New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Local Media Conference Call
November 17, 2021
What are some of the things that are standing out to you from Philadelphia?
"First off, their offense is unique relative to the run design. It's been real productive the last three, four, five weeks, they've been running it as well as anyone. Your eye discipline and scheme determining how you want to defend the zone read and then the play action that comes off of it. They have done a good job with explosive plays. Obviously they have added some new weapons in the offseason. You are seeing DeVonta Smith, (Dallas) Goedert, (Jalen) Reagor, all the receivers run well. Defensively, the discipline within the framework of what they're doing, unique to anything in the last call it six, eight weeks, a completely different run design. Offensively against their defense, they play a multitude of fronts. They get in some heavy, when you are in nickel and still play a back end shell (coverage). They will give you a lot of quarters (coverage), they will give you a quarter half,they will play man to man. It is an active front, especially those guys down, we have seen (Derek) Barnett now, Fletcher Cox for years, (Javon) Hargrave is playing well, (Brandon) Sweat, so it is a unique style relative to what we are going to defend. Offensively, those guys do a great job of keeping the ball in front of them. They're really right at the top in allowing (few) explosive plays. You need to be patient. Those are some of the early impressions.
Have they changed how they are running the ball in the last six to eight weeks, even as compared to last year?
"Not style, but I think they're even more committed, when you watch the time of possession and the games. They have done a good job. They have obviously improved and gotten better. It starts with the quarterback and seeing how (Jalen) Hurts is playing, he has the same skillset as a lot of running backs do and throws the ball well down the field. I think he's playing exceptionally well."
Jalen Hurts is the obvious answer, but the Eagles had more running success against your excellent run defense than anyone in years? What makes it more difficult to defend in a situation like this?
"Yes, absolutely. I'm well aware. I think that obviously you're dealing with the advantage that you initially have when the quarterback isn't a runner and once that quarterback is a featured runner, it changes from a defensive standpoint what your normal, some of your normal fits and how you want to play certain plays. It's different. It's option football to some degree and it requires a different discipline."
When Trevor Siemian was with the Titans practice squad last year, what were some of the things that encouraged you to bring him in when Drew Brees got hurt last year?
"We have seen him as a starter in our league with Denver, we saw him as someone who was real quick and accurate with his decisions. Again, never having had any firsthand exposure, you learn a lot once you get here. Those are some of the things initially. His athleticism and the tape we had seen when he was a starter (was what attracted us to sign him)."
What are some of the key things to look at to evaluate a quarterback based on more than the record in terms of wins and losses?
"That would be easy to say. Obviously we grade all these plays. We grade how they are playing. That would be a simple solution rather than looking at turnovers, or penalties or dropped balls. I think he's graded out well."