New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Friday, December 14, 2018
How much pressure does it put on a defense when you have Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara on the field at the same time?
“The first thing that comes to mind defensively is I think it's treated like nickel (situation) and when that happens, right away I think they look at it as three receivers and one running back. Knowing that they still made defend Alvin in a running fashion. It's like a sub personnel grouping.”
How does the Carolina offense change when Greg Olsen does not play?
“Anytime you take a real good player away from an offense, a player such as Greg and he's probably been one of the more consistent and elite tight ends in our league over the last seven years, obviously the touches go elsewhere. It can go to other tight ends or they could go to potentially runners or receivers. Until the season's over with and you really look at it, you don't notice the attrition, but when you lose someone like that it moves somewhere. In other words, you still have your yardage, you still have your completions, but they may move more to another position or to the same position. He is a heck of a player and he's one of those tight ends that blocks and receives and he's not just a one-trick pony. He's a handful.”
What are your thoughts on Jermon Bushrod being named the team’s Ed Block Courage award recipient?
“He's a special teammate and I'm not speaking on behalf of the team, maybe more so as the head coach, but he came here in 2007 (and) played then. (He) started for us on the Super Bowl team and was a big part of our team. His career moved elsewhere and then here he is back again (in New Orleans) and playing for us now. All of that being said, the adversity he and his family went through this season is difficult and challenging and I think hopefully he felt that family structure surrounded by teammates being here for him made it a little bit more comforting. But I think the world of him and his family and I'm glad he's with us.”
The opposing team has missed six field goals and four extra points this season. Do you think that is good fortune or the type of pressure the field goal and PAT units are getting on the kickers?
“I'm sure that there's a combination of both, but I know this, I know that we're better rushing that kicker today than we have been in 13 years and that's a credit to Mike (Westhoff) and the coaches and it's a credit to the players that are on those units. Because right now we've had several close blocks, but make no mistake about it the kicking unit watches every bit of the film. There's a tempo, a timing element and then clearly at times it just might be no good fortune (on the other team’s end).”
What are some of the other ways that you think Mike (Westhoff) has helped just in coming in here last year?
“I think there is a presence and experience with him. There is a confidence with him you’ll know exactly what he’s wanting from a return, what he’s wanting from a block. He‘ll detail specifically what it is that needs to happen and then make sure it does happen. He's one of those people that has a presence when he speaks. You understand and you know that he knows his stuff. That presence and that experience. I think you have to be able to solve problems quickly when you're running units like that and he does. I think there is an aggressiveness also in how we play in and I think it starts with (asking if) do you have confidence in your units and if you do then you can be more aggressive. If you don't it's hard to be aggressive.”
Following up on Alvin (Kamara) and Mark (Ingram) when they’re on the field together, when Alvin is the guy in the nickel, I know at least on a couple of the touchdown plays like Mark’s run against Philadelphia and I think Mark’s screen pass, Alvin draws a lot of attention. Would quote on quote any slot receiver draw that attention based on a formation?
“Let's describe attention. If a player's in the slot, we need to have someone over there. We put Drew Brees out in the slot this year and so no one thinks we're going to throw it to him and yet you have to be sound. So someone goes there. We know that they've covered down appropriately, but then you said Alvin (Kamara) in motion on a jet sweep action and that loosens maybe the side where you're getting ready to run or create some indecision. It's a little softer and Mark has a big play. If I sent Drew (Brees) in sweep motion, I don't know that it would be as soft over there. If I sent a receiver, it would be somewhere between Alvin and Drew.”
What has stood out about the way the Panthers have used D.J. Moore this season at wideout as well as on some run plays?
“I think, noticeably, they're a team that we've followed for whatever reason with these games (when preparing for upcoming opponents such as) Atlanta, Tampa, Philly that we've just we've seen a ton of their offense. I think Norv (Turner has done a great job). Every week we are grabbing a reverse, or an around, a behind, an option flip special. But I think they've done a great job of incorporating him in their scheme and into their run game. Each week when you look up Carolina’s run numbers opponents are 110, 110, 98, 84 and then they'll be with this 180 and I'll be like that’s Carolina. It's not just because of Cam, but it's the ability of Cam and then what they're doing around him with McCaffrey and the receivers. They've had some explosive receiver runs this year.”
What have you seen from the rookie Donte Jackson?
“I think this: I think he's playing with confidence. He's got quick hips. He transitions well. There's a swagger to him. He's got a short memory. I like him. I think he starts and stops very quickly and I think they like him too. I've just seen enough filmed to see where he belongs and I think he's going to be a good corner there for a long time.”