New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Post-Practice Media Availability - Wednesday, August 22, 2018
"A couple of things. Obviously, (we had) a lot of different situational work. We had two-minute team run. Moved the ball. I thought it was real good work. (There will be) A lot of film for us to study. Anytime you switch opponents like this, you get a whole new set of looks defensively, offensive formations and I thought overall it went pretty well."
Any initial impressions on how it went in the two-minute?
"We're going to go through that and the key thing Anthony (Lynn) and I talked about (was to) try to get a flow and try to get some reps in. So we'll look at the tape. I think there were two or three different turnovers either side. You're trying to put yourself in a game-like situation where you're playing fast."
Around the league there have been a lot of scuffles during joint practices. Here it was pretty clean today, how happy are you with that?
"I don't know that I would agree with that (leaguewide perception). There's been a scuffle or two and every year there seems to be, but we've worked with these guys before and it was real good tempo."
After three cuts the other day, are you at a point where you're preparing the roster now or are you going to keep adding guys?
"Either-or, we're not set on the number we're at right now. We're paying attention each day to what happens transactionwise. So I wouldn't say either it was just a matter of looking at guys that we want to focus the reps on and guys that we were moving on from. So we still have a couple of weeks."
How impressed are you by the Chargers defense and the way that they're able to stop the run?
"I said this to these guys earlier, a year ago both these teams were sitting here really in the middle of tough divisions and I do not know necessarily if either were picked to do well in their division. But I think that these guys have done a really good job of acquiring the right guys to fit their scheme. They have a quarterback (Philip Rivers) that's experienced and extremely talented. So when you have those combinations, those are the ingredients to win."
Do you have any early impressions of Marcus Davenport?
"We will see it on the film once we look at it. I know he was going to be in a limited role. He was going to get some work today, but in a limited fashion so we'll have a chance to watch the film."
Has your impression of Jonathan Williams evolved at all the last couple of weeks?
"It is with every player. When you're watching the film as a staff, you're constantly looking at how they're doing. He's been steady. There's some things that he still needs to work on. I think he has pretty good vision and balance, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks some of that gets a little bit clearer with the rest of the competition."
You credit producing the variables for Tre'Quan Smith the other day, is that finding some small things he can perfect and then as the season progresses, letting him expand on those?
"Yes. I think with a young player, you want to define a role and then begin to expand on it. But he's someone that we are working primarily at one of the receiver spots and then I think it's important that we're not throwing him everywhere. He is picking things up. He plays physical. He plays hard. It's just him getting up to speed with the nuances and what we're looking to do. And not only in the passing game but also as a blocker."
Cameron Meredith looks like he's coming on stronger lately.
"He's healthy. So it's good to get him back and get him working."
Have you seen something develop in Austin Carr recently?
"It's nothing we have not seen prior. He is just now starting to receive work with the ones. He's smart. He's a guy that does a good job in the slot. He has real good football instincts."
Meredith and Smith, are they more like 'Z' receivers?
"Tre'Quan's playing over at the Z and Meredith's playing at the X. But with Cam's experience, he's played inside. He's played a few different spots."
What kind of camp has Drew Brees been having?
"I think it's going well. There is an extreme amount of detail that goes in each day when you watch his preparation. I think he is doing real well. He will play in this game. And the key is getting him, but also everyone else around him up to speed as we get ready to open the season. There is a sense of urgency all the time at this time of year in camp to clean up some of the mistakes. Pay attention to details and paint the right picture for whoever's playing quarterback."
Are you talking about Ted Ginn Jr. not running the right route in the preseason game the other night being something to fix?
"All those things, they go into, they enhance that position or they can hurt that position. So the attention to detail with what we're doing in the passing game is very important. It's still something that is a work in progress. And then obviously when you're able to play defense and run the ball, those are pretty good allies as well."
What's the greatest benefit at this point in camp when you're out here for two days?
"I think the one big thing is, it changes the routine. And I think that's good in our league because we're constantly changing. But also, you're working against a different defense than your own. And I don't mean just a different defense but how they play defense, it is different. The coverage schemes are different. What they do offensively, specifically with the running game. What they do with certain formations, they're different. And I think when you do that, especially for two or three days like we are, you have a chance to see some of the maybe the weaknesses or holes in certain areas that we have not seen at home against our own offense and defense. So I think it is good when you have a chance to change the routine up and get good work with another team. And another team that is doing the same thing."
It's hard to mimic completion. Are you seeing that out here?
"Yes. It's good spirited. Both these teams last year did a great job of competing and yet understanding that we're both here to get better. And so with those common goals, I think you end up with a real positive experience."
Is it good to see Alex Okafor out here in the jersey and pads?
"Yes. He will be back here fairly soon. Fortunately, his injury last week was not anything significant."
In your quarterback room, what is the relationship like between the starter and the other guys backing him up? What is that process like getting those guys together?
"There is a certain schedule and in teaching progression in pattern that we are accustomed to. And so the guys new to that, the new quarterbacks, it might be a new quarterback coach. Fortunately we've had a lot of continuity from the staff side of it. So it's really bringing them up to speed in regards to the installation but also the learning curve. What we're doing. How we study film. Right now they're exposed to that schedule in training camp. They have not been exposed to necessarily an in-season schedule which will change. But I think that opportunity for a younger quarterback to come in with a player like Drew is Invaluable. I think they have a chance to see all the things that go into play in that position well."
Is Brees collaborative in working with those guys?
"Yes, absolutely. Absolutely."
Do you think Alvin Kamara had the element of surprise on his behalf last year and maybe this year will be tougher?
"At what point in the season last year was it no longer a surprise? Week Three? So then what happened Week Eight? Was it a surprise Week Ten? What about Week 14? No, I think he's good football player. Now look, our preseason game against this team a year ago the first play the game he took a handoff for 50 yards and a touchdown. That was a little bit. But I think our league quickly examines closely what teams do, their tendencies, who's doing what, what rookies are playing extremely well and I don't think it's a league where with all the film access we have that is filled with many surprises if any."
How has Kamara done in camp so far?
"Good. He's doing well. He's doing well."