New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton wasn't any more inclined Wednesday than he was on Monday to divulge his intention on who will, or won't, be starting at quarterback Sunday when the Saints (7-2) face Atlanta (3-6) in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"No updates," Payton said during his teleconference.
Starting quarterback Drew Brees, experiencing significant discomfort, pulled himself from New Orleans' last game, a 27-13 victory over San Francisco in the Superdome, at halftime. Jameis Winston started the second half at quarterback for the Saints, and Taysom Hill also sprinkled in for several snaps as the Saints won their sixth straight game and maintained their lead in the NFC South Division.
Regardless of who plays, Payton said the goal is the same.
"We want efficient play from that position," he said.
"I think the one thing we'll always do here is highlight the strengths of whoever's playing any position. Not just quarterback."
Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris, who has led Atlanta to a 3-1 record, said he expects nothing less. Morris, who has been on Atlanta's staff since 2015, has seen much of Winston, a former starter for Tampa Bay, and Hill. As assistant head coach and secondary coach for the Falcons last season, Morris witnessed Winston's most recent game as a starter: Winston completed 13 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions, in a 28-22 loss to Atlanta on Dec. 29 last season.
"Jameis, when he was in Tampa, he showed the ability, he showed the big arm throwing the ball down the field, being a great vertical thrower, having the ability to get the ball and push down the field," Morris said. "He's had a lot of success with that and some of the yards he's been able to put up. Obviously, he had a couple of roles that made him find his way to New Orleans. But you're talking about a talented guy with a big arm that can make almost every throw on the football field.
"And then when you talk about Taysom, you're talking about a guy that is very unique in his skill set, brings a bunch of stuff – quarterback one game, he can also be used in the pass game, he also has a unique set that gives him the ability to put himself in the play-action game. He's talented enough to move to tight end, he's talented enough to move to fullback, he's talented enough to move to wide receiver. He's just kind of that guy, that Swiss army knife that has the ability to go out there and make plays and absolutely ruin games for people because he can go anywhere. Including special teams."
Morris said the Saints haven't had an issue of plugging in players and structuring productive roles for them.
"I know as long as Sean Payton is there and (offensive coordinator) Pete Carmichael is there, those guys are going to do what the Saints do," he said. "And one of the best things that those two coaches do, in my opinion, is put guys in really good roles. They've been doing the role game for a long time.
"The names have gone from (receiver) Marques Colston, to now Michael Thomas. The names have gone from (running back) Deuce McAllister and Mark Ingram, to now Latavius Murray. And now it goes from Reggie Bush, to now Alvin Kamara. I've been able to see these guys put people in different roles and look very similar over the years, and they're going to use people in these roles where they have positive results."
Payton said he has seen improvement from Winston and Hill this season.
"Both of these young guys have progressed and have advanced understanding what we're doing," he said. "There's a confidence level we have with both players; they're different types of players. But I think it's a strong room and we're going to lean heavily on a few of these other guys right now."