New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Friday, September 16, 2011
"Let's go through the injury report and player statuses. K Garrett Hartley (hip) did not practice and is listed as out, WR Marques Colston (shoulder) did not practice and is out, and then the following players are all listed as questionable: CB Tracy Porter (right calf) did not practice, DT Tom Johnson (left calf) did not practice, S Roman Harper (right ankle) was limited, and WR Lance Moore (groin) was limited. Then lastly G Carl Nicks had an illness, he did not practice and he's listed as probable."
There seems to be a feeling that the defense needs to come up with a big play to win the game. Do you share that concern?
"I think what you coach and what we coach is all the details within each scheme defensively within each defense called and the effort to the ball and with each play, and you guys have seen it in training camp and within our practices right now of finding the ball, getting to the balls on the ground and then with that effort and with that emphasis, those things kind of come. What you can coach and what you can emphasize is that energy and effort in pursuit of the ball and to stripping the ball, to tipping the ball, to picking the ball up off the ground, to all the things you see our guys do defensively. It can be a defensive lineman, it can be a linebacker, it can be a secondary player but it has to start with a belief that that effort and that emphasis can lead to turnovers. I think that's something for our defense is easily understood and is easily sold because they've seen that work."
That Brian Urlacher interception last week was pretty remarkable. Do you share that with your guys and try to get them to do that?
"No, I think it gets back to the effort and the understanding of each defensive call. You saw it manifest itself in 2009 and it wasn't just defensive backs, it was at all position groups that those things come. But it comes with that understanding that, 'look you don't know when it's coming, but you know it's not coming if you don't buy in. You know it's not coming as frequently as you want if you're not going to pursue, you're not going to work to strip and you're not going to work to pick up and chase every loose ball, you know it's going to be less frequent.' I think it's the belief that this is the way and then those opportunities present themselves whether they're deflections, fumbles or loose balls. I think the players and coaches and all of us understand that and it's a belief that Gregg (Williams) has done a great job with defensively throughout the position coaches on down to the player and as a team where you saw it happen with Robert Meachem a couple of years ago. There is an effort and a great example of, 'well that's not going to happen if we don't believe it has a chance to happen.' It generally starts with effort."