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Q&A: Sean Payton's Friday press conference

Video and quotes from Sean Payton's Friday press conference

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Friday, December 4, 2015

If John Jenkins can't go, will Tyeler Davison replace him?

"Correct. I think there is a good chance that ends up being the route we go."

What have you seen out of Davison so far this season?

"He's played quite a bit. Those guys have rotated a bunch. He has played a little bit more in the sub, but he is athletic and strong at the point. He is real smart and I think that the transition with him, because he has been playing the snaps should be fairly smooth."

Would that also give Kaleb Eulls an opportunity to play?

"That has a chance to yes. If John is down then it has a chance to bring another d lineman up and that would probably be the course of action."

If Willie Snead can't go on Sunday would that affect a specific wide receiver. maybe Brandon Coleman?

"He is playing a bunch already so will see where we are at there. He is receiving a lot of work in the various three wide receiver sets."

Are Luke Kuechy and Thomas Davis the best true 4-3 classic linebacker duo in the National Football League?

"You would have to sit for a while to look them all over. They are playing real well, both of them are real smart, both are exceptional tacklers and they both can run. Thomas is a guy who has come from the back end down (safety in college) and when you look at his stature and how he is built you see a linebacker. He's real physical, but both are exceptional players."

Does the presence of Kuechy and Davis change the way you game plan?

"There are certain types of runs and passes that you want to pay attention to. They both are actively involved in coverage. Both are involved in the pressures, so it's not just one or the other and they will both come and they give you enough looks so that you have to be prepared for both scenarios and they walk both of them into your A gaps and you need to have a plan. They do that pretty regularly and they will come out and play coverage in the next time and they will both come or one of them will come so just as a division opponent there are certain things you look at and you're like this is still consistent or maybe there are some changes. Sean (McDermott) does a good job though especially on third down. There will be a wrinkle and you have to be able to be really quick to adjust and see it in the sideline photos."

The last two games you have given up touchdowns on the opening two possessions to the other team. Is that a mentality thing?

"You want to start fast and a lot of times what do you do when you win the toss. The opponent wins the toss and defers, you obviously take the ball. You win the toss, I think when I started in 2006 you didn't have defer as an option, but we always have kind of taken the ball and yet there is sometimes where the elements or sometimes it depends who you are playing where you defer, but to your point though, just as you want to defensively get that three and out or keep that field position and three and out you would have field position. A couple first downs, a punt and that field position is more into your end if that makes sense. Multiple first downs and the field position is back in your court. A three and out and you're going to have field position. Offensively we work on openers and try to mix those up and obviously the goal being to score on that first drive and we chart that. This morning I would go through every first drive they have seen this year and last year. I don't know how many, 18 last year and then (about) 10 to date this year and just look at what's been good and is there any tendency they have defensively in those first drives, but yes, you want to be able to start fast and I would say look last year's game at home here early on we have a turnover, a field goal and we are down three and then another turnover on the next possession and so the start was difficult. The game we played earlier this year we were able to get a field goal on the first drive so that's a good thing and so often times that can lead to success in the game and yet look I can still remember like it was yesterday the Arizona Cardinals running (Tim) Hightower on a week lead on the first play of the game in the divisional round goes 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play. So you have to be prepared to get back out there and go, but obviously we spend time on that."

When a team jumps out like that does it affect play calling on offense?

"It shouldn't early on. It's just a matter of every one of these games typically each weekend has these momentum swings that kind of gradually go back and forth and it's just handling that and then trying to take advantage of it when you've got it."

Are the first couple drives in a game more difficult since they're seeing the stuff that was game planned?

"Yes a lot of times. The defense is in a position where they have to see the personnel and decide. The offense is controlling per se what the play is, what the personnel is and so a lot of times what you receive in the first ten plays a team generally settles down into a few things, but that early script can be somewhat challenging and yet you have to play your defense. It still is the first drive of a game, but being ready and being ready to play all of those things are important."

Is the no huddle something that you have to pick your spots with?

"Yes, A lot of times it benefits the away team because generally the crowd noise with a no huddle isn't as impactful as when you get in the huddle and it's third down and you have the lightning bolts and you go to the line. In no huddle that spontaneous kind of plan can help reduce crowd noise and help create tempo. Sometimes offensively it is just to try and change uptempo and it also can so down a pass rush if you're at the line and throwing the ball at shotgun it can have that affect. So it just depends on the game and the team."

What have you seen from James Anderson?

"He is athletic and smart real smart. I would say he has real good toughness and his quickly picked things up and can play in the kicking game. Which is one of the first thigs we saw. He has been a good signing for us."

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