New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
2017 Training Camp Presented By Verizon
Monday, August 14, 2017
"Little different tempo today with practice, went helmets and shoulder pads and tried to get a few different areas covered, third down and red zone and then towards the end there, two-point plays. The guys will be off tomorrow and Wednesday we'll be back."
Why did you shorten practice today?
"I thought yesterday was a good long one and part of our plan was to get their legs back under them a little bit and yet still get some work. We did some walkthrough inside and then came out. But overall, I thought we got done what we wanted to accomplish and there's a couple of situations that are important, in regards to understanding where you're at in the game."
How was Carl Lewis's message last night?
"He was good. He is someone that I'm going to say, we've probably had 10 to 11 speakers in my 11 years and I can't recall one more decorated than he was, and until you start looking it up and going through his numbers, the idea of a gold medalist in four different Olympics is pretty impressive. I think he's only one of three, but Brian Young and a good friend of his works at the Houston Track Program and he wanted to come over and help our guys out. He talked about work and the will to win basically. (He is a) Pretty impressive guy, very impressive."
How important is it when you have to measure the body language of the players, from a psychological standpoint?
"I think very, that was a topic even last night. You're going to have a chance to get to the film and watch the game and I think it's really important to get on to the next play and mentally be able to play it as fast as you can, and then after that reps over, the next thing you can control is the next play. It's the same way for me and sometimes I have a hard time shaking a play, but (we have to) get on to the next play with the same focus and we'll make the corrections later."
Are the Saints actively shopping Delvin Breaux*?*
"No, we would never comment if we were to begin with and it rarely works that way. It is very normal throughout training camp for teams to discuss different players and possible trades. We have seen a couple already that I think are unique, like the three-team trade last week was interesting. But I would not comment on that. That would be club business."
How do you view Delvin right now though and are you concerned about his lack of availability in this camp?
"I think it's important to be out here, but I wouldn't want to get into specifics to each one of these guys. But availability obviously is probably as important as everything else."
When it comes to the quarterbacks, can you see yourself keeping three this year?
"We will keep three if we feel like the third has earned the spot. Those guys are competing here. I would say Ryan (Nassib) and Garrett (Grayson) have had a good day today. I think for Garrett this offseason and this season we've seen a change tangibly and hopefully you'll be able to see that."
With Max (Unger) working without pads today and then off to the side do you think he's getting closer to full recovery?
"It's on schedule. What'd I say, the third preseason game. It's on schedule. That is the goal right now. The question would be how we handle the third preseason or maybe the fourth preseason, but I'm pretty confident that he's going to receive some preseason work in a game. He's doing well and I do not know if he's going to receive team reps this week. But he's out there now in shoulder pads so now it's just a question of just moving him into and catch up to where everyone else is."
Beyond being on schedule is there anything that you like specifically about the way he's (Unger) looking or handling everything?
"He's a bright guy, tough, a great leader and has been a great addition for this team and a great addition to the locker room. Throughout the process, he's been really diligent and I know he's encouraged. It's been a steady pace in which he's done the rehab and he's done a really good job."
How hard have you worked to address the close losses that you've experienced last season?
"It's a good point and when you look at them it's why you'll see two-minute drill continuously because those final drives start with Oakland. Just pick a game. If we took 16 games, pick a game and it'd be hard to find one where that game didn't have relevance in the last two minutes. The key is to show up on the better ends of those games and I think the last two years we have been on the bottom of those games. We've won a few, but not as many as we've lost. If you flip it around in 2013 and 2009 and I can go back to games in Washington and Miami that you've found a way to win that's important."
As a team, is that an acquired skill? Is that something you can coach up?
"In other words, it's generally execution and it's generally a confidence born from demonstrated ability. In 2013, our first game ends on our two-yard line with (Roman) Harper picking off (a) Matt Ryan pass in the final (with 43 seconds left in the game to clinch the win). Then you have a little more confidence in the next situation. It's how our games are ending."
How comfortable and confident are you with the cornerbacks you have right now on the roster?
"Good, these guys are playing well. I like the competition. Marshon (Lattimore) is back out there today and he's close."
Speaking of competition, getting some work against a quarterback like Philip Rivers, not only in practice but in the game last night where he looked pretty impressive, is that a positive?
"When you have a chance and it happens when you start your season and there are going to be a handful of these games where you are playing an elite quarterback and to receive work is no difference than what our defense sees here. (There will be) A different look and maybe a different style of offense or some different nuances that will be different defensively. I think it benefits both teams and Anthony (Lynn) and I talked about this at Owners' meetings and the objective is to improve both teams. I think it will be a good week for us."
How has (Marcus) Williams been coming along?
"Good, he's smart so he picks things up quickly. We just have to keep getting him reps. He's someone that when he's around the ball, he has really good ball skills. I'd say he's doing well. We just have to keep getting him the work."
How seriously are you evaluating (John) Phillips as a long-snapper?
"I would say very seriously. You're constantly looking at your roster and it's not often that you can have a dual position player like that, but when you can it's like gold because now you potentially have a tight end, (and) a guy that can long snap. I know it's not the norm and yet there's a lot of value in something like that."
How has (John) Phillips looked with that?
"He's just been recently back at practice, but he's a guy that has good stature. It's just the time on task and getting the work in."
Had (John) Phillips done that before at all?
"I know he's been a backup snapper. For other teams, usually you'd have an emergency guy, he'd clearly would be that. But I can't recall if he was a team's starting snapper, I don't think he was."
You've been with (Hau'oli) Kikaha for a while now, is he still on the arc where you guys are seeing
"I'm seeing a healthy player, to his credit. I'm seeing a guy that's moving well. I am seeing a guy who's getting his hands on some balls. He plays with good energy and effort, but it's good to see him back healthy."
Have you coached these guys any harder this year?
"It is hard for me. We try to be consistent. We spend a lot of time in the staff room as coaches talking about what we are wanting to get done. You coach the coaches. You want to be consistent and explain the game and make sure everyone's accountable. So it is hard for me to answer that. I try to take that approach each year. It is going to be difficult. Hopefully it is the right message, each team is different and unique. You introduce a guy like, Carl Lewis, and it may be eight in the room that know him. Although with a guy like him, more than that. There are a ton of those guys in the room that weren't even born when he was winning gold medals. These guys they want to do the right thing. Part of it is understanding how to win starts with understanding what not to do to keep you from winning. That's where we're at.