New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Do you find the average points per game among two teams in the NFL this year to be a high average (42.26)?
"I wouldn't have known that and I think the one thing that you would point to is just this league has trended a little bit specifically with the rules on the defense. I think it is really more team specific though and game specific with regards to our team to who we are playing. I don't know if we would factor that information in to a game plan of ours. We would probably factor in the opponent we are playing and the type of team they are both offensively and defensively with regards to how the game or how you want the game to be played."
How tough of a challenge is it to gauge where the Jets team is?
"We profile the team (we will play that Sunday) every Wednesday as a whole and look closely at their wins and their losses, what they have done well, (and) what we think is important. We do that every Wednesday. Each week the profile may be a little different, but it is important to very quickly get acclimated to the strengths of who you are playing especially on the road."
What are your thoughts on Jets quarterback Geno Smith?
"Well the one impressive statistic is his finishes. He's had four of these come from behind or game-winning drives. I think for a young quarterback, that's a big thing to build on. He has a strong arm and you can see that in the confidence in his teammates. I think you can see on film when they are late in games and it is close. He has been able to deliver there and I think that is a pretty good trait."
Hasn't he had his struggles too?
"I think like any young quarterback there is a growth spurt that you go through, (comprised of both) highs and lows. I think that there have been a lot of things that I've seen that you get excited about and then the poise when the games are on the line. Certainly you are constantly working with the reps and getting the reps and the consistency, ll those things to develop as quickly as you can. I think those drives where he is able to finish and deliver are things that you can build on and I am sure they have."
Is it helpful to know what kind of runner Chris Ivory is?
"They have been a team when they had their big wins they have been able to rush the football and control the time of possession. Chris is an outstanding back who is physical and someone who gets downhill and runs with a lot of power. That will be important for us to be able to handle, especially on the road."
Knowing how hard he can run and playing the Jets, was there any hesitation in making the trade with them?
Do you think Ivory will be motivated coming into this game?
"I think that's blown out of proportion. Each week the players get ready to play their best game and when you are playing a running back position, you're focused on trying to do all the things necessary to have a good game, both running the football or passing the football. I think more than anything else, it is just putting games together now that he is healthy he has been able to play the last few weeks, I don't see the other thing as a big motivating factor. We had good conversations throughout the process and even the day we were able to make the trade. I think a lot of Chris and I think it is an opportunity that worked out well for both sides."
What are your thoughts on how well your team has taken care of the ball? And is that something that you really harped on when you returned?
"I don't know since the return if that was something specifically in highlight, but I do think this, when we talk about complementary football and we talk about winning and what winning teams do, generally that category of takeaway/giveaway works in your favor. We have been able to win that statistic in a lot of our games this year. Is it part of why we have had some success? Certainly, that statistic would tell you week in and week out that. It is very important. We've played some teams that take the ball away a lot. This team defensively has forced a ton of fumbles, they just haven't been able to recover some of them. But the ball security on offense and being able to get the turnovers was a big difference last week against Buffalo. We finished plus three and it's a pretty good formula for winning. It's easy to say we will just go turn the ball over, but it is ball security when you are carrying it as a receiver or running back and then there are a lot that factors into that, protection, what you are doing in the game. But I think that that's been a positive statistic for us at this point in the season."
On Sunday you had pointed out that you felt that things had to be corrected. Is it a situation where you address that with your team and start fresh or is that becoming an ongoing conversation?
"I think there are certain things that you discuss it and then you make a point to correct it right out here on Wednesday and Thursday, whether it is consistency within the framework of what you are doing running the football or protections, whether it is getting lined up and getting ready for the next play defensively and handling the substitutions, all of those things. I think it is easier to make those corrections or easier to deliver those messages when you are still able to win a game and we were able to do that on Sunday and yet there is an expectation level that we want to see ourselves get to, continue to get better and I think that is why you are out here Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. You have a chance to game plan your opponent but you have a chance to improve some of the technique stuff, mental stuff that you think is going to be important."
How much of a challenge do you think they present up front?
