New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Tampa Bay Media Availability - Wednesday, September 5, 2018
What is the difference that Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick brings to the Bucs' offense compared to Jameis Winston?
"I think they're both pocket passers. I think both of them can create. There's a little bit different playing style. The one thing you see on tape on times with Fitzpatrick is he'll do a good job of kind of moving you one way and then be pretty aggressive with balls in the seams. I don't know that he moves the same way Jameis does. Both of them are comfortable in the shotgun. I think the offense remains consistent. I don't think, sometimes when there's a change, it can move or shift in a direction differently because of the quarterback. I don't think that's the case with Ryan. I think the rushing numbers are going to be important for both teams. The third down numbers. Those special situations that we felt were the difference a year ago (when the Saints won the game played at home)."
How glad are you to be starting the season at home again?
"I haven't kept track of it all. I know this. It's a bit unusual for us to start the season with the first two games at home. In fact, it's our first time. I think the last time was 2004. But obviously, the focus is on the game in front of us and the team in front of us."
What have you seen from the Tampa Bay defensive line and what kind of challenges do they present?
"They added some new pieces – a lot of good football players. You start with a Pro Bowler in (Gerald) McCoy. And then you start talking about (Jason) Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry. Obviously they drafted Vita Vea early. So, it was pretty obvious in the offseason that that was an area that they really addressed and I think have done a good job doing that."
What is it about Marshon Lattimore's skillset that allows him to match up against a lot of different styles of receivers?
"He's got length. When you're a corner playing against the receivers in our division, I think it's a little bit more challenging with some of the bigger players. We've had one year of exposure with Marshon now playing there and he's someone that I think can run and he's got length. I think that that helps when it comes to getting your hands on balls. Defending some of the high balls or jump balls. So I think those are two things that help him. It'll be a competitive game this week. We know we're going against a good group receivers."
Have you noticed any sort of change in Mike Thomas' mentality or demeanor this offseason after putting together two really good years back to back?
"No, it has been identical. That is the one thing about him his preparation, his focus, everything. It is consistent. It's hard for Mike to have a walk through just because he's so wired into his assignment, what he's doing, how to improve. I haven't at all. Look that's a compliment more than anything else because the way he came in and obviously he's more and more comfortable with what we're doing but his preparation is fantastic."
As you prepare for another season with Drew (Brees), what did you see this summer that was the same or maybe different with him?
"To me, I did not see any changes. To see a guy who is preparing very consistently day in day out, make(ing) good decisions, throwing the ball with accuracy. It is year to year. I have not seen change. I would imagine if I was looking at a time lapse, a series of pictures maybe there's certain things, but no, his approach this offseason and being a major leader on this team has been very consistent."
The coverage the defense is in, is there a correlation between maybe some the things the pass rushers might try to do or how they might blitz based on what type of coverage there as?
"The front and the coverage go together. Let's start with the four-man rush which would be the norm right? In other words, no pressure, but you know there are half a dozen coverages that teams are going to play from a four-man rush. Whether they want to have someone closer to the ball to stop the run, quarters, cover-two, man-to-man, deep, robber they will play brackets. I am not talking Tampa; we're just talking about a four-man rush. When you add a fifth rusher, it changes and you begin to reduce your coverages. Now it's maybe cover-one with a pressure player maybe it's a zone pressure when you get to press two guy, six men in the rush. So with each front and with each rush plan, the coverage can vary. Obviously, there are some rushes that you can have that you can play the same coverage behind, but with a different rush plan. I'm hoping I'm answering your question, but it's man or zone, it's a deep safety look, a single safety look, or sometimes zero deep look. I think that would be the easiest thing to look for as you're studying the back in. Is it single safety, is it a shell, or is it covers zero."
Coming into the season, do you feel about as good about this secondary as maybe you have in recent years?
"Coming into the season I'm always excited. I don't look at it that way. I look at depth when we're reducing the roster. Yeah there's challenges when you build a team and you're getting a little deeper and you got competition at certain spots. I would tell you typically I'm pretty upbeat and optimistic and yet, early in years a coach I think it's our nature to be thinking of what ifs. You're constantly trying to check the boxes. We know we've prepared for this. How's the young receiver going to handle this? That's kind of where I'm at on a Wednesday getting ready to go."