New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
What went into the decision to trade Stephone Anthony?
"I think there came a time in where he was at in regards to where we were at in his development. I think unfortunately his injury during training camp really prevented him from receiving the snaps we were hoping to see. Ultimately it came down to a decision rosterwise for us. I love this kid. I think the world of him. Hopefully he can bounce back and make an impact for Miami."
Depthwise how does that effect the position?
"We're constantly paying attention to our own depth. (Craig) Robertson, (Nate) Stupar, (Adam) Bighill's come up. We'll be smart there about going into a game and also handling the week's work at practice."
You said (Adam) Bighill has come up, so he's been elevated to the active roster?
"No. I'm sorry. I was just discussing he was up and so depth-wise, there's five (linebackers) on the active roster right now. Nothing has changed."
Any other transactions because this obviously frees a space?
"None right now. When practice ends today, we'll go through it with you guys."
Can you have any early impressions on how Christian McCaffrey has changed the Panthers offense?
"He provides a variable personnel groupings. When he enters the game, there are a handful of things that you have to defend. A) I think he's a very good runner. B) you see him in the passing game. Then you see him in roles which you have to defend. And it might be with Stewart on the field as well. So they've done a good job in the first two weeks of really getting in and out a handful of personnel groupings but forcing you to account for him. He's versatile. Obviously we're very familiar with the player having just come out. And then we haven't even talked about his special teams' snaps."
They'll be without Greg Olsen, how does that affect what they do with him being such a critical piece?
"He is a significant piece. I think that offense over the years has played very well when they've missed a key contributor. But he's someone that provides such a balance on the other side of the field. If he's opposite of (Kelvin) Benjamin it becomes challenges with where you're going to roll coverage. But we're just going to have to be ready for that combination of (Ed) Dickson when he's in the game or how they are going to play (Chris) Manhertz. They signed a fullback yesterday. There's still a little bit of unknown."
What do you think about the way Julius Peppers is still making an impact?
"I think a couple of things. He certainly is the exception to the norm. He has rare skills. He is in a perfect role for them. He is someone that can play on the edge. He has played inside. When you put him together with Charles Johnson, Star Lotulelei, (Kawann) K. Short, you start getting a really salty front that plays fresh. They've done a great job personnelwise there. And even adding him in the offseason, I think that it was a smart move."
Have you seen improvement from that defense since last year?
"I have. I think you see it in the front. And I'd say this the corners are now in year two. (James) Bradberry and (James) Worley are both playing well. So I do think in these first two weeks, they're playing with a lot of confidence."
How do you caution against guys looking ahead with the London trip to play the Dolphins immediately after?
"No one can possibly be looking ahead to London. It's a good question but with where we're at right now the focus has to be on this division with this game. I don't think that will be difficult."
Christian McCaffrey adding changes to Panthers offense?
"There are some route concepts with him in the game whether he's position in empty (backfield) or pony (formation). There are some things they do extremely well that they have done in the past. And then there are a handful of things that are unique to his skillset that you have seen on a limited basis in two regular season games. Nonetheless clearly that's something you have to prepare for."