New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Thursday, October 18, 2018
Overall, how do you think the tight ends have been playing the last few weeks?
"I think pretty well. I think we've received some good production. I think Ben's (Watson) numbers have gone up relative to the receptions. Dan (Arnold) played in his first game, (he) got to play some last time out. I think overall we've seen the solid production there. We have three guys that are receiving the work. Josh Hill of course is experienced and the key is just finding the matchups, whether it's third down and then in the base depending on what kind of personnel you're going in with relative to the game plan."
How pleased have you been with Wil Lutz over the last two and a half seasons since he joined the Saints in 2016?
"When you say over these years, it hasn't been that long, but he was good a real good pick up for us and like I said John (Harbaugh) is someone that I've known for years and we did play in that preseason game and we spoke a little bit about Wil and we were if you can recall at that time, in the middle of a competition kicking battle. So those guys were going back and forth and this ended up being a really good pickup for us. I think Will's playing really well right now."
How has Demario Davis fulfilled the vision you had for him when you signed him?
"He is doing well. His production certainly has been good. I think defensively, we have been improved in the last two or three weeks. Our run numbers are good. We just have to clean up some things in the passing game, but I think he's been playing very well, he's a good leader, a real good teammate and a big part of what we're doing."
What do you like about Alvin Kamara as a punt returner and is there ever any fear having a key offensive player playing in the return game?
"Yes, every time a player goes on the field there's a fear of injury and yet you're trying to get your best players out there that give you a chance to win games. I think it's something he does well and I think that's just the nature of the game. But I think he has real good vision and I think that change of direction and speed, along with the vision, helps and lends itself to returning punts."
Did you see a real noticeable improvement in Marshon Lattimore's play in the Atlanta and Giants games? I know Odell Beckham Jr and Julio Jones didn't have big games against you guys, but how did he actually specifically grade out?
"Julio had a couple of big plays and those were some busted coverages, but I think he's playing well. Week one was a tough game for not just him, but for all of us. Since then, I think that you know depending on the team, the opponent, obviously he's challenged with covering the best receiver (on the opposing team) sometimes. Sometimes (he) just stand(s) over on the on the right side depending on the game plan, but he's doing well."
I know you're focused on the Baltimore game obviously, but do you look at the whole schedule right now as a whole or the stretches coming up that you'll face?
"No. We're up to 1:30 in the morning (working on Baltimore). We weren't looking at the future schedule."
We don't ask about Cam Jordan enough, but what you gotten from him this year?
"He's playing well. I say this when we talk about him, there's a durability and there's a stamina element that is unique in that that he can play play number 53 with the same type of energy as play five and I think (that is) his conditioning. He defends the run well. I think he gives us the ball disruption as a pass rusher. So those are unique traits."
How would you assess how (Sheldon) Rankins has played through five games?
"I thought he played one of his better games last week clearly and that was big for us. He and (David) Onyemata and those guys inside, when they're playing at the three technique they have some opportunities different than when you're playing in the nose."