New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
When you're dealing with a quarterback like Brett Hundley, who has such a small sample size, can you receive the information you need off him from what he's done in preseason? Do you have to go back to his college tapes?
"I think you'd look at everything he has done with Green Bay and the offense. We were real familiar with the player coming out of college, so you might go back and reference some things. But you do have enough of an exposure, just in the preseason, with the time he's been there. There'll be some certain things that he'll do (that) maybe you haven't seen, so you try to get up to speed as best you can."
What were some of the things that looked to be his strengths from the exposure you saw from college and from Green Bay?
"He is very athletic. He's fast. He can extend plays. He has a really good arm. I can recall when he came out, you see and feel his arm strength. On the move, from the pocket, he can make all the throws. I think the athleticism is something that you see with him. He's not afraid to tuck it and run and he's good at doing that."
Cam Jordan won NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance vs. Detroit on Sunday. Can you give your thoughts on this accomplishment?
"He played outstanding. We just announced it in the team meeting. It was something that, it was not one specific play that culminated with the deflected interception in the end zone. He was consistent all game long. (His entire performance) really impacted the type of game we were able to play defensively. We are happy for him."
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to have a winning season, but how important would it be for him and his legacy because he hasn't received attention based on how the defense has been ranked most of his career?
"I think our goal as a team isn't just to have a winning season. Our goal as a team is much higher than that. Certainly for guys like Cam, or Mark (Ingram), or a handful of players, maybe Kenny (Vaccaro), that have been here a little longer, really for all of these guys (it's the same). You said goals, and that's why we're playing and working, and practicing, improving to receive an opportunity to play in the postseason. But we have a lot of work ahead of us."
How long does it take to figure out what type of team you have? Or is that an evolving process?
"I think it's ongoing. It can change. There's teams we've been a part of, that you felt you were one thing and by the season's end (you were something else). We've seen in these last five weeks for us it's been certainly a lot of things (that) have happened in an encouraging way. I still think there's a number of things that I just covered with our players that need to improve for us to have a chance. We'll have no chance if we can't clean up some of these areas."
What would a couple of those things be that you guys want to clean up?
"I think our third down numbers, offensively, have to get better. I think our communication, defensively, in eliminating some of the big plays that we've given up, even in the last game. I think our field goal protection has struggled. It's going to cost us in a game. Our penalties on special teams are going to cost us. We're ranked 23rd (or) 22nd, the bottom third of the league (in penalties on special teams). Those are some specific things."
What's it like to have Michael Mauti back?
"He had a great workout yesterday. I was pleased. His workout was surprisingly good. His times, you can tell he has been training. He's in much better shape, not that he wasn't, but you can see he's moving around (well). He's healthier than he's been, so it is encouraging."
Have you guys seen some more consistency with Kenny Vaccaro since the New England game?
"I think in terms of Kenny, there are a lot of things he's doing well right now. I'd say he's played some of his best football. I think he's someone the closer you get him to the play (of) the offense (the more effective he is). I think he's played really well. He wasn't one that we singled out in New England anyway. We're just seeing him make progress. These last few games, he's been outstanding."
What kind of growth have you seen from Trey Hendrickson so far this season?
"He's smart. He's tough. I think there's a sense of urgency with him. For a young player, quickly he's come in and adjusted to what the NFL gives. I think that he's a versatile player in that he can go outside, he can come inside in the sub-rush and he has a high motor. He's a guy that's going to give you the whole six seconds of a play."