New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, October 12, 2017
How have you seen Alvin Kamara develop as a receiver so far this season?
"The obvious answer would be just getting acclimated to what we do as an offense. I think his receiving skills were excellent coming out of college so it's the nuances of what we do pertaining to our offense specifically, timing element with Drew (Brees) and the formations, those would be when it comes to his receiving skillset."
Gerald Hodges showed up as having signed yesterday on the transaction report, what do you like out of him and how do you project his contributions with the linebacker corps?
"He is someone who has real good size. He runs well. He had a good workout here last week. I think, for us, it's looking closely at our depth at the position. I think there's some versatility with the player and so it made sense for us. After Alex's (Anzalone) injury, we looked at a handful of candidates."
You guys still don't have a turnover through the first four games of the season. How impressed are you and why do you think that's been the case?
"Well hopefully we're doing a better job as a point of emphasis. Now (our) last game in London we tried (to give the ball away). We did not have any but we certainly tried. We had missed cues with the snap. We had a ball that was almost intercepted. We had a handful of times where there easily could have be a two or three turnover game. But hopefully the point of emphasis of ball security (has made an impact). It is easy each week to point to the result. I think Drew has done a good job in that regard and I think the runners and receivers have as well. This is a team that we're getting ready to play that's taken it away a lot in just a short amount of time."
Eight sacks in the past two games. What have you seen in the pass rush coverage for these results?
"Number one, I think it's really two things. Situationally our numbers have been good in regards to the distance we are getting it. It has allowed those guys up front to come off the ball. And I think the coverage element is tighter. I think it's been better than it was in the first two weeks."
You started to touch on how there could have been turnovers by the offense at Miami in London. How much does luck play a role?
"I do not think it plays any role during the course of a (whole) season. It can play some role on certain weeks if the ball bounces a certain way. But generally you earn or reap what you sow."
With the Lions it seems like two guys that have given you issues in these last three games are Glover Quin and Golden Tate. What is it specifically about those two guys that make them so tough?
"I have not coached either one but I am willing to bet that both are very, very smart, instinctual players and I'd say both have exceptional ball skills. Lastly, they appear to love playing. When you have instincts and talent at any position, you are probably going to have a successful player. Both of those guys seem to have real good football instincts. They obviously have strong hands and have a passion for the game."
Terron Armstead was saying yesterday that he was looking forward to making a return this week. What do you need to see out of him before making that decision that he is healthy to play?
"Just that he can operate and do his job effectively."
How do you balance that excitement from him and what you just said there?
"This comes up with a lot of players. It came up with Willie Snead a couple weeks ago. You go through the course of the season and by the week's end you're looking closely at where the player is at. What was the target date to begin with. You trust your medical team and you're smart with the decision. That's typically (how it goes). Now, the uniqueness would be that Terron's been out for a while but that happens week to week with a lot of the players."
What have you liked about Larry Warford and has he matched the vision that you saw for him?
"Absolutely, I was asked that yesterday, he's been a great addition for us. I would say he is a good player and he's been steady, available, I think he is a good teammate, he is strong. I like the player a lot and I'm glad that he is someone we signed."
What goes into the decision to start either P.J. Williams or Ken Crawley*?*
"Just my gut. I think they're playing (Sunday) and this team you're getting ready to see is 11 personnel so we will need these corners to play well for us, so who starts specifically (doesn't matter as much since we will rely on them all). We're introducing the offense this week so we don't have to worry about whose getting introduced first and they might be on the field the very first play together, but I understand the question though and I think Ken (Crawley) did a real good job stepping in and playing. I thought his training camp was real good and we're going to need all those guys."
Have you tried to identify anyways to recapture home field advantage?
"We just came out of a meeting where that was the topic. Literally 15 minutes ago, just playing better, taking advantage of the noise. You've heard me say this, the better teams play better at home than on the road and I didn't realize our 06' team, which was a pretty good team, was only 4-4 at home, but we kind of went through the history and we talked about the advantages of playing at home and some of the distractions or challenges when you play at home, but I think that's something we have to improve on."
Was that a team meeting or coaching staff meeting?
"Every morning we have a team meeting. This wasn't a big earth shattering, turn the lights on, there's a key statistic for you guys because we have to play better at home (specific presentation). It was (a talk with emphasis that), just over the years here are some of the better teams and here are the numbers. Generally, you defend and play your home games well. That may not mean you win every one of your home games, but it certainly has to be better than it's been recently."
How you noticed improved play from the guys along the defensive line?
"I think it goes hand in hand. I do think we've been rushing the passer better and I think secondly, our coverage has been a little tighter and we've done a good job that way. This will be another tough week, Matt (Stafford) gets rid of the ball quickly, so you either have to disrupt the quarterback or disrupt the timing of the route and we're going to have to be ready defensively in the event that the ball is coming out fast."