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Sean Payton's Carolina Panthers week press conference

Quotes from Coach Payton's post-practice press conference on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Opening Statement: "We re-signed Tom Crabtree to the active roster. We put wide receiver Joe Morgan on reserve suspended. We have a short week, putting a lot in, obviously from a walk through standpoint."

Can you discuss the Morgan issue?

"No."

Is the amount and way you ran the ball Sunday the objective every week?

"It was the objective going in, looking at Green Bay. We want to have that balance. There's some games that kind of go a certain way. Each week you have to be smart about what we're receiving defensively and how to attack it, but we were able to get that as best we've had all season. I thought it particularly helped the play action pass."

What stands out from you about the Panthers from the last time you saw them?

"The roster changes so much. You have different players at the receiver position and in the secondary and I'm sure just as they look at us, there are a lot of changes. Schematically you see a lot of the same things. Obviously both quarterbacks returning, the type of offense. Anytime you're playing in the division it's an important game, playing on the road in the division makes it that much more important."

What's special and different about Cam Newton?

"He has outstanding arm strength and great size. He has the ability to extend plays. He can beat you with his arm. He can beat you with his feet. You could see coming out of this last game, he's difficult to sack. He's good under pressure and buys time. I think that not having been around him he appears to be a good leader also."

Is his bulldozing style as a runner unique?

"He's very athletic and he's big, so I think you see him come out of some traffic in regards to the pocket breaking down. You need to have pocket population or numbers to him, because he's someone that's hard to bring down, in the open field by himself. He's real good that way. I think that ability creates challenges for the secondary when he extends plays and you have someone like him come out of it. Maybe what looks to be a sack and all of a sudden you have three more seconds to cover. That makes it challenging."

Drew Brees is now the NFL's completion percentage leader. How significant is that for him and for you as his coach?

"The good news is we're completing a high percentage of balls obviously. His consistency and numbers every year, there seems to be something that gets eclipsed. It's a credit to him and his teammates. I'm sure he'd say the same thing. Obviously the way he played Sunday night was close to dead on. His location, what he did for us in the running game. The whole package is extremely important and important to our success."

Is it a transition process working new players like Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks into your lineup?

"Honestly I think it happens year to year. There are always veterans that are on the team from the year prior and there are always younger players you are bringing up to speed and establishing roles for. It's fairly common. It's important to receiver the production from both, your younger players and veteran guys that have been in the system. I thought we had pretty good balance last week and Sunday night in the passing game. It's hard to tell where the touches are going to and I think our players understand that."

Was it part of the plan to get Cooks more involved or was it just how it played out?

"A little bit how it played out. He's been targeted or has been a big part of the plan. A lot of it just depends on the coverage you are seeing."

How important is it to neutralize Luke Kuechly?

"He's I would say one of the top Mike linebackers in the game. The challenge with him is number one he has great instincts. His first and second step are outstanding. He's a great tackler. His awareness and keys to diagnose you see him on every play. Getting that hat on him is one thing. Trying to keep the hat on him and get leverage on him is real difficult. So, when you put in the game plan, you understand how significant he is, not just in the running game, but in the passing game and he's a great player. You see him almost around every pile, if not the centerpiece of it."

Is it different without Steve Smith there?

"Yes, I think just like ours, there are changes certainly. There are some younger players and older players at (wide) receiver. (Kelvin) Benjamin being a younger player and then (Jason) Avant and (Jerrico) Cotchery, those guys have played for a while. You see some scheme similarities. Obviously a guy like Steve, there are certain things he brings to the table no different than us when we lose a guy like Lance Moore or Malcolm Jenkins. Obviously the dynamics change, but there are certain things you are still coaching and teaching."

Are you surprised at Benjamin's success?

"The one thing that stands out is his catch radius is impressive. Where he can high point a ball is higher than most receivers. His ability to play in traffic comfortably, over the middle, on the outside. He's really challenging that way."

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