New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
*Do you think there are some similarities between the way you and the Falcons have built your respective defenses over the last couple of years? *"I would say in the selection of players, yes and identifying guys that fit with what you think you want to do, yes. I think there are some differences in the type of defenses that we play. But just from the standpoint in bringing in younger players that fit a vision of what you're wanting to do, clearly, they've done a great job of that. We're trying to get to that point. In other words we've begun to hit on some players that we think will hopefully play and play for a long time here. I think Dan (Quinn) and his staff and those guys, their rise to the Super Bowl last year was built on a lot of good selections. A lot of good decisions in player evaluation and obviously real good coaching."
*What are your thoughts on Julio Jones this year? Obviously he's been a good receiver every year but what are your thoughts on this year? *"I think he's right at the top. I heard someone debating between he and (Antonio) Brown at Pittsburgh. They are two different type (of) players. He is outstanding. His strength, his explosion, his catch radius, I have said this before, when you're sitting down the sidelines and all of a sudden he splits out to your sideline, you look at him. It is amazing at how quickly he moves. I think he loves playing. I think (Mohamed) Sanu's someone who's probably not talked about enough, he's another player that I think that has helped that team tremendously. He is tough. He competes. He blocks at the point of attack. He will catch balls inside and outside. I think he has extremely strong hands in traffic."
*In terms of greatest catches you've ever seen, do you think Julio's name would pop up? *"It's on the reel. I don't know how long the reel is but it's on it."
*Cam Jordan already has a career high of passes defensed. How have you seen him add that element to his game or improve it during his career? *"I think he has good instincts. I think he's someone, our game has changed enough to where these quarterbacks are in rhythm and timing and if I can't rush and get there with a sack and I can rush and feel the cock of the release and delivery, that's becomes pretty consistent with these guys and much like the cadence idea, with the cadence first, my pass rush and then here goes that secondary movement. That's important. You've seen him do that and tip it and catch it in Pittsburgh, against Detroit. There are certain downs and distances anymore when you get to third and 18 or 16, you are three or four plays you are going to see these wide receivers screens. You are going to see the halfback slow screen. You will see these X and Z block for eight screens shallow. They get smart enough to understand the ball is coming out earlier than they can get there and it is coming at a trajectory that is coming out a little lower. I think that is significant. You have to work at that and it's not easy."
*He made a comment yesterday about triple-double sacks, tackles for loss and passes defensed. I wonder what you thought of that basketball analogy and how it illustrates his abilities? *"Usually when I hear his say triple-double, I'm think Steak and Shake. So I've not heard him talk about his triple double. He came up with that?"
*Yes, he already has 10 sacks and 13 tackles for losses and he's approaching 10 passes defended and he just thought that that would be accurate. *"There you go. I like it."
*You think it speaks to his, normally when you think of a triple-double it's someone who's talented. *"I'd say this about Cam and I have said it all along. His stamina's one of his greatest strengths. His ability to play it down at a high rate with a lot of energy and kind of recover because they are really five second, four second downs. You get 20 seconds then another four seconds, five seconds, then you get another 20 seconds. His stamina and his ability to play like a play 61 as he's played 18 or play three is very remarkable, unique I would say for his position. That's a credit to him."
*Will Taysom (Hill) sort of force his way onto the active roster for the foreseeable future with his special teams contributions? *"With his performance, yes. But look each week we'll see where we're at with our numbers but hard to take that off. It's hard to take that off when you have some guys with speed that can run and do what he did."
*Is it surprising to you to see multiple times in the league a star offensive player taking a shot at a guy on the defense, like it's happened a couple of times, one in your game and last week? *"Last week, I'm missing last week."
*Gronkowski on Tre'Davious White? *"In both those cases it is very out of character for the players. And I mean that they're good guys. It's just surprising. Sometimes it's frustration. You don't like to see that and you're always talking about keeping the poise and understanding the picture is winning the game. Learning part of that is mental toughness. You do not have to respond and be macho. So many times I hear, I'm not going to be punked and I get that and yet there is a discipline element that you are preaching as coaches. You are trying to make them understand the big picture which is winning and all these side things that can take you down a path contrary to the goal. I think that is one of the things you learn about playing football. It happens to Mike Evans. That was surprising. He's poised, smart and someone well-respected and I think Gronk in his own right is that way so it certainly means anytime it could happen. You're just talking about the discipline of staying up sometimes. I think one of the harder situations, you see the player get tackled and the whistles are blowing and it is like man we didn't get to put this player on the ground. You know the play I'm talking about, it happens every weekend. We have him wrapped up and every time it happens I'm thinking man please do not bodyslam this guy. In other words lets have the wherewithal we just heard the whistle, he is down. But it is like you did not get to feel like you got to finish and sure enough we see each week where someone decides to finish like too much and that is 15 yards and a first down. That is trying to be smart and trying to help your team."
*If you can bear a basketball analogy again, with Evans and Gronk, those are both really big guys. Sometimes there's a perception that really big, strong, talented players on offense don't get those many calls and maybe that builds the frustration level? Do you think that's possible in these cases? *"No. I don't know if that's behind their deal. I bet you could call them. I don't know if (that's their mentality). I don't know why. I can't think that it's just size related. In other words, you watch Gronk's play and you feel like you can see it like gosh dang, I'm getting held here. But that just gets back to it happens to all these guys and it's something that we as coaches are constantly working with them on in regards to you're not going to get the calls. I'm the worst. I'm yelling. I'm the worst when it comes to feeling like it was just us."