New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Has the running game had some trouble in the last few games or is it just the way teams are playing you?
"The last game we played certainly was a little bit more commitment (by Carolina) to take that away. It varies by game. Sometimes. I think to some degree our third down numbers not being as good as they've been limit the amount of attempts you have in yards per carry. Each week though that's a focal point. Each week that's something we think is important to us winning."
The decision to elevate Woodrow Hamilton from the practice squad to the active roster yesterday, what did you like out of him out of these last couple of months watching him?
"Well you're at the stretch of the season where number one, he's in good football shape. He is someone who is strong and for us we felt like it was the best fit in moving him up. Obviously you want to be as healthy as you can and as you look at the magnets we've had a lot of guys go to IR. He's someone that has done a good job and we think can fill the role."
How important has Senio Kelemente been and what his role with the team has been this year?
"I think extremely important and probably understated often times. His versatility even in prior years. He's played at tackle for us. He's played at guard and center. He's a great teammate and I think a good football player too. He's played a lot of snaps this year. Obviously will be starting at guard and I think that he's played real well for us."
What, if anything, reminds you of the 2009 playoff matchup?
"Nothing. It's entirely two different teams. Different schemes. Different offenses. I mean there's nothing."
At any point this week because you have so many young guys will you do anything to remind them about that game or is the focus solely on this matchup?
You and Mike Zimmer were on the Cowboys staff together, did you spend much time either in the offseason back then comparing offense and defense notes or just picking each other's brains?
"He and I have had a great relationship. We lived I would say probably a mile and a half, two miles from each other there and did a lot of things together. Our families, his daughters babysat my two children. For a period of three years for me, Mike was there longer, all the time I was there we were good friends and still are. We talk all the time about football. There are certain things he might come in and draw up on the board or I might see him about, it's pretty common. But our families were close and he's still a good friend."
I know he mentioned you would play golf sometimes, was that frequent?
"A lot. We were professional driving range partners. I lived in Timarron, he lived a half a mile away and we were frustrated golfers I would say. But we enjoyed the same things. We enjoyed football, our families and golf. We did a lot of things together and his daughters were great to Meghan and Connor and when Adam (Zimmer) finished college, I hired him here and his career got started. We're close friends."
He had a great line yesterday when asked about the differences in your personalities, he just said he's more outgoing than me. What would you say?
"We're both from Illinois and his father was a legendary high school coach there. If you met his dad and you'd meet young Mike and you'd meet young Adam (you would say they are similar). But we got along and we still do well and he's done a great job there. It's not surprising at all. The film we've been watching this week, he's such a technician, such a teacher. I've seen him do that and he's done such a great job with that team as well as the defense and the offense and the staff. He's a football coach and they present a huge challenge in a lot of areas this week and we're going to have to play extremely well."
There's an advertisement with Mike and he gives a look to the camera from his office but doesn't sing when other people in the ad do. Have you seen that one? How much of that is his personality?
"The thing about Mike, on the field and with his team, he will shoot you straight. He is demanding. When we were all working there in Dallas under Bill (Parcells), there's that feeling as you're all getting hammered by Bill there is that collective (feeling) that you all have to be close together just for any other reason to survive. So misery loves company I guess sometimes. We'd all have our moments. If it was Zim one day, I would probably doodle on pad "probably better him than me today" and then if it was me, I'm sure Zim would be doodling the same thing. We learned a lot and I think I know Mike still has a good relationship (with Parcells) and stays in touch and I do still. This will probably be a tough game for Bill."
On Cam Jordan, what do you make of the way he injects his personality into his game and how he manages his position group using his speed bump metaphor to sending him namesake wine to opposing quarterbacks and stuff like that?
"It's just Cam's personality from the beginning. I think he's gregarious. I think he's someone that's funny. I don't think outspoken is the word. I think he's humorous and I think he genuinely enjoys what he does and that's just how it's expressed. Outside of that, I'm glad he's on our team."
You get a lot of contributions from your rookie class, but what about your undrafted free agents, specifically Justin Hardee and Trey Edmunds?
"Those are two players that have played a lot of snaps and I'd agree with you. There is a value if they can get on the field and play the kicking game. We say it every year and you give that speech to the rookie class, the first way to make this team is through the kicking game and special team units and those guys have certainly done that."
How much has Ryan Ramcyzk grown since the beginning of the season?
"I think significantly. I think thrown into fire over there on the left side we've seen some tape and he battled hard and played well at times and at other times. He's settled in (at right tackle) and is playing extremely good football right now."
Overall what are the challenges of blocking that front four for the Vikings?
"I think it's the front four and then the challenges on third down exist when it becomes a potential of eight or seven. They do a good job in their third downs and disguising blitz looks, creating "am I going this way or that way", and then when you compile it and put that together with the noise and communication elements, you see unblocked guys hitting the quarterback or the, ball not getting off or the ball getting fumbled. There third down numbers are first in the league defensively. They can get pressure with four, (and) they do. I think just the get off on your edges when you're playing in loud environments on the road that just half a tick, that's going to be real important."