New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Post-Practice Media Availability - Friday, September 14, 2018
With a quarterback like Tyrod Taylor, how much do you guys monitor keeping your defensive line rotation fresh in order to keep after him?
"I think that's important. Not only getting pressure on the quarterback, but understanding how to rush a player like him. He does a lot of things that are really difficult – the extended plays. I think he does a good job of climbing in the pocket. He made some big throws in the fourth quarter last week that were significant. So you can see there's a confidence level he has with his receivers he's working with and that game, as you're watching it on coaches' tape, you just feel all the momentum and the scores with Pittsburgh until that seven minute mark if you will in the fourth quarter and it shifts very quickly."
Do you have to remind those guys to be disciplined to make sure you corner him?
"Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely."
What do you tell your defenders about how to avoid the body weight roughing the passer penalty?
"I think we had the one personal foul on (Marcus) Davenport (which was) was a mistake. I think you're trying to sack the quarterback and what they're looking for is not your entire weight, your hands and your feet in the air as you land on them. So it's just a matter of working on your technique as you hit him and any type of turn either way can avoid that and still effectively sack the player. It's a technique as you as you hit him there's a little turn either way. You pull either way and you're going to land half and half then instead of just centering your weight on him."
How hard is that to do in real time?
"I think it is. And yet, I think it's something that can be done. The most devastating hit on the quarterback is not the hit itself, it's then what happens after the hit. So I think it's a technique that can be taught."
He's obviously been doing it for a long time and is the most accurate quarterback in league history, but is there anything to Drew Brees having been in this so long and having so much experience that he's getting more accurate as his career progresses?
"The experience with what he's doing offensively, the type of team you're playing has something to do with that, playing a zone (defense) versus man to man. I think that he's, to his credit, always looking at ways to improve. I think generally I would say there are a handful of things that can help that. If you're running the ball more effectively, if you're protecting more effectively then I'm quite sure his efficiency and an average per completion would go up. But certainly his work ethic and how he prepares, obviously he's constantly looking to best whatever was set before."
When Michael Thomas was in the draft what do you think maybe the rest of the NFL didn't see in him?
"Well I can't speak for the rest of the NFL. We saw strong hands in traffic. We saw really good run after the catch. We saw a physical, competitive player. Those were the traits that we saw and those were what we valued and drafted on. I'm probably pretty certain that a number of teams saw the same things and maybe had him – three picks later there might have been a team that was getting ready to take him. So if you knew what you know now back then, he would've been drafted earlier and that's one of the challenges of the draft."
Do you remember if you guys had a first round grade on him?
"Yeah. I believe we were somewhere in the latter part of one. Sometimes when you grade a player, you kind of target where you'd like to take them, but I remember the evaluation, the reports, the film I remember everything about his grade and how we arrived at it and why we why we valued him."
Do you see any similarities between Browns cornerback Denzel Ward and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore?
"Obviously, they're both highly competitive players that come from the same program, but a winning culture. They're both very competitive and I think they both have good football instincts. Statures are a little different. Both of them are extremely fast. Both came into the league with high expectations."
How has Taylor Stallworth settled in?
"He's doing well. He had a real good training camp for us and he's someone that we think is athletic. We think he's constantly improving. We're encouraged with his progress."
Tyeler Davison played a lot of snaps last game, was that just specific to that game?
"We defended a lot of snaps, so a lot of it depends on the package we're in and the amount of third downs we're in where he's not on the field. So a lot of it depends on the total snaps and what we're doing."
What are the challenges you face going against Gregg Williams' defense?
"You get a lot of different looks you have to prepare for. You get some conventional looks. Then you get a bear front that can be disruptive. Then you get some zone pressures that are disruptive. So there's multiple things on first and second down in the red area and then when third down comes. So there are a lot of different packages that bring different type of pressures. They play their two deep coverage exceptionally well. It becomes very difficult to find big completions in it and they defend the run real well from it. So it would be that the amount of different things that you have to work on in a week."
Brandon Coleman was the guy who affected the game in the run blocking, how has it looked without him here?
"I think Tre'Quan (Smith) Austin (Carr) we're counting on all those guys. Whether it's Mike or Ted Ginn, the receivers understand the importance of us blocking the fours to effectively run the ball. So that was certainly a strength of B-Cole and a strength of Willie Snead. And that's something that we've worked on with the guys that are now in their places."