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Sean Payton talks about Saturday's New Orleans Saints practice

Transcript of Coach Payton's Saturday's press conference

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability
Saturday, August 15, 2015

Opening Statement:
"We are just finishing up what we know as C Schedule so the morning was spent in the weight room and watching video from the game. In the afternoon we had a full practice. We worked on a lot of two minute, a lot of third down situations"

What did the video show you about the struggles that your first team defense had?

"The very first thing here, I wrote it down, was we were plus two in the takeaway margin but we were minus 211 yards in hidden yardage so when you are calculating yards, like we typically do, your (getting other teams) off the field on third down but there's a penalty then yards made after that penalty is hidden yardage. Offensively, when you make a first down but it comes back so there's ways to calculate that. That's a really high number."

I would imagine, every year there's going to be some struggles with the first preseason game but were you surprised with the first team defense against a base offense for the majority of the time, were you surprised with the way they struggled?

"A base offense is what a formation is. It is what it is. A lot of it was things that we were not doing well. All those things we have to clean up though. Look, while that was happening, offensively, we were not generating enough momentum. So it got better as the game went on but we could not get off the field on a few third downs and then offensively, we came up short on a third and one (situation). There was a handful of things. You saw some really good performances. I thought (Marcus) Murphy returned the ball exceptionally well. (Damian) Swann had a couple holding calls but none the less he made a few good plays in the secondary. That was encouraging. I thought Max Unger, in his first game, did some really good things."

How about Khiry Robinson? Five touches, a 14.4 yard average whether in the passing game or running the ball.

"In both cases, he was certainly explosive. I talked to him about finishing though. There were a couple times where that ball was out although he was down. He was very productive. I think that one of the things that we're seeing with both he and Mark (Ingram) that we're seeing more is their role increase in the passing game."

Is there any concern over C.J. (Spiller). There's a report saying that he is going to be out until week one?

"I haven't read that report. I haven't seen it."

When you look at the game overall, you very seldom go through a game without at least having a sack. The lack of a pass rush, considering two seasons ago we were fourth in sacks and it really tailed off last season. Where are we right now as far as putting pressure on the quarterback?

"It's a good question. I thought the other night we weren't able to generate much of a pass rush. There were times where later in the game we were able to. Certainly that's a focus as we move forward here and it has been. There will be third down work next week with New England. Eventually, we'll get to game planning and trying to get our best sub rush on the field and no different than in the base playing first and second down."

When you consider all the turnover in the offseason combined with the number of guys unavailable right now, is that an unusual level of uncertainty for you?

"I don't think so. I think, with regards to injured players at this point in camp, I think you could go to any training camp and see numbers that are similar. We had a handful of guys that came back last week who played in the game. Then, with regards to transactions in the offseason, I don't know that it was any higher or lower when you have a guy like Jimmy Graham who's traded or possibly a Kenny Stills. They are more notable changes but I don't know that it would be any different."

What did you see when you looked at Jahri (Evans) as you watched the tape? It looked like he was struggling a little bit.

"I don't know that I would agree with that. He's a veteran player, he knows what to do (and) we played against a good front the other night. I think he's doing pretty well. The key was him coming in in good shape and he is, he's under his weight. I think we'll have a good chance to see him this whole week coming up. Our ones will play more, obviously, in this next week but I don't know that I'd agree with that."

Did you see a lot of good of what you wanted to see from the backup quarterbacks?

"I thought after the game and after watching the film that both of those guys handled the situations well. They did a good job."

Looking at (Zach) Hocker, how he handled adversity, he missed a 50-yarder but then he bounces back and makes a forty-seven and a 50-yarder?

"It's good to see him hit the longer kicks. Our plan was to get them each to kick in a half and yet when you look at the work done, more of it came in the second half so I want to make sure next week, when we get into that game, that we'll try to do the same thing for the other kicker. Yes, that was really good because they weren't chip shots, those were good kicks and any time you're in a game kicking from near midfield like that, you realize the field position can change right away."

Andrus Peat had a ton of snaps in that game?

"He did pretty decent, he did pretty well. He had a couple plays that I'm sure he can clean up but I thought, overall, it was a good start for him."

For Marcus Murphy, it's a packed running back group, it's a tough group to get into. Talk about how important it was for him on those kick returns for (Marcus) Murphy. That's probably how he's going to make the team?

"I think there's a handful of players, he's one of them, that the special teams are going to be extremely important and he didn't receive a chance to return that many punts. I thought his instincts were really good with the kick returns."

This may have been one of the longer practices that you've had since you guys have been out here this year. Did you like what you saw today?

"Well, the PM on a C Schedule is a full practice. This would probably be the same amount of time as it would be for our full AM's like tomorrow morning. I thought it was decent. I thought there were a few parts of the practice that got a little sloppy, I thought we got some stuff done in the kicking game, and we got some two minute work done."

Do you anticipate Brandon Browner being back this week and Dannell Ellerbe?

"We'll see."

Is (Damian) Swann a guy that kind of factors into that nickel, playing in the slot too?

"I think so. He's really smart, he's plays outside but he is someone who can handle the inside."

When you have a lot of young guys, like in the secondary, getting first team reps in practice, is that particularly significant to you or is that just where they are?

"It hasn't happened really yet. With Brandon (Browner) not practicing, Keenan (Lewis) was still out there (and) the safeties were still out there. We rotated some corners. It is what you have to do. It is what you have to do when some guys are out of practice."

Looking in the game, (Kaleb) Eulls seemed to step up and make a hand full of plays?

"I thought a couple of those free agent defensive linemen did some good things late in the game. I thought we had some good (pass) rushes. I thought we did a better job against the run as that game went on."

Is it tough to evaluate some of those guys later in the game?

"That's the only thing you can do. You have to grade the game based on, you certainly factor in the competition, and yet their job is to win all those snaps. Then we begin to move them up when they are getting snaps. They might, this upcoming week get more work with the ones. I said that after the game with (Brandon) Coleman. We just have to get in more snaps with the first group and we'll do that this week."

Is it frustrating to you that (Jairus) Byrd, (C.J.) Spiller, and (Brandon) Browner, three guys that you know that you want to contribute big time to this program, can't get on the field as consistently as you'd like to have them?

"(Brandon) Browner has been on the field the whole time, C.J. (Spiller) again. You can't control that. When they are ready, we'll have them out there."

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