New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Did he (Jon Dorenbos) undergo surgery yesterday? What's the word on him?
"I haven't heard anything back, I'm waiting. I know those were his plans. I know he had selected a surgeon. Hopefully we hear something sooner than later. As of this morning I haven't heard."
You guys started three rookies on defense (and) started another on offense, played Alvin (Kamara) a lot, how did those guys handle it as a group as a whole?
"I thought overall I was fairly pleased with the young players. Certainly there's a ton of things we have to clean up on tape. We have a short week to do it so that's what we're preparing to do right now."
You have a good relationship with Bill Belichick, what are some of the challenges preparing for a guy you're close with? Is it harder or easier when you know the guy so well?
"It is generally harder when the team and coach is good. It would be easier if the team and coach was not so good. Regardless of whether you know the gentleman or not obviously he has a very good football team. They have been extremely successful. We have had a handful of joint practices. The focus for us is really on our team and improving the things that kept us from winning this past weekend."
Did you guys do any kind of internal review to find out, I know you officially started four rookies and that didn't even count Alvin Kamara, is that a high for you since you've been head coach here?
"We didn't do an internal review after the game between Monday night and where we're at today in regards to rookies starting."
I just meant researching ahead of time. Do you know even offhand if that's the most? Did it seem unusual or rare for you?
"I'd say probably it'd be towards the higher number in counting yet that's not important."
Why is that?
"In other words, we're starting the best players. Guys we feel like give us the best chance to win. Comparing that versus other prior years doesn't' seem to give us any more advantage. Obviously it'd be a note that I would have maybe or someone would pass it along. But it's all relative to this team."
That answer might apply here as well, you had seven new starters on defense, eight if you count P.J. (Williams) even though he was your week one starter in 2016, what are the inherent contributions to turnovers on defense?
"Part of it's trying to put the players in the best position possible to have success. Now, are they doing what they're being asked? Do they know what to do? These are a few of the things we have to evaluate these players on. But clearly with the way we had played in the past, that wasn't good enough. That wouldn't be very smart. That's still ongoing. There's tape for them to watch coming in this morning
What did you think of the flag on Alex Anzalone when you looked at it again on tape after the game?
"I thought it was a tough call, tough decision. It'd be hard for them to say anything different, but I think the player is doing well."
When you look at a play like that second touchdown on (De'Vante) Harris, how much of that is technique versus a receiver making a really good play?
"You are talking about the tight red zone, back shoulder? That's a good play. You have a receiver, you have a good throw location. That is part of playing corner and we will continue to work (with him). But I think he's competing there and in position. You have to give them credit. From a throw and catch standpoint, we try to do that often with Mike (Thomas)."
When you are reviewing tape in a situation like that, do you focus more on you were in a good position?
"We would not dwell on that maybe like you would. We would hit the clicker to the next play. That specific play. Does that make sense? Like now we may spend 15 minutes on another play with busted coverage and what are they being told? How are we coaching it? Why has this happened? But that back shoulder, that throw and catch, we'd get on to the next play and talk about leverage a little more and eyes. But a lot of it is just depending on the play."
What do you think the primary similarities and differences are between (Drew) Brees and (Tom) Brady?
"They're different in a lot of ways. I would say the similarities, obviously they're similar in age and the success that they've both enjoyed in their careers. I think they are both comfortable with the pocket. I can speak more about Brees than I can Tom just from the obvious that I've coached and been around him. I think that clearly both are extremely diligent in their preparation and the way that they take care of themselves. I think that is some of the obvious."
Do you remember any of your thoughts of those guys coming out of college? Any vision that these are two guys who could last and be special? Or not necessarily?
"I remember the evaluation of both players very well. I remember the evaluation of Brady, we share an agent. I remember him coming out of Michigan and I remember Drew's evaluation coming out of Purdue. If any one of us had a crystal ball, you'd be taking them in the first three picks of any draft. But I remember both of those evaluations well."
What was the thought that stood out for you on Brady's plusses and minuses back then?
"He was tough. Lloyd Carr, was coach (at Michigan) if I recalled (he) told me, 'he is the toughest player he's ever coached'. So you saw a little of that grit and toughness. He is a good leader. He had a strong arm. Those were some of the things. Ernie (Accorsi) would have my evaluation, it's in New York somewhere."
What's it like preparing for situations like (Adrian) Peterson going back to Minnesota on Monday?
"I've said this before, every week there's going to be a common (situation). Next week it'll be A.J. (Klein). And the week after that it'll be some (one else), Kenny Stills. And the week after that, it's pretty common. We have to prepare for the player and understand his strengths and weaknesses and how he runs routes and the splits he takes."
Coach Belichick said that Thomas Morstead is as good as a punter as this league has ever seen, how much do you agree with that given what you've seen and how much do you appreciate having a guy like Thomas on you squad?
"Thomas is athletic. I think that he's done it for a long time and it's significant when you can change field position. It'd be important for him to punt well this weekend."
On the Jon Dorenbos thing, is that trade officially going to be rescinded or are the Eagles just sending the pick back? What were the conditions on that?
"You'd have to ask Mickey (Loomis). I'm not sure of the specifics. I just gave you what I thought was going to happen. In fact, I know that that's what's going to happen. You can check with Mickey on the specifics."