New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, September 8, 2017
Is there any difficulty preparing for a rookie running back like Dalvin (Cook)?
"You do not have the same library of film. You have college film and a certain scheme (to look at that the player played in during his college career). I think there are some good evidence in the preseason, some good runs. We put (them) up on a tape and talked about his style of running. You can see the quick transition he's going to make. For all these first-year players you just don't have the same amount of exposure in the NFL game."
How much was Kareem Hunt's performance for Kansas City last night a reminder that these rookies can come in and explode right away?
"We don't get to watch Thursday night football. I saw the score but it's usually a late night for us and last night was no exception."
When you look at your defense, the entire body of work from the preseason and training camp, how encouraged are you entering the regular season with the group you have now?
"You're optimistic. You're anxious to play. It's our first test. We'll see. That's the great thing about our game, each weekend you get a chance to see where you're at, measure your progress and find out what you need to improve on. So we're still working on the details with these guys and covering everything we can that can come up in the game and trying to make sure we're most prepared. That's kind of where you're at heading into the regular season."
During the offseason you mentioned you placed an emphasis affecting the pass rush and finding cornerbacks to defend against other quarterbacks. Do you feel like you've accomplished those tasks?
"We're going to find out. You're asking the question before it started. I think that we have our first test on Monday night."
What stood out to you about Marcus Williams this offseason once you got him?
"He is very smart, so he picks up on the system very quickly. He has outstanding ball skills and I think real good anticipation and range. Oftentimes some of those deep safeties, they have the first step, if you will, much like a centerfielder that can get on a pitch and a swing. He has that same first step and so that allows him just a little bit more range. We've seen him make plays sideline to sideline. But his consistency's outstanding."
What areas did you see growth from Vonn Bell during this offseason?
"I saw a more physical player. He still needs to work on reducing the mental errors. But he is explosive. I think he is running well. I think he is healthy. All these guys are going to play."
Is there any added stress or pressure regarding reunion games? I'm sure you want to make sure Adrian (Peterson) has a good game if he can?
"Yes, I can't recall handing the ball to Tim Hightower and thinking to myself 'he's back at Arizona, let's get him in the game'. Honestly, when we meet on these decisions and certain plays and some of it is the feel for how the game is flowing. But we try to put the best plan together as we can. I think that with Adrian, obviously he's an important part of what we are doing, as a running back. We do not sit in there and say, 'well, it is Minnesota and therefore this, this and this.' We say, Minnesota because of what they are doing defensively, and we say this, this, and this. Certainly, he will be fired up to play this game. I do say that every year. The following week, it is Brandin Cooks coming home to New Orleans. Then give me a week three game, Carolina it is Ted Ginn's return to Charlotte. Those all vary in regards to how long the players are with the team. When you take Zach Line who is obviously a special and a rare player who had a long illustrious career in Minnesota, I think it brings more attention to it and I understand why."
Will there ever be any temptation or the perfect opportunity to use a play-action pass knowing they're going to key in on him or do you try to take that component out of it?
"I think the trick on the play-action is getting the right fronting and coverage you are wanting. If we're giving the right sell. They're going to be keying (Alvin) Kamara the same way or (Mark) Ingram. We'll mix the play-action pass in there and the schemes we feel like fit this defense."
What do you think Adrian Peterson's legacy was with the Vikings?
"He was one of the top backs our game has ever seen. He's going to be one of those guys that I think will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. I saw him up close and personal as an opponent and he's been something else. I remember studying him in the draft. I want to say in '07. I think his legacy to anybody who's in this sport is pretty clear."
What do you remember about Mike Zimmer while coaching together in Dallas?
"He was extremely detailed, he's a great teacher. His father was a high school coach. He's a great coach to be on a staff with. He and I are close friends, our families are close friends. His daughter has babysat my children, but he is an outstanding teacher and he's very detailed and you can see it in his team and the changes that quickly took place when he took over there."
Jon Dorenbos statement:
"I want to give you guys this information regarding Jon Dorenbos, our long snapper. Yesterday it was discovered upon a follow up physical that he has an aortic aneurysm, it's going to require surgery. He'll get put on NFI (Non-Football Injury). This is a pretty serious condition and not only will it require open heart surgery, but it will require it pretty quickly. Dr. (John) Amoss is the one that discovered it and basically saved his life with his findings. They did further tests and evaluations and we met twice yesterday and certainly news like this is a big alert for him. We have a handful of long snappers coming in today that we'll be working out and he'll go onto the NFI reserve list. That will happen I think in today's transactions."
Is there any way to rescind the trade?
"Yes, that will handle itself. In other words, this is a preexisting condition that he had genetically at birth. Yes, absolutely."
Did he pass previous physicals?
"I can't speak for Philadelphia or the other teams he's been with, but I do know that that's something that came up on our physical and there is a blessing to it in some ways regarding him. I mean finding an aneurysm this size is something that will require immediate surgery and credit Dr. (John) Amoss (who) was the first one that caught the red flag."
Is this different than Nick Fairley's condition?
"This is completely different situation. Fortunately both were caught in time, but this one was caught earlier and it's a completely different heart condition."
I know there are bigger concerns, but is it easy to get up to speed bringing in a long snapper so late before the season starts?
"It's easier if you bring one in than not bring one in. I think it's a challenge you want to get the timing down. This is one of the things you can't control or you can't worry about. You have to coach and get ready."