New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Monday, September 15, 2014
Opening Statement: "Just a couple of things in regard to yesterday's loss, I think that the one thing that is most disappointing is that situationally we have to do a better job of playing football. That could be an end of game situation. That could be when a team is attempting a field goal, (on) fourth and four, (and) we are offsides. We take a sack in a position yesterday where potentially we are in scoring range with a field goal to make it a seven point game as opposed to a field goal game. A few of those came up in the Atlanta game and there were a handful of them that came up yesterday in Cleveland. We've got to look closely at being prepared for those things and being smarter in those situations. That is the one thing that has stood out now two weeks in a row. Obviously it is tough losing on the final drive and we talk all the time about the importance of two minute offense and defense that is how a lot of these games end. That is how most of these games end. I think it'll be important that we have a good week this week in preparing for Minnesota. They are coming off a tough loss themselves so I am sure they will be ready to play."
What is your reaction to Adrian Peterson being likely to play this weekend?
"I saw it and look we are going to have to prepare to play him along with the rest of the team. That's the only thing. Obviously from a scheme standpoint it is significant because of his ability. It's probably better to know that now than to find it out later in the week and try to prepare for all the different scenarios (of his availability)."
Your guys haven't committed a lot of turnovers but they have been pretty big. Is that a situation where you look at the play and say this is what we are talking about?
"Just relative to the turnover battle, really, it is 1-0 yesterday. Not getting any takeaways and losing by one increment, when you take the last two games we lost that battle by one and both of those games finished in closing field goals. So it is significant when you are looking at games that are that close."
What can you tell us about Mark Ingram?
"Nothing now. I thought he ran really well yesterday. I thought he played hard. We will evaluate where he is at but nothing today with specifics in regards to any of these guys with injury."
What is the big picture when you lost two games by a total of five points?
"It's focusing on the things that you feel like consistently come up, that potentially kept you from winning those games, focusing on those, making the corrections and then getting ready to make the improvements and play your third game. Today is an important day to look closely at the film. It is important for our players to see it and then get ready to play another opponent."
Where is pass rush on that list of priorities?
"It's important. It goes hand in hand, the coverage, the rush, all of those things; it becomes easier to do your job as someone in the secondary when the quarterback is under duress. Those are things that go without saying. That is all part of it. Sometimes it comes from a four man rush. Sometimes it might come when we are sending more than just four. Yesterday we probably pressured more than we did week one versus Atlanta and yet he (the quarterback) was able to still make some plays. We had some assignment errors, some communication errors, those are the things that we have to get cleaned up."
Do you maybe insert yourself a little bit more in the defensive room after two tough weeks?
"We try to at the beginning of the week meet on the game that we just had. Last week we watched the tape together defensively. I'm not in that meeting room as much as I'm in the offensive meeting room and yet at the same time we'll talk about personnel for the upcoming game, how do we look to what is the plan with regards to our personnel and then during the middle of the game at times I'm always on their line (headset communication). I'll have real good dialogue with not only Rob (Ryan) but the rest of those guys on defense. It is important we play a complementary game and I think that is something that I have pretty much been consistent with in my time here. I think those guys will bounce back, will do a good job preparing this week and we will collectively make sure we have the right players out there and the right scheme for who we are playing."
Is it more typical to see assignment and communication errors in weeks one and two?
"They're concerning in that a lot of it's pre-snap. I think it can cost you in week one or two. (But) It'll cost you in the middle and later part of the season. I think it's critical that guys know where to be and what to do. The same thing happened on the third down play offensively, we had a miscommunication, we don't pick up the right linebacker, he comes free and gets a sack on Drew (Brees) and now we are out of field goal range and we are punting the football. Those are things that we need to clean up in a hurry."
Do you feel like you ran the ball enough early?
"I was pleased with how we ran the ball. I thought we had a good mix going on. Early in the first quarter looking back, there were a handful of plays that hurt us. Of course we had just a simple shotgun snap that takes us further back. But I was pleased with how we balanced the run and the pass."
When you call timeout at your goal line or the third down play, is that almost instinctive for Drew Brees to do?
