New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability Transcript
Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
"We're just finishing up our second day of minicamp. A couple different situations. We worked on some short yardage which is hard to do and yet there's still an element of install and assignment and, of course, two minute."
How would you characterize the way today went?
"I thought it went well. It was hot. It was probably one of our hotter days here in the last four weeks. I thought the tempo was good. I liked finishing with that type of drill because that's kind of the way our games finish. That would be the norm. You're defending a two minute drive or you're in one. Overall, we'll look at the film with these guys, there will be some corrections but I thought it went well."
As you're watching Brandon Coleman now, can you draw any comparisons to where he was a year ago and how his growth has changed over 12 months?
"His first year I don't want to say was a redshirt year, but his first year he was coming off an injury at Rutgers and he needed to get strength back in his lower body and his knee specifically and his legs. We saw that growth last year, I think mentally he's a lot further along just with what we're doing. He's competing hard, like that group is. With his size, there's some strengths. He does a good job with the ball after the catch, he had some plays a year ago, some run after the catch downs. So far, he's doing well."
What's kind of pushed you to spreading Mark (Ingram) out in the receiver sets and how have you liked what you've seen?
"Yesterday we saw a bunch of different backs there, (including Tim) Hightower. Part of it is when you are at this number and you are putting plays in, you are not necessarily calling specific personnel groups but, he does have some versatility. Anytime there is a running back outside the formation coming in, the first thing you receive is a pre-snap man or zone. In other words, if a linebacker or safety goes out to cover him, you are probably seeing man to man (coverage). If a corner just bumps, you're probably receiving zone (coverage). Part of it is indicators for the quarterback whether it is empty or a lot of times he is out and he comes back into the backfield we just get the quarterback man or zone before we are into our cadence. We saw a little bit of that yesterday too."
Looking at Davis Tull, a couple of times he got back there. Are you looking forward to putting the pads on seeing what he can do?
"I said something to him, I thought he had two really good get offs. He's obviously quick, he's healthy, he's doing well. His weight is right around (2)50 so I'm sure he's anxious for us to get the pads on and for him to receive some good work. He did at Green Bay in the preseason a year ago but I thought today he had some good rushes. I specifically saw two and that's good. It is good for us."
What are your early impressions of Vonn Bell and how he's picked things up?
"He's doing well, he's in good shape, (and) he has trained hard. This rookie class has come in and worked. That's been impressive. I think he's picking up the nuances of the defense in regards to the terminology and I think he's competing well. So far, he's done a good job."
How has Roman (Harper's) presence been felt towards these young defensive backs on the team so far?
"We're in our first week but he's got a tremendous amount of respect from all of us that have been here and then certainly any of the newer players. I said this a few days ago, he's won a lot of games and I think that there's always that balance of youth and then some veteran leadership on a team and I think he's providing that right now. It is his first week here but he is doing a good job."
How has Damian Swann progressed after three concussions?
He's doing well. Fortunately, this time of the year for him, there's not a lot of contact. I know he's confident, it's a great question because, in the back of your mind, it's something he cannot control. In the meantime, every step we can take and look at, strengthening his neck, making sure the headwear he's wearing is the newest and best but, he's doing well. He took some spring classes so he came in maybe a tick late and that was something he and I met on and so it was all good. His weight was down a little bit and it's gradually gotten back up but, he's doing good, he's smart and so he picks things up right away and that's a big plus for what he's playing nickel and when he's playing outside."
It seems like every practice we witness (Nate) Stupar and (Craig) Robertson are making plays and showing up?
"Both of them have done well. (Those are) Good signs for us. I don't want to say (they are that) young and yet they are young. They're guys that have versatility. Both have played snaps in our league in the base and the sub and both have been contributors on special teams and so they're two good young players. I'm glad we signed them."
The league has a specific protocol in season with concussions but out of season with a case like Damian Swann are you guys doing homework and research on it?
"Absolutely, we followed it to a tee. He's doing well."
How do you decide how to proceed?
"We follow the league protocol. So once you get to the offseason, obviously if there was another incident, let's just say if his head hit the ground, there would be the same type of steps that we would take in-season. Each club handles it per the league protocol and yet there's varying degrees of how they apply that. We've probably been very conservative and we've kept players out of games. The challenge sometimes is when a player feels like he can sometimes go back in a game and yet we take his helmet. That's happened in a playoff game before and we'll be smart with him."
R.J. Harris the way he's continued to progress does he kind of remind you of the way Willie Snead stood out last year?
"I'm not ready to say that yet. He's doing well, he opened some eyes a year ago, he is smart. I would say from that standpoint, from a quarterback, you know what you're going to get and that's a good thing so he's not fooling the quarterbacks with his routes. He's still progressing and diving into what we're doing but he is a consistent player and he's able to separate."
And that's a very young group overall with not a lot of experience on this team but it seems like Drew (Brees) has so much confidence in them. Do you ever remember a group being that young and acclimating to things so quickly?
"We went through a stretch where they weren't young but there were a ton of seasons. Back in 2006 it was young when you looked at Lance (Moore) that had been playing on a practice squad and (Marques) who was a first-year player, Obviously Devery (Henderson) who had yet to really establish himself, (Robert) Meachem comes in in 2007, then there's that stretch of guys who have been here for quite a while so it's cyclical. I think when Drew (Brees) is out there he doesn't look at Brandin Cooks as a young player, I don't think he looks at (Willie) Snead that way anymore because of the experience that they've had. There's a combination there of guys that know what to do and how do they fit with the scheme that we're asking them. We're not in any special substitutions now. Guys are receiving reps with the ones and the twos and that's typically how it goes in the offseason and even the early portions of training camp. As we get into the season, we get into some specifics."
Speaking of (Robert) Meachem is the tryout over?
"No it's not. He had a foot issue that held him out today. We'll see where he is tomorrow. It is not a prior injury but it was significant enough to where he wasn't going to practice today."
Are you seeing immediate leadership out of (James) Laurinaitis with what he's providing so far?
"I think you do naturally because the mike linebacker has the helmet headset most of the time and so that person automatically is talking to the huddle and automatically is communicating the call and I think his nature is to lead so yes."
Tommylee Lewis is probably the smallest guy on the team, what have you seen in him and who does he remind you of?
"There is a little David Patten in him. He is a guy that played up in Northern Illinois, he battled a hamstring here early on but, he is quick, he can run. I think that when we get into the pads and he has an opportunity not only as a receiver but also an opportunity as a returner or a guy in coverage. I think he understands the importance of special teams. I like him, I think there is a skillset with him that he understands and now it is just picking up the offense as quickly as a he can. He's a kid that can run though."