New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability
Friday, January 1, 2016
Will you be putting some guys on injured reserve that you determine can't play in the game?
"We would only do that if we were trying to create space to bring a player in. We are going to have our 46 and Kendall Hunter was injured yesterday at practice and he is the only one that will go to IR this afternoon and will bring a back up tomorrow from the practice squad, but that would be it."
I'm guessing (Marques) Colston is not going to play?
"Yes, he will be listed as out. (I'm) Not going to go through every player, but that's your New Year's bone."
What would you like to see from the defense this week?
"I think a couple things. Here are some things we see on film. We see a real good explosive offense that obviously the last time we played we struggled defending the run and I'd say we were very inconsistent running the ball and the turnovers and blocked punt were the significant reasons to give us a chance to win the game. The rushing yards are going to be important. This running back (Devonta Freeman) and their scheme they do a great job controlling down the field shots. The bootlegs and the heavy play action passes where they can get the receivers and specifically Julio (Jones) down the field will be important. I think Devin Hester was not up the last time. I think we are going to have to make sure we are on top of it with kickoff return and punt return (coverage). Offensively, we have to find ourselves in those manageable third downs and when we've done that we've been pretty effective. I think the third down statistic in this game will be very telling and important. Those are some things that started the week. When you look at Atlanta and I'm sure both teams are wanting to finish on a good note."
Is there any experimentation in this game that you can have on tape going into the offseason?
Maybe stuff you haven't had a chance to see this season?
"No, we prepare like it was week eight or week one. You are looking each night till 11 at night at certain things that you feel like might be a play or something you want to do versus this defense or this offense and I am sure the same thing exists the other way around. From a game plan and preparation standpoint it would be very typically."
Can you describe how Drew Brees has looked practicing on his foot this week compared to last week?
"Good, I think last week there was a little bit of uncertainty or unknown. It was a short week and we throw on Friday and Saturday and we're obviously a day ahead of schedule now back to a normal routine, but he is throwing it well."
Do you plan more for Julio (Jones) or the scheme?
"I think you try to adapt your scheme and yet you'd say that attention drawn to him different than the normal game. I think you also have to understand what you're conceding on a certain defensive call and what you're trying to take away. Sometimes it's over the top or help underneath (or) sometimes you are going to try to layer a safety over the top. There are only a handful of things that you can do and yet from a technique standpoint some of them are different and when you're doing that and still playing and supporting the running game that's where the challenge comes in. You're trying to defend (Devonta) Freeman on a wide stretch play and yet you still need your run support and yet you have to be able to get on top of 11 so formationally they are doing some really good things where he is in the slot or he is appearing in areas that aren't as easy to accomplish that."
What is it like heading into the final game of the season and what kind of emotions are there?
"I think the focus it seems like the last three, three and a half weeks has been pretty (good). There is Thanksgiving and then it rolls into Christmas and then it rolls into New Year's and so there are certain things that you have to adjust and adapt your schedule. You get in such a routine as coaches and players it's not until next week when everyone comes sick with a cough or the flu or something because your right in the (middle of a) routine and now a very organized pattern, but I think playing well again like we did last week is important."
Do you think you made progress this year?
"We'll see, we are not going to evaluate the season today we are talking about Atlanta. Obviously, there are some things we did well and certainly some things we need to improve on."
When you have three quarterbacks is it hard to find a balance to develop and make sure the other two are ready?
"Yes, typically your one is going to receive the reps he needs. A lot of times that may be 95 percent of them and then the other two are going to handle scout team reps and handle the individual periods, but I do think it's important that you are developing throughout the season and you're not just waiting for the spring and training camp and I think that we have kind of taken that approach not just with the quarterback position. It's pretty normal for a young guy to have to step in and play and that has been the case for us just as it is with most teams."