New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, October 23, 2014
You said last week that you could tell the team was going to come out and play well by the way they practiced and are focused. Are you seeing that same attention to detail?
"Last week we came off a bye, (and) guys are pretty familiar with the schedule, at least most of the players were. I thought we had another good workday today. Most of the emphasis was third down and needless to say that is a critical statistic in a game like this with their ability offensively, (and) the numbers that they are putting up especially when you look at their recent four game win streak. I think the other thing that is significant that was written about today was we have to find a way to win the turnover battle. This is a team that is first in the league in regards to turnover ratio and we are towards the bottom of the pack. We have to make sure that that statistic is in our favor when the game is over."
Is it something that you talk about how you've never lost a game when you haven't turned the ball over since 2006?
"We see it. We go through it. There is a series of slides that we present and towards the end of the week we start presenting home and away, games where turnover, and that is one that they see. I am not sure what the number is but they certainly see it."
Is the turnover ratio luck as much as it is anything else?
"No, I think it is a combination of a number of things. Obviously we have to do a good job of coaching, ball security, and takeaways. That has changed in 15 years just from a…philosophically if you look at defensively at how teams are coaching with regards to takeaways you guys certainly have seen in the last five years that become more of an emphasis. And then you get into hey, the pressure, what hurries decisions, population to the ball, in order for you to cause a fumble it is not like you are tackling a ball on every play, you have to get numbers to the ball. Often times the second guy in is able to do that. But I think it is a concerted effort. Certainly it is not luck. I think it is something that is coaching. I also think it is your ability and other areas to be explosive enough."
Since you and Mike McCarthy have become the head coach of the Saints and Packers, are there any parallels there?
"There are a lot of similarities in that the timing was within a week. I don't know how many coaches were hired that year. I know he and I are the only two left. But I think that knowing Mike, he is an outstanding coach. You can see the detail on film. Their track record for success, their expectation for success, all of those things would be similar to what we tried to build as well. There are a ton of combinations or similarities, outstanding quarterback play, the success they've had offensively there has kind of transitioned year to year. Obviously some faces have changed. You've had the Donald Driver's and (now) you have (Randall) Cobb and yet they've really been right at the top of our league. I think there are some similarities."
Can you talk about what Eddie Lacy has done to their offense and how tough it is to defend him?
"He's a guy (to account for) especially if he gets some space and gets some momentum. He has good balance and vision. Aaron (Rodgers) does a real good job of recognizing the looks he's seeing defensively and then at some point on a defensive standpoint you are beginning to play that game of coverage and then being able to stop the running game without the eighth guy down or bringing him down and having to stop the pass. It is something as you watch the game it will be interesting and you guys will be able to see it as well. They are committed to running the football and I think he's giving them that, the yards, the yards after contact. He is real good with the football in his hands."
On defense, does the phrase hurries as good as sacks?
"A hurry can be one of the most effective things going. A hurry on the quarterback and the ball comes out and is intercepted, would you rather have that play or the sack and they punt? So the hurries, the duress, the clock in the head that you can affect is important. I think the sacks come but certainly that pressure and that ability to quicken the tempo for the quarterback's clock in his head is important."
How do you quantify what Cam Jordan has done so far this year where he is in the lead in the league for hurries but the sacks haven't been there?
"From a coaching standpoint we grade and look closely at the hurries and it would be a plus play. If we'd taken the quarterback off his spot and made him move quickly, we know that those things have to occur and the sacks sometimes are which way does he flush. The key is making him operate with less time than he is comfortable."
Can you discuss the challenge with Drew Brees learning new receivers tendencies and trust them?
"If you looked at every year there's been this certain transition from David Patten's, Reggie Bush came early right away when he was here and then all of a sudden, I'm bringing up different players, not just, so the tight ends would be the same, receivers such as when Joe Morgan arrived and then receivers right now like Brandin (Cooks), Kenny Stills last year. There's a ton of time on task after practice, you're watching some of it right now, that goes into the cohesiveness and the timing. It starts in the offseason, through training camp and is really ongoing. As we put in a little wrinkle hopefully it's a principle that we know, but it might be run from a different split and we're going to have to make sure we get it timed up. You guys are here when we do a lot of the individual route periods so the splits are precise. The steps by the receivers are precise. Every once in a while it may not look like what you want and (you) repeat it and talk about. It's a process that's kind of never ending in regards to players coming in and out of the offense."
You guys haven't used Brandin Cooks on many of your shot plays, is it his height? Is it because he has a package of different plays?
"No, some of it is just, he's been on some that weren't thrown that way but he is someone that we certainly feel like has deep speed and we can get the ball to down the field."
How has Junior Galette responded since his contract extension?
"I think his snaps in the last game were real good. I think, again, oftentimes he sees some of the better protectors over there and yet he is ready for the challenge. He is someone that has real good edge speed. He has a real good motor. He'd prefer to play every snap and yet you need to make sure like any of those guys that you are rotating guys to keep them fresh."
Can you talk about John Jenkins?
"He is back in the rotation now. He and we kind of went back and forth with (Brandon) Deaderick was getting some of the early games just because of John's health. Now with (Glenn) Foster going to IR, it is a good chance that both of those guys will be up and going."