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Sean Payton: 'I thought we worked pretty well today'

Transcript of Coach Sean Payton's Sunday press conference

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability
August 2, 2015

Is there a balance you try to find between players who want to play aggressive and trying to keep them from bringing their teammates to the ground?

"Hopefully we're able to stay up and yet still fit, tackle support, do those things. There will be a period or two where we go to the ground but I thought we worked pretty well today. A handful of times guys were on the ground but I think they're doing a good job with the tempo and understanding what the tempo is."

Today's drills were lively and vocal. I'm guessing you like all those things right?

"Yes, I thought it went well, I thought the focus on each rep was good, it was something we talked about in the meeting last night. It was kind of a point of emphasis on creating as best you can the settings in which you're going to be playing in and trying to best simulate those."

Were you trying to be vigilant with mental mistakes today?

"Typically we try to do that with each practice. We're paying attention to what guys are supposed to be doing but getting on to the next play with a quick refocus, much like in a game because it happens one after the other and I don't want to see one play bleed to the next and the next."

So it was a concerted effort to up the tempo today?

"A little bit, it was more of an emphasis on each rep and each play on to the next one."

You seemed to have a lot of faith in Josh Hill early on in his Saints career why did you have that faith or what gave you that faith?

"Well, number one, he is an outstanding special teams player, he can run, he's athletic so there's a lot of snaps we've been able to evaluate when he's been in games and been able to play. I've said this before though, he is not going to in any way, shape, or form try to replace one player. Ben (Watson) has got experience there and we'll fill guys in but he is someone who is very comfortable with what we are doing and does a great job of executing."

Taking that next step though what do you expect from him?

"Just the continued progress that he's made. It's a little bit cliche to say 'that next step' he's been pretty consistent and just keeping healthy and keep getting more and more familiar with some of the nuances of the offense and working on the running game, working on some of those things that he'll have a chance to."

Does he stay full on special teams as his role grows?

"He will still have a significant role. I said this the other day. There is no one that we are holding back off of. Of course there are certain players that just would not play (on) special teams but all those guys can contribute not really how much we see his role in a game."

You've been zeroed in on those one on one defensive line vs offensive line drills the last few days, what's your thought on those so far?

"It is competitive when you watch. You see some wins and loses on both sides. You just watch it and you can kind of see it. It is pretty realistic. Defensively, you want to have a rush plan. There's a handful of ways to get to that spot. Is it with power, is it with speed, is it with a counter move? Then offensively it's are you able to react, sink your hips sometimes, there's an initial movement and you regroup and set your feet. I think we're getting some good work there, some really good work."

How do you balance what you see with one on one drills to what you see in eleven on eleven and maybe some of the guys perform better there as opposed to the one on one drills?

"Typically you will see it in not just one specific area. So you are just paying attention to all of it really. How they are doing it, we'll watch all this film."

What have you thought of (Hau'oli) Kikaha in the one on one drills?

"I think he has done some good things. When he gets matched up against a guy like Terron (Armstead), who is an extremely good pass protector, it's difficult not just for him. I think it's gone well, he's receiving good work and valuable reps. All of those guys are."

Can you describe the intensity in 11-on-11 today and what's the perspective you got away from it?

"I just thought that we had good focus. We singled out the reps that we wanted to work on, the periods varied from what the point of emphasis was but I thought they handled that tempo well."

Luke McCown told us yesterday that when he was a young quarterback, Jon Gruden was extraordinarily tough on him. From your perspective with a rookie quarterback, how do you balance keeping his confidence up while being critical of his mistakes?

"I think the quarterback position has thick skin and I think quickly you have to get up to speed with what we are doing, how to verbalize it, then how go out and execute it. I've seen that with Bill (Parcells) first hand with Tony (Romo) in his early years and we'll do the same with Garrett (Grayson). The ships not waiting really, it goes and quickly you have to get up to speed with it and I thought his practice was a little better today."

Rafael Bush doesn't get a lot of attention but can you talk about just his value to the team?

"He's very versatile, he's extremely smart, obviously someone who plays at the free safety and we view him as a guy who looks like a starter. He'll play a lot. He can play in the kicking game. He's a guy who is very competitive and very smart."

You made the Marques Colston and Brandon Coleman comparisons earlier, is that just based off their background and where they came from and how they started or does that also reference a sort of lightbulb moment that you've seen?

"I would say more their stature and the types of player that they are. I think Brandon (Coleman) has made a lot of strides from year one to year two and again part of that is his health, he's healthy, his legs are stronger, he's extremely competitive, he works hard at it and you can see that carry over to the snaps he is getting and he's also very smart like Marques was (Colston)."

Looking at a couple of young players, it seems like (Kasim) Edebali is building upon what he did last year as well as Bobby Richardson?

"Bobby (Richardson) had a couple good snaps today and that's encouraging. He's healthy now. (Kasim) Edebali plays with great effort and intensity, he's a finisher, he's got a nose for getting to the football. Both are young players, obviously (Kasim) Edebali going into his second year and Bobby (Richardson) in his first year but those are good young competing players that we like working with and they are obviously competing for a spot in a niche."

What did you think about (Kenny) Vaccaro's day today, it seemed like he was all over the place?

"I think when we put the tape on, we'll see the things he needs to work on but I like the intensity he plays with. It matters to him, he's physical, and we'll have a chance to watch the tape later."

Tell me about Kevin Williams after the first couple of days with him, what are your thoughts on him?

"He is really smart, he provides really good leadership, (and) he is one of those players that has a really good recall, (and) a really good memory. Even in the interview process when he came to visit and just talking to him on the phone, he really has a good football IQ so I think from a personality standpoint and not being in the room a whole lot but I now that he provides that leadership from experience, certainly from respect. He had some valuable snaps a year ago when he played a year ago for Seattle and hopefully we can receive those type of snaps from him this season."

Bill Johnson was coaching him up yesterday, they were talking back and forth and he was really taking the coaching. Is it rare for a guy who has been in the league that long to be taking that much coaching?

"I think that never stops. There's never a point where a player has been in the league long even where we don't work on coaching him or leave him alone. That doesn't exist."

I mean he was so open to it?

"Yeah, He's smart. He understands that you are getting better or you're not and he's been a good addition."

You had Frank Beamer and whole Marshall staff today?

I think there were a bunch of groups out here today, Indiana was here, Kevin Wilson. Doc Holliday, Marshall. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech. That'll be pretty common throughout the camp, there will be different colleges here. I think that's pretty normal."

You mentioned Brandon (Coleman's) size, is he someone you feel like uses his size to shield guys off?

"Well you have a bigger radius and so the target area is bigger where you are throwing is bigger and so as you're a quarterback throwing a slant or throwing an in-cut that radius is just a bigger and I think that's one of his strength."

Through two days of padded practice, I know it's early but which side of the ball has impressed you more?

"It is early, I wouldn't sit here and say this side of the ball is better then that side of the ball. When you watch a practice like that you watch snaps that are good defensively and snaps that are good offensively and so we wouldn't look at it that way."

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