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Quotes from Sean Payton's postpractice media availability - Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017

Sean Payton spoke to the media following Thursday's joint Training Camp practice with the Texans.

Opening Statement:

"We waived WR Xavier Rush and FB John Robertson-Woodgett. We signed outside linebacker Bryan Braman and Fullback Zach Line."

How has Sheldon Rankins looked? Is he more explosive than last year?

"He is healthy. A year ago when you have an injury like he had, you miss a lot of developmental time and so he is healthy and he is moving around. I think he is certainly comfortable at the three technique. He is taking some reps at the nose. But we kind of see him more as a three (technique). He is disruptive and it is good to see him out there and obviously he is that much further along because of his health."

How did you feel with this being the last full practice of camp?

"We're not in a break mode. We will be in full pads (again). I haven't even thought about it. Tomorrow we are in the Dome with helmets and shells. Of course we will play Saturday and essentially they leave the hotel and then next week it is a short week for Baltimore. The main thing was coming out here and getting some good work. I thought the weather was great. We had some cloud coverage. I thought both teams handled the heat. We will put the tape on and there will a lot of stuff we can coach off of. A different defense completely and some offense that we are going to have to work on. You see a few different things with (DeShaun) Watson in the game then maybe with the other quarterbacks, but I thought it was good work."

When you are having joint practices, are there things that you are emphasizing more than others?

"You are wanting great opportunities in these drills to setup and evaluate guys really working against other guys. I think that is where you see growth with players. I think that's why it's a benefit to both teams. I know Bill (O'Brien) feels the same way. I don't know how many practices (we've done in total) jointly with the Texans, but with Bill we've had a couple now and it makes a lot of sense logistically. We have always played them in the preseason. Overall, I think the first practice went well. We have a lot of tape to watch."

Are you going to work with them (Texans) tomorrow?

"Yes. It will be situations. We will be in the dome. It will be the first time for a lot of our guys that get under the lights and get on the new field (replaced turf).  We will do some end of game situations that are really more teaching mechanics. Might be an onside kick at the end of the game. It might be our kick vs. their hands and flip it around. All of those type of situations that we can benefit from together."

Do you think the two-minute defense is doing well?

"It is something that we have (been) emphasizing. A handful of last year's losses we were either unable to get the points we needed, or defend the final drive. It is such a significant part of our game. We must keep working on that."

Were you happy with what you saw on the two-minute defense?

"Yes absolutely. I think it is something that is that important. It is good when you get to do it against on a different offense because the plays are different, the snap counts are different and protections. It allows you to have to react to things that you are not normally used to seeing. Drew (Brees) will be in a two-minute drive and he is hiding his signals because our guys have seen a lot of that and it is a little different when you get a different team."

Do you have any sense of their quarterback position?

"Yes. They have experience (in Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden) and a young player (in Deshaun Watson) and I'm sure they are going to develop him the way they see fit for their team. Around the league, there are new guys competing to get up to speed and veterans that are fighting the battle. Opportunities are the same way for them, positive."

Did you get a sense of Deshaun Watson's performance today?

"It is hard until you look at the tape, but he is poised. We saw him last week make a few plays and I'm sure that like any young players, there is a learning curve. But if the play breaks down, he is hard to get a hand on. He broke a few plays on us and that is challenging."

We saw (Adrian) Peterson score on that wheel route. How encouraging has his receiving been throughout camp?

"It has been good and it has been steady. I don't think that would be the first thing that we think of when we are looking at his skillset and yet you have to have some flexibility and you have to be not one-dimensional when you are in the game and he has shown that. Clearly, it is something Mark (Ingram) has been better at as well."

What does it do for your team to go up against one of the best defenses?

"It is just a number of periods. We had a team run period, two-minute, a couple of rolls. We had a ton of third down work, a base work, and red zone work. We got a lot of film to cover and you see a different front, they are a little bit more of an odd defense. So it is good, we are going to play Week two and we are going to play New England and they are going to be a similar front and we're going to have to handle that. It is hard to replicate that during training camp with your own defense if that is not your scheme. So the exposure to that is good."

How tough is it to have both first round picks leave practice?

"You can't control it and yet I'm sure they will bounce back and hopefully they will be ready to play Saturday."

Have you seen enough of from those two guys to be able to have a read on them?

"Yeah, but there's still two weeks left (of the preseason). Both of those guys are getting acclimated and receiving a lot of work. It felt like (Marshon) Lattimore last week had a good week with the Chargers and Ryan (Ramczyk) the same way. They are receiving a ton of reps so we will keep developing those guys and getting them the work they need prior to when we start the season."

What has Adrian Peterson done to show you he is ready?

"I think the offseason work. He has a bounce to his step. Both he and Mark are both itching to get in preseason games and so far we have handled that well. We will try to get him some work here Saturday."

What is encouraging about Malik Foreman?

"There's a lot of transactions happening throughout camp and when you come in new we'll keep paying attention (to the new additions). How he does in the kicking game's vital. Hopefully, we receive more exposure to those guys. I feel like the last two preseason games in our punt return phase, for whatever reason we had some short punts versus Cleveland that we were not able to field. They were just balls that you had to stay away from and it happened last week. So hopefully we can get some opportunities not only so we can grade the returners, but how we are blocking."

What did you guys like about Zach Line and Bryan Braman?

"One for special teams and the other one is an experienced fullback that will give us some good competition, so we felt like it was a good move for us at this time."

Is there anyone other than Chris Banjo that is having a good special teams camp?

"I think a handful of guys. I think Boom's (Obum Gwacham) doing a great job in the kicking game. I think Brandon Coleman's doing a good job. (Daniel) Lasco's a guy we drafted because of what we saw in his coverage (skills). I could go through a handful of players, (Nate) Stupar will play a big role in that, Craig Robertson, Rafael Bush and all of those guys. We are going to have to really sort through this roster when it comes to our final cut."

How do you weigh when you use a starter or a key contributor on offense of defense?

"We have to get some work with them and yet be mindful of where we are at in the preseason. When we discuss the roles for a game, we discuss offense and defense and what phase, and how they are playing. Field goal, field goal block is easy. Usually we put that into halves. When we get to punt, punt return, kick and kickoff return we talk about individuals and when they are out the one thing we don't want to do is have them not playing offense and defense and coming back in the second half. We try to map out a pitch count for every player. We know how the returners are going to rotate whether it is every two or three plays. We know how the coverage units are going to rotate and it is one of the challenges obviously in the preseason with 90 players."

How has (Justin) Drescher looked?

"Usually when you haven't noticed anything with the long snapper, it is usually a good sign. We will keep paying attention to it."


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