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Sean Payton on Monday's training camp practice

Coach Payton spoke with media following Monday's training camp practice

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Training Camp 2016 Presented by Verizon Media Availability
Monday, August 15, 2016

Opening Statement:

"We had a couple situations with today's practice. Tomorrow the players will be off. We'll come back on Wednesday and practice and then travel out Wednesday night, much like last week."

You guys were kicking a 60-yard field goal attempt, can you explain when that would come up in a game?

"End of half of end of game, when the opponent is backed up on their two or three yard line and generally there's a little breeze in their face. Eight seconds left in the half, eight seconds left in the game, four seconds, three seconds, 11 maybe. You feel like you're going to catch this punt in a favorable spot. It's a fair catch free kick, it is a rule that allows you to fair catch a punt and right from the spot at which you catch it, you can attempt a field goal try with your kickoff team. My experience has been when I've seen it, it's generally been a little breeze into the face of the punter so that was today's special situation in regards to the kicking game. It was the opponent is backed up and we have to catch it, can't hit the ground. Generally if it hits the ground it's short of those returners and then you are running offensive plays but, that was the situation."

If the kick is short you also can return it?

"Yes. If we kick it and we're short it's just like a long field goal attempt. They can have a deep guy back there catching it. Absolutely."

How big of a loss would it be if Sheldon Rankin's injury is serious?

"I'm not going to speculate. Next question."

When any player like that goes down in practice, somebody that you're going to count on, how do you deal with the players? What kind of message do you give them?

"We're practicing and we'll get an update and we'll keep you posted but, we're trying to get the reps in and obviously, you never want to see a player go down. Hopefully the news is good."

Looking at going against the Texans, when you view them in the trenches with their offensive and defensive lines, would it be a good measuring stick to see well you want to be better with run defense and being able to run the ball?

"Yes. Typically they've been a pretty good, pretty stout defense. They had a late game last night, Bill (O'Brien) and I have will have a chance to talk today and we'll kind of map out what we're trying to get done on Thursday collectively and then what's the objective for Friday and then, of course, we play Saturday night. I think much the same way, both teams are looking to get something out of it, to improve and then you get to the game and it's not like you have to spend a day or two with look squad simulating the other team and I think that's beneficial, especially for the younger guys."

Did you see what you wanted to see out of the goal line work from both units?

"Yes. We will look at the tape. Today we had eight plays scripted. It is our pretty normal goal line practice that we have in camp. I thought the defense did a pretty good job just on the field without taking a peek. The Offense made some plays but you are trying to be physical off the ball, you are talking about technique, pad level, all the things you need to do well in that kind of situation."

Now that you've had a couple days to look at the film of your offensive line with Terron (Armstead) back, what have you noticed from that group?

"You're a little healthier obviously, Andrus (Peat) is playing inside. Terron (Armstead) is, we think, a really good left tackle. He's trying to dust the rust off and get back into playing shape but, each day there's something else that we're working on, we're trying to improve on."

What are the advantages of one-gapping versus two-gapping?

"Just a style of defense. Both are successful in our league. The one-gap defense is more of a penetrating defense and probably doesn't have the same size requirements that a two-gap defense does and with a two-gap defense there's a prototype for what the end looks like and what the outside linebacker looks like. They're just different styles and philosophies. Both have been awfully successful."

Does that give you more flexibility with maybe moving a guy on the inside with the sub rush if you are one-gapping and not two-gapping or in that situation does it not matter?

"My experience in a two-gap defense is those outside linebackers very quickly become defensive ends when it's a sub rush but, in a rush situation on third down, you're not talking about one or two gaps. It's really about how you're playing the early two downs."

Everybody knows about the athleticism but what has made Terron (Armstead) so good so far in his career?

"I think this, I think he's extremely smart. I think, typically, when you have a young player that's excelled like he has, there's something down inside that motivates him, he's extremely athletic and then you put his ability with his mental toughness and his makeup and the guy has really grown up in front of our eyes and become a really good NFL player. There's usually a combination of talent, he is athletic and he's able to stay in front of the rush and it seems simple but he can stay in front of them."

There was a situation where it was third and long, third and twelve, and it seemed you threw underneath the sticks and it was like an under route and you had blockers in place. Was that a designed play to get the yards after the catch?

"Yes, we had some high zones where as a quarterback where... I hear this all the time, you need to get to first down depth, well when it is that long defensively there are some times when their drops take them and it becomes more challenging for them to throw a completion for a first down. There's a high likelihood for error and so how do you plan an underneath throw and there's a certain release pattern, block, you have to catch it just before they engage and so it's almost like a planned underneath throw with blockers."

It seemed like it would be a good coaching clinic because it worked today and Coach Allen was hollering 'leverage'?

"He'll have that on. He'll have that on. Somewhere you have to defeat a block because you're still in a zone and here's the other thing. The smart player begins to see and recognize and see it pretty quickly but, we'll sit on those Wednesday nights late on third and fifteen and offensively we're seeing kind of a picket fence coverage and you have to think of a way to throw underneath of this and still get the yardage or give yourself a chance to get the yardage."

Senio Kelemete said at the beginning of last year that he almost couldn't believe that he was a starter in the NFL, what kind of growth have you seen from him from last year to now?

He's stronger, his strengths lay in the running game, the area he continues to work on is his pass sets and his pass protection. He's played at center, he's played at guard. He has received some pretty good game snaps, even as a starter. So, the key is just continuing to work on those areas that come up in games that he feels that he needs to improve on."

What's the most freakishly athetic thing that you have seen Terron (Armstead) do since being here?

"At the combine he ran a 4.6 something or other, faster than a lot of the receivers so I'd say that. Every time you set on a really good pass rusher, you just kind of see this consistency in his technique and his athleticism. He does a lot of things really well."

When he showed up here you said he grew up before your eyes. What sort of youth did you see from him right away?

"We were going to Carolina (in the 2013 playoffs), so he had a tough matchup there against a good defense and then a couple weeks later here we go and all of a sudden he is playing in a playoff game and he belonged. In a matter of four to five to six weeks here was this guy starting. It happened in one season where the mistakes in that first start were cut in half and then all of a sudden by the third or fourth start, and that's pretty quick, that was noticeable."

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