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Saints Training Camp 2021: Transcript from Coach Sean Payton from Sunday, Aug. 15

Coach Payton met with the media one day after preseason loss to Ravens

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton

2021 Training Camp presented by SeatGeek

Post practice press conference with local media

Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021

Opening Statement:

'"Real quickly, at the beginning of practice we did a review with our game corrections and went over some situational things. We'll be off tomorrow, and we'll have an install practice on Tuesday to get back to the next, important stretch for training camp because the following week will go by pretty quickly relative to the Monday night game."

How would you say Marcus Davenport played last night?

"I thought he played well. I thought, overall, we played well defensively. I thought we handled some short fields relative to field position. We started a couple times either on our end of the field or at midfield. But, overall, I thought it was solid. We did a lot of things well defensively."

With a guy like Eric Burrell, who's a very physical player in games, how important is the preseason for a guy like that who can't always show his physicality in practice?

"When you put the pads on it's real important, especially when you watch guys in the kicking game. It's more information we have. It's good when it's in a game situation, especially for these young guys?

What did you think specifically about Eric Burrell's performance last night?

"I thought he was good. Look, I thought the linebackers stood out when you watched the tape. Obviously, when you turn the ball over six times, it kind of goes without saying. I knew coming off the field last night there would be things we'd be encouraged with and some things that have to get corrected. I thought overall it was good."

What did you think about Juwan Johnson in his first game action at tight end?

"Pretty good. We've seen that too out here (in training camp).:

With a guy like Tony Jones Jr., how do you weigh the good reps he had versus his fumble?

"Well, you're encouraged with some of the reps, but it's not a good night. In other words, it can't be a good night (when you fumble). Runners that continuously fumble, there's an old saying, "they're going to become someone else's runners." I'm sure that he'll be able to, like the others, will be able to work on ball security this week. When you're suddenly in a game-like setting, it's not the ball security in a four-minute drill or when you're at the end of the game, it's how you carry the ball when it's just in your one hand and the ability for all those guys to see that. Obviously, you never want to see that (lost fumbles), it's better to see it now in the preseason, but it has to be addressed. It has to be improved."

Do you like the new roster cut dates compared to past years?

"It is what it is. We've had camps where we started with 80. The old way was 75-90. Now, it's 85-90. I focus on the things we can control."

Did you make cuts today?

"Yes. We'll announce them (later), though."

Did you like what you saw out of Marquez Callaway last night?

"Yes. Like I said, we saw this out of him a year ago. I don't know that anyone was truly paying that much attention, but if you went back and looked at some of those games from him last year late in the season, we began to see his growth and confidence grow. I think that's paid off for him in training camp now with his improved confidence level. Last night was encouraging."

After watching the tape, what did you like from the first two quarterbacks (Winston and Hill) in their progressions and decisions last night?

"I thought we moved the ball well. There's a number of teaching moments on tape. I thought we took 2-3 sacks that we would've not liked to see based on where we were field position-wise. Being really detailed, there's some locations on throws and decisions that can be improved. Overall, there were definitely some things to be encouraged about."

What did you think of Paulson Adebo and Ken Crawley's performances last night?

"Pretty good. They went after Paulson a few times and I thought he handled it well. He also played well in the kicking game. By and large, I was encouraged with the defensive performance last night."

Would you say the lack of targets in Ken Crawley's direction is a good sign?

"Yeah, sometimes your preseason quarterbacks will pick a side pre-snap based on his receiver or based on the play he's got called. There's not a week spent on the opponent where you have a clear grasp on saying we're going to attack a particular guy. So, I know if we start the season, whoever starts opposite Marshon (Lattimore) will be tested. I think in the preseason games it's a by-product sometimes of where their play is going and having to defend that."

You mentioned how much you liked some of the young linebackers before the game. What was your takeaway from them?

"I thought they stood out. I thought the group played with good energy. They did a nice job and saw it on tape. You felt it out there during the game, but you saw the same thing on the tape."

What was your evaluation of Zach Baun's performance after having to move positions last year with no training camp?

"Look, these guys have flexibility. When you go into a game with five or six linebackers, your fourth best linebacker might have to enter the game and play a different spot, as opposed to having guys stick at specific positions. We cross train these guys and we'll do the same for this week's game. We might even flip a few guys."

We saw David Onyemata play a lot of snaps last night and even saw him at defensive end, is that something he might play after his suspension is over?

"Well, I think you have to keep him in football shape. I think we're deep enough and hope we're deep enough there. His best position is at the three techniques. I think him playing end last night was more specific to our lack of numbers after some of the guys came out."

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