New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton - Post-practice Media Availability - Friday, November 16, 2018
How has Brandon Marshall been progressing?
"Good. He's in shape moving around and he's been in a number of offenses and some similar to ours. I think from a learning standpoint, it's been pretty smooth."
With the amount of production Michael Thomas has had in a short time, what does he look like as a receiver now as opposed to when he was first drafted?
"His route tree has expanded. He's lining up in more places than his rookie year where he was predominantly just the X and I think that requires a lot. When you start moving them around, there's certain routes that he begins to add from the inside position. He is a tremendous competitor, an (excellent) practice player and he is one of those guys that's tough to tackle. He's good at the line of scrimmage. He is physical, just playing really well."
If everybody was healthy would you still want him out in that same percentage of targets, would it be spread out more or is he just earning those? (targets)
"There's certain things we do formationally game plan wise that you would say are put together for him to be the primary and then sometimes with the read progression he'll end up with the throw. Right now, third down, red zone is what we are constantly looking at, how to get guys open and that's the case for tight ends, fullbacks, for the running backs. It's all part of the plan and yet there's certain things that get taken away. One of the things that Drew (Brees) does awfully well is he sees the defense and recognizes what he's getting."
With Cameron Jordan receiving so much attention, how important is it to get the other guys to take advantage one on one situation?
"The pass rush (on both sides) in this game is important. These guys defensively do a really good job of hurrying the passer. They get to their sub rush package very effectively. They get good push inside. They have speed and I think we have to match that."
Does being able to rush the ball help you open up things for the offense?
"It helps relative to the time of possession. You talk about complementary football. It reduces the defense's time on the field. All of those things. This team is a really good run defense and we'll think going in that there are certain looks that we want to run against and other looks maybe not so much."
How well do they (Eagles) do to spread the ball around, especially with Zach Ertz and their receivers?
Zach Ertz is this one of those guys that is extremely talented and you've got (Nelson) Agholor (and Alshon) Jeffery. (Golden) Tate now is a little bit of a mystery player not relative to what he can do and what he has done, but what he is going to do in their plan. You've got to plan for all that."
What is it about (Golden) Tate that has made him special throughout his career?
"He's really good. Really good catching the ball with his feet moving, so many times a player will pause or jump. He has strong hands. His feet are on the ground and each year he's been at the top of the league run after catch so he has great balance, strong hands where his feet are moving when he catches the ball and he's hard to bring down."
What has Jermon Bushrod done to have such longevity in his career, expanding positions he can play and even embracing his current role?
"He is smart. He's always been athletic. He has really good experience for that position. He's played inside. That flexibility for us is important."
What has Alex Okafor looked like the past couple of weeks?
"He's doing well. (I'm) Real proud of him. Just the injury that he has overcome and the way he rehabbed. It's a credit to him."
What was the most challenging thing for your team the year after winning the Super Bowl in 2010?
"I don't think there is any one thing. You are going to come into the season getting everyone's best shot. Teams have done really well that year after, other teams maybe not so well. But I think that a lot changes. The team is different. There are players that move on. There's players that are added. Same thing with coaches and it's not one specific thing. It's year to year in our league."
What role does having so many personnel groupings play into the success of your offense?
"Each year look at look at our talent and see if we can put them in places where they can do things well. I think part of it is not looking at what a player can't do but what are the things that he does do well and then trying to do those things."