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Saints transcripts: Sean Payton media availability | Friday, Nov. 5

Head coach on going into Week 9 against Atlanta

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Friday, November 5, 2021

What are your thoughts about the quarterback position this week?
"I thought Trevor Siemianplayed well last week. Taysom Hill was coming out just at the same time. We'll see what we do each week. For this week, relative to this game, we'll start Trevor and kind of go from there."

Why do you think this team has been able to withstand injuries at the quarterback position over the last couple years?
"I think the consistent thing is that number one, we have a pretty good team, we play good defense, and we run the ball really well. The two best allies for a quarterback are a good running game and a good defense. It's hard to play that position if you're not playing good defense or if you can't run the football."

Are the injuries the last couple of seasons the reason why you've made it an emphasis to invest in high-quality backup quarterbacks?
"Yeah, you have to feel like there is someone you can win games with because of injury. The same thing applies to safety, cornerback, or any other position. Obviously, we're looking for depth, but I think that's important."

What's the key to manufacturing yards after catch (YAC) from a passing standpoint?
"From a quarterback's standpoint it's about location. Are you keeping them on stride or are you making them turn? So, accuracy can lead to more YAC. Inaccuracy if you have to jump for a ball or if your feet aren't on the ground (prevents more YAC). Ball location can help with that."

How have you seen Trevor Siemian take command of the offense so far?
"I mentioned this last weekend, these guys all have different personalities. I have coached a player with a personality similar to Trevor's when I mentioned Ty Detmer. He is cool and calm. You never see the real highs or the real lows. That is his personality and it works for him. His preparation this week has been really good. Taysom's (preparation) has been the same way. But everyone has a different personality relative to how they play. His would be that way, by example, has a good command of what we're doing, but pretty flatline, in a good way."

How have players responded to Trevor in the huddle during practice this week?
"Good. I think he did a good job last week coming in during that moment. There is certainly a confidence in him in what we're doing."

How beneficial is it for Trevor Siemian's success being with here for over a year?
"I think that's important. I think that's good. He has been in the system; he understands it and knows it. I think it is the same thing with Jameis Winston and Taysom (Hill). Those guys have all been in it here for quite a bit. Marcus Williams kind of getting it quicker now too."

Will Ian Book be active this week?
"Yeah, he'll probably be up too this week."

Is the improvement in the pass rush where you want it to be since coming off of the bye week?
"Yeah, it's easy to just look at sacks. That's fine. You want to look at third down efficiencies, interceptions, hurries, and quarterback hits and all of those things. I think we're doing a good job.

You worked with Falcons GM Terry Fontenot for years. What are your thoughts on the job he's doing so far in Atlanta?
"Yeah, look it's his first year. Those guys are grinding and working hard. It's hard to actually look at the film in year one. It's (Falcons Head Coach) Arthur (Smith's) first year as well. So, I know those are exciting times when your head coach and general manager are coming in together locking arm and arm. I know both of those guys have a great pedigree. We miss Terry and it's good to see he has that opportunity and I'm sure we'll exchange pleasantries after the game."

Did Terry Fontenot identify Trevor Siemian as a quarterback to bring in?
"That's a good question. I can't answer that honestly. He did a fantastic job with us."

What do you think about two of the guys you drafted, Jahri Evans and Roman Harper, going into the Saints Hall of Fame today?
"It was great. I did not like the timing of the luncheon; I would have loved to have been there. When you look at both Roman and Jahri, they were in that first draft class (2006). Roman was a second rounder and Jahri was our fourth rounder. We traded down for both of them. With Roman, we went back a few spots to acquire Jeff Faine. He started for us at center and Roman started for us for nine years and went on to have a great career. With Jahri, in the fourth round, we had the second pick that year. They used to have three rounds the first day and then start early in the morning with the rest of the draft. It was early in the morning; the Texans had the first pick, and we were up second. We're getting ready to select a tight end out of Wisconsin, Owen Daniels. I was on the phone with him. The draft began and we were talking. We went to the same high school, and I did not even realize it. While we were on the phone, the Texans had picked and he came back to me and said, 'Coach, I am getting drafted by the Texans'. They were the one pick ahead of us. So, the Texans selected Owen Daniels and we traded down with the Philadelphia Eagles. We acquired Hollis Thomas and then drafted Jahri Evans. Owen turned out to be a real good player and Jahri, I think's an eventual Hall of Fame player in our league. Both those players were acquired when we traded back in the draft, and then acquired guys that played for us that year. Hollis played and obviously Jeff started for us at center. Those guys (Harper and Evans) were fantastic players and epitomized what we're looking for. That was the stat for the week right there."

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