New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability
Friday, October 27, 2017
Talk about Jay Romig going into the Hall of Fame tonight?
"He's awesome. I would say this about Jay Romig. It would be a lot easier to tell you what he doesn't do than what he does do. The list would be real small. He is just someone with years of service. I think just as a person, the respect he has and the work ethic is unmatched. We had a little surprise in the staff meeting last night. Jay would be the guy that if something happened with the (recovery) tent, I would be like 'Jay what is wrong with the air conditioning? Pick 100 items (and he attends to them). We pretended we had ten issues last night and called him into a meeting. The (congratulatory) cake's there for him. So, he is a great asset for us. We are fired up for him."
Is there a line defensively between being complimentary about the improvement and keeping them grounded?
"That line, you fight it in sport. You fight it in life really, but human nature is how well (do) you handle prosperity. I think every one of us would probably look back on our own lives and feel like we would have done things different. I think football wise, it is week to week and we know who we're are playing, the type of team we are playing and each game takes on a new way in which it is going to be played. We are going to have to play one of our better games at home. We had a good workweek, but these guys do a lot of things well and these understand how to win."
What have you based your decisions on when to call plays and when to hand that off which has happened before?
"The first time wasn't a decision. I got run over in Tampa and was in the hospital. I have so much confidence in Pete (Carmichael). The whole time (of my head coaching tenure) we've been together. Of course in 2012, he did a great job. I think during the game Pete and Joe (Lombardi) will be in my year constantly with throat thoughts and Dan Roushar, Dan Campbell and Joel (Thomas). Those guys will be (saying for example, 'Here are the feature runs next possession.' So much of it's done during the week and yet you still have to select from the category. I think sometimes if I'm not calling plays, I just feel like I do not have a microphone in my hand. I think the offense, the system, the quarterback, all the coaches and the hours we spend on each plan, that's all a byproduct. That's all what leads to an efficient game. A lot of times, we have had awful plans and it has not gone well. Our jobs, we are teachers and you hope your students do well."
Is there something compelling that makes give up play-calling tough, where you have come back to it, despite probably compelling reasons to do it as a head coach as well as compelling reasons to give it up?
"It is something that, it can't just be because you enjoy it. That doesn't make any business sense. The call sheet's the same, the font's gotten bigger. My eyes have gotten worse. That is only the thing that's changed. It's something I'm comfortable with. It's a lot easier for me to call a flea flicker on a first and ten right after a fourth and one conversion than it is (for a coordinator). I was a coordinator and a play-caller for several head coaches and it is just easier as a head coach to make decisions like that than it is (for a coordinator). Pete (Carmichael) does it and helps with it. I think we are on the same page. This will go all the way to Saturday night when we are sitting there at 11, we actually go through every play in the plan, discuss and talk about when and where some of them we'll cross off. It is a process that takes place and is something I am comfortable with
How do you think you have gotten better at play-calling?
"The obvious (reason) is that we're doing a better job with the ball security and (limiting) the takeaways (by the opponent). It has been a while since we have been in the plus (giveaway/takeaway ratio) and it is too important. We played this game for instance, the teams Chicago has played against have been 11.5 possessions per team. The NFL average is 12.5. So, they are doing a good job with the clock. So let us just say 12 is the possession average and you have one turnover, you go to 11 and they go to 13. You have two turnovers, you are at ten they are at 14. You just do the math. We have done better in that area. That can overcome a lot of deficiencies. We have seen that case in point (with) Detroit. There were a lot of things in that game that weren't good. We played a good first half, but those turnovers can overcome that."
Your comments on the defense getting more turnovers?
"I think you gain confidence. We were just talking about that subject. You just cannot wish confidence or preach confidence. It comes from demonstrative behavior. You do it and all of a sudden you feel like you can do it again. And then pretty soon you look to do it and then you expect to do it. That is the same with winning. That is the same with any endeavor. You really believe than because you have demonstrated that you have done it before. I think that is harder when you haven't."
To what extent are you looking forward to your players' feet looking as good as they have all season?
"I bet you that was a first for a handful of them. That probably would be a first for me. That was the promise. We wore those uncomfortable seven stud shoes. So they were taken care of yesterday. It was good."
Was there some humor involved?
"I understand the comfort in the more molded shoe that we play on. This is most of the SEC or the Southern states (Bermuda grass), field turf, high school, colleges. The Ohio State guys, the Penn State guys, there are few of those guys that understood that this is the old grass and if you are from the Midwest or regionally and then you get the rain, you have to get off these comfortable shoes. You have to put on something that just aren't as comfortable. It was just a, 'I'll take care of your feet on Monday or Tuesday type of thing.' (Mark) Ingram and those guys held me to it."
That was today or yesterday they got it?
"That was yesterday. A recovery Thursday (laughter)."
Is it surprising that these Gladiators enjoy a pedicure?
"Everyone, you don't have to be big and imposing. Even the equipment staff was in on that."
How have you seen Trey Hendrickson come along during the year?
"He is active. Right from the beginning and we got into pads when we came he is someone you can see who plays with a high motor and is smart. He is someone who has adjusted very quickly both at the outside positons and inside spots at the nickel. There is some toughness, there's some quickness, there's a handful of things for a young player that gives us a good starting point to build on and he is doing well."