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Sean Payton talks about the practices with the Patriots

Coach Payton met with the media prior to Wednesday's practice

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post -Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Opening Statement: "Good morning. We will get started in about 40 minutes from now, 9:30 a.m. is on the schedule and both teams will begin practice. We've had a chance just from a staff standpoint just logistically to kind of go through practice today, the various periods and drills. "

Do you guys have the flexibility of changing practice on the fly?

"There's a portion of practice, the two-minute stuff, a lot of that will be handled by the quarterbacks at the line of scrimmage.  A part of today's practice is set and put together on scripts with various down and distances.  You'll see first down. You'll see third down.  You'll see red zone. So there's just a simple personnel exchange as to what each time might expect in regards to personnel and yet still have to go play an offense or defense.  And tomorrow will be another different element so we're just trying to get to as many situations that we can. This will be our third time that we've had a chance to work with New England.  I feel like the prior practices have been real positive and we look forward to it."

How much do you talk to your players beforehand about fights during joint practices?

"That is one of the reasons, look, you guys watched it last night and for as much as we are harping about avoiding it, the (NFL) network puts it on 11 times.  So we'll make sure that everyone understands the tempo and part of that's the structure going in but it is a big reason why we're practicing with them a third time.  We know it is going to be about improving both teams and trying to get better. We are both trying to do the same thing at this period of training camp and that is unfortunate when you see it happen with other teams and clearly when you put a team on television like Hard Knocks and then practice with someone else, we've seen that formula two years in a row so that is nothing new."

What are the contact rules today?

"Just like you've been watching us, I'd say for New Orleans or New England media, what you've been seeing it probably what exactly you should expect to see.  The bottom line's we keep everyone up.  We want to stay up.  If someone's down, we want to try and keep everyone off the ground.  Defenders will try and strip the ball if they call, thud up on the player and yet we feel like we can get a lot of good work done that way."

What do you like about these joint practices?

"Well, for us it comes at a point and probably I would say for New England as well, it comes at that point in camp where you finished your first preseason game.  We had 16 penalties last week and we could have easily had 20.  There are a ton of things we need to work on and when you get a different team I think it prevents you from kind of falling into that going through the motions routine that can happen.  We have a lot of young players, a lot of first year guys that haven't never had a joint practice like this, but I think it can bring out the best in a player and help build confidence and it can do a lot of things."

There is going to be an eighth official at Saturday's game, are you going to work on that here as well?

"I have no idea if there are eight or seven here.  I just know there are a lot of them and they are wanting to throw flags if there is a penalty."

What are your impressions of Jimmy Garoppolo?

"He was someone that obviously everyone was aware of.  He was drafted high.  He had a fantastic (college) career.  His story might have been a little bit different, obviously, than Tony's (Romo) where he was an undrafted free agent although they both were guys that were at the (NFL Scouting) Combine and both were guys that were scouted.  Clearly, as an alum, every once and a while, you pay attention to how the school's doing.  I had a chance to meet his dad briefly when we were in Chicago playing the Bears, I think he worked at the hotel our team was staying at.  I'm excited, obviously, to see a good player come out of that school.  It has had a pretty good football tradition and it will be good to see him out here throwing the ball around and hopefully doing well."

Do you ever break down your game against his game?

"In comparison, there are too many other breakdowns going on."

How did you guys find the Greenbrier and what do you get out of coming here?

"It's a good question.  Two years ago, it was really about an individual, Jim Justice who owns this property and owns the hotel, I'd met during a golf tournament here.  The (PGA) Tour comes through here the Fourth of July weekend every year and I'd heard from Mickey (Loomis) that the Redskins had looked at this site as a possible facility.  We met briefly, spoke on the phone probably a week or two later and I'd say then once a month throughout that latter spring and summer and probably within three months the contract, the facility, he built this in three months, this was part of a mountain so he leveled this, put the two fields in, put the lower level field turf in.  I'd say he's a doer.  He's someone that gets things done. I know it means a lot for him and the state of West Virginia and I think that's his big reason for having a team train here.  For us, we receive a chance to train in certainly better temperatures right now, the altitude here is around 2,000 ft. so we split time here and back at home in New Orleans.  The setup is perfect.  For us to train with no distractions, it has really been a good relationship."

The Patriots are obviously going through a tough time. How have you and your organization managed to survive through Bounty Gate? What has allowed you to get through that?

"We're in 2015 so that was a long time ago. We put that behind us. You can't control it so we kind of focused our energy on things that we can control. That is really the best way that we went about handling it. Situations are different and I will not comment on anything with regards to New England's situation. Our [situation] is behind us and we are focused on finding a way to improve this team. This year will be a year where there will be a lot of stories [such as] the 10-year anniversary of Katrina. Most all of us weren't there in August of '05. I believe it was right at the end of the preseason. It seems like that time has gone by pretty quickly, with regards to 2011 and 2012. That seems like quite a ways ago."

Even though I'm not sure if Travaris Cadet is going to be down there because he is a little nicked up, I wanted to get your thoughts on what you saw from him, development wise in the three years that you had him?

"He came in [during that season] where I was gone. He's very athletic so he's versatile. He is a guy that plays receiver then kind of went to running back. He can do a lot of things. He can catch the ball well. He has a really good feel for the game so his route tree and his ability to do certain things in the passing game that aren't necessarily the norm for a running back but pretty good."

With all that creativity and winning associated with the two franchises, do you ever get annoyed at the scrutiny on the other things from the league or the media? Do you just accept it?

"You can't control it. For me, it would be wasted energy. We have talked as a team about certain things but it is silly to dwell, look back or reflect. There are certain things that you know and there are certain things that you file away. I have one of those real good memories. You just kind of put it away and you understand that that's what it is."

How concerned were you yesterday with [Keenan] Lewis and [Kenny] Vaccaro missing the walk through? That is now your top-five defensive backs all missing time. How concerned are you?

"I think that it's training camp though and that happens. We're here now and we're in our third week. It'd be more concerning if we were three weeks in and you are talking about all five players being out. You are going to have days where guys can't practice. Hopefully we have more of them out there and that the guys that are nicked up, we get back soon."

How have you seen Mark Ingram mature as a route runner over the years?

"The last two years, last year and this year, [he has improved]. This camp he has done a few good things. There are all competing for touches and that could come in the passing game or the running game. I would say that he and Khiry (Robinson) both have become a little more accomplished, with regards to their protection and their ability to get open and separate man-to-man. That gives you more flexibility when they're in a game."

Whereas you regard the Patriots with admiration for their innovation and winning, do you think it is possible that others regard them with suspicion or jealousy? Other teams or officials in the league?

"With what they've been able to accomplish and I have said this before we got hired in '06, we look closely at their model. If you didn't, you were foolish. Their success and staying power has been unprecedented. There has been a lot of different players involved. I'm sure and I am not commenting on Bill's (Belichick) team but a lot of work and effort [was] involved in those championships. We try to set up our program the same way. I think that they do an outstanding job."

What is it specifically that they do?

"Just go from A-to-Z. You look at the roster makeup and the type of player that they sign. The decisions that they make with regards to free agency and the draft. They've adapted over the years. You've seen them defensively philosophically change and you've seen them offensively philosophically change. Yet they have always been able to make an adjustment that they need to overcome injury. They've always, number one, found that right type of player."

Does Bill make you laugh or is he the same as we see on tv?

"I don't know. I think that I have a pretty good relationship with him. I think that he makes me laugh when I'm watching him talk to you."

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