New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Opening Statement: "We signed tackle Nick Becton, number 67 from the Giants practice squad to our active roster and placed fullback Austin Johnson on Injured Reserve and we added two practice squad players, running back Tauren Poole, number 30 and fullback Michael Zordich, number 34. (It) puts us at 53 (active) and 10 (practice squad)."
Playing as well as this team has the last two games, do you look at the time off as an advantage with rest or something that could stop the momentum?
"There's plusses and minuses with playing a Thursday game. The challenge overall is the quick turnaround. The benefit is receiving a little bit of additional time to get people rested up. There were a number of things that we pointed out when they came back in that we have to work on. I think it was an important win for us on Thursday, yet there are a ton of things we have to clean up. That's our job right now, to make sure we're working on improving in those area. The schedule is what it is and there's really no choice in the matter. I thought how we handled the turnaround was positive. There's a lot of things when you put the tape on that stand out that you have to improve on."
Is there a such thing as having too much time to prepare?
"I don't think so. It's probably easier on a bye, but I think it's not as much you really thing. At this point in the season you have a ton of tape on your opponent. Here we are today practicing base. I don't think that's too much."
Can you talk about the year Perrish Cox is having?
"He's a part of six turnovers. He has four interceptions, two fumbles recovered. He's active. He's an experienced player. It's a real good secondary. Every year they do a great job of eliminating big plays. They tackle well and they have really good ball skills. It's shown up. You see his numbers specifically are real high."
Is he someone you are mindful of individually?
"Each week we'll go into plans and we'll look there at the personnel and we'll understand formationally what they play coveragewise and I think the first thing that we are always keen on is ball skills, the level of ball skills players have and Drew (Brees) will always know going into the game (about) corners that are physical, have technique and ball skills, you have to be precise with your location."
After the last home game, you said the fans were good, but you have heard it louder before. Can the fans continue to make a difference?
"We're excited about now and receiving a chance to come back home. I think it can be significant for us. I think it's a difficult place to play and it's a new start. I think that was a big part of some of our success we've had in the past here, the challenge it creates for communication. Hopefully Sunday will be better."
Colin Kaepernick took eight sacks Sunday. Is he trying to hang in the pocket longer?
"I don't know if it's one specific thing. St. Louis did some good things. The one thing you see on tape is he has real good arm strength. He can move. He can extend plays. We've seen that from him. He's done a great job with that. That would be the exception, because that's not what you see normally. He's done a great job of reducing turnovers again this year. They're towards the top of the league and I think he poses a threat that is challenging, especially when we're playing a team coming off a tough loss. We know the type of game we're going to get. These guys are going to be ready to play."
This will be the fourth year in a row you've played the 49ers, so there's some familiarity there, have you seen a shift this year with their offense a little bit away from the power running game than in years past?
"No, you still see all the gap schemes. That's the trending topic coming off of a loss at the one-yard line. But no, you see a belief in what they can do. They have a very good offensive line. (Frank) Gore obviously is an elite player and so you still see those packages that create problems in the running game. The run numbers are up there again. I think Jim (Harbaugh) and his staff have done a great job when you look at their overall record since '11. They're first in the NFC, second in the NFL in wins and losses. Their road record is first in the NFL since 2011. They have done an outstanding job."
You guys have played against a lot of elite pass rushers. How significant is it to have a guy like Junior Galette?
"He's coming off a big game for us. Obviously the one thing about him is he has that ability down in and down out. A lot of times when your snap count gets north of 50 it becomes more challenging. So, we've done a good job with the rotation. We're keeping him fresh. It's a game of being able to throw the football on third down and being able to affect the passer on third down, so I think that's important."
What do you think of the opportunity you have with these three consecutive home games. Does it give you an opportunity to get on a roll just like in 2011?
"It's just this game. You've heard me say this before, we're not looking at this home game or the one after that. The schedule is what it is. I just know this Sunday we're going to be at home. It's important. We're going to have to play a better game than we did Thursday this Sunday."
Does it allow you to get into a routine?
"Not really. Our routine is the same each week. It's just a matter of if you travel on Saturday or are home on Saturday. I think oftentimes, one of the challenges of being at home sometimes and the demand from so many people, like the people coming in to visit. There are some challenges from playing at home and yet, I think obviously the benefit with the crowd noise in playing at our facility is something that's significant, but we really, especially with this team and where we're at right now, it's Sunday's game.
