New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Opening Statement: "Today for us was a pretty typical Friday schedule with goal line, short yardage, red zone."
How much do you pay attention to who guards Jimmy Graham?
"A lot. It's fairly common, and a lot of teams do this in the opening groups of plays. There's usually a mix of personnel to try and see (if) we are getting nickel or are we getting base and what are the matchups. I think that's pretty significant as to what we can gather early in the game and pay attention to how they're treating Darren Sproles or how they're treating certain personnel groupings."
Are Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas tough matchups for somebody like Jimmy Graham?
"There are some that you're speculating in regards to Thomas. They can put anybody on their defense (on Graham) if they want and yet, we recognize that. But early on we try to get enough of a beat maybe with personnel groupings to see what they want to do. That's part of the game, adjusting and just seeing."
A cornerback (Aquib Talib) guarding Jimmy Graham was one of the main topics brought up after the Patriots game. Have you ever seen that done before then?
"Look, I said this after that game, it fit because of the player (Talib). It fit with what they were wanting to do. It certainly was effective, but I think it all just depends on the defense's philosophy within the framework of their scheme. I would say (that) you're not surprised by oftentimes a team might put a linebacker or a safety with help over the top. There are a lot of ways to cover certain people and hopefully we have enough variation and flexibility where we are able to adjust and see how they're playing the matchups."
The Seahawks are the best defense against the screen pass this season. Is that an important stat?
"They play a lot of down safety defense and not as much shell if you will. There's an additional player in the alley that can make it problematic. So when we put on the reel – we put on the screen reel each week, the naked reel, the play-action reel – you can see without looking at the statistics that those are tough plays against this defense."
How much more diverse do you feel getting Roman Harper back on defense to play with Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Jenkins?
"I think that, number one, Rafael Bush has been involved heavily – started. So having that depth at safety, that flexibility at safety if you will, certainly is helpful."
Are you guys putting more emphasis on this game than normal with the number one ranking in the NFC being at stake?
"No. We would try to, every week, prepare as if that type of game is of that same magnitude. In other words, it's the next challenge and certainly it's a big challenge. It's not like you do additional this (or that). Guys are working late, players are practicing, studying, and preparing just like we did on a short week last week, just like we did the week before last week before Dallas. That's just the nature of the work week and the schedule. We feel like we've got a pretty good itinerary. This one was a little unique in that it fell after a Thursday game and then Thanksgiving week and then Monday Night Football. Seattle had a bye week with Thanksgiving this week and a Monday night game. As coaches and players you quickly lay down the itinerary, you get adapted to it, and you follow the process of getting acclimated as quickly as you can to the opponent. That's how you treat it. After this game, we'll treat the next week the same week. So to answer your question, no."