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Q&A: Sean Payton's Monday Conference Call

Audio and quotes from Sean Payton's Monday conference call with local media

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, October 17, 2016

What did you think of the pass rush when you looked at the tape?

"We had some good moments and yet there are some times where the challenge with Cam (Newton) is trying to keep him in the pocket when he extends plays it becomes a lot more difficult. I though Cam (Jordan) rushed the passer pretty well, (David) Onyemata had some decent snaps, without (Paul) Kruger we were short one defensive end, but I thought the ball was coming out fairly quick. I thought we had our moments, obviously in the second half there were a lot more yards given up."

How much has the pass rush and passes defensed improved the last few weeks?

"Yeah, there is an attrition I know that, in regards to the quarterback you get a pass that's thrown quicker than it needs to be because there's a clock in the quarterback's head that begins to change and that is every one of them, the great ones. You can't help but be affected when you're getting hurried or hustled or hit and I think that in-turn maybe the accuracy to some balls that go high or come out earlier, anytime you have to throw it earlier than later your percentage of completions generally drops a little bit, unless it's an intense three step or quick throw, but I would say look there's that common theme of the rush and pass defense and they go hand and hand."

When you have injuries to the offensive line, how much does it help having guys like (Tim) Lelito and Tony Hills, guys who have been in the pros and started games?

"You want to have some guys obviously with experience, one of the hard things during the NFL season when you're receiving X amount of reps during the week to prepare for a game, unless you are a veteran player like a Jahri (Evans) or Zach (Strief) because we will spot reps some of those guys or get them some snaps away, but it's hard for backup players necessarily in positions like (offensive line) that, different than in the secondary where they are going to be playing a few packages, but it's hard to get snaps to players that maybe are playing in a backup role because maybe there is only so many things you're wanting to look at and a guy like Andrus (Peat) might take every snap or a good majority of the snaps, so you have to be able to come in and function. Oftentimes you have to come in and function without the practice week that you normally would like to have if you knew you were playing."

Were you happy with what you saw out of Jake Lampman on special teams?

"Man, he had a real good day. I think the early impressions with Jake (Lampman) well back in training camp was he was someone that could run and play physical and he was able to do that yesterday."

Are Sheldon Rankins and Delvin Breaux still on the same timetable for a return this week to practice?

"We will keep you posted, we handle it day to day, week to week. Those guys are working hard."

How would you describe your level of optimism after the win this week?

"I think one of the challenges with a younger team early, when you hit some adversity or you lose some close games is the belief that we just have to finish. We have to be a little bit better, a little bit more thorough, as coaches we have to be a little bit more thorough and that's this league and we talk about understanding that most of these games thorough the course of the weekend that unfold are coming down to a drive last night, shoot Sunday night's game, leads evaporate quickly if you're not careful and I think that firsthand experience and the reps that they are receiving and also the game experience is hopefully helping them develop, but it's hard as a head coach, back to optimism and pessimism I kind of think forward and think at least, in regards to a glass half full and yet all the way up to an hour before the game and you're thinking about have I covered the things that need to be discussed, is there something that we haven't covered enough and that's our jobs, but it is a very short term week to week process, as opposed to a bigger picture and we said this a few weeks ago heading into a stretch where these are good football teams. When you look at Carolina, Kansas City this week, Seattle. I mean that is our league."

Did you have a large group of defensive players come in and watch film with coaches today?

"Yes, one of the things that we will do on those type of Mondays is they'll (players) set the schedule. They all have to get in and get a workout and watch tape a lot of times units will watch it together, so they are communicating and the same thing would take place and wouldn't be uncommon for a defense or an offense to do the same."

Do you feel like you have any momentum?

"I think, look we have won two games, two close games. I think there are times in a season when you gain momentum and generally it's a little further out than where we are at right now with wins and losses. We've had runs here in a number of seasons, I don't know at what point you say they have some momentum, but I think it would be a little too early right now."

How do you get your guys to start finishing better?

"You work on a handful of things, I think first off offensively, we went through a period there where we weren't able to do much. We didn't protect the field positon and even when we're backed up a couple first downs and a punt puts the field positon back to your favor on their 20 and when you go three and out backed up and you punt it now that midfield starting point puts your defense at a disadvantage. I think overall from a complementary game we have to do a better job in that area (and) time of possession, but if you look back and watch in the second half you're going to see interference, interference, these interferences that are at the end zone because (they set up) one-yard line handoffs."

Has challenging pass interference ever been discussed at league meetings?

"Yes, it has been and for good reason and let's hope that that at some point, sooner rather than later. Listen it's been brought up and discussed by a number of clubs and I think the competition committee needs to spend a lot more time thinking about that specific call (as it) is so critical to get right."

Are you going to submit that specific (Kenny) Vaccaro pass interference to the league officiating department?

"No, I have not submitted a play here in 10 years."

Do you have any update on (Andrus) Peat or Sterling Moore?

"No updates. We'll keep you posted."

Was James Laurinaitis not playing  in the game related to performance strictly as opposed to injury?

"No, he is coming off an injury and obviously we had more time with preparation and Craig (Robertson) was receiving most of the reps and James would be ready to go in, so we'll see how we prepare this week and we will see what we want to do packagewise. We were in mostly two-linebacker looks, with a lot of three-safety looks."

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