"Well a lot of times the timeout will be called headset wise or me right on the sideline. The last timeout we used was actually a third down run we had called up to (Travaris) Cadet. Defensively they had misaligned and it seemed like they had five or six defenders over here to the right where we were going to run it. I know Drew Brees was in the midst of orchestrating a possibility of us going the other way with the run and I walked down and just called timeout with the side judge. It wasn't going to be a real good play going to the right. It had a real good chance to be a real good play going to the left but at that time of the game it made sense to make sure we had the right play."
Can you discuss the timeout Drew Brees took to prevent a delay of game penalty on the goal line?
"I think your instinct is to make sure you have the right play. I understand your question now. Early in the game if he takes the penalty it just backs up whatever. I didn't see that as a big deal. I know he has a clock in his head. He has a lot of things going on. That is something that would probably be in today's list of issues way down at the bottom of the list."
Was it really tough to make a change with Patrick Robinson?
"No, it was just based on those early series. He ended up playing in nickel. Corey (White) has been getting a bunch of snaps in the base. It was something that I felt like it was the best thing to do."
Can you talk about what happened on the last play before the final field goal?
"It was man-to-man coverage and was a zero blitz, essentially we were going to pressure the quarterback to try and keep him right at that point so they do not get in closer for a field goal. We knew it was probably about the last play that they were going to be able to get off. They brought a (wide) receiver over in motion. Patrick (Robinson) was late adjusting to that but he did travel across and they ran a little bunch play. When you are in bunch and you are playing man-to-man, you have to have a way to sort it out instead of just staying with your guy. We typically play one in, one out and then the point player stay on top. We had two players cover the flat essentially and left one player open. Patrick ended up grabbing the player coming on the shallow cross which was a penalty even if it wasn't completed it would have been a penalty for them (Cleveland) in regards to field position. It was a coverage error. It's just one of those things that I was just talking about, the things that you have to be able to handle in bunch, things that you have to be able to handle receiver motion. When you play man-to-man like we do, you're going to get that. Teams aren't just going to sit and spread out, they are going to try to bunch the receivers together and create picks and create opportunities as leverage. That was one of those situations where they motioned a bunch look and we were late adjusting and obviously missed the primary purpose or the primary responsibility of covering the seven route, the corner route."
That is something you work on all the way back in the spring right?
"There are two or three different ways you handle bunch. The way we were supposed to handle it on that play we didn't handle it. We handled it one of the latter ways. There are times where you have the point player cover the flat or off the ball number two, but no we didn't execute it. Look, those are the things that we have to be better at because at that point it is a longer field goal and all of a sudden if you look statistically it went up 25 percent chances of making the field goal with that one play."
Did you all change anything terminology or schematically on defense?
"No. I would say this, the changes obviously have been veteran guys with guys like Malcolm (Jenkins) and Roman (Harper). No, the terminology and all of that is the same."
Can you talk about how Marques Colston didn't have a catch for the first time in 86 games?
"We got a lot of sub-packages but I thought by and large we threw it pretty well. The targets sometimes are going to be different. Jimmy (Graham) ended up having one of his better games. That happens with our offense. I thought Kenny Stills was able to have an impact coming back. (Robert) Meachem had some big plays for us. We got some substituted defense (from Cleveland). We got a lot of man (coverage) from them. I thought as that game went on Drew (Brees) did a good job of finding the matchups that were advantageous to us. A lot of it is progression within the route. Overall that part of it I thought went pretty smoothly."
Can you talk about how Colston played less snaps?
"We felt he played too many the week prior. Managing the amount of snaps these guys get and trying to keep them from getting north of 50 for instance. We have depth there. Obviously Brandin (Cooks) received more snaps yesterday. That is something that we will pay attention to each week."
The fact that you have all eight of your home games left, do you think that helps in the process moving forward?
"We're excited about playing a home game and opening our first game at home this week. I think it is much more for us short sided. It is much more focused on this week. I think it has to be. We can't get caught up in the fact that we have eight more home games. Our focus has to be on finding a way to win this home game and finding a way to play better than we have in the last two weeks, making the corrections, situationally understand down and distance, understanding time in the game and where we're at in the game and being able to finish a game. I think that's the thing that's most important and the most important focus for us right now."