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Saints Coach Sean Payton said team is focused on preparing for Dolphins

Photos of the Saints Coaches and Staff from Week 3 at Carolina.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans and International Media
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When someone comes into a role where they don't receive the snaps they ordinarily would, how do you evaluate if they are a good fit?
"Anybody we bring in, I think the most important thing is the vision and secondly communicating the vision. I'm not sure what player you're discussing, but yes, we would typically have a vision for the player and go through it."

Can you talk about having Willie Snead back and the role you envision for him at first if he plays?
"We'll see. We'll wait and see how he's moving around. It's been a little bit of time since he's been playing. We'll see how he handles the work week."

With your process in 2008 in preparing for a game in London and the success you had in winning that one, how much of the same preparation philosophy did you bring to this trip?
"We had done it back in 2008 as a team. Then you could pretty much choose where you were going to practice, where you were going to stay, lay that all out. Now, you have a choice in recent years as to whether you come early, but (in terms of the league dictating/providing), here's your hotel, here's your practice field and you go. So, it wasn't like there were many choices that way, but I did think it was important to come east from an Eastern Time zone already and the transition was fairly smooth. Getting adjusted with today being Wednesday, we should be close to being adjusted by now."

With more time over here, do you have to say something to your players to make sure their focus is on football since it is a unique experience, or does the additional time allow them to enjoy themselves initially before getting to work?**

"I think it's a more enclosed environment. They're all here, we are all here eating together 24/7. I think it is much easier, a more controlled environment than when you are at home in a more spread out environment. Tuesday's our gameplan day, it's their day off. We started up this morning with our team meeting, a special teams meeting and (we are) ready to break up into offense and defense. I like that environment that we're in right now. There isn't a lot of time for the other English pleasantries right now."

Those guys at the running back position, they talk about how it's important for them to communicate because they are sharing snaps and good communication will help them get into a rhythm. Is it important to get the right guys at that position in that situation?

"I think that's necessary in building any team. I think the players that truly put the team first, and I would say this group has done a good job of that (it's important). It was put into plan in the beginning and the difference between us and the NBA is that the NBA has a draft and then they follow it up with free agency and sign what they can't draft. In our business, we have free agency first and then the draft, so I think it is a good group of running backs. There's a lot of different skillsets there. There is youth and everything in between. I feel like we're fortunate to have the runners we do."

What did you think of the tape and were you encouraged by the things you saw versus Carolina?

"Yes, I thought (with) the defensive front we faced, I thought the guys ran hard. I thought we did some good things in regards to getting to the edges. I thought we ran it inside pretty well and I thought our tempo helped us and we made enough big plays."

What were your impressions of Ken Crawley?

"He did a good job, he did a very good job. I was real encouraged."

What is your biggest challenge this week?

"Our challenges this week we're going through with the players right now. No. 1, I think we're seeing a real good running back and a real good up-tempo offense that's dangerous with the screen passing game. The ball can come out quick and there are a lot of explosive plays on that film. Defensively, you have to start by dealing with this (Ndamukong) Suh, he is a guy that is a dominant player inside. I think they do a good job taking the ball away, they tackle very well and they limit the explosive (plays). I think in the kicking game they are at the top, I'd say top third (in the league), this (Darren) Rizzi has done a good job their (special teams) coordinator. They are dangerous in the return game. If a ball's not kicked out (of) the end zone it's coming back. Their punt returner (Jakeem) Grant is a dangerous player and you're playing a team coming off a tough division loss. Our focus obviously needs to be on who we are playing and the type of game that we think we'll be played and I expect it to be a big challenge."

Is this the same Jay Cutler and what are your thoughts on him?

"He hasn't gone away for three years and come back now. I mean he still has the broadcasting pin in its plastic wrapper. He just played last year so it's the same guy we've been seeing."

Where there any guilty pleasure that you wanted to do when you got to London?

"Monday or Tuesday no, it was coffee, a little orange juice here and we were game planning. The players, they were out (day off) Tuesday, but that's our (coaches) gameplan day. I have not been outside the hotel yet. We head out today for practice for the first time. We are somewhere in the western suburbs."

Do you think the player protests will continue this weekend around the NFL?

"There are some things you can't control and I would imagine on Sunday throughout the league again it will vary by team and we're kind of focused on the I'm not going to say more significant issue, but the one thing we can control is playing a good football game. Last week all those remarks came when we were traveling to Carolina and it really got to us late that night and the next morning and to our players' credit, we were focused on one thing and that was going out and playing a good football team and our goal as coaches is to make sure we are ready to do that again this week and that's what we are going to do."

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