The Saints will don throwback uniforms for Week 13 as part of the team's 50th Season celebration.
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Rafael Bush had bad luck with injuries with the Saints the last two seasons, what have you seen out of him this year?
"He is playing well and listen I loved him as a player here. He is one of those guys that is smart, tough, he is a great teammate and he's had production on the ball. He is around the ball, you can see him involved in helping make calls. I think he is doing very well."
How has Vonn Bell handled making some of the calls?
"I think that transition for him has gone smoothly. He's comfortable, obviously on the back end and he has played low, he has played high and he has done a good job with it. The challenge sometimes is really when you are playing at home and the noise levels are louder on third down, but he has handled that real well."
With Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower at running back, how confident are you that regardless of who's in the game you won't have a drop off?
"I think that both of them are good pad level runners. You see them carry their pads well, there is not a lot of leak. There is not a lot of minus yard plays I should say. They finish runs, I think Joel's (Thomas) done a good job with their rotation keeping them both fresh and yet getting them plenty of work."
How do you think Mark (Ingram) has responded since the fumbling issues?
"I think overall well. I think he's played well."
Is there any difference in the way he's (Mark Ingram) running since then?
"Number one, he's been on point with his reads. He's running with a real low pad level and finishing runs which is encouraging. He has done a good job on contact. I think he is an after contact runner. Statistically each year those numbers have been pretty good with him after contact."
Andrus Peat seems happy where have you seen him take the biggest jump as far as life in the NFL?
"There's been a little bit more consistency for him in regards to position. Clearly, coming away from training camp it was getting him over on the left side. A player like that with just (needs) the added reps each week and be it sometimes he's played at tackle other times at left guard, but nonetheless he's really improved and he is the all the things we were hoping for when we drafted a young player like that and I know for sure that we didn't feel differently a year ago. It was just a matter of getting him in that same position and letting him grow and excel."
What do you think about the NFL developmental league that is being proposed?
"I'm not in favor of the developmental league. I think you're going to see an increase number of practice squad players. The developmental league I think is just a way for more network programming."
What have you seen on tape from A 'Shawn Robinson? He has been deflecting a lot of balls.
"They have a couple guys with a lot of length. When you look at their front they rush the passer well. You are going to get a lot of movement so this is a team that if you charted their rush patterns you'd see crossing lines, you know T, E's, T, E with a super three-man game. A lot of 2 and 3 man games. They are I think well-coached and in tune too timing a quarterback's pass, but I would say in describing the front there is a lot of length in their personnel. They rush extremely well and I think they are getting healthier and I think that's helped them."
Did I see that (assistant head coach/tight ends) Dan Campbell receive the game ball after the Rams game? If so, what was the significance of that?
"Yes, it is just something that we do and that we keep track of. Really it is just for us."
What, in general, is the impact that he has had on the team in his first year?
"He is doing well. I think he is a guy that has done an outstanding job with the tight ends. I think there is a toughness about him that I think he brings to the team."
Like the Saints, the Lions tend to use a lot of three-safety looks; how much would you say that this is based on offenses putting up a lot of points and that this has become the trend around the league?
"I believe, in our case, it is a little bit of trying to get your best personnel on the field. It might be that you feel you are one light at linebacker and you want to go in that direction. I think you're seeing it a little bit more from Detroit maybe for some of the same reasons. I can't speak for them but they tend to play it kind of against 12-personnel. Then, you might receive the three-linebacker look more against 21 personnel. I am sure each team has a reason for it. Sometimes, it is because of injury or attrition and then you're looking closely at who you want on the field to defend that down."
How unique do you think is the role that Kenny (Vaccaro) plays on the defense, compared to other guys around the league?
"He is a player that is (playing) close to the ball so he fits that strong safety and sometimes call it that nickel or big nickel role, and yet when you watch him play, you can see his strengths. I think he is s a good pressure player. I think he is good off of the backside in pursuit. I think he has the skill set to handle the slot when need be."
Do you recall scouting A'Shawn Robinson and what stood out about him?
"I think we had high grades on him. Obviously, a player like him you receive tons of information on with the school (Alabama) that he is from. I know this – they have done a good job of drafting guys in the defensive line over the years. Like a lot of teams, they have picked some guys real high. I remember (Ezekiel) Ansah coming out and of course Nick Fairley here. Robinson is another guy and I think that the pedigree, the makeup and a lot of those things that you look at, but I think they do a good job of developing those guys as well."
Do you think that kind of having your backs up against the wall in terms of record the way you do is a bonding experience and really serves as a way to motivate the locker room even further?
"A couple things can happen – When you get to this stage of the season and you are playing in games obviously that are significant and your margin for error is reduced, you find out a little bit about everyone. I do not know that I would use the word bonding experience. This is where it's at. We've played in a number of close games and the difference really in us being 5-6, call it three of those games of not taking advantage of what very easily could have or should have been a win, and we were not able to do that. So, here is the bed we are sitting in. The team we are playing this weekend obviously has been in a number of those close games and were able to pull out the victories. In both cases, both locker rooms, if you've got the right type of people, are getting ready to practice, focus today and prepare to win a game."