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

Pass rush had its moments vs. Carolina

Check out the game action between the Saints and Panthers in Week 6.

A couple points of note from New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton's teleconference Monday following the Carolina game:

  1. The pass rush had its moments against Carolina's offensive line and quarterback Cam Newton, who was sacked twice and hurried 13 times. The Saints also had nine passes defended (one a batted pass by defensive end Cam Jordan). "We had some good moments and yet, there are some times – the challenge with Cam (Newton) is trying to keep him in the pocket," Payton said. "When he extends plays it becomes a lot more difficult. I thought Cam (Jordan) rushed the passer pretty well, (David) Onyematahad some decent snaps. (Without Paul) Kruger, we were one (player) short at defensive end. The ball was coming out fairly quick, (but) I thought we had our moments. Obviously, in the second half, there were a lot more yards given up."
  1. More possible attrition on the offensive line means more subs have to step up. First, Andrus Peatmoved from left guard to left tackle to replace injured Terron Armstead. Then, after Senio Kelemete– who'd stepped in at left guard – had to miss time due to injury, Tim Lelitostepped in at left guard. Kelemete has returned but Sunday, Peat left the game with an injury, which pushed Tony Hillsonto the field at left tackle with less than a minute left in the first half. The fortunate part for the Saints is that all of the aforementioned players have started, at those specific spots, on the offensive line over the last two games. Thus, the lack of practice reps isn't a glaring obstacle. "You want to have some guys with experience," Payton said. "One of the hard things during an NFL season is when you're getting X amount of reps during the week to prepare for a game. Unless you're a veteran player – we'll spot-rest some of those guys or get them some snaps away – but it's hard for backup players in positions like that. (It's) different than in the secondary, where they're going to be playing a few packages. But it's hard to get snaps to players that may be playing in a backup role, because there's only so many things you're wanting to look at. A guy like Andrus might take every snap, or a good majority of the snaps. Often times, you've got to come in and function without the practice week that you normally would like to have if you knew you were playing."
  1. Not that Payton needed to confirm it but, yes, rookie receiver Jake Lampman(three tackles) played well on special teams in his first game as a Saint. "He had a real good day. He had a real good day. I think the early impressions with Jake, back in training camp, was he was someone that could run and played physical. And he was able to do that yesterday."
  1. The Saints (2-3) have won their last two games. But it's a little early for Payton to label that as momentum. "We've won two games, two close games," he said. "There are times in a season when you gain momentum and generally, I think it's a little further out than where we're at right now with wins and losses. I think it'd be a little too early right now."
  1. Replay challenge for pass interference currently isn't an option. Payton would like to see it become an option. "Let's hope that that, at some point, (is instituted) sooner rather than later. I think the Competition Committee needs to spend a lot more time thinking about it. That specific call is so critical to get right." Safety Kenny Vaccarowas penalized for interference in the end zone on a fourth down play, a call that was questionable. And linebacker Craig Robertsonsimilarly took a P.I. penalty in the season opener against Oakland, on a fourth-down play in which the Saints would have gotten off the field and possibly run out the clock for the victory against Oakland.
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