New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Thursday, November 1, 2018
Can you talk about why Aaron Donald is so unstoppable?
"He's explosive. He has very good movement skills. He has very good edge and movement skills. He has everything that you are looking for in a three-technique."
On the other side, how do you think Larry Warford is doing this year?
"Larry's doing well. The trick's trying to figure out how you want to work your protection. How you want to move the center. He's (Donald) not just lining up over Larry. He's lining up over Andrus (Peat). He is (lined up opposite the) right and left (guards). I have been pleased with our offensive line in general."
How is P.J. Williams doing in the nickel in place of Patrick Robinson.
"He had some big plays for us last week. Some things that we have to clean up, but he's a savvy and smart player."
What does coming up with a big play to swing the momentum in the game after some earlier struggles say about his mental toughness?
"Absolutely. He is covering a shallow cross(ing route). The quarterback comes off his progression. The shallow kind of then sits at the last minute and the ball's thrown. P.J. has real good ball skills and so in a very short area, he makes the interception quickly and turns it into a touchdown."
In your career coaching against Wade Phillips, how has that been a challenge?
"Denver had the edge players with (Von) Miller and (DeMarcus) Ware. It's varied over the years, but you always know you are going to get a tough pass rush. You are going to get real contested coverage. Guys play outstanding for him. The guys love playing for him. You could see that, always feel that with his defenses."
Eli Apple said yesterday was his best practice as a Saint. How do you see him progressing?
"We just keep working and keep coaching the technique and the details."
Do you see the Rams using Brandin Cooks similar to how you used him and how the Patriots used him?
"Yes. They are in a lot of tight splits – reduced splits. Rarely do you see receivers outside the numbers. You see him on a lot of spears and pylons, shallow crosses, some jet sweeps. So, they do a good job with their formations and kind of giving you a few different looks and running maybe three different plays off a similar formation. So you have to pay attention closely to what they're trying to get to and sometimes that's more challenging. But Brandin's been involved in some of those big explosive plays."