New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Monday, September 24, 2018
What did you see out of the run game offensively? I know you liked what you saw in the moment, but what improved that you saw after reviewing the film?
"I thought a couple things, I thought that we got to the edge pretty well. I thought we won the battle of the line of scrimmage. That was one of the things we talked about all week and one of the keys to victory. I thought we needed (stops in) short yardage situations (and) we got them. The only goal line run we had a really different look defensively, they weren't in a goal line defense. Fortunately, we were able to score a couple plays later, but clearly the thing that stood out is we won the line of scrimmage against that team on both sides of the ball."
What are your thoughts on on the offense being able to execute these first three games in the most crucial moments in the fourth quarter, as well as in overtime on Sunday?
"You are never happy completely. You are happy to get the win and it was a big drive there, obviously in the overtime period to make it a sudden death (win). There's still a number of things that we have to work on to clean up, but I think the encouraging thing is some younger players are getting these real game experiences and gaining that confidence that you need and that belief that you have to have each time you're on the field (when) you have a chance to do something special. I think we're seeing a lot of young players receive those snaps and those opportunities."
Did those two long touchdown drives that you sustained in the fourth quarter help you in the overtime period? Do you think the Falcons were tired?
"More importantly and I can't speak for Atlanta at all, but more importantly It helps you out defensively relative to time of possession and the total snaps you are defending. When you play a team like Atlanta and the game ends and the rushing yardage numbers come out, part of that is time of possession related and so they were right at 29 minutes (29:20). I think we were at 37 minutes (37:45) and on the road that's a pretty good formula."
Are you allowed to speak with Mark Ingram during a suspension?
"No. No contact with the player. I'll see him a week from today after the fourth week."
I've heard some guys talk about missing his energy. Is that one of the key things that he brings besides what he brings to the football field?
"Well, I think what he brings on the football field is pretty important. It's pretty special. He has juice and is a leader. I think that all of those things make an important player for us. Fortunately, we get him back in a week."
Have you been able to identify anything that's a consistent problem on the explosive plays that the defense has given up? Is there an element of surprise?
"No, we have to be able to stay on top of it. Nothing surprises you in this game. You have to identify what you're doing. There's a mental error or one of the coverage busts. We have to look closely at that. We have to ask ourselves are we doing too much? Are we putting our guys in the best position? That's one thing, that is going to keep coming (up) now. Those deep balls are going to keep coming because if there's only two things happening, a pass interference or completion and there's no interception opportunity, then teams are going to take multiple shots more and more and more. I don't like the fact that we've had one takeaway after three games. I don't think we've caused a fumble one time. So there are a handful of things that need improvement fast."