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John DeShazier: Takeaways from Coach Sean Payton's Friday press conference

A couple of quick takes from Coach Sean Payton'sFriday news conference with local media:

  1. New Orleans Saints players have rebounded from Monday's game against Atlanta, partially aided by the fact that the week was shortened due to the prime-time game. The team practiced outside Friday. "I think (the team reacted) real strong," Payton said. "Obviously, there's that sense of urgency of winning a football game, playing in some tough games. You've got to make corrections still, and then you've got to turn around quickly and get ready for the next game."
  1. The Saints made a significant jump in third-down efficiency from the first two games to the third. They were 7 for 24 on third down against Oakland and the Giants, 7 for 13 against Atlanta. "When we put up the Week 3 statistics third-down wise and we begin to evaluate this season, it's much like your third test and you know you're having 16 (tests)," Payton said. "So the percentages can greatly change. Now, when you get into Week 12 or 13, if those trends still stay there, it's harder to change something. But we were better last week. I think it's an important down in this game, this is one of the better third-down defenses in the league. I think they're second right now, they do a good job of rushing the passer, they're aggressive in their coverage and you've got to really make sure the ball is coming out on time. That's hard to do when they're playing a lot of man-to-man. And then, conversely, this is a pretty good third-down offense. It's one area that will definitely be one of the focal points in this game."
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