New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Local Media Availability
Monday, November 16, 2015
Opening statement:"We met as team and staff and had a chance to go through the tape (of yesterday's game). The players are having a chance to go through it all now. Obviously, it was a disappointing loss and we played some games this year that were close and hard fought. This one was not one and there weren't a lot of things at all that you come away from the film, there were a few efforts individually, but it was hard to get excited about watching it. There will be a series of treatment schedules for some of the injured players. I think we are gradually going to be getting healthy here and as coaches will spend time here on what we are doing, looking at corrections and things that we can do to help our team moving forward. Any questions? And I'll say this, I've just been made aware of the speculation with regards to one of our coaches. I haven't met with Mickey Loomis or any of the coaches individually yet and Mickey and I will spend some time today and some time tomorrow and with regards to any potential change, we would let you guys…you would be the first to hear about it, but that's not something we have even met on. So I'll just leave it at that. Any questions."
So at this moment right now Rob Ryan is still a member of your staff?
"Absolutely, absolutely. I would always normally meet with Mickey and that would be something that would not be done without a lot of thought and we're just talking about one coach. Any type of change like that would be something that would be done with a lot of discussion. Next question."
Is that the kind of change that could be in consideration?
"All those things. You consider change right? So yeah and yet at the same time we haven't even begun to sit down and broach that subject."
You have never parted ways with a coach in-season during your tenure here, but it has happened in other places. How difficult is that?
"Anytime there's change…here's what I do know. I do know this. Continuing just along the same course that we're taking right now is not something that we're going to do and I'm talking about players. I'm talking about us as a staff, all of us collectively, but you have to look close at what's winning and what's keeping you from winning. In fairness to the players, fans and everyone else, we have to look at that specifically. Alright, next topic."
What about yesterday's performance?
"I thought we tackled poorly, alignments were poor. I thought up front short yardage situations we were poor. I thought we turned the ball over. I thought we did a decent job covering kicks and on kickoff we pinned them down at the minus four-yard line. I thought our return unit kickoff wise was average, punt (team) didn't have that many opportunities. I thought there were a handful of guys that did some good things. Mark (Ingram) got nicked up and all of a sudden aside from C.J. (Spiller) you saw (Tim) Hightower get some carries and you get excited about it. Some guys on the backend did a pretty good job in coverage, but not enough pressure. Overall too many underneath throws to the backs that resulted in big plays and the results make you cringe. I thought Drew (Brees) got hit, which is something that is not good especially if you're trying to get production in the passing game. I thought (Brandin) Cooks played pretty well."
Was lack of effort on defense discussed?
"No, that didn't come up when we were talking about the tape review today, as much as one play where I don't know if it's not the hustle to the ball you want, but there is this assumption sometimes when a screen is thrown and all of a sudden, but overall that wasn't a big topic when you look at the tape. It wasn't something that stood out. It was man a lot of poor fundamentals and 10 guys on the field it wasn't good."
There was a play on a screen pass when Brandon Browner took a shot at an offensive lineman, instead of chasing the ballcarrier away?
"Obviously when you're playing a screen pass that is away from you, you want to get to the ball. So those are some of the mistakes we are discussing. You have to get to the ball. We have to play the ball. Every once and a while there are certain battles that you don't want to (have). You don't want to fight a battle unless you're getting to the football."
Are reports (on the coaching staff) like today's a distraction for players who are wondering what is going on?
"We'll be crystal clear here. There won't be any grey area with our direction. We've always been up front with them. I have not specifically read any of them, and yet was just made aware of a few of them. It is part of the business, especially with the great (amount of) coverage that we receive now. We will be on the same page. Our guys will understand the direction we are going in. We are literally less than 24 hours after the game. Mickey (Loomis) and I will spend time visiting on our team like we always do. We have six weeks that are important and are important to this team."
Yourself and the club made so many changes to this defense in the offseason to try to correct what happened last year; are you really surprised or exasperated by the fact that it has not improved?
"I wouldn't say exasperated, disappointed, yes. You're competitive and you want to have success. You want to see your players do well and you want to play (well). It is hard to swallow a game where, all of a sudden, you're feeling like there isn't an answer. Here is the thing, there are some things on tape that have to be better. We'll get that right. It might take a little bit of time and it might hurt going down for some people, but we'll get it squared away."
What was the message for these guys to think about over the break?
"The message was pretty clear, just in regards to how we're playing. It is going to be that roller coaster ride. There are a lot of areas where we have to improve in. We discussed a little bit of the past here, (such as) '07 or '08. It is a success-driven business and that's what we're in. We've got some young guys that want to please and want to do well. We've got some veterans that are the same way, and yet we've got to look closely at what we're doing and how well they're doing it. The main thing was that it wasn't going to be the same when they got back. It was going to be different and it needs to be."
Are you sensing that this year's team is dealing with adversity better than last year's team?
"Yes, absolutely. They're disappointed (and) they want to have success. That is just part of the equation. That gets you started in the right direction, that doesn't guarantee you anything. It is an entirely different type of team."
Do you also talk with Tom Benson about what is going on right now?
"Yes, I'd always have conversations with (him) and Mickey (Loomis). That's why it's hard to even begin to discuss because, normally, Mickey and I would come up here and sit down for half a day and spend some time discussing those types of things. It's hard for me to answer for some reports when, deep down, we haven't even discussed the process of evaluating players and coaches. We'd normally do that right here at the bye. We will do that today and keep you informed."
Is there any common theme with the defense here in the years that you've been here?
"In the years that we've been good, (such as) '11, '09 and '10, those have been good turnover/takeaway years. Those have been good, fast and opportunistic years. Obviously, '13 was real good. We're trying to find a common theme in the years that weren't good. There were some solid years in '06 and '07 but most recently, if we're looking at this year and last year, it's been a number of areas. We're struggling to get to the passer, we're poor in tackling (or) we're out of place. It is a number of things. It is hard to be last. That is hard to do. I'll just leave it at that."
Last year, it was apparent that assignment and alignments errors were a big issue; has that not been at the top of the list this year?
"Trying to make a comparison, I think it has been cleaner that way, and yet there are still some issues with personnel, people on the field and that type of thing."