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Quotes from Sean Payton's week 8 press conference - October 26, 2018

Head coach Sean Payton spoke to the media on Friday, Oct. 26

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Post-Practice Media Availability - Friday, October 26, 2018

Has Joseph Brady's role changed? I know he worked with the tight ends last year.
"He does a ton of stuff. You know those guys we've got a handful of coaching assistants spend time on the computer on the breakdown tendencies. When they have time (we look) to try to move (them) to different position groups. So I would say it's been the same long hours and a lot of busy work."

*Showing how much football you've seen from Adam (Thielen), is it a jump from another year? *
"I think he is a fantastic player and then once you get a chance to meet and coach and we had him in the Pro Bowl, he's smart, real savvy, he can run. He's getting down the field with a lot of big plays. So, certainly he has a handful more explosive plays this time than a year ago. But that's a credit to what they're doing. I just watched a handful of two minute of their offense. He's tough to handle. He's a really good player and there's a reason we were coaching him in the Pro Bowl."

Does he remind you of anyone that you have seen in the past?
"Any receiver that can transition really well and that can run. That's smart. He has exceptional feet. He can block. There have been a number of guys like him and yet. there haven't been a lot of them that came as an undrafted free agent." 

Adam made his mark on a tryout. Is that unusual?
"It's another chapter. This is (not that) unusual because it happens every year. We talk about it with the scouts and all the personnel and we just go through the history of guys that have been signed after the draft and Khiry Robinson was a tryout player for us, Billy Miller (was). He was a veteran, but he was on a tryout. They come from everywhere and that's a great find."

Communication and everything is that something that Eli (Apple) could pick up in a week?
"Yes. Listen there's certain things. There are a lot of coverage similarities. It's just how you call the and communicate them here. How you play certain man looks. There are some adjustments. All those things that are new with that position. it's just getting used to quickly getting familiar with how things are called different than where they were called somewhere else." 

Are there ways to simplify that to him if he has issues.
"You start with your overall plan but he's picking things up."

Can you explain the vision for Eli Apple?
"He's played on the left side. He was seen playing on the left side and being another player that we think (is) a good player that can help us win games."

How tough was the situation for Jermon Bushrod?
"Difficult extremely difficult. I do not want to speak for him, but it is great he is surrounded not only by his immediate family but his football family, (and) all week long (by) our players. They just rallied around him and his wife and his family. He's a special person. You know that their grieving process would take a while. But I'm sure it was difficult."

You spoke to it earlier this week about the aggressiveness in the NFL so far this season but particularly on fourth down decisions. Do you see change in the thought process?
"I think we've always looked at it (as) field position. What's the match up like? What is the game like? There are a lot of things that go into that and it's not just let's get a percentage approach because the percentage of any of the analytic studies would include all 32 (teams) and I think we're different than all 32 and sometimes you have a play that you really feel comfortable with, other times you recognize field position and you choose the punt. So a lot of it is how that game is unfolding, what we feel like we're getting (and) what we want to defend."

Have any of the recent rule changes been beneficial to the offenses?
"Relative to going for it? I don't think so. I think it just depends on the team." 

Do you create your own chart in-house for kicking a PAT or deciding on a two-point play after a touchdown?
"We have a philosophy. Generally, I would say this, (in) a higher scoring game, we do not look at it in the third quarter typically. So that came up this year. I think it was Atlanta, where if you had said what does the chart say? It would say go for two. But if it's a game that you think's moving in a direction where there's a lot of points (that are) going to be scored, we are not looking at it. Now, if it's a lower scoring game, then you might look at the chart a little bit earlier than you normally do. So, it really depends on how that game's unfolding."

Who has it someone upstairs?

"Yes, we all do."

Do you guys have a time management specialist on your team?

"It is me."

Some teams have a specialist in that capacity?

"We have an analyst, Ryan Herman. I get more information relative to the opponent, relative to last week's decisions around the league. He'll have four decisions made last week in games and talk about our decision. I read that every Friday now. I'll go through last week's around the league decisions and that's kind of how we approach it."

Do you think that the two-point conversion's more than 50 percent proposition in general in terms of success with your team usually or does that depend on the opponent you play?

"Let me give you an example, if we're inside the five-yard line and we put our plan together last night running/pass and I am not talking about goal line. But we put our plan together. So generally, in that plan would be plays that we also would like as two-point plays and maybe there's some that are two-point only, but if I love a play down there on the two-yard line and I'm at the two-yard line, I don't know that I'm always just going to wait (to call it on a two-point conversion). I don't know that I'm going to be at the two-yard line again. So there's games where I can't wait to run two or three plays down there on the two or three-yard line and there's been games where maybe as it is (not like that). That factors in. We will always have four or five two-point plays. We're not just indiscriminately going for two, in a new wave. A lot of it is how the game is going and how are you holding up. How is your protection holding up and how is your running game looking? That doesn't get factored into any of the analytics and if your left tackle is injured and you are playing Lawrence Taylor and you pay attention to the analytics, nothing talks about when he hits the quarterback for a loss of seven. I think a lot of that has to be part of the equation. We call it the variables."

