New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, December 12, 2014
Do you miss having the opportunity to practice outdoors?
"Yes, this would have been a week barring with what they are doing with the fields we would have gone out in the grass. You can't really control it. It sounds like they are calling for a good chance of rain, 65 percent chance of rain. I think pretty good wind it sounds like, 30 degrees and yet all things considered this time of year (it could be colder). It will be a game where we have to pay close attention to the footing and the conditions."
With two straight road wins, what are some of the things you saw in those games that you would like to see carry on to this weekend?
"We were just talking about it. I think you have to be good on third down. That is an area we have to be better at and I think that quickly getting acclimated to how this game is being played with the weather conditions, in other words, how big of a factor is the wind? Being prepared to run the ball maybe more, understand which direction you are going with regards to your throws or down the field throws. If there is a ton of precipitation then you have to plan accordingly, the (face) shields have to come off. But I think the key to those road wins, we overcame the early two turnovers in Carolina and got back to even in that game. Pittsburgh we were able to capitalize on some. I think that those third downs, ball security, all of those issues that can be buried when you play on the road as opposed to constant when you are playing at home."
Have you done wet ball drills this week?
"Yeah we typically do it with quarterback, center exchange. We will soak them down and have them go through (work). That would be very normal."
Were you pleased with the movement with punt return game last week?
"Absolutely, I think it was the lone bright spot. I was real pleased with the two decent returns. Especially with a new returner, we really didn't have in the two weeks prior any clean looks. Baltimore did a really good job of (keeping us) away from the boundary and just kind of line driving some punts. I think that's something I know individually he (Jalen Saunders) can build on. He can build on that and look, the same way with the holdup group understanding that this guy can give us some yards. It is amazing what two returns in one game can do just with your numbers. It is an area, especially with conditions like they are calling for, that field position will be critical. There is going to be a half where someone is kicking and punting into the wind so making sure that ball does not hit the ground and roll, all those things, understanding where that punt's going and at least being prepared to field it, fair catch it so it does not advance. I would say that that was real encouraging."
Can you talk about Kasim Edebali?
"I like his motor. He is young. There are certain growing pains with his rush and certain things but he goes hard. He is someone I think pursues well and he has given us some good energy in his backup snaps. He is also someone that can play in the kicking game in all four phases. That is a big plus."
What have you seen from Terrence Frederick so far?
"Number one, he is smart so he has good instincts. When we brought him up here a couple weeks back, he very seldom is surprised defensively with what the coverage, what the front is, and what the call is so he can align himself quickly. He is experienced. Those instincts he has I think are something that really allow him along with his skillset. I think his football IQ is real high and we saw it in training camp. He got nicked up a little bit so he has kind of been a pleasant surprise."
How have you seen Jamarca Sanford's progress the past couple of weeks?
"He has been here a little bit longer than that. He is another guy that has good football IQ and I think shoot, he has played and started in this league. Both of those guys obviously have been with us now for a while and are acclimated to what we are doing."
Having someone with three seasons of starting experience like Jamarca Sanford, does that give you more flexibility to do things on defense?
"When you have someone that has played, not just that he's played but that he's pretty sharp with what we are doing certainly that is a plus for any player, that can really help the back end if all of a sudden a player is in there no different than Jairus Byrd when we talk about veteran players. That experience can bring a lot to the secondary. He has that and he has been in these types of games before. If he is playing in the nickel or if he is playing some sub-situations he will be able to handle it. If not he will be playing in the kicking game like he has been doing. He is pretty productive."
Did it all factor or did you all realize that he had played in the NFC title game in 2009?
"Yeah I don't know that it would have factored in but we were aware of that. Typically when Ryan (Pace) would bring in a player we would have playing experience, training camps he's been to, practice squads, we would have all that and graded. I don't know that that factored in in regards to why he is here."
Do more guys on the defense need to have a motor like Kasim Edebali?
"I think generally when you are playing in real good team defense you are seeing speed to the ball on every play. That needs to improve. It is something that we have talked about. It's population because you don't know when the play cuts back, you don't know when all of a sudden the ball pops out. And then I would say the ability to key and diagnose and understand the call and apply it to the formation you are getting, that has to happen quicker."