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Sean Payton reviews the San Francisco 49ers game

Quotes from Sean Payton's Monday press conference on Nov. 10, 2014

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Monday, November 10, 2014

Opening Statement: "We are kind of on our normal Monday routine with the tape review and players lifting, kind of cleaning up the game and move on to Cincinnati.  Any questions?"

Now that you have had the chance to look at the tape, what are your thoughts on the Hail Mary to Jimmy Graham?

"It makes sense.  I think obviously I would say that there is a lot more attention drawn to that type of play after what happened with Green Bay-Seattle.  I think that a lot of times it is the appearance.  The one thing I would say though, there are so many other plays. That was like the last thing on my mind when I got in here this morning, to look at that play.  We put ourselves in a good position and we are trying to go up and high point a ball.  I am sure because the eyes of the officials are right on the point of attack which is where the ball is going the player goes down. That's gotten officiated more closely than it used to be.  We will look at what we are seeing and making sure when we go back to that scenario later this season hopefully give ourselves a good shot."

Is that something in the past when generally officials have been instructed to make a certain call?

"I don't know that the officials have been instructed.  Generally when you get down to those Hail Mary's there is a lot of pushing and shoving and that one, the eyes were just drawn specifically there.  That one was a little bit clearer, or the illusion it was clear, for the officials to call.  Whether he went down on his own, it is hard to say looking at it.  I think the second hand out, just the extension can give that illusion.  They are calling it tighter and we have to be able to adjust."

What are your thoughts on the 51 yard pass?

"Look, that is one of the plays, there are a handful, I think that I said yesterday after the game, when a play extends that far, coverage gets extended, we have to be able to stay behind it.  We are kind of in a rolled coverage there. I am sure you guys have seen some of the highlight tape.  We have to stay deeper, and the underneath route that is coming needs to be played by the underneath coverage.  That is one of the challenges about playing defensive back though, when all of a sudden you are covering for three and half seconds, four seconds, we lose contain and now everything becomes problematic.  There is a lot that goes into that."

Kenny Vaccaro talked about he had seen that very scenario so he was kind of prepared for that.

"It starts with the play getting expanded and lengthening.  Then it is a zone coverage.  Then it is kind of, as best you can, try to stay behind the deepest and stay in that zone.  Again, it is magnified whenever you have a play that extends past three and a half seconds like that."

Is it hard to tie together that game, the Cleveland one, and Detroit?

"They are different."

Is it a letdown in this regard that you played so well in the second half up until that last series?

"When you lose a game, that second half got us back into it and there are those opportunities when you have a chance to, you are at a final play and then all of a sudden the game extends.  Look, we still had plenty of opportunities, we get the ball and we punt.  In overtime we get the ball and force a punt and then later have a turnover.  That was one of the difficulties of the way it finished yesterday and coming up short.  I thought we played much better in the second half and it was difficult getting in that situation.  You put yourself in a position where you go ahead and you end up losing the game.  It is frustrating.  We have to, starting with the coaches, all of us, look to be able to close out some of these close games when we have that opportunity."

Finding the run game this year, has that been kind of a calming effect to the offense?

"It has been a goal.  We've had years where we have been kind of balanced like we are right now.  I think we think it is important and we think it helps your team overall, defensive football as well.  There have been other years that we would point to that we felt like we were running it efficiently and we feel like we are doing it right now."

Is it a good challenge to have knowing that when Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson both come back you have four guys to look to?

"It will all handle itself.  That will work itself out.  I've said this before, it is important to have numbers at that position.  This current timeframe that we are in is a good case in point for that."

With four close losses, does the theme kind of stay the same, you're close and close to breaking through?

"We've been in some hard fought games the last two weeks in wins that maybe weren't as close.  We've got to be able to finish in those situations and do a better job."

Can you talk about Keenan Lewis?

"We will look at all of those players with any potential injury and be smart."

Do you think that Mark Ingram is performing like a top tier back in the league right now?

"Yeah, shoot, he is playing well.  How to qualify that… I love the way he is playing.  He is playing hard.  Absolutely, he is physical.  He has been durable.  He had two back to back games within the period of four days last week and he played well yesterday.  I like what we are getting from him and he is healthy.  He is prepared for this opportunity.  He is doing a good job with it."

Mark Ingram said he is all about getting in a rhythm.  When the other guys come back can a player lose his rhythm?

"We will see how we do it.  Listen, I can lose my rhythm as a play caller.  We can all lose our rhythm.  Look, we try to go into each game with a plan and sometimes that plan involves multiple players.  It certainly does at receiver.  Look, right now there are some snaps where he's getting a carry so he can't look over and say hey, I need a break because this certain run we want to run might be just with his name on it.  I am anxious, we are anxious, to get the other guys healthy.  We will approach each game like we normally would. We will be smart.  We will try to come up with the best plan that we feel gives us a chance to win."

Do you want to see Mark Ingram get more involved in screen passes?

"We had one yesterday.  I think Mark can function real well in our screen game.  Some of the looks we were getting from them defensively, we had one called up and it ended up being a full blitz so some of it is timing."

Can you talk about Devon Still and the Saints and the league being a part of his story?

"It is one of the good things about our league.  I've never met Devon.  I'd heard his story over the radio.  Mike Brown is one of the great owners in our league.  Having had a chance to practice with the Bengals and coaching at Miami of Ohio and going down to Cincinnati to visit the Bengals as a young college coach, they have always been real supportive of coaches development.  So I had heard this story about his daughter's illness and what the Brown family and Marvin (Lewis) and those guys have done and it was just something I thought was a good idea with regards to helping with purchasing jerseys.  I think players in our league, people in our league, in a time like that when someone needs help, they really rally around their own people.  That was good to see and it is still good to see because I am sure it is a long fight."

Is there any change to Joe Morgan's status?

"We will let you know when there is."

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