New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - OTA Media Availability - Thursday, June 7, 2018
What kind of improvement have you seen this year out of Ryan Ramczyk? I know when he came here last year you said he was a guy who was mature for his years?
"He's a player that's very steady which is a good trait for what (position) he plays. He's smart. He has played on the left side (, but) predominantly on the right side. He is extremely smart. When we work a dog in blitz period or things start moving a little faster, he has a quick way about him to understand what he's doing. I think he's transitioned into our league exceptionally well for a young player. A year ago, we saw that. It's a little bit harder to evaluate the linemen right now without pads on. But certainly, he's someone we're counting on that right tackle position."
He was part of such a great rookie class. I know you've been here about a month with these guys and they're entering their second year. Have you seen the intensity you want from these guys coming off all of the success they've had?"Yes. We have had some competitive drills. Not every one of them the same way and yet there's a little bit of a cap on what you can do competitively without not being smart. I'd definitely say you know that class from a year ago is one that's going to be important. We're going to count on this year's class and I think the key thing is what are the things that they do well trying to highlight those things and coach them all up the same way. Marshon (Lattimore) had a big play at the end of the two-minute drill, but a few plays before that he played the technique not too well. You're never just turning saying 'hey just go back to what you were doing a year ago.' There is a lot of (room for) improvement for all those guys.
Do you know anything more about your team than you did three weeks ago?"I would say yes. There's not only the influx of new rookie players that you're beginning to get to know but also the veteran players that were not here a year ago. So, to some degree, yes. Obviously, we're not in pads yet, but I would definitely say so."
When you talk about on the offensive line using chemistry and the more time they have together they get better, but what is the challenge of getting them to match success that group had last year?"Part of it is the health of those players. Replacing Senio (Kelemete) who played close to 60 percent of the snaps would be important to understand. It's hard to go through a season with the same five guys and yet you hope you're able to. And then any changes or things that you're adding that you think can help your team."
How much does it help having Terron Armstead available now for the offseason?
"It's been outstanding, he's doing well, he's in shape, obviously the sum of his skill set that's huge."
Have you noticed any improvement from Arthur Maulet?
"Yes, he is someone that can play outside, but (we have) certainly a vision for him inside as well. He is one of those guys that will compete and obviously he is further along with what we are doing defensively and some of the calls. But absolutely and I thought towards the end of last year there were a lot of snaps he really helped us in the kicking game, so yeah."
How has Kamrin Moore handled the installation so far?
"He's real smart. It was one of the things we saw from him and we were working him out. Just on film he can do a lot of different things. He is played in a lot of different spots and his versatility is extremely helpful. So, he is one that picks things up really quickly and that is a plus."
How valuable do you think it is Marcus Davenport goes up against Terron Armstead in these workouts on a daily basis to kind of throw him into the fire?
"Look the competition. He's received a lot of snaps with the first group with being Oak (Alex Okafor) down and Trey (Trey Hendrickson) being down. But I think when you get into the start of training camp when (for example) you're a younger receiver and you're going against a veteran cornerback, you quickly recognize that what you've been doing is not enough now, and you understand that to get a pressure, or sack requires significant technique, get off, leverage, all those things. So, I think it's the essence of getting better."
Being one of the most tenured coaches in the league during the offseason time like this how do you keep your message fresh, and how do you keep reinventing yourself since you're one of most tenured coaches in the league?
"I think one of the challenges sometimes is feeling like I've already given them a message they've heard it already. In the reality of things, it might be just Brees (Drew) and Morstead (Thomas) that's heard it or maybe there's five that's heard it. So the rosters have changed, maybe differently than if the same type of group of players (who) were returning every year. But that being said that's part of teaching. I think there's certain ways to communicate the subject and it's important to sometimes be creative and vary the message but I think that's part of what we do, myself as the head coach but also the rest of the staff that's what we're paid to do."
In your 13th year, has it gone by fast for you? Do you ever get a chance to reflect back on what you have accomplished so far?
"No, I mean there was one year that went by fast so it's really 12. They've run together a little bit some of the years and yet I think you don't really have that much time to think about it you're on to the next challenge and the players that you have here I think it's one of the great things about what we do as we're around young men that like to compete and you don't ever take that for granted. It's a responsibility and again back to the last question, you're looking for ways to really maximize what they do and how they perform just like a teacher would."
Sustainability, such a hard thing to sustain in this league. Based on the success you had last year, do you think you have to coach this team harder this year to keep them on point as to what they do?
"I don't necessarily think I'd like to think that we coached hard (just) last year. I think that you've got to pay attention to the details and there's certain things that you approach differently with the team coming off of some success. And yet I think there's a hunger in everyone's mouths just from the way the season ended a year ago for all of us. But you have to prepare right now to improve. We're competing against each other. We have several more months before we play our first preseason game and then you begin that climb and each week is a different challenge. So hopefully, and I do think we have outstanding leadership in the locker room and that's necessary. At some point any good team kind of begins to lead themselves."
It is year two for Travin Dural. What's the biggest challenge this time of year for a guy like that?
"He's in better shape, he's stronger in the lower body. That was an area that we felt he could improve a lot on. Just during the OTAs he has done a lot of good things. He can run. I expect to see a big step or a big jump from a player like him and so far, he's done a number of good things, so I'm encouraged."
You mentioned (Marshon) Lattimore, when you talk to him he comes across as very easygoing, mild mannered but then he talks about wanting to get back at teams that didn't draft him a couple of years ago. His competitive nature, how's that going to serve him well and how impressed are you?
"The personalities can vary. In other words, you can be quiet and still very competitive. You can be extremely outspoken and boisterous, but ultimately you hope you are working with guys that do not want to let their teammates down. They do not want to let themselves down. You know they want to succeed and I think certainly in his case and that group from Ohio State all kind of – they come in, you know they have been coached well in college. And I think that that's a good trait of his. I would definitely say so."
You mentioned leadership. Are there any new or young leaders that have emerged thus far?
"(That's) hard to tell right now because of the installation. That'll begin to take place with a little bit more time. Certainly, there are some veterans that are back that we've had before. Ben Watson (and Jermon) Bushrod, Demario Davis is a guy who's certainly as you watch him interact is strong in that area. It's not scripted or rehearsed or planned that will begin to take care of itself."
What do you guys need to do to run the ball as effectively as you did last season?
"You want to be efficient. If you're on schedule or ahead of the change a little bit, it's a little bit more easy to do. I think in both cases, offensively and defensively we have to be better on third down. But I think that finding the replacement for Mark (Ingram) really – Mark's (Ingram) role that early part of the season will be important too to handle that challenge."
What have you seen from Trey Edmunds?
"He's a smart player. He's played limited snaps on offense but a number of snaps on special teams. He's competing and he'll be one of those guys that we take a look at and he'll have a chance to prove himself."
As the season progresses, do you expect Kurt Coleman to be a leader for your team in the locker room?
"He's another one. You feel his presence. I don't know that anyone could have watched more film on Kurt Coleman than I had a chance to see it because we played him three times last year we've seen him however many times and we've always had a ton of respect for how he plays. His presence you feel out here. He would definitely be one that you knew from afar but then when he's in the building now you get a chance to meet him and be around him and he's a great addition for us."
The New Orleans Saints hold Week 3 of OTA practices at Ochsner Sports Performance Center on June 7, 2018.