New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
You brought in two new cornerbacks in the last 48 hours, Sterling Moore and Dexter McDougle. What is it about McDougle that you liked to bring him in?"There were two elements. Number one, he's someone that's excelled and played well in the kicking game. Number two, he's experienced, he's smart and can play in the sub inside if you want him to. The snaps you can get from him if you want to on the special teams, I think is a big plus."
*What about the decision to bring back Sterling Moore? Why was it important to bring him back up? *"He is familiar with our system and he is one of those players that knows what to do. He has real good instincts."
*How different does this Rams team seem from the last time you saw them? *"Entirely different. It's a whole new coaching staff, new offense, new defense. There is some carryover in the special teams. John Fassel's done a great job in that regard, so you have kicker, snapper, holder, punter and all that. But it's an entirely different team."
*What are some of the things they do that are particularly challenging? *"Well the front is different on defense. The coverages they play on defense. It's a system that's entirely different. Where do you want to begin? It's a completely different scheme and the staff has completely changed."
*What do they do well? What are some of the things that stand out when you watch them? *"Number one, they pressure the passer well. Their sack numbers are up. They are playing very good pass defense. Their overall scoring defense is in the top of the league. Offensively, they are in the top five of the league in almost every category. Scoring offense, they are two. Third down conversions are in the top five. Explosive plays, they are two. They are running the ball with (Todd) Gurley very well. You can look at any statistic. Their turnover margin is fantastic. They're taking it away. I think they have 19 right now. They're in the top of the league in that area. There's a reason why this team has won seven games at this juncture in the season."
*What are some of the ways you have seen improvement in Jared Goff since last year as a rookie? *"The ball's coming out quickly, I think decisively. He has a much better feel for what he is doing, where he is going. He is not taking a lot of sacks. He is doing a lot at the line. He is getting in and out of bad plays. All the things you want to see a young quarterback do. I think Sean (McVay) and the staff have done a great job with him. In fact with that whole team."
*I've seen some stuff out there trying to compare Sean McVay to you when you first broke in as a head coach. How many similarities do you see in how he's handling his first year to when you first came in as a head coach? *"I know Sean, I do not know him too well. The first similarity would be S-E-A-N. Now, outside of that, he went to Miami of Ohio. I coached there. There are a lot of good friends on his staff I know, Aaron Kromer, Bill Johnson, guys that've worked here. I think there's confidence you build. You go set up shop, you get your opportunity but I've never had a chance to work with him outside of that so I wouldn't know. But he's doing a good job there."
*Outside of the personnel upgrades on defense, what do you think were the one or two key turning points for the defense besides the personnel? *"I think we played a real good game against Carolina and had some takeaways and I think that at some point you want to see the results and I think we saw some of the fruits of our labor. We began to get a little bit of confidence after that week and then we shutout Miami and started building on it. It kind of started there."
What did you think of Mark Ingram II*'s performance winning the NFC Offensive Player of the Week? *"I lose track of these FedEx awards weekly. I know we felt like he played a real good game, exceptional game. He had some good strong runs, real strong runs. They go differently each week and sometimes you could be sitting there in the second quarter and you feel you've only had eight snaps, you have an interception on your first series, so that takes away from your overall total (offensive snaps). You finish four of 11 or whatever we did on third down, that takes snaps away. They are (snaps) at a premium, but I think that he is running with that confidence and with pad level, all the things that you like and between him and (Alvin) Kamara we are going to have more FedEx plagues, or whatever it is. Maybe they get to use FedEx services for free for a year or something. That'd be a good deal, right? When you absolutely have to have it (a package) somewhere."
*What have you seen out of Rams defensive tackle Tanzel Smart, a Scotlandville High School product from Tulane who was a sixth round draft pick this year, when you watch the film? *"Number one he's playing inside (and) here's a (local) kid. They're going to play eight, nine guys (in a rotation), you've got your nose (tackle), they're also playing in their 3-4 front against most of a lot of your sub groups so it's not like you're getting them to substitute, but he's doing well especially for a rookie. Now he's only 6-1, but I see strength and you kind of see that on film."