"It is a very good front. They are right at the top of the league in rush defense and the top of the league at rushes and sacks. They are athletic. They are big. So they present a handful of challenges, especially when you deal with crowd noise and you are playing a front like that on the road."
Is there anything you do protection-wise to help that?
"Sometimes it is one-on-one battles, depending on the front. Sometimes there is help depending on the protection, so there is a lot that goes into that, the variables being what defense they are calling and what protection we are in. But being able to have that communication and being able to handle that on the road against a real good defensive front (is important). They are strong and very talented."
How has Akiem Hicks played this year?
"He has played well. I think we've seen from year one to year two the progress we would hope to see. He is receiving the snaps. He is playing a couple of different spots obviously in the base and then in some of the sub rush situations. I think it has also helped that we are healthy now inside and have a pretty good rotation of guys working through a game where he is not just left out there for 60 plays. I think the numbers have been good and have helped him. But he's making the progress that we have hoped from year one to year two and adjusted to what we're doing defensively. He is powerful, very strong inside and can be disruptive. He is doing well."
What kind of growth have you seen from David Hawthorne from last year to this year?
"Well in fairness of that question, he was injured last year, so a healthy David Hawthorne we are seeing a lot of what we saw on film when we signed him. He has been very consistent and quietly has done a very good job at the linebacker position. He has a good grasp of what we are doing from a scheme standpoint. He is a good tackler but I think the biggest thing is just seeing his productivity now that he is back healthy and I think compared to a year ago where he was."
The fact that the Jets have five takeaways but can't capitalize them, does that change the fact the way you attack them?
"No, I think if you look closely at what they are doing, they have had 13, 14 different balls out (on the ground). They just haven't been able to recover them. Sometimes that bounces in your favor and sometimes it doesn't. They are a team that gets the football. They play very traditionally good defense there. They had a tough game last week and Cincinnati came out and made a lot of plays on the perimeter, but especially when they play at home and you get that crowd noise and all the different elements that go into traveling and trying to play your best football, they have been impressive."
Is there a common thread to what Rob and Rex Ryan do on defense?
"I would say philosophically there are some things that they believe in and yet they are both very good at recognizing what they have to work with and then trying to build a plan around their personnel and have that flexibility. I think both coach with confidence. They coach their players with confidence. That is something that I think you would see on tape and that is something that I am sure at a very early age they learned from their father just growing up in that football household."
Did you ever coach against Buddy Ryan?
"I was in high school, in college when the Chicago Bears were having their success. I was probably a sophomore or junior, 1984, 1985, right around there when you would say that defense for Chicago was pretty impressive the one they put together and the team was pretty impressive and so probably in a similar age bracket as Rex and Rob."
Do you think it means more to Rob playing against his brother? What is your take on that?
"I know they played this type of game before. In other words, it is not the first time. Each week, I said it a week ago when it came up with a close friend who has been on this staff, Doug Marrone, so there are ties in our league week to week certainly that are storylines. But I think that and not speaking for both of them, they are very close and have shared a strong football background together and so I am sure it won't be the last either. I just think that they are very competitive and once the game starts it is still about wanting to put your best plan together, play your best game as a team. I think those are the things that are the most important. I think if this was the first time around, maybe it would be a little different, but I know that they played this type of game. So I don't know if I would give it any extra attention."
Is Rob's camaraderie with his players something you knew about or has that bond developed quickly since he got here?
"I think you could see that. The thing that I had heard in the process of interviewing him was that the relationship, not only with his players but with his staff was very positive so that was something you could see if you didn't ask the question I think sometimes on film."
How big of an impact do you think that has had on the defense, just the plain fact that he seems to inspire them to want to play for him?
"Well I think there is a combination of a number of things. You sell a package that you want to install that fits who you are. You work on creating that, I don't know if culture is the right word but you work on creating that. Part of that comes from winning and having success but all those things along with the rest of the staff is something that we have worked hard on and we have talked about it. They go hand and hand this offense and defense and the kicking game, they really do. I think we understand that and we talk about it all the time."