Photos of fans at Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon on Friday, July 31, 2015. Photos by Richard Crank and Alex Restrepo (New Orleans Saints photos)
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability *
*Saturday, August 1, 2015
What is your overall review of the first day in pads?
"We'll look at the tape. I thought we were ahead of schedule from a time standpoint. I thought we got through the periods pretty good without having to repeat a few things. Logistically we got to and around the drills pretty quick. I'm sure like anything else, your first day you're going to see some things that were good and you're going to see a lot of things we have to correct. I think the important thing is making sure that we are not just going through plays that we are looking closely at the details with what we are asking these guys to do."
How was the intensity and emotion?
"I thought all of that was good."
Are guys much more in shape this year than last year?
"I don't recall anyone feeling that exact way after the first day a year ago. I think that they handled the conditioning test well. I think we were in better shape based on that test. We will see. I think it is early in the process."
What were some of your observations of the pass rush drills?
"It is a pretty normal drill that we do when we are in pads. It is one-on-one pass rush. It really gives guys the chance to get live work. It is something that you can no longer do in the offseason. Ten years ago you would get some of those reps in the spring and so they become that much more important because you don't have that many opportunities to do it. But I thought there was a lot of technique involved and I thought we stayed a little extra down there and guys got, you are hoping every player is getting two or three snaps. Our outside linebackers will go down and get some work and then go back to the 7 on 7 so those players, much like a tight end, are being cross-trained."
Did anything strike you in that drill?
"No, but there were some good signs, Terron Armstead did a real good job. He is someone that is extremely athletic. We had some good rushes as well. I think when we look at the tape we will see it."
Does Max Unger qualify as someone you can't evaluate yet because he hasn't been in pads?
"I think from a center position you are able to quickly get the mental, the experience and all of the intangibles that go in to being a one of the guys that is really a signal-caller if you will with regards to identifying the defensive fronts. So you receive a lot of that in the spring but much like a lot of these new players, you're getting a better feel for how they carry their pads. I thought overall this practice went well"
Can you talk about Andrus Peat?
"It was a big deal for us when we broke for the summer to make sure he was on a good plan. I thought he came back in pretty good shape. He still has some work to do but for a big guy he moved around pretty well. He received some reps today. There are some things that he struggled with and came back and repeated and did better."
How do you evaluate the inside drill, nine on seven? Do you want it to be 50/50?
"There are a handful of things that go on in that drill. The very first thing that comes to mind is pad level, get off, some basic fundamentals of taking on a block and then certainly there are elements to each drill that might slant themselves to one side of the ball or the other. If we are doing one on one wide receiver routes it becomes a little tougher drill for the defense. In that drill we actually bring the safety down so that they can get their proper fits and yet I think if we put that tape on today, which we will, I think you are going to see a handful of plays you like offensively and then defensively you are going to see a number of plays. All the while you are really coaching pad level, get off, you are coaching some things you really can't get into the spring because you can't do a drill like that."
Can you talk about the luxury of having Keenan Lewis and Brandon Browner?
"We feel we have some bigger corners that can get their hands on you at the line of scrimmage. We would like to be able to move a safety down in the run front. And if you are playing pretty good defense outside obviously it allows you to be more flexible that way. If not, you end up giving up big plays or you end up having to play with a safety over the top. Those are two guys with experience but they have size, they have length and they are kind of suited for what we are trying to do."
Was it built by design to get Stephone Anthony to get experience at the Mike?
"We would have, and we will continue to, not just with his position, but we will rotate various guys at different spots. That just took place quicker. So the plan is and I have told him, don't pay attention to the rotation right now, we've got a lot of work ahead of us, a lot of drills and we will continue to move guys around on offense and defense just to see how they handle working with another group other than just with the twos or the threes. Veteran players are able to step back, take some plays where they are not up, but in that case it just happened quicker."
Is Max Unger giving you what you wanted when you traded for him?
