New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton **
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, December 26, 2013
What have you seen from Mike Glennon?
"We've had them a lot on tape versus teams we have been playing the last, seems like, three or four weeks. He certainly is someone that looks very decisive. He has a big arm. They have done a really good job complementing what they are doing offensively with their shot plays and their running game. That is the one thing that was apparent, but he's a guy that we liked coming out (of North Carolina State). He is very smart and that transition oftentimes for a young player seems to be happening fairly quickly, certainly there are bumps with it, but he gets the ball out. He has a good light arm. He is smart."
Was there anything in particular that stood out?
"His coach at North Carolina State is someone that I have worked with before and he spoke very highly of him. He kind of battled a little bit of that prototype that he was almost too tall, which I think is not true. I think when you watch his footwork and his athleticism he makes quick decisions and those are the things that we've seen on college tape. We saw his accuracy and his competitiveness."
Can you talk about the job (Bobby) Rainey has done with (Doug) Martin out?
"Yeah just again, it is this time of the year where guys are all of a sudden playing. For us, I am sure we are different as they look at us and they are the same way and there's a good example. It is interesting when there is that big of a gap between the last game opposed to a few weeks ago when we had Carolina almost within a month (two week) time frame. There are a lot of things that are different."
Do they have about as many guys that you highlight on the defense in various positions as any defense you've faced?
"Well they are certainly playmakers. They move very well. It is an active front in that there is a lot of movement, a lot of stunting, a lot of pressure and so trying to sort through who we feel like are the pressure players in protection aspect of it is important. (Gerald) McCoy is playing extremely well up front. The front (four) is playing very well. It will be a good challenge for us. Today was an important day with regards to the nickel especially."
What do you guys need to improve upon to score points and get in the end zone?
"I think those early downs are going to be important, staying out of those long yardage situations, avoiding the penalties and I think especially against this front, having balance where it is not one-dimensional. I think that will be important."
Drew Brees was on the injury list yesterday.
"Yeah he had a bruise on his right knee. He is fine. He was full today. There is nothing more to it than that."
You thought he (Drew Brees) moved around well today?
"Absolutely. You wouldn't have noticed it. He was limited yesterday. We just felt like we had a day to do that."
Was it one of those where you have a veteran and you had a day to let them take it easy?
"It really is just that. He had a right knee bruise. There is nothing more to it than that and yet we felt it was best that we limit the amount of snaps he is receiving."
How much progress do you think the left tackle can make from one game to the next?
"I think each week a lot. There's a difference, especially with the way practices are now of getting those full speed live rushes and I think that he is someone that picks things up quick. He (Terron Armstead) is very athletic and very explosive. We saw that in last week's game which was really encouraging. I think that each week there will be different challenges for that player. There usually is for left tackle. I think he will handle it well."
Do you think that he improved a lot from one half to the next?
"Well the game kind of changed a little bit to some degree. I think overall we felt like, after we graded the tape – I went back through it and looked at it twice – the coaches, the position coaches, we thought felt like he played, it wasn't a flawless game, but he played pretty well. That was encouraging."
What are some of the challenges for the defensive backfield, losing a number of players over the past few weeks?
"I think it's not only in the base defense but also in the nickel defense and what we're going to ask guys to do and where we put guys. Losing a player like Kenny (Vaccaro) is tough because he had really established himself. Not only is he an instinctive player, but he's very physical, good tackler for us. But the next guy will step up. We'll have a plan and we'll make sure that not only is it in the base, but the sub packages, red zone, all those things get impacted to some degree."
Is that beneficial to have rotated three safeties all year so that they have had some experience playing in the base defense?
"Well it helps that you have three safeties that have been playing or played. Roman (Harper) was injured for a portion of the season. We played without Malcolm (Jenkins) for a few weeks. So that experience is helpful."
Would you handle a veteran team differently than you would normally handle a young team after these tough few recent weeks?
"Well I would consider this team pretty young. I've said that before when you look at the roster, but I do think we have exceptional veteran leadership. How you handle a team after a tough game might vary depending on the way they played. I felt like the energy level and all of those things were outstanding a week ago and so different then maybe the loss to St. Louis. Leading into this week, I think the players on this team understand the significance of this game, understand the focus on controlling the one thing we can and that's playing our best football and getting the best work we can in today, tomorrow, the same way when we get to red zone in preparation for this game."
Bill Belichick said that a lot of his injuries he thinks is because of the new practice requirements and stuff like that. Do you think there could be something to that?
"I would say it is one of the challenges with the current (practice) format with regards to contact. We've always been smart about how much during the season. Typically you get to this stage of the year and a lot of it is the mental preparation, technique work that you're always working on. It's a lot different in training camp and a lot different in the offseason. Only time will tell."
Do you know where Chris Williams ended up?
"I haven't. I have an idea, but…I have a pretty good idea, but I haven't seen it officially on the transaction sheet. I don't want to guess, but we'll probably know today."