New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, October 2, 2014
What have you seen defensively from Tampa Bay?
"I would say there are some different players from last year. (Michael) Johnson is over at the (defensive) end position. He is someone that gives them great (pass) rush. Obviously inside (Gerald) McCoy is a huge factor. He does a great job of anticipating the snap. I think Lavonte David is one of the better inside linebackers that we see, not only in the base but in the nickel. They added the corner from Tennessee (Alterraun) Verner. I think more than anything else with Lovie (Smith) you can see their speed to the ball, you can see a certain style that they play with scheme-wise not just in Tampa too but they do a real good job fitting the run. I think defensively they would probably say three of the four games they've played real well obviously the Atlanta game got away from them. The speed to the ball they have caused, I think they are first in the league with caused fumbles right now. That is something that seems to follow Lovie (Smith) wherever he goes. He has done a good job with that."
Through the first four games, is this along the lines of what you expected from Khiry Robinson?
"Yes, I think last week was uniquely different in that half the game or a little bit less than half the game we ended up a little bit more one dimensional so you saw (Travaris) Cadet or Pierre (Thomas) but I think you'll see Khiry in a normal down and distance both in the run, passing game. The other two backs, Pierre is someone that we will obviously hand the ball to and feel good about and then pick our times with Travaris. But the role though for Khiry would certainly change a little bit now with the injury with Mark (Ingram)."
Can you talk about how Tampa Bay has made an effort to get bigger at tight end and receiver?
"They draft in their first round a (wide) receiver out of Texas A&M, (Mike) Evans. He is a real big target. They already had the other big receiver from San Diego (Vincent Jackson) who I think has been real consistent. So you see that size, you see that size at the tight end position and you see it at the quarterback position. I think more than anything else and I say this, we spent a lot of time on the scouting report with their personnel and for us especially this week, our focus has really been driven internally as much as anything else as opposed to external. We have to pay attention to what we're seeing but in our league you get to third and two, three, (and) four to six for instance and you are going to receive a lot of bump and run single safety defense, just change the opponent, a lot of the same coverages you see week to week. You are going to have to beat press, you are going to have to create separation and I think that is something that they do a good job of."
Being able to play the bump and run, is that more important with those bigger guys?
"Yes, I think you have to pick your snaps and when you are playing that type of coverage, if not sometimes you are playing cloud where you are rolling into them which is a little different. But yes when you play the bigger receivers and Mike (Glennon) and Josh (McCown) both understand where to locate the ball and it becomes challenging."
Would you agree that Marcus Ball is inching back health-wise?
"Yeah I would say that is accurate. He received more work today and that is encouraging because if you just start with one thing and you say the kicking game that's an area that we look forward to seeing him playing on."
So you see Marcus Ball having a roll on special teams when he comes back?
"Yes, obviously he is in the mix as far as the depth (at safety) there, but I think his initial role which is something that when we looked at tape and saw him in the CFL you can see him tackle in space, run in space and prior to his hamstring it is something that we feel like will be a strength of his."
Is he a guy that can defend a little better against a wide receiver?
"Marcus? I think that that probably won't be the matchup we would look for. Kenny (Vacarro) will pick a slot at times depending on our coverage but I think in Marcus' case and I am not saying he couldn't if he was in the game, but I think short-term if you are saying hey, let's get back, get healthy and find a way to contribute to the kicking game."
You guys have been so good at exploiting matchups in the middle of the field for years, is Lavonte David the type of player that can be the equalizer to that?
"He's challenging in that if you are in sub or if you are in your third down or passing situation, he is usually that weak end side linebacker that is handling that back or carrying that tight end depending on the coverage. I think he's a player that runs well. He has instincts. I said this a year ago, if there was one player that I thought deserved to be on that Pro Bowl roster based on what I saw which was a lot of tape obviously we play Tampa Bay twice, it was him. I think he's an outstanding football player who has real good awareness in zone and man he can match up with some of those challenging players. You can see right away now that nothing has changed. He's doing a very good job in their scheme."
What you have gotten out of Kenny Stills so far, is it about what you thought it was?
"I think just getting back from the injury I am sure set him back some. He's getting it now where we see someone who is healthy and will be very much a part of what we do."
What do you see out of Mike Glennon?
"He's big. He's tall. I think he has a real good arm. I think his timing, his feet are very good. His feet are exceptional for his size so he has good athleticism. He can locate the ball and make all the throws. He was a player that we had real high grades on in the third round and honestly ironically that discussion that came up I can remember it like it was yesterday, Terron Armstead, (Mike) Glennon was right in that cloud if you will. It is just funny how you just go back and I think both of those guys have bright careers in our league."
It was a discussion to take a quarterback?
"We would draft a player at quarterback if we (had one we liked), I just remember the evaluation process and I had a chance to work closely with the coordinator at that time Dana Bible (in Philadelphia), who's retired now. But Dana I remember calling me on Mike (Glennon) and really giving him good reviews over and above so we studied more tape and he was someone that was in the mix though."
Are there many cases where you guys have been close to drafting a quarterback?
"I don't know that there has been many, I just recall him specifically because we saw a lot of things that we liked. Now unfortunately he is in our division and we are watching him."
Did you guys keep practice the same as yesterday?
"I would say today because of the nickel a lot of it was what we typically do on third down. From a rep standpoint we cut down a little bit."