New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, October 16, 2017
What did you see out of Marshon Lattimore yesterday?
"I thought he played well. He's one of the guys that we gave a game ball to. He is contesting throws, (and) competing on every throw. He has good instincts, good balance and I think his length is something that shows up. I was real encouraged."
Has there been a common thread you've seen defensively in these last three games, have you guys been communicating better?
"I think one thing would be the front end coverage has gone pretty handily together. In other words, we've been able to get pressure on the quarterbacks and with that, the coverage has been tight. We've had some tipped plays, some interceptions, some near interceptions. We've had some takeaways, but I think those would be some early things if you were just talking about the last few weeks."
What are the things you focused on today as far as cleaning up?
"We had this discussion as a team and after you get through the first half and you start looking at being a smarter team, (such as) keeping the ball in front of you. This sounds very fundamental and yet (it's important to be) understanding the situation, understanding what has to happen. The ball security on offense here, we turned the ball over three times in the second half. We have a chance to do something that no one in the history of the NFL has done and that is go through five games with no turnovers but we don't do that. So we have to be a little bit better with the ball and then the punt return for a touchdown. In order for them to win that game, eight things are going to have to happen. Five of the eight, probably or four of the eight, did. Just understanding where you're at in the game. That largest lead that we had (45-10), you look up and you still had 12-something left in the third quarter. There was a lot of football. But we have to be a little smarter in those situations. I thought the penalties were problematic and those will be addressed."
It wasn't necessarily a crazy number of snaps but when a game does go on that long, what if anything, do you have to do to counteract fatigue?
"Well I don't know that it's fatigue really. I think because it wasn't a crazy number of snaps it was just the ebb and flow to the game (that) was unique. Generally, after a score the other side of the ball is on the field and yet, you have three defensive touchdowns, you're right back on the field either defensively or in the case where your special teams gives up a return for a touchdown. It was unique in a lot of ways and yet there were some fundamental things that we have to be better at."
When you saw Alvin Kamara high jump Darius Slay live yesterday what was your reaction and when you looked at it again what did you think?
"I was impressed, obviously. I couldn't see it from the sideline view of the game. It was a lot clearer to see on video. Obviously it was extremely athletic."
You've had some really well-timed blitzes the last few weeks. How do you decide when to blitz and when not to?
"A lot of it's down and distance. Sometimes, you're paying attention to how the protections are evolving. Detroit was banged up with some of their offensive linemen. I think if you start having success, then you generally start repeating success if you can offensively and the same thing would be defensively. But I mean defensively if you send a certain pressure and it gets home, you're probably going to send that again. I thought Dennis (Allen), the last few weeks, we've been real good that way."
Would this be the first week that Delvin Breaux could practice?
"I wouldn't know yet if it's the first week that he's ready to go. We'll see. We'll keep you guys posted."
What did you think of Adrian Peterson's performance for Arizona?
"I did see and I was glad for him. I knew when he left here he was going to have those opportunities, he and I had met and talked about it. I think it was outstanding."
What are your thoughts playing the Packers without Aaron Rodgers? How does it change things?
"You're putting a plan together for the overall offense or defense. Certainly, there's changes when you have a player at the quarterback position and yet, you still have to put your gameplan around what you've been seeing. Aaron is one of those guys that moves well and throws on the run well and I think we're preparing to play a real good football team. None of us wants to be without our starting quarterback, but this is a team that's won a lot of games and I think our players will understand that."
What did you guys think of Terron Armstead in his first game back?
"It was good, it was encouraging. I was pleased with both his rehab and Max's (Unger) rehab. Those guys did a great job. Our training room did a great job in getting them ready on time or ahead of schedule."
How much confidence are you having in your defense considering you are seeing some things happen now that you have preached, such as ball population?
"I was pleased. I felt overall one of the positives (Sunday) was our energy, the way guys moved around. I thought they handled the bye week the correct way and we played with a certain level of urgency. That can overcome a lot. I was encouraged, especially early in the game defensively how we did that."
Is it possible Cameron Jordan is playing his best football ever?
"I think he had one of his better games of his career yesterday. I think he's improving and I think he was very good yesterday. I don't think you plateau where he's at. I thought yesterday he was exceptional."
Was Terron Armstead leaving in the second half related to the score at all or was it conditioning?
"No, I was asked that yesterday. The plan was for us to play Terron and then at some point maybe four play series in, 20 plays in give Andrus (Peat) some reps at tackle and Senio (Kelemete) at left guard and then rotate Terron back in just so we weren't throwing him out there for 80 plays. Now, in the third quarter…we didn't have a ton of snaps in the first half, but when we made that decision we just felt like, hey let's go a series or two, maybe if the score stayed that way the remainder of the game and yet he was healthy, loose and warmed up, so we had made that decision and then brought him back in later."
Was that game from Craig Robertson what you expected out of him?
"He played well. He's smart, instinctive. I was pleased. When he steps in and receives the reps he did, he did a good job."
I didn't know if you noticed it but before the game there was a moment of silence for the slain New Orleans police officer. It seemed like a few players were kneeling. I don't know if it had anything to do with that. Then there was a loud boo from the crowd. Could you address it?
"If you just paid attention, you had a triangular effect of misunderstanding. It was very simple. Number one the players were going to kneel and stand for the anthem, that's understood. Number two, there was a moment of silence for the slain officer and quickly then everyone realized, we were having a moment of silence and I don't think it was anything more than that. I think it was an initial reaction by the fans that some players might be on a knee for the anthem, oh but that wasn't the anthem. Do you understand what I'm saying? I heard it on the radio coming in and I thought 'oh here we go'. It was easy to see what happened. I was there."
What was it like being booed before the game?
"No one was being booed. It was the idea that it might be someone booing players not standing for the anthem. Every player stood for the anthem."