New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton
2021 Training Camp presented by SeatGeek
Post practice press conference with local media
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021
"Just a couple roster moves to announce. We waived Brett Maher (K) due to injury. We also waived Stevie Scott III (RB). We terminated Prince Amukamara's (CB) and Noah Spence's (DE) contracts. Kyle Murphy (OL) went to the reserved/injured list. We have one positive Covid test, KeiVarae Russell, who is now on the Covid list and doesn't count against the 85-man roster."
How is Kwon Alexander progressing (from his Achilles injury)?
"Good. To be out here and getting work relative to when he was injured is great. I said it when we signed him, obviously he's ahead of schedule. Obviously, we just have to be smart and patient with him."
Are you planning on signing another kicker after Brett Maher's injury?
"Well, we could go for two. We can go for it every time on fourth down this preseason. All jokes aside, our plan will be to have somebody. We'll see where that's at."
Where would you say Tre'Quan Smith is in his recovery process? How close are you to getting him back from injury?
"He's doing well. He's good. He wouldn't be out here if we didn't think he was progressing well. We were mindful of him with it being his first day back, so we kept him limited today. He's doing really good."
Is Tre'Quan Smith someone you'd want to play in a preseason game?
"Well, I would want to get him into a preseason game. Hopefully this week we'll be able to do that."
When you evaluated Ian Book's tape from the Baltimore game, how did he look?
"Look, he did some good things. He was calm in the huddle, and you can see his ability to lead. He moved the football. There's a lot to coach off in that tape. There's a couple plays where he's holding on to the ball too long. It'll be a little faster in games than what he used to (college). Seeing him adjust to the speed of the game and getting through progressions is what we'll work on. Ultimately, I saw his ability to lead the offense and overall, there was a lot of stuff to coach off. It's no different than here at practice. It's an everyday thing for him. He's handling this well. He's got a lot of poise, which I like."
Given how much Paulson Adebo was tested against Baltimore and him not playing football for over a year (Covid opt out), are you impressed with how far along he is in his development?
"There's a handful of the players in the league that had conferences that didn't play last year or played later than others. That was what made the draft unique. We had to factor that in with the selection of a player. I thought he played well the other night. He stood out in the kicking game as well, so I'm encouraged with him.
Would you say Paulson Adebo has played well this training camp?
"Yes, I would."
Did you know Jim Chaney before hiring him as an analyst?
"I did. I never worked with him, but way back when I was at San Diego State our paths would always cross. He's always been a sharp offensive mind. Of course, he was Drew's (Brees) offensive coordinator all four years at Purdue. The timing of what we were looking for worked out to bring him here. You get a new set of ideas, someone else looking at things. When you get into the season, you're looking for new ideas and thoughts, maybe different things. I like having that here. We've had that in the past here with John Morton, Joe Lombardi before he was the QB coach. It brings other ideas to the room relative to third down and red zone plays. He's a really sharp football mind."
The guys seem to gravitate towards him (Jim Chaney), wouldn't you say?
"Yeah, he's got that calming personality. He's done this a long time (coaching) and called plays for a long time. So, I've always known him, but just never worked with him until now."
Since you joined in 2006, the Saints have been the least sacked team by a wide margin in the league. How much of that was to Drew Brees' credit?
"You see it all the time in our league. Look, there's some offensive lines that are more experienced or more talented relative to others. Generally speaking, when you see low sack numbers, you're also seeing the balls coming out quick. That was certainly something he (Brees) excelled at. We're working the same way with these quarterbacks to have the clock in their head, getting the ball out, process the information, and make decisions quickly. We tell them an incomplete pass isn't always a bad thing. Clearly, that (getting the ball out quick) was a big strength of Drew's."
You mention Paulson Adebo's play in the kicking game, how has he adapted to the kicking game since most of these guys in college never had to contribute there before?
"He's got good speed, great quickness. He's done a good job at the gunner and jammer spots. That starts with having a good physical skillset. Then, it's about having enough savvy to find out how to do a specific job on a particular down. He's one of those guys that has stood out in that area (kicking game)."