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John DeShazier: takeaways from Coach Sean Payton's Wednesday teleconference

Defense is playing better

Check out the best photos of the Saints defense during the Saints win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, October 30, 2016.

Here are a few nuggets from New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton's Wednesday teleconference:

  1. In back-to-back games against Kansas City and Seattle, the Saints defense has allowed 20 points and 326 yards (to K.C.), and 13 points and 359 yards (to Seattle). That's noticeable growth in the right direction for a unit that allowed 30-plus points and 400-plus yards in four of the first give games. "It's two-fold," Payton said. "We've been able to reduce our snaps and possess the ball a little bit more efficiently offensively, and we've been able to get off the field on third down a little bit more efficiently." The Chiefs and Seahawks were a combined 8 for 20 on third down, while the Saints' offense was 18 for 29 on third down, and time of possession favored New Orleans 32:38-27:22 against Kansas City, and 36:12-23:48 versus Seattle.
  1. The Saints (3-4) have won three of their last four, a feat they twice accomplished last season. But if you're looking for Payton to draw parallels and present potential pitfalls from the experience, don't. "Honestly, each season is different," he said. "We just finished talking about where we're currently at. It's a quick turnaround, and here we go. There's a lot of different faces in this room. I don't know that I've drawn any comparisons to a year ago. Our focus is coming off that Seattle game and transitioning into the type of team that we're going to play out in San Francisco."
  1. The choice to move second-year offensive lineman Andrus Peatfrom right guard to left guard has been an agreeable one. Peat periodically also has filled in at left tackle, when Terron Armsteadhas been injured. "He's doing well. He's powerful. He had, I think, a real good game (against Seattle). There are still some nuances to the position, but you see some toughness, some pancake blocks, you see him finish, he's extremely athletic. We're excited for his progress and to see him settle in and play like he's been."

4. Colin Kaepernickis back as the starting quarterback for San Francisco, and though he has limited snaps this season and hasn't played to the level of the quarterback who helped San Francisco win the NFC Championship Game in 2012 and reach the conference title game in '13, he still poses a unique threat as a runner. "It's unique in that, what might be three yards for another quarterback can be 28 yards for him," Payton said. "You've got a handful of players in our league that have that versatility. He's one of them."

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