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Saints transcripts: Sean Payton conference call with local media | Monday, Nov. 8

Head coach on Week 9 loss to Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton
Conference call with local media
Monday, Nov. 8, 2021

What were some of the things you found out about Trevor Siemian in his first start for the Saints?
"Yeah, look he graded out pretty well. I thought the decisions came quickly, you know, he got us in and out of a number of different plays. I think we could have helped him more, you know, outside with some of the playmakers. I felt like we had our hands on a few balls and watching the tape we did. I'd say pretty steady, pretty calm demeanor, especially, you know, when we fell behind in those final drives, he made enough plays really (and) got us back in the game. So overall, I was pleased."

*The running game was going well early, what changed during the game to get away from it? *"Yeah, that's a good question. Look, you're evaluating the tape early and we're getting some pretty good chunks. We ended up in some long yardage situations, too many offensive penalties, I'll be honest with you, it was frustrating watching the tape today and Atlanta did a really good job in getting that win. We're trying to focus on not only just that game, but the technique and the details that are going to move you forward and so they don't happen again. And so I just think there were a number of things that are teaching moments that we have to clean up and look at it's not cliche, we're still in that race to get better. And, you know, I hear the term margin for error, I don't know who has the margin for error really. I mean does this Buffalo have it? I don't know, they didn't play as well as they would have hoped and so in our league, there is a weekly margin for error and I think that the details matter so much that regardless, each week of who the games are, there's really good players on each side of the ball. So those are the things we're focused on this morning, cleaning up, and in the meetings, and making sure we see these things, and then addressing them. How do we go about fixing them? How do we go about becoming better with this technique?"

Are there any commonalities with the playmakers not making some of those plays or is it ball placement?
"I thought the ball placement was pretty good yesterday, just myself. We had one where I didn't like the location. But look, it's also finding ways to create separation, you know, we got a lot of man coverage yesterday. And so how do we find ways to get access and how do we find ways to get separation and we were able to do that in some cases. Deonte Harris had some big plays for us, obviously, some of our bunch sets even later in the two minute. I think that's the key."

What are some of the ways you guys can go about creating that separation?
"Well, you can do it with formation, you can do it with motion and then you can do it with release patterns. So, you know, you line up in clusters and bunch, what we did for a number of these plays yesterday, which it forces you defensively, it's harder to get your hands on someone, you got to back off sometimes if the receivers are stacked. We had a number of those type of formations yesterday. So we'll keep looking at that, but this league is filled with man to man coverage techniques, you know, and we're going to have to be able to beat that and handle that."

Do you feel like the penalties can be easily corrected?
"Well, it has to be. It's just hard to score in our league and it becomes a lot harder when you're 15 or 20 yards on the first down yet. So we have to be able to clean that up."

Was there any sort of common thread with the chunk plays Atlanta was able to get yesterday?
"Yeah, I'd say, look, we obviously want to be able to affect the quarterback better. If you just watch the game he had more than enough time and then there's some specifics in coverage that clearly we're better than and we can be better than and it's that attention to detail on that side of the ball, it's frustrating. But if those do not get cleaned up then you will consistently have periodic teams that have an open receiver through coverage. So we have to be better than that and we've got to also be able to apply pressure to the quarterback better."

Is the plan to stick with Trevor Siemian as the starting quarterback going forward now that Taysom Hill is healthy?
"We'll see what the plan is this week and each week and keep you posted."

Is the team going to put in a claim on Odell Beckham Jr.?
"Well, claiming deadlines today, no, it's impossible for us to put a claim in on the player. I mean you just have to look at the salary cap space and so. If we were going to be putting in a claim it wouldn't be something we discussed. I know it makes hit worthy news for everyone, but we wouldn't discuss that."

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