New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
*Local Media Availability
*Friday, January 12, 2018
How has the focus been this week?
"Good. Look the players understand it and the schedule as it falls on Sunday to Sunday it allows you to remain on what you are used to. But, we have had a good week of work and we are getting ready to go. We are excited."
Receiving a little extra rest, you think that is good for when you play the late game on Sunday?
"I think all of it is when you are playing a team that is coming off of a bye. We talked about recovery this week a lot and getting everyone up to speed, having just played a hard physical game."
Is there anything to a team coming off a bye and being sluggish to start?
"I think each team is different. Listen, I go back to '09, we had the bye and we sat starters and there was a lot of concern, we had lost three games in a row and played real well against Arizona. I think it can vary. I mean obviously your goal is to get into the playoffs and to secure the best seed you possibly can, and then it gets to that point when you focus more on the things you control. That is really what we have done."
From a coaching standpoint, have you changed your approach at all to connect with a younger team?
"Yes. We are constantly changing as teachers. I give these guys a hard time. There are a lot of young players on this team. The communication and how we teach, how we motivate, all of those things, you have to be creative and we have definitely done that."
Where do you come up with some of the ideas?
"I don't know. Steal them. Coaches have them. Other assistants have them. We think about things a lot. Just how to get a point across. I think that is our job as teachers."
Does that kind of keep you young?
"Yes. Absolutely. It is one of the best parts about the job. We are kind of in a bubble here a little bit. Coaches, we are here late and here early. But you are around players that want to work and yes, I'd definitely say that's one of the best parts about the job."
Why do the home teams seem to have so much success in this round (Divisional round) and what makes it so difficult for a visiting team to win?
"The very simple explanation would be the home team earned that position and they earned it playing good football. So, you'd start there. You come off a bye and the other team just played. Look, you do your studies ten years back, 15 years back and the key is to be playing good football at this time of the year and certainly they (Vikings) are."
Does the weather affect anything you do maybe Saturday night with curfew?
"No. We always have a curfew anyway and we have meetings. I think typically guys will grab a bite to eat when we get there, but the schedule is pretty much set and it has never been an issue as far as guys going out."
Two weeks of evaluation with John Kuhn, how is he looking?
"He is doing well. Listen, he had that time where kind of met with us on offense and scouting and then back with us on offense. I was giving him a hard time today, after a week of about 2 a.m.'s in the morning meetings, he could not wait to get the uniform back on. But he is doing well and he is good shape and is a big part of this team."