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John DeShazier: Takeaways from Coach Sean Payton's Thursday teleconference

Says signing Sterling Moore was important

Several short takes from New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton's Thursday teleconference:

  1. Cornerback Sterling Moorehas been a key addition for the Saints this season, especially considering the injuries that the team has sustained in the secondary. Damian Swannwent on injured reserve before the season began, Delvin Breauxwas injured in the season opener and P.J. Williamswas injured in the second game. Moore was signed Sept. 6, has started four of the five games he has played this season and has an interception, with six passes defensed. He also missed two games with an abdomen injury (he was inactive for the season opener), but returned against San Francisco. "I think it was a significant signing for us," Payton said. "We had tried to acquire him the year before. So, he's leaving Dallas and he ended up going to Tampa, but not because we didn't try and get him here. He took advantage of an opportunity down there with (Coach) Lovie(Smith) and played, and played well. So when he became available, in light of our situation, it made sense and certainly, our evaluation was correct."
  1. Moore has played outside and inside against slot receivers. "He's played outside, I think he's got the instincts and awareness to play inside," Payton said.
  1. Having back Moore and Breaux (broken fibula) from injury not only makes the Saints the healthiest they have been at the position, but also gives them quality depth and, perhaps, puts them in closer position to employing all the defenses that coordinator Dennis Allenenvisioned they effectively would be able to utilize. "You're constantly adjusting a little with who's available. We've featured some three-safety look a little bit more based on the linebackers' health. But when you can get corners back and you get healthy at that position, it allows you to have a little bit more flexibility. The thing I'm encouraged with is the time on task that the others have had and the depth that we've been able to create at that position."
  1. Right tackle Zach Striefhas played to very positive reviews this season. The 11-year veteran is healthy and it has shown in his work. "I think he's been real steady," Payton said. "All the things that he's done well throughout his career. Quietly each week he goes about his business. He understands leverage extremely well, he understands what we're doing in the run game and the passing game. I think he's having a real good season."
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