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Sean Payton on roster moves, facing the Bengals

Quotes from Sean Payton's post-practice press conference on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Opening Statement: "We signed running back Brian Leonard, he is in jersey number 40, safety Jamarca Sanford, he is in jersey number 38.  We waived center Eric Olsen and then we placed Vinnie Sunseri on Injured Reserve.  Joe Morgan was back today."

It seems like there needs to be another subtraction to the roster.

"No, we are good right now.  There might be one more still but this is what I am giving you."

Are (Brian) Leonard and (Jamarca) Sanford guys you looked at for special teams?

"Well they both can play special teams.  Leonard is a guy that we are more familiar with having played against him.  He gives us some versatility at running back and someone that we feel like can block the nickel pressures.  Sanford's an easy switch with Vinnie (Sunseri) on special teams.  He can play safety.  So those two were guys that we worked out."

When you are talking turnovers, how fine of a line is it when being aggressive and doing what you do and pulling back enough to be mindful of it?

"There is a fine line yet there are a number of things with regards to the details that go into it.  Oftentimes you can just look at and say well we can't throw that pass but there is a lot other little things in regards to route distribution, where guys are getting out in the pattern and then all of those things kind of come into it situationally as well of where we are at in the game.  Obviously I think we are going to have to be better at it the second half of the season then we were to start."

How much do you acknowledge the way Drew Brees was able to come back and be aggressive after the mistakes he's made?

"I think that is a trait you have to have at quarterback.  He has real good poise.  I've said this before, his body language and how he responds to challenges is a great strength of his."

How rare is that?

"Finding outstanding quarterbacks are rare so I think that's something that's not for everyone.  Those guys are tough, the preparation, all of it that goes into it."

What do you make of the boos that were directed at Drew Brees after the first half?

"I really didn't pay much attention.  It is not that I didn't hear, look, the half ended,(I was focused on)  just getting in there (into the locker room) and making sure we are ready for the second half.  I didn't make much of it."

What needs to change for this team to finish?

"It is those little things.  You don't know what specific play you can point to a handful and yet you can point to very easily starting quicker.  We put ourselves in a hole but again, the way we responded in the second half was encouraging and it is doing all of the little things.  You don't know when it comes up or when that play comes.  That is just something that we have to keep working on getting better at."

What do hope to be the learning lesson with Joseph Morgan coming back?

"That is between he and I."

What do you think about the way Jeremy Hill is playing?

"I think he's played well.  He's a player we are real familiar with.  Again, we knew he was going to be at the top of that draft in the first couple of rounds.  He is physical with good balance.  I think he has real good size and strength.  I think his transition is not surprising."

Is he someone that you guys looked at in the draft?

"Yes. Yes.  And look the challenge always is when you get into, you receive one first round pick, you receive one second round pick but it wasn't surprising as to where he was drafted."

Without going into details about Joe Morgan, you obviously feel strong enough about his character to let him back on the team?

"Absolutely, it is what it is and anything else would be details with regards to it.  Like I said, he's back.  He is at practice, just giving you that heads up. I know you are not happy with it but that's tough."

You haven't seen a lot in A.J. Green.

"This will be the first time.  Obviously we played Cincinnati twice within the last eight years.  We've seen a lot of film.  You can see the difference of when they have him and when they don't.  He is explosive.  He has outstanding hands, catching radius.  He is one of those top receivers you have to pay attention to."

How different do you think the Bengals are from the last game they played?

"One of the things that you see in their profile which we do today, we profile each team.  When they have gotten out early they played well and gone on to have a lot of success.  In a few of their losses, when they fell behind all of a sudden it became a little bit more of a one dimensional game.  They, like us, want to have that balance.  They want to run the football and play good defense and special teams.  So I think that they have a number of impressive wins when two of them are against a division team like Baltimore and then all of a sudden they fell behind in Cleveland and they fell behind in New England.  So the game really turned out to be different than they wanted.  They are coming off a tough loss.  We are coming off a tough loss as well.  Both teams are really playing with a lot at stake."

Is it more of a challenge to address Drew Brees' turnovers?

"No because his expectation and how he holds himself, it would be more challenging with a player that maybe didn't see it the same way and yet there are a handful of things that we have to do better to help that and outside of just the quarterback.  We have to do a better job with our route spacing.  We have to do a better job getting out in our checkdowns.  We have to do a better job at taking hits off of him.  So there is a lot that goes into that and yet his expectancy or where he sees himself, there is no one that, sometimes too much at times. I think with him that is what makes him special."

Are you surprised that you are in this position after nine games?

"No listen you get frustrated at times and get you realize you're close in a number of games but you don't look at it.  I know as a coach and I know that our staff is the same way, we look at it going into the season saying alright, is it going to be 12 or 13 wins?  Man, in this league you have to earn them each week.  There's a number of games we won referencing other seasons that easily could have went a different direction.  I've said this before, you take the start of last year with Atlanta that comes down to a fourth down stop on the three. Tampa Bay the next week until the final possession really, we very easily could have lost that game.  I think it's what drives you to get back to practice and get back to prepare and focus quickly on the best way to correct it next, we have to continue to be teaching.  We have to continue to covering the details and understand that this is a different team.  This team will, and I said this when the season started, will make its mark whatever that is."

Is this a one possession league for everybody?

"No when you watch them though you play probably five games where it comes down to a possession and then you will play a game where it is not.  Then you get back to three or four games, shoot, if you look at last year, you can easily pull up six of them.  That is just the fine line in our league between winning and losing.  You see it each weekend."

Is it frustrating that you haven't been doing what you want to be doing late in games like that?

"Yes, but it is and yet you can't get…yes, do you get frustrated?  Are some of those losses tough?  Absolutely they are and yet you cannot allow it to get you down.  It has to be 24 hours, maybe a little longer then you are on, the preparation is on.  Our focus now is on Cincinnati and we are playing for a lot.  This is an important game for us.  But back to your question though, there's not that point where you reference well how come, now why are not we finishing?  Those are things we are trying to be better at.  Those are the details we are talking about."

Is Joe Morgan ready to get back on the field?

"We will see."

He is not on the exempt this or anything right?

"No, he's here. That's what that first announcement was.  He is back."

What would be some examples some of the elite throws that Drew Brees has made this season?

"There was a throw in the game the other day that we ended up being hot on a play and it was not until I saw the film that he had an escape one, slip under another, and throw one to Jimmy (Graham), a touchdown pass.  Each week there are plays that come up and you just shake your head at that are outstanding.  That would be a good example."

Is it more important to begin the season fast or finish strong just to be improving each week?

"I think it is important that you are moving this direction and I think that beginning with that Detroit game there are a lot of signs that we have been able to do that.  That being said we are in that same sprint that every other team is, trying to improve, trying to play better football, better situational football, that is what we are trying to do."

Are you surprised by the wild swings you see around the league each week?

"That's our game.  That is what we were just talking about."

Was Vinnie Sunseri's injury an arm?

"Yes, fractured arm."

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