Photos of Sean Payton vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saitns photos)
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Can you talk about Tampa Bay's pass rush?
"Two things. I would say they've changed a little bit with their rush patterns and you're receiving great production inside with the tackles. (Gerald) McCoy's been outstanding. (Noah) Spence is a young player. All those guys have done a good job. The last six or seven weeks this team has taken away the ball at a record pace. Their turnover numbers if you study prior to the bye and after the bye for them have been dramatically different. It's a combination of three or four things. They're getting guys in third-and-long situations. They're playing really good third down defense."
Can you talk about the growth of Jameis Winston between his rookie year and now?
"I think quite a bit. You're seeing him longer with his progression, his confidence, climbing in the pocket, throwing off the right foot instead of the left. He'll climb and make a throw, check it down, he's very patient. I think you've seen a tremendous amount of growth."
Are there any parts of Mark Ingram's game that is underappreciated?
"I would say the one part this year we've seen is yards per (carry is) up and his explosive runs are up. You point to San Francisco, but there has been a handful of them. I think that element, he's done a really good job with improving."
Can you talk about Mike Evans and how he's helped Jameis Winston develop?
"You start with that he's a big target. That presents a set of challenges into it's own. I think he has extremely good hands above his head. He can run. I think there's a confidence level Jameis has in a big target like that. You see in the first game of the year (for them) against Atlanta, (there is a) certain 50-50 ball thrown down the field and (he has) the confidence that he's going to come down with it and make a play. I think when you're together I think you've seen the relationship grow and the trust that they have."
Can you talk about running a tackle over run a couple of weeks ago against the Rams, is there hesitation about doing it too much, or do you run it until they can stop it?
"When you run something like that you've seen evidence that they line up a certain way time after time after time. When we're study tape and (looking for how) if you do this here's a consistent picture, it varies for teams how they align and whether you think it's effective or not."
If you have a pass play you can run out of that formation? Is that different when you have something specific like that?
"Yes, in other words, there's certain runs and passes that we take into each game. We change what kind of formation we're going to be in. An unbalanced line, we haven't been in an unbalanced line here in a handful of years, yet it was something that kept showing up specific to that team and it fit a scheme that we were running."
When you play a team two times in a short span like with Tampa Bay, do you have to change anything because of familiarity?
"I think the strategy (change) would fall after the next game prior to the next game as opposed into leading up into this game. I don't think you'd ever go into a game saying let's hold this for the second game. Certainly we're not in a position to save or hold anything. Typically it would be a self-scout after the first game played. When you're playing a game in two weeks, surface is different, different venue and yet there might be a handful of the gameplan that does not get used in this game but it's on that call sheet defensively and offensively. A lot of that in a short period of time would be carried over two weeks later unless we felt like they were doing something different and it no longer applied and then the stuff that both teams run, both offenses, both defenses and the stuff they like and want to have again up, they might just tweak the look or tweak the formation or tweak the show by the defense."
We've seen John Kuhn line up in a bunch of different positions and roles. How much of an asset has that been since you signed him?
"He's smart and so I think there's an element of flexibility. You know exactly the type of player that you have and you know exactly what he does well. There's a lot to be said for that, because you can gameplan and know what you're getting and so he's versatile. He understands football beyond just the fullback or running back position. He understands the game, I think has an interest in the game regarding scheme and defenses and that's a positive."
Because you guys did play Aaron Donald a couple weeks ago, are there similarities in trying to manage him and Gerald McCoy?
"There's some similarities in that they're (both) playing the three technique and they're explosive off the snap count. They're obviously two of the better three techniques in our league. The challenge when you play them at Tampa is going to be to get off and be able to mix up the snap count and try to help slow that down. Depending on what formation you're on right or left, you can find him (McCoy) on both guards."
We haven't seen many down games from Drew Brees, but do you see similarities between this game and maybe the Giants game offensively?
"I don't look specifically. Obviously all of us starting with myself coming from a game we just played and it's frustrating, because you don't have the snap totals or opportunities. You look at the (play) list and we never got to do all of this stuff or have a chance to. It's still about the execution. We talked about it in the first quarter, but I think every one of us, not just Drew, coaches, offensive players, when that happens, you feel like you weren't at your best and you're anxious to get started again."
How much are you keeping up with the Will Smith trial and is it something that you have addressed with the team?
"It's nothing that we've discussed as a team this week. I've just heard on the news some of the information and I know some of our players were there recently to show support and I think it's fantastic that they were able to do that and hopefully I'm able to do that soon."