New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Since Craig Robertson is starting on defense, have you seen a drop off on special teams like you maybe had last year when he was a full-time starter or have you had the depth to withstand it?
"We are deeper this year and this is going to be an important stretch here. This game in the kicking game is going to be important. I think we've covered punts well and that's been a big plus. There are some other areas that we need to get going on. We're at the halfway point of the season now and ranked in the bottom third in the league in a number of those areas and that's not good enough, but I think we have the depth at safety and at linebacker for us to be effective and actually be competitive there."
Do you guys need to see something from Willie Snead IV or is it just a matter of him waiting for his opportunity?
"No, it's his third week, really his second full week (at) full speed and that's kind of a long time off. He's going to continue to be worked into the plan."
How much of an asset has Andrus Peat become with his ability to play both tackle and guard?
"I think it's been significant. The investments we've made in some of those drafted lineman and some of the free agents like Larry Warford coming in, Andrus (Peat) in the first round, (Ryan) Ramczyk in the first round, Max (Unger) coming via trade, Terron (Armstead), it's a position group that we feel is important. It can permeate your team and I think in Andrus' case he has done a real good job overall on the left side."
Have you ever had a situation where you've had three guys play two positons or three positions a piece and play them well?
"It's a little unique this season. I would say to answer your question I can't recall."
Why do you think the team has had so much success in the second half?
"Each game's different. Early in the season we weren't in those first two games. At Carolina we were better in the second half and over in London (as well). I'd like to think, first, that we are making the adjustments that are necessary, second, our conditioning and belief in winning (is paying off). I think our players understand how these games come down to close finishes. Hopefully we can continue that."
What about this team points to them to be more capable making adjustments at halftime?
"I think they're smart, halftime is nine minutes long, you get in there and go to the restroom, you discuss what you want to do. What are the things we want to feature? You go through a few of those things with your guys, bring the team together and you're coming out the tunnel. It's a pit stop really and I think that our guys have been able to handle that and come back and play well in the second half."
What is the status of Delvin Breaux*?*
"Right now he's going to remain on Injured Reserve."
How upsetting or frustrating has that how saga been with Delvin Breaux?
"I would not describe it as a saga, it is a setback. Obviously you want your players healthy. The rehab is going well. He's worked hard and diligently. It's still not 100 percent, but it is going well. All the indications we have when we do the scans and the testing show it healing properly."