New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean PaytonConference Call With Local MediaMonday, October 12, 2015
Does Marques Colston have a significant shoulder injury?
"Yeah, well first thing, I really wouldn't get into it because we have to list an injury report, so we will list what it would be if he practiced today and see how things go. Tomorrow we will get out there and move around a little bit and have a chance to do that as well Wednesday."
What was your takeaway when you watched the film?
"Well, I saw two different halves. I thought our defense gave up some yardage, but we came up with two key interceptions. Offensively, two things, there is that turnover right before the half which allows them to get a field goal, and then our first possession of the second half we get a decent drive and we get down to the three (yard line) and have to settle for a field goal ourselves. I think when the mistakes then happened, offensively, is when that game kind of slid and all of a sudden we're on the field too long. You could see the difference in just watching the game. It's hard to put out certain things effort wise. I mean I thought the focus was there, I thought we had a good week of practice really. Going into that game we understood what challenges their offense presented with the multiple looks and some of the zone read stuff and the wide hand off plays. I thought they did a pretty good job with the play action and in the second half it really got to us defensively. We were fortunate to overcome the start of the game. We gave up a pretty significant kick return, twice. Philly went for it twice on fourth down, that helped us from a field position standpoint. I think we collectively need to be better with the opportunities we got from a turnover standpoint, and then being smarter with the football ourselves, especially in the second half."
When you look at the rest of your receiver core, which guys need to produce more?
"Well were getting a lot of down safety defensive looks, so we're going to have the same look. Atlanta's base defense is that and so we're going to need to have production outside. That's going to be paramount. Not just in this game, but when we move forward. You're getting tougher run looks and I think the league as a whole is playing that way. You see some passing numbers up because of A, the type of offensives they're running with the rules and, B, with a lot of single safety looks. Yeah, I mean Brandon (Coleman) is a guy we want to see get going. He was able to make a big play for us last week late in the game. So we will see how this practice week goes."
Have you found that older guys that are injured come back later from their rehab?
"I think a lot of it is just depending on the injury. There are certain injuries that are going to take longer and ones that guys are able to bounce back off of. Certainly, in general, the younger player may rehab a little bit quicker than an older player, but I think that it's geared to more of the injury itself."
One of Drew Brees' fumbles was sent to the league. Has there been an update on that?
"I don't think that anything was sent to the league office. I think the review itself goes to the league office. If that makes sense, during the game, you know what I mean. When a play happens like it did yesterday, the head referee gets a headphone and they're able to get a better peak at those types of plays when they slow them down, and ultimately there is a command center at the league office that watches it real time and watches the replays and communicates with the officials in the various stadiums. There weren't any plays we sent in. The play you're discussing is towards the end of the half and it's tough because you definitely can't see anything conclusive on the coach's tape. You have to get the television tape and look at a bunch of different angles, but based on what I saw whatever was ruled on the field was going to be hard pressed to be overturned."
Can you explain the amount of missed tackles? Do you think Brandon Browner is still an asset to this team?
"Well, yes I would. I think the snaps you're referencing, in regards to missed tackles, at times you make a strong emphasis on creating turnovers and forcing turnovers and there is that fine line of having to be the first one in to actually tackle the running back or receiver and we need to work on that. I think there we're a couple cases where the players trying to cause a fumble at the expense of hidden yardage."
There were reports yesterday, as well as reports today, linking you to other jobs. I know in the past you've dismissed those rather quickly. Does that become a distraction, knowing your players will watch TV or read about that?
"I'm going into my 10th year here and my ninth season, you ignore half of that stuff and obviously dismiss it. Our players aren't distracted by that. I think the focus of our team is dead-square on getting better. On the plane ride home we've got guys watching the game on the DVDs and looking at the mistakes, trying to get the corrections made. That comes up yearly now (and) not just every three or four years. That came up my second, third, fifth and ninth (year here), pick a year. You just have to make sure that the players, coaches and everyone understands what the focus is. We talk about it all of the time. (We talk about) tuning out the noise and not letting that become a distraction. Certainly, as a coach, you pay attention to it because you pay attention to all of those things that are threatening."
Why do you think it comes up yearly now?
"Let's go back through it; a year ago, there was a report from Peter King that thought that last year was (my final year). I think that happens when you are in year 10, and you're not having success. There's well, you know, is there another job that he would be interested in? My point is that if you predict that every year, at some point, someone is going to be right, whether you retire, you finish or you're let go. I think that is just the nature of our game right now. I don't know what else to say. I love it here. I am close to my children. I just built a brand new place here. You get tired of answering the question, and yet I understand you asking. I'll say what I have said before, this is where I see myself. I have said that now for however many years."
Do you try to study or figure something about the theory that if a coach is at a place 10 years, you have to refresh the message? Is there something real to it becoming a challenge to be in the same place for a long time?
"I think that some of the challenges that we are going through now are just the youth of a team. Obviously, we've got a bunch of young guys playing. As a staff and as a head coach, I would say that we pay close attention to the details and changing things up. There are times where I feel like man, they've heard me say this before, and if I really count how many in the room have heard it, it'd probably be six or eight, and not 48. That kind of speculation though, all of a sudden, here we are 10 minutes into a day after a game conference call and we're talking about it. It is what it is. It happened last year and it happened three years ago. It was the Dallas Cowboys during the suspension year. It was the Dallas Cowboys two years before that. It was college before that; it was Michigan (and) Texas. That's it. What else do you do? Let me just talk about how it is refueled; what'll happen is the lead news item will be (a story such as this), and it really shouldn't be. It should be more about why aren't we having success and what do we need to do to improve, but that (other story) will sell and I understand why and how. As a head coach, I think the most important thing is your own team and focusing on the next game. Like I said before, I think our players will understand this industry well enough. "
When you guys talk about how much you like the room and how much you like the attitude, how much of that is feeling like everybody is buying in?
"I think we've got a group that is very focused. I think they understand the margin for error that we're playing with. They understand what wins and loses. That is the thing that is inspiring as a coach, because easily, when all of a sudden you're 1-4, you can feel like 'man, are we having to pull teeth to get a good practice in or to get an install in.' Those are the things that encourage me and I think we've got real good leadership. I think that's where it starts."
Did you ever feel last year that you had to pull teeth to get some of the practices to go well?
"Last year, I would say that obviously, it was an up-and-down (year). We had some wins and some losses. I would say that we are ahead of where we were a year ago, with regards to the culture."
With a short week, even though it is tough physically on players, is it still beneficial to get back on the field quickly (after a loss)? Is it one of those things where the quicker you can get back on the field, the better?
"I think that's the case. I know coming back after a tough loss, you're anxious to get back and have success, and eliminate that bad taste. They're off today (and) we're game-planning. Obviously, there is a lot that goes into today's study. They come in tomorrow and there is a quick turnaround for a Thursday game. I think, to some degree, yes."
C.J. Spiller didn't get many touches yesterday and when he did, he wasn't able to get very many yards out of it. Can you explain that after the big burst that he had the week before?
"The week before he had the big catch in overtime. The trick for us in winning the time of possession and having the snaps that we are wanting to have, is obviously being better on third down. It was a fairly quick first half. I know this – I am going to work real hard to make sure that he gets enough touches. We're looking for those opportunities. We knew what type of game it was going to be, with regards to the running game. There were a handful of things in the passing game that had his name on it. This week will be the same."