"You said it, it's early. We just had our first day in pads but I think he has real good leadership skills. I think he's gotten himself acclimated very quickly to what we're doing offensively. I think he is detailed in what he does. I am excited to see him progress here."
How was Bobby Richardson's offseason?
"I think you will see that's one of the position groups that is a little harder to keep track of the roles because you have a lot of those guys that will be going in and out and that would be very typical of us of how we would play a game. He's in good shape. I thought he handled conditioning well. We'll continue to work with not only the veterans but a young guy like him."
Now that you are in full pads, how do you evaluate and coach Brandon Browner?
"I think you guys just like us can watch a play and we talked about it last night, hey, this is the first time this group of 90's practiced in pads, let's explain what the tempo is. There are three tempos. We have a walk through, which we'll do this afternoon, we have a full go thud which we are doing today and then at some point we will go full go when you are pinning them to the ground. I think as long as we are clearly communicating that, explaining it, showing examples of it (it's important). I didn't really see a bunch of issues today. I felt like they handled that part of it pretty well."
Can you talk about Kasim Edebali?
"He's going into his second year. I'd say he is an edge player that has a great motor. I think he does have some pass rush skills and he kind of has that grit you look for. So when we see the film we will have a chance to see it. But he played well for us last year when he was on the field whether it was in the kicking game or snaps on defense."
Can you talk about Orson Charles' suspension?
"Yes, we were on top of all of that. None of that was a surprise. He's been very forthright in communicating. He's been very open, I know with the league and with ourselves.
Do you expect a significant jump up from Terron Armstead?
"He has made and I am sure (he will) continue to make strides. He is a player, I am not going to use the word underrated but man, I am telling you what, he has really done a lot of the things we look for and hope for when we drafted him in the third round. He is athletic, smart and I think his skillset for that position is outstanding."
Would you call him one of the more athletic tackles?
"If you just define athleticism and you went back and alright, this was a guy that had the fastest two or three tests at the combine in the history of the tackle position you would have to check that box."
Can you talk about Delvin Breaux and how he has continued to make plays?
"He sure has. It was a good practice for him. I saw him get his hands on a handful of balls. He's been very consistent. He is instinctive and again, he's got, back to what we were discussing with Keenan (Lewis) and Brandon (Browner), he has the length and the makeup speed."
Do you continue to work him inside and out?
How do you evaluate the kicker position?
"The first day, the second day, then pretty soon you get to gather enough information where you are seeing a kind of percentage or consistency. John Carney is here for three days to work with the kickers, the holders and the snappers. I think his experience and his background of having kicked so long in the league, I found him to be a real good teacher and I think it is something that can help those two young guys."
Does it matter how they kickoff?
"At the end, what I think is the most important is how they are hitting their field goals and obviously their PATs now. I think there is a little bit more of a premium on their accuracy being that those point afters are going to be further away."
What are your thoughts on Junior Galette signing with the Redskins? Did they reach out to you at all?
"No, I didn't have any communication with them."
Do you look forward to getting the guys in pads?
"Absolutely, I think it is really the first day you get to work on some football. I understand our offseason and it is what it is, but it is the first day you are able to work on blocking and work on tackling and some of those things that are a little more challenging to do without pads."
Now that there is a rule about not getting pads on in the offseason, do you like the rule?
"I think there are elements to what we are doing now to the new CBA that I think work extremely well. There are a few things that you would like to see change. I don't necessarily think pads right away, I think more of development of players and being able to have one-on-one time with players, a young quarterback, a young offensive lineman, those would be the things you would want to see maybe looked at."
How do you see the special team unit carrying over the success from the end of last season?
"It was something we brought up the other night. Our coverage units were right at the top of the league, both in kickoff and punt. Our return units kind of struggled and then all of a sudden spiked toward the last third of the season. Hopefully we can build on that."
Are you confident that all of Brandon Browner's issues are behind him?
"Absolutely, shoot, he just won a Super Bowl, played well for a year and he has been fantastic. He is a real good leader for us, a good addition, very competitive, yeah we are excited he is back and signed with us."