New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Post Practice Media Availability - Friday, December 7, 2018
What have you seen from the progression of P.J. (Williams) from his rookie season when he was battling injuries to where he is now?
"He has always been someone that has good football instincts and good ball skills. He is healthy. With as much three-receiver sets (as we see today), we're in nickel more than we are in base, so he's playing a lot of snaps and playing well."
Are you going to do any pedicure promises, if they have to wear the long spikes again in Tampa because of the conditions like in Buffalo last year?
"Weather is going to be an issue. It's not 80 percent or 70, it's 100 percent chance of rain. The footing will be important and the shoes will be important. All of that comes into play relative to windy, wet conditions and we will have to adjust quickly."
Do you think about how that affects the kicking game?
"It affects the whole game. There is a pretty common wind direction at that stadium. It usually blows from their locker room to the to the ship on an angle. But again I'm sure that can change."
Do you have to do any research to know that or do you just know that?
"We know that we talk about it every staff meeting we start. That night was what's our weather the next day? What's the gameday weather update? And then when you watch the film. You can see that kickoffs. Getting touchbacks more to one end zone than the other and after a while being in the division you begin to understand at least what the norm is. Now a front could come in and that could change it, but that's typically which way it's going."
Does that affect your script?
"The wind can, but certainly the weather does. I'll do the script probably Saturday night. This has happened before, we had a half an hour rain delay there one year. I can't recall (exactly when). We went in for half an hour, thunder and lightning, came out, warmed up again, and continued playing. You're preparing for all of that."
Do you do the script a little bit lighter when the weather's kind of confusing?
"You may shorten the script, but if you know it's going to be raining, it certainly changes kind of what you're thinking about."
When the team is putting together a season like this is there ever any understanding that there's maybe going to be more interest in your assistants for open positions across the league?
"Yes. I've said this before; we've got a number of guys, Doug Marrone, Dennis (Allen) has been a head coach, C.J. (Curtis Johnson), Aaron Kromer who's now with the Rams (is a candidate for head jobs). I think that's a positive thing. I think that when no one's asking then that's a little bit more of a concern."
What do you remember from scouting Keith Kirkwood?
"Good question, he was at Temple. I remember the (draft) read and then post-draft he was one that we were on the phone (with him). He had a handful of teams with him. Sometimes you're dealing with a player that's calling you, he was one that we had to recruit and it was a good sign(ing) for us."
What has been different than you expected out of Keith Kirkwood?
"He's smart, he's long and can run. He can pick things up very quickly. He can play at any one of the spots and I think that helps him a lot."
What do you attribute the success of your defense the last four weeks too?
"There's a combination of a number of things. I feel like our third down numbers are better. We're getting to the quarterback more. Obviously, we have been able to take the ball away more. It is hard to point to one specific thing, but it is a credit to the group in general. The coverage gets a little better if the quarterbacks got to throw it a little quicker. Hopefully, we're playing a complementary game, where we're possessing the ball. Last week was the first time in a while where we clearly didn't win the time of possession and that's been something that we have been able to do and that will be important in this game."
What has Demario Davis brought to the locker room off the field?
"He's a good leader, smart someone that's a good teammate. A lot of the things that we had heard (are true) and he's passionate. I think every year your team's different, it's made up of different players. He's been obviously a good addition."
Does Kurt Coleman snap count change each week or does he have a defined role?
"A lot of its base and sub. He's one of the three safeties, some weeks it might be three safeties, some weeks it might be base, so it can fluctuate a little bit. Maybe like a tight ends (coverage) role or a fullback's role (covering) or depending on the opponent."