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Payton's Monday Press Conference


New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Monday, September 26, 2011

Opening Statement:

"We're in the middle of the day with just the film review and team meeting. As I said yesterday, first off there are a lot of things on film that we still need to clean up and improve upon. I thought we played better in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. We received the stops we needed. I thought the red zone efficiency numbers were important in this win. I thought defensively we were able to hold them to field goals. It was really the tale of two halves in regards to the style of the game, but it was an important win to get and we get on to the correction phase of our preparation and then getting ready for Jacksonville."

You get the ball at the end of the game at your own seven yard line and you're in the end zone 1:31 and 93 yards later.  How much of that was Drew Brees calling plays at the line of scrimmage?  Did you totally turn it over to him?

"We actually got into the series before kind of this no-huddle empty package of plays and we go in each week with a certain type of empty formation with a certain type of personnel. When we got into that package the series prior, Drew's handling the protection and handling the routes and periodically I'm able to get in his ear about a play maybe that we want to run and it's kind of back and forth, but that was all him in a no-huddle fashion only we were in an empty as opposed to a one-back, three-receiver set. It really shifted when that happened, he got red hot and he was outstanding and had the protections going the right way. They pressured us a couple times, he picked it up and the line picked it up. When you get into those wide open sets, it's a little harder to disguise who's coming but you still have to block them. And then he did a great job of getting the ball in the hands of the guys who were making plays and you saw Jimmy Graham, you saw Lance Moore quite a bit, Darren Sproles, Robert Meachem on the out cut; those are all guys that are working individual routes within the call he's making. At that point, earlier in the fourth quarter we got into that package and that was him at the line of scrimmage doing all of it."

How do you think Brian de la Puente and Charles Brown did on the offensive line?

"What was most encouraging, and I said this a few minutes ago in the team meeting, is oftentimes you get into a game and a player has to step up, and we had a lot of guys who had to step up into roles maybe they didn't get reps at. It impacts your offense and defense, but if you really look closer it impacts your special teams more than anything and all of a sudden we're having to use someone else. Olin Kreutz came back in to play the wing on field goal. Dealing with that is always challenging especially in the kicking game, but when you look at de la Puente and Charles Brown and you look at the snaps defensively that guys at linebacker had to get, that was encouraging. To go in and function and play well to win was most encouraging."

Do you feel good about Charles Brown?

"Yes, absolutely. That's why he's up for the games. We'll handle Wednesday, the injury report, I don't really want to talk about any of these guys until Wednesday. If a guy's dressed, it sounds like a big list but it's not. It's 46, so we say these guys have to be ready to function and they did."

What's your minimum amount of offensive linemen you want to have dressed?

"You would never go less than seven and never go north of eight. If you took 32 teams and asked how many they dressed, it's probably split. I would say maybe a little more (dress) seven and maybe some teams (dress) eight. We've had eight and we've had seven but you would never go south or north of those two numbers."

How tough is it for a guy like Brian de la Puente to come in and play well when he hasn't gotten a lot of snaps?

"It's a little more of a transition. Those are positions no different than the quarterback. There are a handful of positions where, when we read the grades each week, the first thing I ask the coaches is how many plays. Typically you go through the offensive line and the quarterback and the play total is the same, 72-68-77, and then when you to everyone else, the tight ends, the running backs, the receivers, the fullbacks, that goes anywhere from 15 to 40, but the five linemen and the quarterback typically get every offensive snap so it is different."

After you get to the 13 yard line and Mark Ingram runs it in at the end, there may have been some thought that the Texans still had time to come back and score since they had all their timeouts.  What were your thoughts at that point?

"We had all ours too. It was a little early. I know what you're saying. He scored with 2:42 left, I think we had all our timeouts. That's an eternity. The only thing I could think of that's close to what you're talking about is '06 with Philadelphia in the regular season when we get down there and I think there was 1:20 left and we end taking a knee instead of trying to run plays and then kick the game-winning field goal, but at that point we were trying to score and we just recognize that there was still four clock stoppages along with the time. I'm pretty sure they felt the same way. I know we would never allow someone to score with 2:40 left."

A lot of people talked about how emotional that game was with the Superdome re-opening anniversary and with Steve Gleason being there, do you feel like you and your team are spent after that weekend?

"It was an emotional weekend. I'm sure it was a tiring day physically for the players coming off a game like that against a good team. I was excited that we were able to win that game with (Steve Gleason) being present and with us and having spoken to the team the night before, but I'm sure there was a wide range of emotions and his message the night before was outstanding. To some degree, I think maybe a little bit not normal a Monday just from the emotional standpoint."

What did you all see from Brian de la Puente after he bounced around practice squads?

"Number one, he's smart.  He has good short area quickness, he's a good athlete and I would say during training camp when he was getting his snaps, he seemed to function very well and was very consistent.  Then there's that battle heading into the start of the season with who (will be active) on gameday, de la Puente or Tennant?  But he had done a good enough job to where we felt confident that he could play either the guard or center position.  In some years past, that backup player on game day could be the center and then the center goes to guard.  In his case, we felt like he'd go in on either spot.  The two backup players when you (dress) seven, one has to handle the tackle and the other has to handle an injury to any one of the interior three, but he was someone that was very consistent and more powerful than you would look at or notice there with his stature."

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