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Saints transcripts: Sean Payton media conference call | Monday, Nov. 15

Head coach talks Week 10 loss to the Titans

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton
Media conference call
Monday, Nov. 15, 2021

What did you see after further reviewing the game?
"It's the same things that I felt like I saw talking to you after the game. We did a number of things well. I was encouraged with how we fought in the second half. We knew going in, it was going to be a close game. We were going to be smart with field position. Obviously there's a lot to coach off of, relative to some mistakes. We had some opportunities at the end and we weren't able to capitalize on it. This is one of the occasions watching the tape, there wasn't anything completely new that revealed itself. I thought we played hard and physical defensively. I thought we made some plays in the passing game in the second half. Mark Ingram had a real good game in obviously an expanded role with the injury to Ty Montgomery. I thought our kicking game struggled, kind of the way you felt coming off the field (felt the same as gameday in evaluation)."

With the back-to-back losses in late-game situations, how do you get the team to avoid it snowballing from an attitude approach?
"It's a week-to-week challenge in our league when you're winning, when you're losing, you need to compartmentalize. I think our guys do a good job of that. You need to digest the game, get through the game, get on to the next opponent. I understand the question and still recognize the challenge of the next opponent. You guys certainly understand the ability each week of the teams we're playing."

Have you seen any commonality in late game comebacks, whether it be poise, better blocking or anything like that?
"Yes, I think it was a little different in this case, a week ago it was kind of two score (deficit), this one felt within striking range of where we wanted to be. Obviously, the swing in the first half with the interception that was negated was significant, but we felt going into the second half, we just wanted this game to be quite within our reach and quite honestly it should have been. We had trouble making PATs. Where a week ago, I think it was that this got to two scores and we had to change the flow of the game and get into a hurry up a little earlier, it was a different type of situation."

Do you have any explanation for the missed PATs from a technical standpoint?
"No, the first one we hit flat, we hit the ground with our foot. The second one, we pulled it."

Was it a flea flicker attempt with Mark Ingram II and Trevor Siemian?
"It was a flea flicker into a blitz. The corner came. (Mark) Ingram initially held on and then dumped it back and fortunately we were able to get a throw away. But it was."

Looking back, were you fine with kicking the 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter rather than trying to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter?
"I felt pretty good about it again, just the overall plan. Points were going to be at a premium as opposed to maybe some other games. That wasn't one of those where I really struggled back and forth. I just knew how we were approaching that game."

With competitive catches, how do you grade them as a coach, when a receiver goes up, gets a hand on the ball. We used to see Marques Colston make those catches in the past?
"Sometimes they make them or they don't. At some point, they don't make them all, but they show the ability to make them, that's encouraging. That's encouraging for Tre'Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway. I thought Tre'Quan played well the last two weeks. I really like what I've seen from him. You begin to see it or you don't. It's one or the other."

We talked during training camp about having a two-quarterback system and saying you preferred to have a consistent leader at that position? How do you look back at it now with what's happened?
"I don't know that it's just a consistent leader. I prefer to have a consistent starter. It doesn't mean you can't supplement that, even when we did with Drew Brees and Taysom Hill. But to truly have a two-quarterback system, which I don't know if we've had here yet unless, what we've had here, you're considering a two-quarterback system."

We talked about its viability when Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill were competing and revisiting a two quarterback system and the pros and cons?
"There's only 11, 12, 13 possessions and it happens fast. You're trying to look at your team in totality and your offensive weapons and how do we get the right player the ball, how do we get him on the field the most. That's the evaluation constantly we're looking at. It doesn't mean you would never look at things like that. It's challenging."

Is it fair to say that you would come away from a game like yesterday on one hand encouraged that you are competing with a team that is one of the best in the league and maybe should have won if not for things out of your control. On the other hand, the disappointment of certain things that kept you from winning?
"Being honest it's gut wrenching, if you want to know truthfully, there's so much that goes into the week. It's always difficult when you lose and then when you lose in a fashion, where it is what it is, that's even more difficult, more difficult to accept. You look to bounce back here today, watch (tape) is a tough job, you have to regroup and get your players back and kind of get the focus and the energy shifted so one doesn't become two and two doesn't become three. That's important, but you're encouraged. You're looking at the tape and want to see guys play each play in a manner where it's better than it has been. We're doing that in some areas and some areas where there's some simple penalties and simple mistakes that need to be cleaned up and then there are some areas where are they good enough or not. Those are honest questions, but the way you feel after one, where like yesterday, I can't explain it any other way. That's how it is."

Are you getting crossing patterns as a trend, is that a technique issue or is that something that you have to live with at times?
"Teams do a good job of showing formations. If you're in man, you're going to get some shallow crossers. We were in the wrong personnel on one of the plays. We were defending what we thought was the 12 personnel, it was 02 and so now you have a matchup you don't really like, you're in man to man and…Offenses are pretty apt to giving a formation to get a man-zone tell and if they see that it's man, they'll get to a man beater (play). Certainly it's a clear cross, so it's number two going vertical, saw a guy coming underneath and getting a pick (play) there. But we have to be better than that."

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