What would you say if someone told you at the beginning of 2011, that the next 20 times you coach in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome you're going to win, what would have been your response?
"There's a lot of stuff that's gone into that and none of its applicable for this weekend's game, it really isn't and no different than traveling last week to play a road game and the noise about trying to win on the road, you have to prepare knowing that we have to play a better game than last Thursday this Sunday."
So much has been written over the years about yours and Drew Brees' relationship, do you almost gain an appreciation each year? I know you talked about how you and Mike McCarthy are the only coaches left from being hired in 2006. But how talk about how rare it is to work with somebody for so long?
"There's that stability it gives your program when you talk about the quarterback position. You don't take it for granted at all. Not only, what he's able to do on the field, but from a leadership perspective in the offense, having a constant through nine years. All those things are very important."
With all the carries Mark Ingram has received the last two weeks, do you get to a point where you talk about pitch count and putting a limit on his touches to avoid injury?
"The bigger concern was a Thursday game coming off a Sunday and the quick turnaround. We'll be smart. We'll see what type of game (we want to play) and what type of role we want to use (with him) this game. But, I think the Sunday night, Thursday night turnaround was something we had to pay attention to."
Last year after Will Smith got hurt in the preseason, you needed to add depth at linebacker. What attracted the coaching staff and the scouting department to Parys Haralson?
"He's physical at the point of attack. He gives you some edge rush and so he's a very disciplined player. He's very strong. He has heavy hands. He's a great teammate and I like the fact that he's coming from a winning program. Obviously San Francisco's had a lot of success. He understands the importance of preparation. He understands the details and how difficult it is to win. He was a solid fit for us, especially with the injuries he had a year ago."
Was he someone that your team zoned in on?
"I think there were a couple of factors that went into it, obviously our injuries and then just the dialogue and it was the right match."
With player preparation off the field and things like team dinners, what are your feelings on that? Does that play a role in players getting in a groove for an upcoming game?
"I don't know necessarily it's getting them into their groove for the next game. I think this, I know it's a team that cares about each other. I like the fact that we're able to handle playing in a city where there's a lot of distractions potentially and I like that those position groups get into a routine where they might have a dinner. I think it's pretty common and it's I think a good thing."
How do you think a team like San Francisco is affected at this time of the year when they are coming off such a tough loss with their mindset at midseason as far as preparation and a sense of urgency?
"Obviously you see a sense of urgency no different than ourselves. There are two teams here that are 4-4 that are battling. You have half a season of football left, that's a lot and this will come down to the little things, the turnovers, some of the special situations we talked about, third down rush, field position, all of those things I think will play a big part in the game. I said from the very beginning, we'll get a very hungry team because coming off of a loss, it's something else. There's a reason they've had the success they've had. They've played in a lot of big games, playoff games, their expectation similar to ours is to be successful and have a chance at playing for something that's real significant."
When Jonathan Goodwin going there for three years, is there anything you could pick up from him about how they do things?
"There's some differences in the offense and yet, it was a good fit for us because we knew we had a young center that we felt was a good candidate. Jonathan was someone that provided that leadership and knowledge of the position and he's had a real good career. I think he obviously still has gas left in the tank and has the ability to play week in and week out when he's healthy, but I think that from a style of play there's certain nuances that are different from when he was here and going to San Francisco and coming back. Obviously there's some similarities. He's coming back to what he knew when he was there before."
Has speculation about this being Jim Harbaugh's last year as head coach been a distraction for the 49ers?
"I just know this. If you just look at the numbers, they speak for themselves. He's done an outstanding job and quickly, beginning in '11. You're looking at the winningest team in the NFC and second in the NFL. I can't speak on behalf of him. I just know the respect we have for him and what he's done for that program. It's been obviously significant."
After three good performances and the bye week, do you have that sense that this team has that swagger back that you like to see?
"Yes, obviously it's easier to come in on a Monday after a win, confidence is something that is ongoing and it can be fleeting in one game. I think the most important thing is after a tough loss like we had in Detroit and after these last couple of wins looking closely that we're not fooling ourselves about the things we have to do to get better. There's a handful, things that you have to be able to watch and see closely on film and so I think our players have done a good job in that area."
Can you say anything about Austin Johnson's injury?
"No, he's on IR."