Are you still preparing for Everson Griffin?

"Yes. Those ends are really playing well and we have to be ready to handle not only their rush and how they rush, but also the noise that's involved. That's one of the challenges."

Does it help the (Ryan) Ramczyk has more experience playing there and Terron (Armstead) is healthier having missed last season's opener and being a full year off of surgery? 

"We played him (Ramzyck) twice last year. Senio (Kelemete) had one game at tackle. All of that is positive."

A tight end like Dan Arnold and his skillset, does that change anything at all with the offense?

"Each week we're looking at matchups. We're looking at plays that we think fit. He is good young player that is still developing but we got him some work last week." 

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael

Conference Call with New Orleans Media

Friday, October 26, 2018

What do you think is behind some of these long drives that you've been able to have this season?

"I think that when you look at it we're making sure we have efficiency on first or second down, avoiding some of the negative plays and basically staying ahead of the chains, putting yourself in manageable third down situations or in some cases maybe avoiding a third down in a drive. Staying ahead of the chains is important for us."

How do you explain Drew Brees' long run without an interception?

"I think that he's doing such a great job making decisions like he always has. He is finding the open receiver (and) is doing a great job in the pocket and give credit to our offensive (line) players as well. We're blocking well up front for him so there is a lot that goes into that."

Has anything changed since last year that has made the offense and his performance more efficient?

"Statistically you'd look at it and say that and yet we've always felt like he's been a high performing, productive and efficient quarterback. I'm stating the obvious there. I just think right now he's performing at a high level. He's making great decisions, he's accurate and he just continues to play at a high level."

How would you describe the relationship between Drew Brees and Max Unger?

"They have a great relationship and I would say Drew has a great relationship with all those offensive lineman and I think that's important to coach (Payton) and the group and we have great great locker room, but I think the relationship they have is something special between the two of them."

Do the quarterback and center have a unique relationship?

"Yes, I think a lot of that goes into the fact that they communicate with each other a lot, just kind of how maybe what the gameplan (is) for the week, just kind of how we're handling some things and I think those are the two that communicate the most together when it comes to some of the things that happen on the field and you can see them communicating a lot during practice or prior practice and just making sure we're all on the same page."

Why do you think this offense has had so much success in the fourth quarter?

"I think that we've stayed ahead of the chains. (That's a) Credit to our players for staying the course and outlining the game plan, the (big) picture and then just letting the team stay the course and eventually this is going to happen."

What do you think of Zach Line taking a lessor role since his college days being in the record books given that he is up there in SMU record books with Eric Dickerson for the school's rushing records?

"First of all, I think he's playing at a higher level for us. You put on the film and whether it's a limited role or higher role, depends on maybe what the gameplan is (that week). But he knows what to do, he does it at a high level. He's very detailed with what his assignment is and he's always a team player, regardless of what his role might be, a big role for some games and reduced some games. He's a team player. I know when he's been out there he's been productive."

Is it concerning that the team hasn't had a lot of big gain running plays?

"I think that we played some talented defenses and we can't get tired of a four-yard run. A four-yard run is a good run and maybe we haven't had as many (bigger gains) as we had at this point last year. I just think that you also (have to) give credit to the defenses we're playing, but we're looking to just stay positive with those runs."

What are some of the challenges getting Taysom Hill prepared every week?

"I think the one thing is he's a smart football player. He spends a lot of time studying and it's not just when he's in the building, he's always preparing and he's around a great one in Drew (Brees) and the whole dynamic of that room. Those guys are always working and so he's always studying what his role is going to be for the game. I think he does a great job in preparation."

How much do you think Sean Payton has taken advantage of the rule changes that favor the offense in today's game?

"I think that we have our base on offense and that gets repped year in and year out for us now. It's just kind of an easy transition for us, but we're not afraid to spend time and find who's been successful, who are the top five teams in third down this year and taking the time to study and see what they are doing and see if you can find some new ideas and stuff that fits your personnel in your scheme and being willing to use those ideas as well and kind of build on them."

What you've seen from afar from Sean McVay, does that remind you watching Sean Payton come up as a head coach?

"I don't really know right now again how much focus (I've put on this week's opponent the Vikings). I think maybe I'll have a better feel next week, but obviously next week we (offensive staff) will be looking at the Rams defense, not the offense. But again some of their ideas in the offseason, we spent some time looking at and (they are) doing some really good stuff that, like I said, that we maybe are using now or might use in the future. But obviously they're having a lot of success and doing a great job there."

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