NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016
SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"Obviously, it was a hard fought game. There were a lot of momentum swings. I would say credit Carolina (Panthers). We knew, in the second half, this was going to be (a comeback), clearly it wasn't over at halftime. There was going to be a lot of football to play here. It's a championship type team. The winner was going to have to make plays down the stretch and we were able to do that. It's good to get one of those wins, got a couple now in the last two weeks."
On how playing in tight games this year has helped:
"You get a little battle-tested. You find out about guys. Look, there's a kick that Wil (Lutz) makes today. When we talk about developing young players, they're growing up in front of us. There's a rep right there. Obviously, there's a significant play in the game. We had some tough things go against us. Some calls that were challenging and yet our guys hung in there."
On his comfort level of Lutz's range:
"Yes. Absolutely. I think the important thing was time left on the clock. It wasn't as much about we knew where his range would be. The key for us is we're going to get some max pressures and we can't take a sack and I think Drew's played (a pass for Travaris) Cadet. The little swing pass that's designed for like a block in the perimeter. It gets out of bounds. It gains. Gets a first down, if I'm not mistaken, about seven or eight yards. So it was really about making sure we weren't caught holding the ball and not looking too aggressive down the field because we knew it would be zone. They were down some corners. The personnel we were in, we got maybe two snaps in man the whole game. So it was going to be zone or it was going to be zone pressure and we just had to make sure we heeded some answers."
On the thought process of lining up for a two-point conversion, calling a timeout and then going for one after a touchdown:
"I had one look we were dying for and if we got it, we were going to go for two. We didn't get it. We called a timeout, it was easy to do, and well if we got the look, sometimes you just have something. You guys asked me about two-point plays and I felt like we had some, we just didn't get the right defense."
On the decision at end of the first half to keep the points on the board:
* *"Ten seconds. No timeouts. You guys go through that scenario in your head. You're going to get a real soft prevent, sack, half-ends. You start thinking of your options and look, it's a tough down to begin with, but ten seconds, no timeouts, that became an easy decision. It would be different if we had a little bit more time. You're just looking at what you're trying to do here. You're going to get a sack-fumble. You're going to throw an interception. That became easy."
On the decision to challenge two key plays:
"There's always that pause. You're hoping you can get a replay. The one was very easy, the long pass they ruled complete. Our touchdown, however, it was just delayed so you're wanting the replay to go quicker. We can control that a little bit because we don't have to snap the ball right away where they're long completions, they're going to be at the line of scrimmage, pressing the issue. Each one was different though. I just wish I had the opportunity to challenge (Kenny)Vaccaro's interception or, you know, pass interference. That would have been a nice challenge."
On impact of getting Josh Hill back:
"That helps us a little bit. He's got some versatility with protection and the running game."
On ability to do more with formations:
"We were able to do a couple of things that maybe we hadn't shown the last few weeks, but with their injury challenges, on a short week, they were playing pretty much the same front coverage with a couple pressure looks so they probably didn't have the variation that they wanted and yet there was a point in the first half where we had 21 (points) and we weren't able to get anything going and then a point in the second half, the guys hung in there. Tommylee's (Lewis) return was obviously a big play for us. We'll look at the tape, I'm sure there are a number of things, the penalties, you know I mentioned, we'll take a peek at it and get the corrections made. It's a good win."
On the 50-yard pass to Coby Fleener and if it played out the way it was intended:
"Yes, it didn't look good to me either. I think number two was supposed to be a little wider. (Coby) Fleener's pushing through the hole and I'm sure when we look at that on film there will be some corrections, but I agree."
On the possible positive impact of Wil Lutz's kick on his career:
* *"I think a lot. We've had a handful of kickers and we had a good competition in this training camp (between Connor Barth and Kai Forbath) and his workout was just that good. He's got the moxie. He's got all those things you look for in a good kicker. I said it after the first week and I'll say it again, I like his makeup and I like the things you look for, all the traits that you're looking for, beside from the physical traits, leg strength, he's got that mental toughness and he hit that last kick well."
On going with Craig Robertson over James Laurinaitis:
"We felt like it."
On performance of young players like B.W. Webb and Sterling Moore:
"Get better. (We) Played some young guys. Both teams were playing a lot of young corners. There were one, two, three, four, five. You know there are a lot of guys on the field that were playing in their first season and it went back and forth."
On if the team is rotating more on the defensive line:
"Yes. Absolutely. I think it's helped us. And you have to. You have to."