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Sean Payton on win against Rams

Sean Payton met with media following win against Rams


Opening Statement:
"There were a lot of things, as that game progressed, that were encouraging. I thought the guys did a lot of things well. We had good balance. Defensively, we did a good job on third downs."

On Mark Ingram's play today:
"He played well. He ran hard and had some big, explosive runs. It was good to see. It was good to see the offensive line, who I thought won that battle up front, clearly."

On how much game planning was based on the run to counteract the Rams' run game:
"In the early part of the openers we were (playing) a little bit more heavy pass, but a lot of it was just from the coverage and what they (opposing team) are playing, if they are playing two-high or single-high. Part of it (run game) was just as the game went on. I think we did a good job throwing it and with the balance we had; you get those balanced games when you convert third downs. The games when you don't have as many snaps you say, 'well, we didn't get to the 30-rushing mark' but there is a reason for that. I thought we had good balance and won the battle of being the most physical team, that was clear."

On decisions to go for it on fourth down twice today:
"Only because we felt like we had a really good short yardage (situations). The couple of calls, we felt really good call-wise, and we felt like the down-and-distance was strong in regards to our plan. We felt confident in it."

On how the defense responded after the first half:
"I think (they responded) well. They (Rams) have some good players on their team that are explosive and talented, and they have been in some close battles. When you watch their 4-6 coming into our game, just like our 4-6, that is a team that has played really good football."

On being more animated on the sidelines today:
"I was a little excited. It was an important win for us."

*On the Willie Snead IV touchdown pass call decision: *"There are tendencies and it had been installed earlier in the week and just coming up at the right time. I thought Tim (Hightower) did a good job of chasing it down. We had that play seven or eight years ago, and every time we wanted to run it at practice (Marques) Colston would go to the restroom, he wasn't really excited about it. He had a good arm, he just wasn't fired up about it and then Lance (Moore) tried it one year and about three different guys intercepted it (in practice). We cleaned up some of the things we were doing and we got the right look."

On if he was calling plays tonight:
"Yes, Pete (Carmichael) and I, both. Pete was calling a lot of situational stuff and went back and forth, it is easy to work together because if one of us is on with the regular calls the other one is getting ready for a third down or red zone call and it just works well."

On if the productivity from the tight end position early on was a result of something that he saw on the Rams' defense:
"It doesn't work like that. You want to go in with certain plans and yet, there are some coverages that may force a different primary. I think, in their case, both of them made some plays and sometimes they're primary, but a lot of is dictated by the looks we are getting. Those guys both made some plays that kept the chains moving."

On Michael Thomas*' growth: *"He high points the ball well, and what I mean by that is he catches it early as opposed to when the ball gets on him. He is able to locate and track the ball well. I think he is pretty good after the catch so he made a few guys miss, had some hidden yardage and he is physical when he gets the ball. He is a tough guy to tackle. He came up with some big plays."

On if it helps to know a defensive coordinator well when calling plays against him:
"I don't know, I think that is a little bit overrated. Either way, you receive all the film on these teams and you have to go out and execute, you have to go out and block, and you have to be quick off the ball. You have to be able to make a few plays in the passing game on third down. We got a year-and- a-half of film on Los Angeles that you look at and yet, you get some looks that are different. The first series we got a ton of man coverage and that was a little unexpected, and then it settled down and we got a mix like we anticipated. I don't think so. I thought the players did a good job of going out and executing."

On the defense in the second half:
"Good. I thought we had pressure on the quarterback. We had a hand full of near turnovers so we had other opportunities, but I thought we played with speed and energy. We will look at the tape tomorrow and make the corrections, but they played hard."

On the defense's increased consistency of late:
"We're healthier, number one. Delvin's (Breaux) back, (Dannell) Ellerbe's back, Sheldon Rankins is back; so, having a lot of your starters back in the lineup, I think number one, has helped. I think part of it's a little bit of momentum and you start playing well and that bar gets a little higher. It wasn't a perfect game by any means today. There will be some things that we look at on the tape and we will want to clean up and correct."

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