New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call With New Orleans Media - Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Now that Eli Apple has been in the building and played a few games, have you seen progression? It seems like he's getting a better sense of what's going on out there.
"Just from a systems standpoint, there are still technique things that we are working on. He's a young player, but just with how we are making calls, (and) coverage adjustments, I would definitely say three weeks in now, that transition is a little cleaner."
When you bring in a veteran like Jermon Bushrod what does he bring to that offensive line room?
"There is a sense of experience. Obviously, he is a player we are familiar with (in terms of) makeup and character. He is someone that we understand that vision for. So each year, it depends on which position we are talking about, but (he's) certainly someone we are real familiar with."
With bringing in Brandon Marshall is he in position to contribute quicker since he was with a team?
"I think to some degree that he's gone through a (training) camp I would agree with that. Having had the training camp experience and he was not 100 percent healthy, this gives us a chance to see where he is at, week by week, take a peek and try to evaluate his skillset to where and if it fits with what we are doing."
Having been with so many teams and had so many playbooks, does that help?
"He's pretty smart. I don't think that's going to be a problem. That's going to be a strength. He has had it now for 24 hours and I feel like he has two positions. It is one of his strengths. The other is that two of the places that he has played used similar terminology and it seemed like that was going to be pretty smooth."
What kinds of challenges does Zach Ertz provide for a defense?
"He is very fluid. He obviously a favorite target of the quarterback because he is open all the time. So he is a hybrid type tight-end type receiver. He has real good hips. He can get in and out of his cuts. He can leverage you on routes over the middle. You see him do a good job with the seams. I think he is a real natural receiver and he has all those traits that you might describe in a player not at the same position, but the things that we saw when we had Lance Moore, who seemed to always be open. Zach has those traits as a tight end. Inside on the linebackers, red zone, third down, he always presents a clean target and separation that is quarterback friendly."
Did you receive any sense from last week about how the Eagles will be using Golden Tate?
"Nothing other than what we saw. We saw limited snaps last week."
What has Carson Wentz been doing well for the past several weeks?
"He extends plays well. Those are the ones that are challenging because he is strong in the pocket and is hard to take down. He threw a pass the other night with someone draped on his arm and wristband. He is a strong presence. He is athletic. He will hang on a play and extend a play as well as anyone right now in the league."
Is pass rush especially important with quarterbacks that extend plays?
"You can't relax on a down when you think he is sacked because he comes out of some traffic really well. It's going to take a lot of energy and effort by a number of guys."
I don't know if this is something you talk about with the team, how much more desire is there to try to knock off a reigning Super Bowl Champion?
"It's the next game."