New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
What did you guys see out of Austin Carr to pick him up?
“Number one, we felt he was pretty advanced in his route running for a young player. I thought he has real good balance, (and) strong hands in traffic. We knew the player coming out of Northwestern. He put together a real good preseason, so he was just somebody that we had kind of kept our eye on. You’re kind of down at the end there and all of a sudden these roster moves are made and you’re evaluating the tape and his was strong. I think there are a number of things he can do to help us.”
Did you feel his strength was outside or potentially inside at the slot?
“You see him do both. You see him block. He’s someone I think has good hips. I think he’s someone that can of course play in your two receiver sets (where) you are going to be outside. We don’t necessarily have (the thought of) ‘oh he’s a slot or he’s an outside receiver’, we don’t look at it that way.”
Because he’s a rookie, how long do you think it will take to get him up to speed?
“I think ASAP. He’s someone that picks things up quickly.”
What about Taysom Hill? What are some of the attributes that you like out of him and just bringing him on the roster?
“When you watch all of his preseason film, he came out of BYU. I was watching and had a chance to watch Max McCaffrey and this guy’s athletic. He has a good arm. He has the poise you’re looking for. He had a healthy preseason. He did a good job managing the game. When you’re watching him, it doesn’t look like you’re watching a first-year player or at least on film. He can run now. He’s fast and made enough plays where we knew he would be someone we would have to claim if we were going to try to get him on our roster.”
How much has the team discussed any travel changes with Hurricane Irma?
“Mickey (Loomis) and I have already gone through plans B and C. We’re on top of it. That would be pretty normal for us to have had early discussions in regards to preparation and what our alternative plans would be. We have kind of gone through all of that.”
What would be the tipping point if you did decide to make changes?
“What do you mean, what would be the tipping point? You would track the forecast daily, update the forecast and then you’d make (adjustments to the travel plans based on that). A lot of it is just the speed at which the storm is traveling, (and) where we’re at location wise in our itinerary. We’ve done this two other times before and we’ll pay close attention to this one.”
Your perspective on the league making schedule changes for Miami and the Buccaneers in regards to Hurricane Irma?
Yes, I think if you look back at the history of our league, and they aren’t always storm related events. In 9/11, all the games were pushed back until the end of the season. Of course, I’m sure that when you look at all of the logistics, nothing about that kind of change is easy. You get ready for your first game of the season and it’s cancelled but cancelled for good reason. Basically your bye is in Week One. When it’s all said and done there are things that come up in the schedule and there are the things that you can’t control. If you can’t control them, you try to spend less time on that as opposed to what we can control. I think as we’ve all seen now and what’s going on in Houston, from a humanity standpoint and just the focal point on getting people out. This (storm) appears to be stronger than one we’ve seen in a long time. Where historically strong you’d say for as far south as it is right now, and to be at the level it’s at.”
Does being without Willie (Snead) for these first three weeks change anything you’ve been doing? Is that something you’ve prepared for all summer?
I don’t know that we have prepared all summer but certainly we were aware that this was a possibility. How you approach the game changes some and yes, it impacts what you do and who you do it with. I would absolutely say so.
I know you touched on the 53-man roster, Trey Edmunds, can you explain a little of what he did to catch your eye and earn his place on the team?
He was exceptional in the kicking game. When you get someone like that, that (who) can cover, tackle and we saw it some in college (it has value). It was something that we were hopeful that it transitioned into our league. But it really came down to the special teams and his ability to be up and active. You know you’re going to receive 18,20 snaps from this guy in all phases. He’s strong. He also is someone who did a good job running the football. But first and foremost, how he’s played in special teams.”
What were you able to see out of Stephone Anthony?
“It was a limited exposure (in training camp) and obviously we have enough experience with him where we’re continuing to work with him and develop him. Basically that’s where it’s at. He wants to be out there more than anyone. When you have the type of injury he had with an ankle then you have to get it well and you have to rehab it. Hopefully he’s healthy as we start now.”
Did you talk to Andrus Peat about David Parry before signing him to the practice squad on Monday?
“Two things, we remember him when he came out of the draft and we talked for quite a while about him and I can’t recall the round he got drafted. When Indianapolis drafted him we had a mental note of where he went and when he was waived the other day no one claimed him and so it was an easy decision for us to bring him on the practice squad if that was something he was interested in doing and I spent some time talking with him. We’ve had a real good history of guys on the practice squad playing and so he was a little bit like a bonus, with regards to a player that’s been a starter, he’s young in the league and we were able to add him a day or two later after the busy weekend.”
Will Tommylee Lewis and Brandon Coleman get significantly more time since Willie Snead is out?
“Brandon Coleman has been in it and seen quite a bit of action and then of course Tommylee is going into his second year hadn’t had quite the exposure or the amount of snaps, but both of those guys are going to play and play a lot. I know both of them will look forward to it. They are different in their skillsets and we’ve got to have the right role in place for them to have success. I think both of them will be excited.”
Have you changed anything to try and get off to a fast start?
“No, we spend a lot of time kind of going through our history and we talk a lot about the first quarter of this schedule, obviously as you get closer the focus is more on week one and the appreciation of having that since of urgency and being able to start fast and so it has certainly been something that we have spent quite a bit of time on.”
Do you think Ryan Ramczyk is ready to play snaps in the opener?
“I think he has had good work all training camp and I think he is someone that quickly picked up our system. He’ll be ready.
What went in the decision to not put Terron Armstead on PUP?
“What I said was there would really be two options with him, PUP which he is currently on or not and we choose not to and that would be a good sign in regards to the expectation of him coming back sooner, otherwise we would have left him on PUP.”
Do you think the Vikings defense will be coming at Zach Line with a little extra because it’s his first game back?
“If you play or coach in this league this extra (effort on gameday) there’s emotions getting ready to play and being hyped up and what have you, but if you ever watch a game after the first two or three snaps the speed of the game and the way guys are playing (changes). In week one, I don’t think it takes a storyline like a former running back returning to (get hyped before the game). I think that will be discussed a lot in the early portion for good reason because how successful his career was there, but I don’t think I would say in the offensive meeting, hey we know this defense is going to be coming after you extra. We’ve got to be able to block and tackle. We’ve got to be able to understand their scheme and do our homework and try to mitigate as much as possible the noise level on third down and the things that keep you from winning when you play a team like this on the road and I think Monday Night Football, the opening one for the NFL season I think that is enough excitement and enough reason to be playing all out.”
Do you scout U.S. Bank Stadium since this is a new stadium for you and most of your players?
“Yeah, actually we do. We have everything from the sideline, to where the press box is, where our locker room is and the noise level at halftime and two minute. The lighting can be an issue. Now we’re playing at 6:10 central, we’ll land Sunday there and go right from the airport actually and have a walkthrough at the stadium, actually right about the same time we kickoff the following night. Maybe a little bit earlier and I don’t think the sun will be as big of an issue maybe as it has been for other teams because I think it will be more in that PM part of the day where we should have no problems with the vision, but yes I’m anxious to see it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this stadium.”