New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Post-Practice Media Availability - Saturday, October 6, 2018
We didn't ask the other day but you had four new practice squad players, what went into that?
"We're kind of shuffling. I think it's important to constantly look at those guys that we're trying to develop. And specifically, one of the things we felt last week was we were a little short on cornerback depth with Patrick's (Robinson) injury. So we brought in some help at that position group, (and) made one change (at) defensive tackle. There were a handful of changes. A lot of it was working guys out and having a chance to get exposed to them now."
Do you ever look for specific skill sets and body types to help you prep for another opponent on the practice squad?
"No. The first consideration is do we feel like this guy is developing into a player that can at some point play for us. So there's a lot of things during the week in practice you have to do occasionally. A receiver might have to be a corner because of numbers, or a running back vice versa. But I think most importantly is we see a vision for the practice squad player coming up, or someone down the road that we feel like can help us. So it's more about truly do we feel like he can develop into someone that can play?"
You mentioned the other day that Washington is somebody that you guys watch on tape. Is that just kind of the relationship with the Gruden's going back?
"Absolutely. Bill Callahan and I worked together my first pro job. He was really largely responsible for me getting hired by the Eagles. Bill's been in this league a long time and is as good a line coach as there is in this league. So they do some things in the run game that will challenge you. So there are just certain teams. They're one of them."
Why do you think Justin Hardee has been so good on teams?
"There are few reasons. He can run, it's important to him, he's smart and he's physical. His background, having played corner, I think helps him and it stood out to us when we saw him initially on film. But I think the combination of his skillset, his talent, but also his makeup and his ability to tackle."
What do you think his mentality? It seems to bring a lot of confidence.
"Absolutely. And that's part of it, but I would say it's a large part of it."
Does Taysom's (Hill) presence on that punt team change how teams approach it given the threat that he could fake it?
"Every week when we do a scouting report on an opponent, the pro advance people will tell us who the players on the other team are that have thrown a pass? Did they play high school quarterback? Are they right handed or left handed? They played quarterback in high school. They threw a pass in college. All that information gets noted. So you hear it each week and then same way with Cleveland. (Jarvis) Landry's left-handed and he can throw. Then here he is two weeks later he's thrown a touchdown to the quarterback. So I think that's factored in. But I don't think necessarily it changes how you set up a return, but you're certainly mindful of his ability to run and throw."
Have you gotten a sense this week of what this record means to Drew (Brees)?
"Not really. We haven't really talked about it. I think he's got a great way of compartmentalizing things and focusing on playing well and winning. Like most accomplishments, certainly this one, I'm sure he'll appreciate it as time goes by and yet you'd have to ask him because we really haven't talked about it oddly enough."
How did (Taylor) Stallworth look filling in for (Tyeler) Davison?
"Good. We like him. We think he's developing. We think he's got good athleticism and he's given us some good snaps."
Specifically on the interior offensive line, what kind of problems do the Redskins pass rush create?
"Well they're heavy. They're heavy inside. They do a good job of really – they give you these wide, in passing situations, these wide, even looks. And it stresses the guards because of the width of the interior rushers. Of course the outside players, they win with speed, they win with power. They're well-coached. They're a handful. When you get into the obvious passing situations and hopefully you can limit those as best you can."
Is Tre'Quan (Smith) someone that can do some stuff down the field?
"Yes absolutely. He can run."
Are there similarities between what he can do and what (Ted) Ginn Jr. can do?
"Yes. There's different roles we have for them. Both of those guys will factor into what we want to do this week and we just decide how we want to use them."
On the fake punt, is it risky at all that diagonal snap that you have to do to get it to Taysom (Hill)?
"Yes. You just work on it. It's a little different, but like anything else if you practice it enough, and we practice that play since training camp. And so it's just finding the right time to call it. The challenge always is generally the looks you want to call it against are looks that are on your side of the field, not theirs. So there's a risk/reward there and we felt it was the right time last week."
How much does the Washington secondary benefit from the defensive line?
"It goes together. It fits. I would say (D.J.) Swearinger is playing I believe his best football and he's had a real good career, but man he's smart. He has great anticipation. He gets guys lined up. He's passionate. You feel it on film. Very seldom do you get that. But he is one of those players when you are in their office and it is quiet and you are watching coaches tape, you feel his passion on film and that is unique. Josh Norman is a competitor with good ball skills. This group, it goes hand in hand how they play their coverage. They do a good job with some man-to-man principles, some bracket principles and just enough pressure to keep you off balance."