He'd only been here for a week last week. We like the progress of Harris, we feel like he's a young, talented player and yet, there's some experience factors that go into that." Webb played outside and when he played, Sterling Mooremoved inside, where it was hoped that his size would be an asset against the Falcons' run game.
  1. Free agent rookie cornerback Ken Crawleymade his first NFL start Monday night and for the most part, held up well. "I know this: It's not too big for him, and I like that," Payton said. "He's stepped up and has really handled the coverages. He has good ball skills. (Against the Giants) he's in position there and granted, he's not able to make the play (against Victor Cruz) but his location, his head around – all those things are on point. There's going to be some bumps along the way for a young corner like there would be with anyone, but I thought he played overall pretty well. I thought the corner play (against Atlanta) was pretty good."
  1. For the first time, quarterback Drew Breeswill play against his former team in San Diego; he was a Charger from 2001-05. His homecoming is a subplot, rather than the major storyline, for a team that's 0-3. "I think the competitor in all of us needs to get this first win," Payton said. As for Brees, he has passed for 1,062 yards, with eight touchdowns and one interception, in the first three games. "He's playing at a high level. I know this: He's not interested in the numbers, nor are we, aside from wins and losses."
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