New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
There was an interesting name on your visiting list disseminated by the league, Jahri Evans. How did that go and how realistic is that possibility?
"I think it is a realistic possibility. We are making sure we are looking at each available option for us. It's pretty normal when you get to your final roster cuts (and) you're still shuffling in the first couple of weeks, not because of injury. We had a good visit and we will see where it goes."
Can you talk about your plans at guard or your outlook at guard?
"No, we will kind of go through that as we prepare for the week and then play it out this week in the game."
Moreso why would you want to revisit (bringing in) Jahri Evans?
"Just like we would be looking at players that have a skill set that we are comfortable with, his preseason in Seattle we thought was pretty good, he is in good shape, he's big. and he knows our system. Those would be some of the traits that would draw us to a move like that or the potential to bring him in."
What did you like about the kicker Wil Lutz that made you make a change there?
"His workout was outstanding. I told Kai (Forbath) our plan after these guys competed after training camp was to pick a kicker and to go with it. We had felt Kai had done a great job. We certainly weren't looking to replace that kicker. We knew Baltimore had a pretty good, young talented player. I heard that coach (John) Harbaugh and a few of their staff members talked about this young player that they had as a rookie. We brought him in for a workout. It was probably the best kicking workout I have ever seen."
With numerous reports breaking in the last twelve hours or so of a potential contract extension with Drew Brees do you have comment on it?
"I do not pay attention to the numerous reports. We have 10,000 things we are working on here. So the numerous reports you can speculate on, but I'm not in tuned to those."
You expect a deal to be done with Drew today though?
"Like I said, Mickey's (Loomis) working closely with Drew's agent. If something gets done, we will let you guys know."
Can you explain what you mean by Will Lutz having the best kicker workout you have ever seen?
"I just saw the velocity, the accuracy. We weren't bringing in a kicker on that workout day looking to replace a guy that we felt real comfortable with. It's pretty common for us to have guys come in in the beginning of the season and workout. The way it came off his foot, his leg strength. Every element to it. When it was over with, we saw x number of field goals, x numbers of kickoffs deep and kickoffs short. I looked at Terry (Fontenot) and everyone else at the workout and asked have we seen anything else like that. It was real impressive. That was a little bit of an unplanned surprise in a good way."
Does it worry you when you have so many guys in for a workout at the beginning of the season like this, that maybe that sends a message to your roster that hey we are not happy with where you are right now?
"No, no, no. I worry about the way those questions might be asked to our roster, but if you pay attention to any roster, in any season it is very normal. You will see in the next two weeks every team in this league working out (players), trying to pay attention to their short list. Back in '06, we acquired (Scott) Shanle in a trade right before the start of the (regular) season. Mark Simoneau (we acquired) in a trade right before the start of the (regular) season. (We) Claimed two players last year. We claimed (Michael) Mauti and Obum (Gwaham). Mauti is our special teams captain this year. No, I think that is pretty normal I would say."
What are some of the things that Sterling Moore does well?
"Well, he is (a) player we had our eye on a year ago and tried to get him when he was leaving Dallas. I think he has very good ball skills and very good awareness. He has very quick feet, he's experienced and played a lot snaps for a player that we would say he is early in his career. He has played some nickel. (In) Tampa Bay he played outside (and) started against some of the better receivers he saw. He's competitive, young and I think he still has some really good football ahead of him."
What do you think you have to do to shut down (Amari) Cooper?
"Well, he is pretty elusive. They do a good job with their formations. They find him in the slot sometimes. He plays X, and yet when he shows up in different areas of the field. We have to be able to make that adjustment. I think that the combination of him and that young quarterback (Derek Carr), especially when that quarterback has time, that's tough because that guy can run. He has strong hands and I thought he had an outstanding rookie year last year. I think you have to be smart at the line of scrimmage with him."
What is things you like about Carr on film, after watching him on tape?
"I think he moves well, he's a guy that can beat you with his feet up in the pocket or to the right. I think he has a quick release. I think he is smart and you can see him process the information quickly and accurately. They have a big offensive line and some speed outside. You will get some odd ball sets and you will get various motion, that we have to be prepared to handle in our man or zone schemes, but I think he processes that information and gets it out of his hand quickly."
How beneficial were the last couple of weeks to have Terron Armstead rested and for him to be 100% against the Raiders pass rush?
"All of our guys are going to have to be prepared for their pass rush. (Khalil) Mack is going to show up on either edge, not just one edge. We got to be able to understand and be in account for him, but I think the key is, not just the rest, but the recovery and getting him 100% healthy."
How challenging is it facing an opponent that you only face once every eight years and you have to basically work from scratch?
"Well, we play them every four years, but once every eight years at home. Look, they are outside the division and so it's more personnel (study). They are doing some things scheme wise that Ken Norton (Jr.) did in Seattle and there is maybe a blend of that and what Jack (Del Rio) has done. Defensively, you see some variations, but what you are not in tuned to how big, how fast, who runs, who is tough to tackle, the personnel part of it that you don't see right up close that you might be a little more familiar with in your own division or your own conference."
On Chris Manhertz, you guys obviously kept him on the 53. Are you comfortable with his blocking and how you have seen him progress?
"I would say we have his blocking ahead of his pass receiving. If you are watching him close on film, that's the area (where) he has progressed. The area that we are still working on him (with is) as a route runner. He has strong hands and he is a pretty good anchor."