New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, Nov. 25, 2016
How was everybody coming back today?
"Work was sharp. We spent a little bit more time (this morning), typically we would have had that film watch yesterday after practice and we did that first this morning then moved on to the installation for today (rather than on Thanksgiving)."
They've had some difficulty getting Todd Gurley on track but does he look like the same guy from last year?
"Absolutely. I think the challenge when you're a really good running back like he is, are the fronts and defenses that you see that are designed to take away a lot of the runs but he's explosive, he's got good vision, he runs with power, good pad level, all the things you look for and he had some big runs last week."
When you look back over the last three or four weeks with the way the defense has played, what do you think's the biggest reason why things are starting to come together?
"Well probably a handful of reasons, we're healthier. Sheldon (Rankins) is back, (Dannell) Ellerbe is back, (Delvin) Breaux has come back and that matters. You have a good game and you get some confidence and you parlay it into the next and the next and I think they've been playing well. So that's encouraging."
How did the week of preparation go with Kevin (O'Dea) added to the coaching mix in special teams?
"All good. It's smooth. He's a veteran coach and I think a good addition for us."
You did mention the other day that you wanted to add reinforcements and not chop heads or however you phrased it, why do you think that's important to the players to not make a swift change like that?
"Well it's important for the team not the players or the perception. What's best for us to win games and that part of it was easy."
Kenny (Vaccaro) said something interesting the other day that you might think sense you're facing a rookie quarterback you can take some liberties and maybe be a little bit more complex but actually you want to do the opposite, be simple and not do stuff that's outside your comfort zone just because he's a rookie. What do you think about that?
"I think you gameplan each opponent how you feel like is best. Whether you're in coverage or in down safety or pressuring I think you look at what they do and you put a plan together that you think is best for that team you're playing."
Is there any type of trend towards short defensive tackles like Geno Atkins, Aaron Donald, Sheldon Rankins are all six feet or under or is that just kind of those guys?
"I think it's their type. I think that 20 years ago there were certain requirements that maybe teams would have valued differently and I think that's changed as this game has become more of a passing game. Warren Sapp is extremely explosive. I think that there's certain traits that teams are looking for and the guys mention are guys are explosive, that play with leverage well. I think there's an evolution with our game as it's changed."
Does being shorter maybe help you get leverage if you know how to use your height to your advantage?
"I think it's with each player. It just depends on the athlete."