New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, November 14, 2014
The fact that Adam Jones has yet to call for a fair catch for a punt return this season, does that change the way you go about making adjustments on special teams?
"We are still covering the punt the same way we would each week. Obviously we would pay attention to the runner and the type of returns they use. They are very good in that area. That is that confidence that you see in a returner like him and so most of the week as we are working on punt coverage you are looking closely at what type of return schemes are they like, how much directional kicking do we want to do, those would be some of the things that we would factor in."
Are you thinking about doing anything different or making any changes with the punt return?
"No if I felt it was a returner issue we would look at that but I think the key is and each game is different but a few of the options last week or opportunities were backed up situations but I like what Brandin (Cooks) has shown. We just have to make sure that when we get those field opportunities where we are actually returning a punt as opposed to backed up that we take advantage of it. I think when you look at the season one of the things that services a penalty on that unit really takes any type of yardage gained or wherever the ball falls and all of a sudden you back it up more. We've spent a lot of time this week, a lot, on this aspect."
What is your assessment of the season Kenny Vaccaro is having?
"I think he is doing well. Obviously as we have settled in defensively and he has gotten more and more comfortable with what we're doing scheme-wise I think he's a smart player. He's physical. Certainly this last month and a half or so you start seeing his consistency. He loves playing football."
Is Kenny Vaccaro a real aggressive player in good and bad moments?
"I think he is pretty disciplined. I think as a strong safety he's, we feel like, a real good tackler and someone who supports well. I think the number one attribute you need to have in each safety is to be a good tackler and be physical and be able to support the run."
How big of a test is Geno Atkins going to be now that he is back and his health an issue?
"He's a real good football player. I can't speak for his health but I know that he is someone that has our respect when you look at the tape. They have a real salty front and defensively I am sure from the start of this year and as they have gone forward they are doing some things really well and yet there are some times where I am sure things have broken down that they want to correct. That is a team that historically has played very well on defense under Marvin (Lewis). He is a key part to what they do."
Does he (Atkins) at all maybe command any adjustments by the interior?
"Sometimes that can happen within the framework of the protection and yet he is playing at that three technique position where each week you have a different challenge. He is certainly one of the guys that you look at when you are studying how he rushes the passer, how he plays the run, all of those things."
Brandin Cooks has been really productive as a receiver and punt returner, how much is that growth and how much is contributed to the guys are around him?
"I think a couple of things, number one, he's outstanding in his preparation and I think that each week there are plays that maybe are featured where he is (the) primary (target). The touchdown he caught last week, really there were a handful of guys that are in the progression and he ends up with the matchup and the look that Drew (Brees) finds. He is explosive and I think aside from his learning curve, it is just the way he practices. It's full speed. It's 100 percent and he's always listening. He does a great job taking coaching. I think that those things show up. Now it is just those opportunities that we give him."
Was Joseph Morgan able to settle back in?
"He has been practicing and all that has been going well."
There were a high number of drops last week. Did you work on that?
"We'd pay close attention to it. I don't know that coming off that game I would come away from the film saying man, we had a high number of drops and yet there are a ton of drills that we work on. Our guys I think throughout the course of the week are receiving tons of ball production within the drills but again, it is something that you look at closely and say was it a broken up pass or was it a pass we got our hands on. I don't recall last week being one that was unusually different."