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Quotes from Payton, Carmichael and Ryan's Friday press conferences

Sean Payton, Pete Carmichael and Rob Ryan met with the media after practice on Friday, September 5, 2014

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, September 5, 2014

Opening Statement: "(We have) nothing really from a transaction report. Our schedule typically on Friday's (practice) would be a red zone emphasis with some short yardage and goal line and (we) kind of go from there."

How much did you work on freeing up Jimmy Graham?

"One of the challenges with a player like him is the attention that is drawn, so within the framework of your offense it will take coverage off of certain or loosen coverage off of other guys or take pressure off of other players at times and yet at the same time formationally you are looking for ways to eliminate the hard bump and run at the line of scrimmage.  There are some things that in each plan we can do to help with the release pattern and I think that also being able to handle and work different splits and different route concepts to handle some of the press will be important.  He has grown accustomed to that and it is something that becomes a challenge when you are a player like he is."

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, September 5, 2014

Will you be calling plays on Sunday?

"That is going to be a decision that Coach (Payton) will make and he'll let me know in a couple of days."

So the decision hasn't been made yet?

"No he is waiting to do a coin flip he said."

Did you call the plays the last two preseason games?

"Yes, I had the communication to the quarterback for the preseason, but again, it is a group effort."

Are you going to call heads or tails?

"I'll probably call tails."

How much do you appreciate working with Coach Payton, Drew Brees and with the other guys with how you have become such a unit together?

"I think the more and more we are together, I think we have been together quite a long time here (the more you appreciate it).  I think we understand each other and kind of have a feel of what we like as a group and it has been great."

What did Luke McCown do to step ahead of Ryan Griffin for the backup quarterback job?

"I thought both of them played well this preseason.  Luke was very consistent throughout the preseason and he just has a little bit more experience.  We feel great about both of those guys though."

Do you guys have a script for the end of the game?

"Typically we just script some openers and then kind of get a feel for what is going on in the game before we decide going forward.  It is typically just for the openers."

Being a play-caller in week one, is it more difficult with the unknown factors?

"I think there is a little unknown.  You look at what they did against you last year, maybe where they had some success and pay a little bit of attention to their preseason.  There is always some unknown going into the first game I think probably for both teams, both sides of the ball.  I think that comes natural."

What is known about the Atlanta Falcons?

"Up front they are big.  They are strong.  They are physical.  Their linebackers are active (and) instinctive.  Their secondary is a real talented group, real competitive.  So I think from a personnel standpoint you look at those things."

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, September 5, 2014

Do you think that a first game can set the tone for the rest of the season?

"I know that was my first game here so that was a great way.  It set it up for me.  It was great to start a season that way.  The toughest win every year is to get that first win.  I know all of these games come down to that, that's what everybody is saying, but it was a great way to start a season.  Hopefully we can do it again."

If a team can't find a way to win at the end of the game, do you think it is harder to get back on track after that?

"I've been on a lot of those.  We've lost the late ones or the early ones.  It is always hard.  It seems really hard to get that first win if you lose the first game.  You just have to keep working, stick with what you believe and work through it.  We've been working really hard.  We've been preparing really hard to have success and that is what we plan on doing."

Do you think they are going to be more of a physical team?

"Everything I've seen, this is one of the top offenses in football so whatever it is, they have Matt Ryan, they have all these weapons.  The (running) backs are great of course and those receivers are special and so is their quarterback.  I just know they are really an excellent offense and we are going to have our hands full.  We have been preparing as hard as we can and they have a lot of weapons and we have to do a good job of stopping them."

How does the absence of Tony Gonzalez change the way you prepare for this offense?

"There's a Hall of Fame tight end.  Right now the first game you are not real sure of what personnel (new players and groupings) you might get, probably as they weren't with us last year.  (The) bottom line is if you are any good as a coach you have to prepare your team for whatever they give you.  We've done a nice job.  We have a good plan.  We are excited about our players.  We have been working really hard and we are about ready to go play somebody."

What is your book on Julio Jones?

"When he was out last year and I said that Julio Jones is something special even when he wasn't playing, he is really that special.  He really is a fantastic football player.  I think he caught seven balls on us on the first game last year and we had him doubled every time.  He is a terrific football player.  He looks like he is at full speed on the four minutes I saw on Hard Knocks, he looked really good on it, but so did Mike Smith so I don't know.  We will be at our best."

It seems like the Saints are facing every top receiver in the league this year.

"They're all great in this league.  You have to look at it this way, as great as our receivers are in practice every day; we ought to be prepared to see some great guys (also).  Every team has one.  They all have great quarterbacks.  You just have to be prepared.  You have to be ready to go and you have to have a good sound defensive plan and that's what we try to do."

How much do you see of a team's offense in the preseason?

"I think people are different.  I think, obviously, if you are a new staff you kind of have to come in there and put your fingerprint on it.  There's no cutoff.  This has been around for a long time.  I know he (Mike Smith) has different weapons.  He's always moved his players around anyway.  Wherever they line up or end up lining up, he has his beliefs.  He's one of the top coaches in this league and has added a great (offensive) line coach (Mike Tice) too.  He's always had his fingerprint on his running game.  You (can) see that in the preseason already.  I think with the guys the longer you stay in the business you kind of have a fingerprint.  I am sure I do."

Is their offensive line harder to scout with new people in new places?

"The one thing with our (pro) scouting staff, to me is the best in football by far.  So our guys know about these guys (through advance scouting).  They make reports.  Terry Fontenot did a great job doing it this week and Ryan Pace does also).  These guys know these players.  They know their strengths.  They know their weaknesses and they are always on point.  As a coach and a coaching staff, we try to take advantage of any information you can get that will help us in a one-on-one matchup.  And we have some points that we like, but we feel like we know the opponent very well."

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