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Quotes from Sean Payton's training camp media availability - August 4

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke to the media after Day 9 of training camp on Saturday, August 4

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon - Saturday, August 4, 2018

Opening Statement:
"The installation today was two-minute and to continue to really work in that element for the rest of the camp now that it's in."

It seemed like it was very competitive today when you guys had the two minute drills and the red zone drills?
"We try to create that and it is important to have a winner and loser. Both groups did well. There were moments where they struggled, and yet it's the first day. Red zone, now it's been our third day. You want that in your periods. I think it's important that they're competing and competing at a high level."

What do you think from Will Clapp as a swing guy?
"He had a pretty good practice today. The versatility is important. Those guys are competing to be lineman six, lineman seven, (and) make the roster. If you can do more than one thing it helps. 

Do you feel like you have a lot of veteran guys in this group that can do that like Josh LeRibeus, Don Barclay, and all those guys?
"I think there's pretty good competition. Right now I would say for those guys that aren't in the starting group, there's a few guys that aren't practicing right now and I think that this game is going to be important. The next four games are going to be important just to see what we have. There's some young guys, there are some veteran guys. We will see how it turns out."

How do you weigh experience versus inexperience?
"It's part of it. You're paying attention to the film and the production. You have to look at it that way and eliminate those other things. If the experience guy is playing with it effectively then it serves him well. If he is not, then the younger player has a chance. We have a lot of snaps for those guys coming up and usually it unfolds pretty clearly."

How does the run pass option (RPO) challenge the defense?
"It's kind of like two plays. If you get the clean look for instance, it's a handoff. If you get a linebacker or a defensive back cheating and a little bit, it's a pass. There's a handful of different RPO's, but they're spontaneous plays and I think one of the benefits of them is that you can play with tempo and not stop at the line, change the play, or audible a play so you can play with a little bit better tempo."

How close are you guys scouting the kickoffs throughout in the preseason?
"We talked about it this week a lot. We haven't had any yet but once we see the preseason, we'll look closely at what all the other teams are doing and also how it's being officiated. We had some discussion the other night about the double team and what they're looking for and what you can't do."

Does the RPO simplify the quarterback and what they have to do? Does it simplify things for the quarterback?
"They have a handful of things that have to do with each play. If it's an RPO, it's a decision being made there. If it's a run killed to a pass you know they are doing the same thing. I don't know if it simplifies it. It's a different tempo and a different mindset. We'll have built-in's a lot in the run game and it's just about how much and what you want to do with it."

Jay Bromley, a guy with experience, what have you seen from him?
"He's receiving work, he's receiving reps. He's doing well. I think with some of these players, once we get into the game we're going to have a better idea. We're not having a big scrimmage weekend so Thursday, you will be able to see how much progress they've made in practice and yet we'll watch the practice tape today."

How much opportunity is there for someone to fill in at that spot?
"I think a lot. We're trying to find the best 53 and the biggest mistake, it happens with you guys I see your roster cutdowns, you can't count the numbers. You can't because these guys are being evaluated by 31 other teams. There's going to be a trade, if we don't feel like anybody at a certain position is good enough, then we are not just going to award somebody a spot, we will find somebody. We talk about that in the meetings. Do not pay attention to the numbers, don't pay attention to your line, just pay attention to improvement. It's too difficult to do that because you're competing not only with the three other guys at this position, you're competing with 30 other guys around the league that are going to be available at that position."

With the new helmet rule, do you feel like you already know how that's going to initially influence tackling or are you waiting to see how that plays out in the preseason?
"I think the known is how it's going to influence tackling. The unknown is to what degree will some of these penalties be called? That's the truth. How tight-lipped the officiating will be. There were two the other night, I thought one was a good call and the other one I was surprised it was called."

What about breaking tackles, missed tackles?
"No one's to date been teaching that. We are eliminating that but that has not been taught. We're not having to, but we are making a point of emphasis of where the head needs to be, where the eyes need to be on each play."

Do you think tackling might be better if players know they're forced under threat of penalty to keep their head up and look at the target?
"Yes. That would be fair to say." 

Has Tommylee Lewis improved his route running from a year ago?
"His overall understanding of what we're doing, in year one there was a lot of moving around and playing a handful of positions. He's quick. He's someone that gets into a pattern quickly and his scope of understanding has certainly improved."

Is this one of the more impressive days Lewis has had?
"Started off a little slow and then all of sudden he started making plays. So, it was good to see."

Do you think they will call the illegal contact five-yards downfield rule more strictly this season?
"That's a point of emphasis. Different than a rule change. Every year, there'll be two or three points of emphasis. They just want to clean that up and make sure there's a bright line as to where the contact is and really eliminate some of the contact or pushing that's taken place at seven yards or eight yards. No different than a point of emphasis this year will be on DPI and OPI. So really, on the back end of things, they want to clean up and I think you'll see in these first few weeks a lot of secondary defensive pass interference, contact fouls, as well as offensive pass interference. I think you'll see a spike in that, especially in the preseason."

Early on in training camp, what are you looking for out of your young players?
"You want to see consistency. They have to know what to do. If they don't know what to do then they don't have any chance. And then how do they do it? How effective, how consistent are they in their run blocking the pass pro (protection)? Defensive linemen, what kind of production we're getting? How's their technique? All of those things."

Do you think that the emphasis on contact at the end of plays will put officials in a position where if it's mutual contact, that they will have to choose whether to penalize the offense or the defense?
"I don't think so. I think from sitting in on the meetings, I think the officials are going to call it if they clearly see it and not split hairs when there's tackles being made inside of the helmet, hitting the shoulder pad. I think again, the emphasis in the rule change is about the posture and the technique in which something like that happens. So if you begin to see that even if the helmet is in that position and I hit your right thigh board, that's a foul. So, it's more about the head down and not as much about when helmets hit each other throughout plays. So, really getting that posture and that technique out is what the goal is."

If both the offensive player and defensive player are at fault on a pass interference play, is there pressure for the official to pick one player to call a penalty on?
"That is one of the challenges about being in the back end and trying to evaluate if a corner has position and the receiver's working through him, they're going to be smart enough to see. Whereas, if the corners moving and jamming at seven (yards from the line of scrimmage), it is tough to officiate because it is happening fast. But it is a point of emphasis."

How do you split up the repetitions between the kickoff returners during the preseason games?
"We'll have plenty of time to do that in games. I'm not going to give you who's returning Thursday night but we'll have a half (with one rotation), a half (with another). I think the mistake would be trying to evaluate six returners in one game. We won't do that, but we'll make sure we get enough work on them."

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