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Sean Payton talks Arizona Cardinals

Quotes from Sean Payton's post-practice press conference on Thursday, September 19

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Can you assess the offensive line through the first two games?

"Like everything else there are a ton of things we are working to improve and I think that's been a strong suit of ours and I see it being the same this upcoming season.  There are some situations, and I've said this already, the short yardage situation back in week one and the goal line sequence, those are things that I have to be better at, but overall I thought last week they played pretty well.  They graded out very well."

How is Charles Brown doing?

"He's doing very well.  He did very well this past week."

Can you talk about some of the challenges Patrick Peterson presents?

"He's explosive so we need to have a game plan in special teams devoted just to punt coverage.  Fortunately, Thomas (Morstead) is one of the better punters in this league and he understands distance, hang time, and location are critical.  It is always easy to say, hey, let's kick the ball to the sideline, but having to come off your foot where you want to go with it directionally is a skillset.  I think that is something he is very good at and it's going to be important in this game."

What have you seen from the Cardinal's running back Rashard Mendenhall?

"He's a good back.  He was drafted by Pittsburgh and there is a familiarity with Bruce (Arians) and his time there with him.  He is physical.  He has speed.  He is elusive.  I think it is an important part of what they want to do.  How a team rushes the football, both ourselves and the opponent, a lot of times we think is critical on how the outcome of the game can go.  Stopping the run is a definite goal of ours in this game.  It would be week to week, but he is explosive."

How much of an asset is it for your defense to have a guy like Thomas Morstead who gets good field position like that?

"It's tremendous.  I just finished talking about special teams and if you can net a punt 49 yards, that essentially is no different than the defense holding an offense to a three and out, field position wise.  All of these yards are hidden yards in a game, they all add up too, and you can actually put an equation to yardage and points.  So we go through that with our players and I think that hidden yardage this week will (be) really important, especially as it pertains to a returner like (Patrick) Peterson."

How have those gunners played on special teams? Especially on the play where Corey White downed a punt at the four-yard line on Sunday.

"It all works together but there are 16 hidden yards there.  The ball goes into the end zone, it's on the 20, and instead it's on the four.  If you keep adding up those yards you can put a formula together."

How is Patrick Peterson compared to other athletes you have seen?

"He is rare. It is one thing to have the size and speed, but when you put ball skills along with a guy that catches the ball extremely well and very comfortable.  Then, when you are locating passes in his direction you have to be very mindful of where he is at.  Those are all great qualities you don't want to see in a player on the other team, a receiver, a corner, they are exceptional skillsets."

How does it benefit the team to go up against such great wide receivers so early in the season?

"You go through your schedule each week, teams have exceptional receivers.  We see them in our division.  We see them outside of our division.  I think Larry (Fitzgerald) is obviously one of the top receivers in this league, but the other players alongside of him, the younger guys are real threats.  There is more than one target for Carson (Palmer) and being able to have a plan, not only one first and second down, but like today in third down and how you are going to cover these guys and communicate in the noise is important."

Is the opportunity to start 3-0 meaningful to you?

"It's just the next game.  It's an NFC game.  It is this week's challenge. I don't know if it is too early, I just think you just look at the challenge this week and really try to isolate this game only."

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