New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Monday, September 17, 2018
What stood out when you look at the film?
"Well a few things. Number one, I thought we played well in the kicking game. I was real encouraged just looking at that tape. We had the big return later in the game from Taysom (Hill). We came close to blocking a handful of their field goals and even one punt. Defensively, I thought we were real good until the final two drives. Obviously, the big touchdown pass and then the end of game sequence was poor. Offensively, we weren't very good. We were sloppy in the beginning. Too many mental errors, missed opportunities, and then the two turnovers. That's twice now, last week and this week where ball security has been an issue."
What do you think you guys are doing well in the kickoff return game with the new rules and some other teams aren't?
"The rule change is significant. I think half of it is you get into these man to man situations and if your players believe and have confidence in a scheme and each guy focuses on their individual job, then you give yourself a chance to have success. To Mike (Westhoff) and his staff and the units, I think there's a strong belief that each time we're back to receive a kick (it's an opportunity)…Of course the one we returned yesterday was seven yards deep in the end zone. But we look at (that) as an offensive play and I think there's a confidence element that's emerged there."
When you choose to use Taysom Hill in that situation, is it something that you see in practice from him? We've seen him cover on kicks but we haven't seen him return any.
"He can run and he can run with a physical presence. So it's a different type of returner."
In terms of efficiency, why don't you think your run production has been as good as last year so far?
"Well I'm sure there's two or three different reasons if we're looking specifically to yesterday. There were a handful of backside blocks we have to be better on. Communication. It just had not been as good. Last week was different relative to the game, but overall there were too many things that were troubling watching the tape on offense. We have to improve in a lot of areas. To answer your question, the communication, the backside cutoffs and some of the runs, some of the looks to begin with the short yardage call is poor by me. We just have to be better. We have to be better at the tight end position that's for sure. You see that on tape, and we'll get that all cleaned up."
You talked about the defense, what did you guys do to improve the pass rush this game?
"Rushing this player (quarterback Tyrod Taylor) was different in that you had to be careful of his escape outsider or his escape up through and fortunately we were able to at least control his rushing numbers. Guys played I think with really good get off and we were able to get some pressure on the player. I think our technique was better. Now from a coverage standpoint, we played a little bit more zone. I think that brought us another step relative to the quarterback hold(ing) on to the football."
I don't know how Marshon (Lattimore) graded out on the tape, but did you see a good or important response from him after his real first moment of adversity this week?
"Yes. He played well."
How important is that or someone in a key position like that to bounce back the way he did yesterday?
"I think that when you play corner in this league long enough you're going to have games where the receiver wins on a few big plays and that's part of the deal. That's important for everyone. You have a game where you don't play as well and the next week you respond. I think that is very important."
You mentioned the tight ends, but going back to the run game real quick, how much are you getting from your receivers in terms of blocking?
"That hadn't been an issue honestly. That hadn't been the issue. We feel like we've been handling the force pretty well. We'll keep working at it. Again, we're talking about one game here. We're not talking about a crisis. We just didn't run as effectively against this team yesterday as we would have liked. It's one of those teams that's going to give you some bear defense, some tough run looks. We have a chance to run the ball in the goal line where we have a missed assignment. We have a chance. There's just a number of those things that we have to get cleaned up."
Mike Thomas and (Alvin) Kamara have been incredibly productive, but do you worry at all about leaning too much on a couple guys?
"I worry about workload relative to the running back position. Mike's played well and yet I don't like the fact the ball's on the ground again for two weeks in a row."
What do you think about the way Tre'Quan Smith and Austin Carr have played through the first two weeks?
"Good. They're doing well."
In the game notes it mentioned that this was the first win under the Gayle Benson era. Was that something you thought about at all?
"Yeah absolutely. We talked and gave Mrs. B a game ball after the game. To answer your question, we probably caused the game notes. In other words, we were all aware of it and we're excited for Mrs. B."