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Sean Payton talks about the final practice before Colts game

Quotes from Sean Payton's post-practice press conference on Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Opening Statement: "We had four roster moves real quick, we've waived the following players, outside linebacker Chidera Uzo-Diribe, tight end Je'Ron Hamm, running back Timothy Flanders and then wide receiver Tobias Palmer.  It will put us at 86 right now. "

What do you need to see from Champ Bailey and Patrick Robinson and do you need someone to win the job?

"I think the plan is to play them and then more importantly (find) the correct amount of reps. We kind of went through the roles yesterday, what our goals are, but both of those guys will play."

Do you need someone to win the job?

"I think it is ongoing process.  We are still, just passing the halfway point.  The key is just getting them the right playing time, both in the base and the nickel and making sure there is enough snaps and yet again, not too many."

Is it easier for one guy to win the job no matter the scheme?

"I don't think the scheme is going to be tied to who wins that position and again, we talk week to week about roles.  The key is just seeing those guys back out healthy playing against a good offense.  And then just having a chance to see them for the time they are on the field play well."

Isn't the reality anyway that Mike McKenzie comes off the street in the middle of 2009 and you kind of have to, are people too focused on winning jobs in the preseason?

"We always keep a tidewater list of players once we begin the season. Where are you  going in the event of an injured receiver?  Where are you going in the event there is an injured, you name the position?  There is that short list if you will and I think it's because the roster size of 53.  It is not uncommon that, every season you are going to start the season with a roster and then there will be guys that come in and out of the program, that is pretty common."

Is it tougher this year to cut some guys?

"It just depends on the position.  I think some of the positions would be less defined right now and then a handful of others might be a little bit more defined.  Here is the thing, and we say this every year, the competition, we talk to our players all the time about not looking at just the depth at their position on this roster right now because they are really competing against 31 other teams, players.  It is not uncommon for teams to bring in players at the very end of training camp before the start of the regular season and special teams has a lot to do with that.  They are in that competition to put their best product on the field."

How much input does Drew Brees have in calling plays?

"I think typically through the work week is where you receive a feel or feedback for what he is real comfortable with, plays maybe that, by the end of the week, we always have this summation meeting and there will be some plays maybe we did not get to as much or there was not a clean look (at) and maybe it is a play down the road.  When it comes to the game he gets in a rhythm and he has a lot of other things that he's thinking about. Now there are certain schemes at the line of scrimmage that may involve changing plays, but typically that takes place from the Monday through Saturday really, in the Saturday night meeting when we're playing on Sunday."

How do you resolve a difference in opinion on what should be done on any given down?

"Typically if it's Pete (Carmichael) that is calling the plays, typically the dialog with regards to the run game or thoughts in the passing game would exist while our defense is on the field, once you get going, there are probably about seven to eight seconds to make a decision.  Usually the lines are pretty clear and pretty quiet.  Whoever is calling the plays has gathered information and is going so it is not a tally during each series, it happens just too fast so it is usually spent between series, same way if I was calling them. Pete and I would talk between series' and also with Bret (Ingalls) and receive some feedback and dialogue and it may come from the quarterbacks with some things they are seeing, but typically when we are on offense there's a lot less suggestions if you will."

How tight is that battle at kicker?

"I think it is pretty competitive   I think it is pretty competitive and still ongoing."

Even though it is the third preseason game, does it feel like a regular season game with all the scout work?

"I think it might be a day, tomorrow we have that luncheon and so we have a little polish period or walkthrough. I think our routine or our schedule this week has been closer to an in season schedule than the prior weeks.  I know typically teams in the league play their starters more in week three than any one of the other three games but in our case there are some players that we've got to see X amount of snaps from maybe that haven't played as much in week one or week two.  But you do try to get a little bit more into your in season routine and then you've got a short turnaround with the Saturday night game playing Thursday."

What are the challenges when you are trying to give offense and defense a look with the scout team?

"What is critical when you get into the portion of the season we are in in now, leading up to the regular season is the opposite side of the ball that's giving the look is crisp even to where they have watched tape.  We have assigned numbers.  We have assigned identities if you will to certain players so the look we get is vital.  It has to be realistic.  It has to be fast.  I think it is important for those players to understand they are still sharpening their skills.  A lot of these plays, be it run or pass, are plays that we might have in that are just called differently.  But for us to provide the right looks in all three areas it takes some study and it takes some tempo and it takes a good card that explains exactly what depth, what split we want receivers and what type of blocking scheme we are looking for.  There is always that when we shift to the preseason and we start carding plays.  There's always that early element of teaching the scout teams how it needs to be, the tempo and it is a rep for them.  That's how you begin to notice maybe some guys down the road, you start seeing their production on scout team."

Is Brandin Cooks feeling well enough to play this weekend?

"We'll see.  He practiced today.  We will see where he is at tonight and tomorrow.  Really just keeping him hydrated and getting his body weight up a little bit."

Marcus Ball wasn't out here today.

"Yes, he wasn't out here."

Will Saturday be the only time we see Drew Brees in the preseason?

"We will see."

Is it normal that you are simulating T.Y. Hilton?

"I think what we would try to do for the third preseason game is look, when it comes to certain formations, tight end strength, even it week two you are wanting to make sure you get your defense set to a certain look.  That is just preparing for the opponent.  Obviously you have more days to do that in the regular season, but yes, I think that is pretty common."

Can you talk about Hilton as a player?

"Yeah, look, I think at when you look at this team, we were talking about this the other day, there are a lot of new faces, guys that are very impressive that can run.  Obviously we know the quarterbacks turned into the real good football player.  He's got the arm to make all the throws.  He's got, I think the offensive line has played well.  When you put that together with the defense, you are seeing a young roster that has played well and I am sure they have high expectations."

What was your motivation for having music at practice?

"It is less about snap counts, it is really more about tempo in those early portions of practice where we are getting going.  Typically we get to a team period that is off and then as we get into the start of the season, we will start using the crowd noise either home or away."

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