New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Minicamp Media Availability
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Would you say you got done most of the things you wanted to get done? Would you call this a productive minicamp?
"Yes, I think you're always trying to stay healthy and it's a teaching period. I was pleased with a lot of the situations we were able to work. The weather cooperated this week. It looked like we were going to be in(doors) for a good bit earlier in the week. Overall, I thought they handled it well. We've still have a lot of work to do and yet that's why training camp is coming. Look it's that time of year where you know that in order to teach more of the specifics you need pads to do that."
Is there some value to getting them acclimated to the heat and humidity?
"Anytime you're in training, there's that balance and we'll be smart with the AMs out here and any type of walkthrough or situation we'll go inside. So it's that back and forth and making sure you're not just practicing and pretty soon running plays but, I thought they handled it pretty well."
The veterans know what to do but, what will you tell the young guys as you dismiss them?
"One of the things we try to do this week is there's a series of league events or league speakers that were required. Media training (was Tuesday) and then yesterday was league security and all the reminders of the next four-week period and the challenges that can sometimes come up when they're away. We'll talk about that a little bit. I think also there's a lot of time and energy spent to where they're at at this point and the significance and importance of maintaining that and continuing on their strength program and their conditioning level."
You mentioned getting out of here healthy, We saw Terron (Armstead) leave yesterday, not out here today, how is he doing?
"Yes, we'll see. Right now there's nothing to report and, you know, I'm not going to talk about an injury until September 11. You'll get the status (that week)."
Obviously, you've talked this week about guys who've made plays on the field. After watching a little film, is there anyone that stood out there that you didn't see on the field?
"Depending on the day periodically, a lot of these guys had plus plays and then trying to balance it out with the mistakes they're making and quickly trying to get better. Throughout this camp, I do not know that there would be one specific player, it would be hard to point to one. The challenge for the lineman is, obviously, they are not in pads so you see a little bit more from the skill (positions). Overall, I thought they handled the installation well, there's some things we've got to clean up. Most importantly, by the time we get started in the preseason and regular season, what are the things we feel like we can be good at and making sure as a coaching staff that's what we're doing."
Tony McDaniel's agent tweeted that he signed with you, what impressed you?
"I don't how his agent or his tweet but, I like the player, I know the player, (We're) just familiar with him. That's why we brought him in here to work out."
Do you anticipate signing anyone else?
"We could easily today sign a player or two. That wouldn't be unusual."
Considering the health status with (Max) Unger and you speculate whether he comes back in the middle of training camp or the middle of the preseason, Josh LeRibeus has played that position, how confident are you in not rushing Max back too soon?
"I think it was a good sign for us. There's an experience factor when you play that position and you get that with that. Of course, Senio (Kelemete) has played center but, having guys that have played in real games and understand, he's a quick study, so there's a lot going on with the center and tied in with what Drew (Brees) is doing or the quarterback is doing and that's been a positive. He's done a good job that way."
You talked about the rookies and what you're telling them the next six weeks. Has your message changed from 2006 to now about this six weeks with the veterans because it seems like they're under the microscope more, there's iPhones everywhere, has the message changed it all over the past 11 years?
"Yeah I think it has a little bit, certainly there is different challenges that present themselves now. If you wanted to sit at home and follow everybody on Twitter you would pretty much be able to put dots as to the next five weeks. I think it is just being smart and also recognizing the importance of the other 89 are counting on you and that is the truth, regardless of what position you play. I think we've got a goof group of guys that understand that and yet they're going to be presented with some challenges and distractions and things that can hamper what they've done to date."
Do you keep a watchful eye on that stuff?
"Oh no. I kid Cam Jordan because he happens to be someone I follow (on Twitter so I know what he's up to). I feel like he uses up his Twitter allotment by noon. Part of it is educating them and hitting the message, but I think that these guys are grown men, and they understand the responsibility and what they have done to get here."
Can you talk about what you've seen in Arthur Maulet over these three days?
"I think he is tough. I like his physicality, even without pads. You can see his is put together well. He's smart. That's a good trait. He's someone I think that can possibly play in the nickel. I said the other day; he was a sought-after free agent for us. We had competition (from other teams to sign him). I am anxious to see how he does once we start getting into preseason games. I would say (I am) encouraged."
The potential addition of a veteran defensive tackle obviously begs the question: do you have any new information on (Nick) Fairley?
"Nothing. Nothing more on Nick. And we have not signed McDaniel yet."
Considering all the injuries you had on defense last year, are you doing anything that is really different so far on defense? Has it opened up more as far as the install?
"There's that fine line of installation and execution and making sure that guys can go out and play. If we start seeing a lot of mental errors at some point—on either side of the ball or in the kicking game—you have to look at what you are doing. So, oftentimes, we reduce the variables and increase your efficiency. So, I think it is making sure that we are really working on the fundamentals and then applying it to what we want to do for each game."
You mentioned Tuesday that you like Ryan Nassib coming out of college. Now that you've had him here for three days, what about him impresses you?
"He is a quick study. He is smart. He has been in, obviously, a pro offense in New York. I think he has picked it up very quickly. He has not had the reps, certainly, that some of the other guys have had. His ability to take it in and understand it and be able to spit it out—certainly the experience has helped him—but that is something that I think is a strength of his."
Looking at previous offseason programs and the injuries you have dealt with in recent years, have you changed anything in terms of what you do?
"The change that has taken place—not just here but league-wide—is the increased education of nutrition, sleep, strength-training, and understanding stress levels. We are just a little further along than we would have been ten years ago. I still think that foundation that you start with in Phase One with the weights and running is vital."
Has anything changed with the way you train?
"Absolutely. We are an Olympic-lift team, clearly. That is what we believe in. Yet, there are some guys with injuries that you have to be mindful of. They might not do a free-weight squat. It might be a modified version. That would be pretty common."
Kenny Vaccaro said this week that he still thinks his best football is ahead of him. What more can he do?
"Number one—he said the right thing; I read what you were discussing—being a part of a winning team and a defense that is playing well. He has been in great shape this offseason. He has trained well. I know he is looking forward to the year. So, it is just getting all the others around him and getting those opportunities to play more meaningful games later in the year."
What are some things that you see defensively that would be directly related to Dennis Allen's now extended time as their defensive coordinator?
"Well, there's an install package; there's some understanding, if you will, of what we're wanting to do scheme-wise. Yet, there are a few things that we are changing. I'd say that his ability to communicate and teach and his attention to detail are outstanding."
Do they play differently?
"We have not played yet. We are out here without pads on."