New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Friday, September 22, 2017
If you guys need to have a roster move next week, how would that be done with the travel to London? Were you thinking about that this week?
"Absolutely. It's tricky. There are a handful of moving parts some of which can take place tomorrow. But there are some unique challenges when you fly right from this game to the next one."
Would it be impossible to bring someone in next week if you had to? Would that be hard to do?
"Well you'd have to put him on your roster before you left."
What are some of the challenges this week preparing for the Panthers being down a few bodies at the cornerback position?
"I think week to week in our league, it's not uncommon where the next guy has to step up and you have to put your plan together accordingly. Carolina all of a sudden is without one of their primary targets and (a) real good player (Greg Olsen). So I think you get used to that and you're never happy with it. It's part of Monday and Tuesday where you begin to look at what you think is going to be your game day activations, who you think are going to be the inactives and then how you're going to play your offense and defense and certainly your kicking game. All of those things are affected and I think that's part of our NFL."
How easier is it for this specific cornerback group because they went through the same thing last year around this time in this timeframe too?
"It's just the nature of our game. It could be the receiver. It could be defensive linemen. We've seen it already with a few other positions. We're seeing it with offensive linemen."
Is there any unique challenges to playing a team like this that likes to run as much as they like to?
"I think the strength of what they do is play (a) very complementary game with time of possession. They are playing outstanding defense. It has been a real good formula for them. I think that it does not always have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective. I think we've played in some high scoring games with these guys and we've played in some games that at the half last year on a Thursday night it was fairly low scoring. Generally, the team that doesn't turn the ball over eliminates some of the negative plays wins the game. That was the case a year ago in both games. One became a high scoring game and the other really not until late."
Mark Ingram became the number two rusher for the franchise last week, what have you thought about the progression through his career?
"He's doing well. I thought last year he played exceptionally well. This training camp was one of his best. He's done a good job of I would say a lot of the little things, whether it's the protection, whether it's the running, certainly blocking the protection and his route running. I think the versatility with him. He's healthy. He's been a real good player for us. I wasn't aware of that (statistic) but it's not surprising.
What are some of the unique challenges of preparing for London? Do you have to pack Gatorade and different things?
"There's another group I'm sure, hopefully that's packing the Gatorade. Those are the things (specific departments handle). We're (coaches and players) trying to really remain focused just on this game. We've done this before. It'll be a fairly smooth transition. Pack an additional bag of luggage and that's it, let's go. And everyone else will handle the other stuff. Our group does a great job of getting us set up somewhere we have never been before. These guys, the players and coaches, are pretty resilient. Our focus really has been just on this game and this weekend. Then we'll handle the other stuff."
Most teams travel to London on a Friday. Why did you decide to do it like this?
"It varies. This itinerary, the last time we went we felt comfortable with. You get the experts that talk about recovery and the time change. It's just something we made a decision on. (It's) Probably (better to arrive) earlier than later. But it varies depending on the team."
Would it be strange to stay another night in Charlotte?
"No we are doing the exact same thing that we did the last time we played in London. We happened to play Carolina and then we have a dinner and we'll fly out and arrive in London Monday morning."
Carolina I believe is the only team in the National Football League that has not allowed an offensive touchdown, what has popped out to you about their defense in the first couple of weeks?
"Correct. When you look statistically at their third down defense, they are getting off the field. Their red zone defense. They do a good job of eliminating the big play. It's early in the season just two games. When you go through their history they've always been a real good red zone defense. The points you score are earned. You can see that on the tape right now. The two young corners have really progressed. And that front has been together for a really long time. When you look at the tackles, the ends. Then add Julius Peppers back into it. He's getting in, playing some man, playing inside. He's blocked seven or eight field goals (12 in his career). Our protection is going to have to be spot on when we're kicking. But the experience at linebacker when you're talking about (Luke) Kuechly and (Thomas) Davis, those guys have all played together for a while."
Is Drew Brees joining the team in London?
"Yes, we have it all planned out and he's (flying to London with the team) because of the uniqueness of the (trip). He is not going to meet us in London. He can fly to London with us."
Was it good to have a full week of practice with the new offensive line lineup?
"Yeah we were just talking about it. You have to quickly get ready and there's a lot that goes into it and we're going to get challenged this week. One thing about it is it's a divisional game and with the experience that we'll see on their defense, a lot of these guys have played against a lot of these players on both sides of the ball and the same way with Carolina and there is a familiarity with each team and its part of the division."
When did you begin your evaluation of A.J. Klein?
"We saw a lot of him when he played a lot of Mike for them when Luke (Kuechly) was injured, so we were familiar with the player to begin with and when it comes to free agency there is additional study, but clearly with a guy in our division you were more familiar with. Certainly, I was just because where he played than maybe a player coming out of Jacksonville or some other team, but that being said we still pay close attention to the snaps he played and then more importantly which division and he was a good addition for us."
Do you remember much from A.J. Klein's college tape?
"Yes, very much so, Iowa State, I remember the film, I remember everything about him, but he was one that I remember closely."
Is there a sense of urgency because everyone in your division is undefeated and do you talk about that in meetings?
"It's really more of an internal focus three weeks into the season. It's about really us working on getting a win and controlling what we can control. That's really where the focus is. I wouldn't at this point, I'd talk more about us. I think the focus has to be on our improvement quickly and our sense of urgency getting ready to play a good team."