New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Thursday, October 25, 2018
When you watch Adam Thielen, do you see any similarities between him and Michael Thomas?
"They're both good receivers. I'm trying to think of a real good comparison. From Thielen, he's a very good transitional player, what I mean by that is from a technique standpoint, he can sink his hips, climb, he's very savvy from how he sets up his hips. I think they do a great job of moving him from outside to inside. That wouldn't be the first comparison. Mike does those things. They're different type receivers. That's the easiest way to put it."
*Is this an annual reunion between you and Mike Zimmer? *
"He's a close friend. He's doing a great job there. His team's playing great. Just look at the time since he's been there. The program has completely shifted their fortunes and that's not an accident. Mike's a fantastic coach, his father was a coach, his son is a coach. We had Adam here right out of college. He is a real good teacher. I think the players like playing for him. This is a tough team that presents new challenges different from last week's team."
*What do they do in the run game with Latavius Murray as opposed to Dalvin Cook? *
"Certainly the philosophy they believe in with the run and the pass I'm sure there's some things they might feature with one or the other, but you see a handful of different backs playing, you see them doing similar things and having the same confidence in who they're asking to do it."
When you see Minnesota as much as you have seen lately, is it easier to prepare for them now?
"I said this to their media, that I do think it is a little like a division team in relation to that we played them twice last year. We have all these different cut-ups, sources of information. There are some similarities that way because of the number of times we played them a season ago."
Do you get a lot of insight from Teddy Bridgewater?
"I would say over the years this happens pretty much regularly every week or every other week. In Teddy's case, he's a quarterback and has a pretty good grasp on this team. It is more on personnel. He'll talk to you about certain guys on the team. Such as this this guy's a load (for example). You get a feel for not so much the scheme and the film confirms that. We have so much film on what they're doing, but more who's doing it and that's pretty typical with teams."
What have you seen from the Vikings defense this year?
"They're number one in a ton of categories. They play a real good tight man coverage. They mix up the pressure. The zone pressures have always been hard with them on the passing situations, particularly third down. (Eric) Kendricks inside gets them all started, the safeties on the back end. We coached a number of these guys at the Pro Bowl. We had several of them. Very disciplined, athletic, extremely talented and they give you a ton of challenges in that environment where crowd noise is an issue and they stress your gaps. We have to be on point"
*We've seen Tre'Quan Smith make a lot of tough catches. Is body control a strength in his game? *
"I think it is a strength. He can high point balls down the field. You need to have a little bit of body control and be able to torque your body. I do think that's something that he has done well."
Why'd do you think you've had some success in sustaining long drives this year?
"If you knew the exact secret, you'd carry it each week. Part of it is converting some third downs and part of it is having some balance. We hit some fourth downs on that drive. It's tough to do if you're not running the ball well and converting your third and fourth downs."
What do you guys like about Chaz Green?
"We felt like he is an experienced lineman who gives us depth with some of the injuries. We think he is a guard first, not tackle. I think he is someone who's smart. We've seen it on film. You always have a short list and if you get nicked up or guys get hurt, you kind of move to that list. He is someone we're familiar with."
Are you looking for more explosive run plays?
"We're always looking for explosive run plays. That's what we'd like."
Is there a reason they haven't been as frequent as last year?
"I think they come. You were spoiled early last year and we've played some really good defenses in regard to the running game. Each week, one of the first reels we look at is explosive plays period. For the last year and a half I have every Minnesota explosive run and pass given up. You just sort through it. Sometimes it's a missed tackle or great catch. Other times you look at an idea or thought that looks good. That would be good."