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Q&A: Sean Payton's Thursday Conference Call

Audio and quotes from Sean Payton's Thursday conference call



New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, September 8, 2016


What is your vision for Sterling Moore and how can he help you?


"Well two things, he is a guy we had interest in two years ago. We felt he is versatile. He can play inside. He can play outside. I think he is a smart player. He is very good in short area.  He is someone that we think (can contribute), just from the film study and the workout. How much does he help in week One?  We will see. I think from a long term vision, there is some experience and flexibility with him."


Your thoughts on Drew (Brees) extension and now being secure having him in the league the next couple of years.


"Well, I think it's a real good deal for the club and for Drew. I had a lot of confidence throughout this process in both Mickey (Loomis) and Tom Condon.  Both parties coming up with a deal that works well for both sides. I can't say that I am surprised. I just answered that question earlier this morning and (I) felt like it was all a matter of when. They spent some lengthy time on it.  It's pretty normal to go through a period that there might be no discussion and then the sky is falling.  But, in the end it's not surprising."



Is Jahri (Evans) up to speed enough that he could potentially start and play a full game in week One?


"Well he is in shape. He has participated in training camp and the system is one of what he knows. We will see how it goes this week with reps, and as we get closer to game time we will take a peek."



Sean, what led you guys to put up that mural inside the practice field?


" Just part of the process of updating our facility. A few years back I've seen a similar version somewhere else and this gave us a bigger idea. I can't say it was because of the 50th anniversary. I think that was more of a coincidence. This was just one of the handful of ideas we had. We recognized players and (are) putting a couple of finishing touches on what we think is a real good indoor facility."


When you have a guard and tackle like Zach (Strief) and Jahri, who have played together for a while. They have pretty good chemistry. Is there ways that that shows up or is it harder to runs stunts on those guys?


"I think there is something to be said about that. The communication, I think that there are certain calls that they will be on the same page with. I think collectively as a group they are more important then just combination of players. Overall, I think that group playing in sync and on the same page in pass protection and running game is certainly important and valued."


Is it almost a night and day difference preparation wise from preseason to regular season?  Players don't say you flip a switch, but they do say the preparation is so different that it almost negates preseason but it's just a different type of preparation.


"Preparation week is different. We try and simulate a little bit of it (in preseason) week Three. We try to get into a transition or a little bit of what it's going to be like when the regular season takes place. It is clearly different. Everything is spent on one opponent. From the install to all the scouting information. There is a discipline involved in regards to creating a schedule both player/coach understanding when you are working on your third down, rest and all of those things end up being quite a day. We try to make sure they are best prepared as possible."


Do you get a sense that Dennis Allen has an extra pep in his step, knowing that he is about to face against his former team.


"They (Oakland media) asked me that yesterday. Every year, next week it is going to be the Giants and there is going to be a player on our team that used to be a Giant the following week. I can appreciate that and I think any extra pep in his step would be just in preparation to handle the receivers, the quarterback and all the things you want to do as a coordinator to cover and preparing your team and your defense. Every week there is a game like that."


Do you expect (Dannell) Ellerbe to play on Sunday?


"Right now we will see. It's day to day right now. You probably won't hear me answer one question in regards to injuries. But I have a feeling I'm going to hear you ask throughout the whole year."


When you have a day like yesterday, with just so much going on, with the Drew Brees contract extension, Senio Kelemete coming back and all the roster moves, does it feel that busy/intense around the organization?


"The night before we knew the Brees deal was going to be done. The night before we had Jahri (Evans) signed, basically knowing he was coming in the next day. so then news cycle breaks. I think typically there is an evening before. I can't tell you that that evening was calm. There was a lot going with regards roster and a lot going on with regards to other decisions."


So is the roster normalized now?


"I think you asked this question yesterday and it was a good question. This is pretty normal for the first week of the season. I think you asked a question with do you think your own team is going to get offended or upset. Take a look at the wire, workouts, and transactions. Last year, (Obum) Gwacham, (Michael) Mauti, and we have to reduce the roster two spots. We have to flip a practice squad guy. This first month and the roster reduction are fairly common. But it is somewhat (normal). I do not know if you get used to it because you have a lot of moving parts and I think that it's pretty common you might be bringing a guy in and you are training him fast to get him ready to play in a game."


(Thomas) Morstead said he was pretty familiar with (Wil) Lutz before he even came in from his participation in a camp as an instructor that Wil also participated in. In a generally since how often do you turn to Thomas for insight on other kickers or punters or other guys you are going to face in the upcoming weeks.


"It would just be a character reference. Honestly he just happens to be out there as a holder and he just said that this guy is a good guy and we have seen each other before at the camp."


You mentioned that Michael Mauti is the special teams captain. Who are your other captains?


"Our other captains on offense would be Drew Brees, and Max Unger. On defense (James) Lauriniatis, Cam Jordan and Mauti on special teams."


I know these practice players haven't been there long but what have you seen with (Taveze) Calhoun at cornerback?


"I would say we are just two days in of watching him practice. We like his length, we think he is smart and it's kind of to be determined really. It would be too early. We've only had him for two days."


On the flip side of what was asked of you about all the flurry of roster moves before the season, could the fact that this Drew Brees contract got done before the season and it won't be a media distraction, does it bring any positive momentum or any good influence from that standpoint?


"Honestly, I know that Drew felt like this was going to get done. I felt this was going to get done and I think I'm sure the team felt like it was going to get done.  It wasn't as big of a distraction. I think it's team business with white noise in the background and the players get very accustomed to those things. It was just a matter of when and we've seen this before. Not that there was a deadline but here it was. Both sides, Mickey (Loomis) and Tom (Condon) got together and spent enough time on it and it worked out. But I do not think it was a distraction at any point."



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