Short takes from New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton's Friday briefing with the media:
- If you were suspecting that the Saints might have some type of advantage over Carolina based on the fact that the Saints are coming off their bye week and the Panthers played on Monday night, don't. "Interestingly enough, when you do a little stat analysis, this game with a Monday night opponent playing a team coming off the bye, has happened 17 times since 2006," Payton said. "And the team coming off the Monday night game has won 10 of those 17. We talk about making sure of the routine, but we also talk about the rest and the preparation in regards to the team we're playing." The Saints were one of those teams in 2014; they played Baltimore in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night (Nov. 24), then went to Pittsburgh on Sunday (Nov. 30) and beat the Steelers, who were coming off their bye.
- The quest is never-ending for getting the best 11 players on the field defensively, and this week against Carolina will be no different. "We'll always go into a game with two, three, four defensive packages and a lot of that is starting with who's available, the health of your team. And a lot of it's predicated on what you're having to defend. We know the opponent well but I think the one thing you've got to caution yourself (against), is being careful on an extended period of time of not trying to add a lot of new stuff. Because you know the Monday night team is going to run what they run, you don't have that time for a lot of (changes). So it's really more about the execution, the attention to detail, than it is about the actual design."
- The loss of safety Erik Harrisdeals a huge blow to the Saints on special teams. "It's pretty significant," Payton said. "Whenever you have an injury – he's a core guy, (and) it's no different than if a core guy has moved up and is playing more on defense, there's an attrition. We'll have to pick up with his loss."