New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Monday, October 5, 2015
After watching the film, what were your impressions of Jairus (Byrd), Keenan (Lewis) and Dannell (Ellerbe) coming back on defense?
"It was good to obviously get all of those guys back into a role. I would say, from a snap count standpoint, they played pretty much what we had hoped for. (They played) in a little more of the nickel and sub-packages than the base. I think that, much like we went through with C.J. (Spiller) here a few weeks back, the initial challenge is just getting back into that playing shape. All of those guys did some good things. I thought Jairus did some real good things. They received (a planned number of snaps) their first game back, if you will, coming back from injuries. It'll be good to build off of that."
How did Drew (Brees) come out feeling after that heavy workload today?
"I think fine, besides the normal soreness after a game."
There were a lot of short throws in that game; was that based on the pressure or was it part of the game plan?
"In the first half, a lot of it was the pressure. We struggled blocking them. As a result, there were some throwaways and some balls that didn't get down the field. We had a handful of deeper spears, or more aggressive throws versus some of their man-to-man, but we struggled blocking them."
You have used a lot of young players, especially on defense, this season; can you talk about the patience that you need to have with guys like that? Is there a point in the season where everything starts to slow down for them?
"It is a progression. I think, to your point with the younger guys, they are learning through reps. I thought (Tyeler) Davison and those guys stepped up and made a lot of plays for us last night. You're hoping that when we put a plan together, we can give them the best chance to be successful. That is the key. I thought a number of young guys really stepped up last night."
After some of the personnel disappointments you have had over the last three or four years, how satisfying is it to see that, collectively as a group, your decisions this year are paying off for you?
"We're in year one so we are not ready to send these guys to Canton just yet. It is good to see that they are playing (and) they're improving. I thought they were active last night, a number of them. Bobby Richardson, Damian Swann and a number of young guys are all receiving a ton of playing time and are helping us."
Dan Campbell was just named interim head coach of the Dolphins and you coached him in Dallas. What do you remember about him? This has to be the fastest someone has gone from their playing career to being a head coach.
"It's happened more than you think. Jason Garrett is one (that comes to mind). Dan was someone where I was in New York when we drafted him, and then had a lot to do with having an opportunity to have him come to Dallas with Bill (Parcells) and our staff. He actually had a brief stint here in New Orleans. He's a fantastic guy and a great worker and teammate. He is someone that is tough and strong. I can't say enough good things. The difficult part of it always is when it is happening midseason. There is always a tough part of that because the assistant typically has been working for a head coach and then, all of a sudden, is filling that spot. Dan is someone that I know well and know that he'll handle that as best as he can."
What did the team show you be able to overcome adversity?
"Well, there were a few swings with momentum in the game. I thought ultimately the big concern was after the missed field goal. That there is an emotional low to that and how are we going to have to respond to that in overtime. C.J. (Spiller) and Drew (Brees) come up with a big play and obviously the game winner, but I thought, you know, they battled through some penalties and we're all of a sudden defensively off the field, but there's a huge yellow flag and they have to stay out there and we held them to a field goal. Those are some of the things that were encouraging."
What is your take on the defensive penalties after you reviewed them last night?
"There are a handful of things. The first thing you look at in the film is leverage and being on the right side of the receiver. There are one or two in there that we were like ahh you kidding me, but the point being that though that they were pretty consistent and we have to continue to work on. Starting with leverage on alignment. I think that is the first area you point to."
How much has Willie Snead progressed and how happy has are you with how he has developed?
"Well, he's a smart player he's tough, he's extremely competitive and that's something we saw early in training camp. Regardless of the drill whether he was a gunner, a holdup guy, playing receiver in the slot or outside. He competes every snap, (and) that along with his skill set and his football smarts is great to see."
What's your assessment of Mark Ingram not just as a runner, but as a receiver?
"I thought he played well last night. We felt just going through the grades, we felt he had explosive plays in the running game and explosive plays in the passing game. We felt he had a key third down where he was able to get his pad level down and catch the ball underneath the first down marker and go get the first down. That was real encouraging, but he had some real big plays for us and I think that obviously is important because we're looking to improve the running game this week and then the versatility in the passing game showed."
How much does the Coach and QB relationship show in the NFL?
"Well, listen it's about team and the teams that struggle probably have transition in a lot of spots. GM, probably transition at coach, probably transition at quarterback and the teams that have consistently are the ones that are able to win will probably have less."
Can you confirm the NBC report that Jahri Evans had a scope on his knee?
"That was a week and a half ago."
How has Senio Kelemete done in two games as Jahri Evans replacement?
"Going through last night's game there are some positive plays. He's pretty active and athletic and yet there are some sets and landmarks that we have to continue to improve on. We were to inconsistent when we needed to be in the running game and we had some opportunities and I think that, look he's a grinder, a guy that's smart and will work his tail off and just getting the playing time is helping him and yet at a fast pace right now. He played against a good front. We knew going in we felt they had a pretty good defensive line, so I'm sure will learn from some of the looks he got."