New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
How do you prepare for Cam Newton and his run game?
"I think you have to prepare for those designed runs. You get him in the red zone, He is real effective. They are real effective down inside the 10-yard line, (where) it becomes real challenging. The ones that are quarterback runs that are designed we can script, but the ones that come from a play that is broken are a little more difficult."
Do you think or see it as a huge problem that there has been dialogue regarding roughing the passer calls assessed to Cam?
"I think all of us look closely at the roughing (the passer) calls. The health of that position is important. Cleary when you see snaps that should be a foul, then obviously it is not a team issue it is a league issue. I am on that Madden committee (coaches subcommittee) and we talk about it. The officials are in tune with it. It is not something that has been on the top of my mine because you are dealing with your own set of problems and I'm sure it is something that they are trying to be better at."
What is Michael Mauti dealing with that led to him going on Non-Football Injury?
"He just has to have a procedure done which is going to need a decent amount of recovery time. It is something that we felt the timing was right and I am just going to leave it at that."
Are you confident that he will be better at the end of the season?
Does playing a divisional opponent on a short week help at all?
"Yes, it helps because it is someone in your division that you know. Typically, all these Thursday games are division opponents. Yes, I think we have also both played each other already so you are pulling up your plans and you are looking at your notes and seeing what has changed between now and then."
You have won three Thursday night games in a row. Is there anything that galvanizes you guys?
"I don't know specifically. We have to manage the schedule. Make sure we recover and do those things. Pay attention to the details that way."
Do you treat it more as mental weeks?
"You have to change what you're doing. You have to spend more time in walk thru. It takes more time to recover from the game that you just played. So it does become more film study and less full speed reps. I'd say that is pretty common around the league."
Where would you say Marcus Murphy is this year compared to last year?
"I still see him as young player that we thought did well in training camp. The key is how to get him up in a game when trying to get to the final 46."
Would it be fair to judge how the defense performed this week with compared to before you added guys like (Dannell Ellerbe, Delvin Breaux*,Sheldon Rankins) to the defense?*
"It certainly helps. You want to be healthy. Fortunately, we have been able to get those guys back in playing on a regular down basis."
How did you decide that the five down lineman look on defense was a good option for your team?
"Well if you look at (Paul) Krugers' history, He has been a SAM in Baltimore. He has been a SAM in Cleveland, be it a 3-4 front but he has been an outside backer who is going to rush. The transition for him and us is easier than taking a defensive end and converting him because he has played that position before."
Will (Kenny) Vaccaro be available this week?
"We will see."
Do you like these Thursday night games?
"Listen it is a short turnaround. The pros are that you have some time after the game. The downside is that you worry about the recovery. We have been doing it a while now so you kind of get used to it."
Can we take that as a no then?
"I think it was probably an easier question three years ago when they first started doing it (having every team play one)."
Is there any challenge with them switching punters?
"I think it is the first time in a while. Our punter got nicked up in a game and their punter did also. They are going to a left footed punter. We are going to have to make sure we get some left footed spin on the Jugs and be ready for that on the outside. So there is a little less predictability because of the lack of tape available."
The addition of Chris Banjo*, what do you see in him and what do you hope to get out of him?*
"He is someone that can help in the kicking game and is someone that is smart and that is an area we think he can help us."
Drew Brees has played so well for so long, but is this one of those years where you are getting his best production?
"Well it is hard to separate this year from last year and two years ago. I think he played well last year and I think the key at this point in the season is to find ways to win games. You certainly see his health and his accuracy and his mobility and those are obviously good signs to see from your starting quarterback."
Do you guys ever see left footed punters?
"Yes you usually see two a year. You just flip the jugs (machine) around (and) get the spin the other way."
Have you seen one this year?
"We played New England in the preseason, we saw him all week. I want to say there was another game where we saw a left-footed punter. I would have to go back and look. I'm sure we have."
Is there any commonality you see from the past two years with starting slow and battling back to .500?
"I was asked that last week. It's a different team and I like the way these guys are repping and practicing. It's a team that has a tough mindset to it. I think the key's to focus this week on the game that we can control. I think each season's different though."
You have (James) Laurinaitis and (Michael) Mauti, both team captains on defense and on special teams out for the season. Have you seen someone step up to fill that role?
"I think that naturally happens. I don't think you have to appoint it. I think leadership can come and it comes in different spots. We talked about Tony (Hills) in San Diego, a backup tackle. He is a guy that is well-respected in the locker room and certainly has the respect of his peers and I think that can definitely happen on special teams and defense as well."
Are there any guys that specifically stood out to you that have done a great job?
"None that I would name off the top. But I think overall we see it in practice and on a regular basis. Guys have been good."