New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with Saints Media
Thursday, September 21, 2017
What went into the signing of Kendall Langford?
"Well he's someone we've had our eyes on a few years back even he came through here in free agency. There's a handful of things I think the player does well. He's strong. I think he gives you length. It was more about his availability than it was necessarily our seeking out someone at that position. He was in for a workout the other day. We signed him, well officially we'll be signing him today."
Would he play the tackle position?
"We think he has some position flex. Obviously he played an end in a 34 scheme. But we do think he has some flexibility there."
You brought back Darryl Tapp and elevated David Parry*, what are you hoping to get out of this current group of defensive linemen?*
"I think week by week you have a goal and plan in place. First with Darryl, he's familiar with what we do. He gives you some strength, experience. We felt the latter part of his training camp was as good as he played here in a while. And then inside we have experience with the nose. He started a number of games up at Indianapolis. He too, I think if we're going to see a little bit more of a running game we're prepared for it."
With defensive struggles continuing through multiple coordinators and players, is there anything that you have identified as a common theme that has continued to be an issue you guys have tried to combat?
"I don't know if there is. When you aren't playing well at defense there's always going to be a few common themes with regards to getting off the field on third down. Statistically a number of those things. But you're going back a ways here now. If you're going back to when we first struggled in '14, it hadn't been good. I think that's when Dennis, staff, myself, we're all working hard to fix. We feel like we're building the right (team), putting the right pieces in place to do that. I think more than anything else, that sense of urgency of improving each week. I would say the other common theme (is) we have missed on a handful of defensive players in the draft and that process has gotten better."
I would assume one thing you would like to do is put a consistent 11 on the field and through injury and the need to fix things, that's easier said than done maybe?
"No, that's the key to having some consistency. I would agree with that."
Where do you as a head coach and an offensive minded coach, where do you feel like you need to have your influence on the defense? Do you step aside and let the defense handle it?
"There are certain things that we're going to do. There's never going to be the coordinator's defense himself. It's going to be the Saints defense, number one. Number two, from a personnel standpoint how we, and what we pay attention to. And firsthand making sure that it's something I'm comfortable with in regards to personnel and making sure that we've asked the right questions so we know the player can learn and we know the player can sit in this role. I think that process recently has served us very well."
What's been the evaluation on Brandon Cole these first couple of games?
"I think he's played fairly consistently. He's made some big plays for us. He's done a lot of the dirty work in regards to blocking. Overall, it would be positive."
You signed Bradly Sylve to the practice squad, what do you like about this kid?
"He's fast. I think he has good foot quickness and agility. Some of those traits that you look for with a practice squad corner like that."