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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton media availability - October 25, 2019

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, October 25, 2019

Can you name your starting quarterback for Sunday's game?
"No. We will see. Both those guys received a lot of work this week, so we'll probably wait until Sunday."

Did you see good things from Drew (Brees)? His comfort throwing the football?
"Yeah. He looked good. He's limited. We'll have a good plan."

What do you think the biggest strength that Teddy (Bridgewater) has been during this stretch (without having Drew Brees)?
"I think he's a good decision maker. He protects the ball well. He did a great job of minimizing turnovers. I think he's a real good leader. I think he gets the ball down the field well. I thought each game was different, but you see those intangibles that we saw on film, even with the Jets or with the Vikings. That winning has kind of followed him where he's been, Louisville, Minnesota. You could see it is part of his DNA."

Is he doing anything that has surprised you at all?
"Obviously he's picked up what we do very quickly. He's been here now, call it a year and a half. He made a throw last week that was something, where he kind of flushed the pocket and hit Mike Thomas down the field. That was pretty special."

The adversity that you've gone through the first few weeks, how much has your coaching staff as a whole helped you through this process? Because a lot of guys have been here for several years and is this one of the tighter groups you feel like you've had?
"I feel like I have a fantastic staff. We have good teachers. I think that when you do this long enough, there are not seasons that go by where you are not shorthanded at some position. And oftentimes Monday is difficult, Tuesday guys are working out and you might be signing a guy Tuesday that's going to play in the game. It's not just unique to us. I think that's our game. They're doing a great job. They're working hard. It's a big part of what we're doing."

Having several (assistant coaches) that have been head coaches, going through the last few weeks, are you able to give (coaches) more autonomy?
"There's certainly a handful of guys that have coached at a different club as a head coach and we're constantly looking for ways to change things up and open to ideas. They work well together. And I think that's most important."

Is Erik McCoy the kind of guy who fixes a problem right away?
"He's very diligent. I'd say very conscientious. He's smart and I think that there's subtleties that are different in our game than the college game. Each week the thing that's been really encouraging is to see his progress. He's physical and you feel that when you watch him play."

When you were scouting in Lubbock, did you have a chance to interact with Kingsbury at all during that time?
"Briefly. He was there (when I visited the campus for a workout). In fact, we spent some time talking with him about Patrick (Mahomes). We really had a whole afternoon there ourselves, just our staff and he was really good. Real helpful. That was a good visit."

Is that one of your first interactions?
"Probably, yeah. I think so. When you're in this thing long enough, I remember putting a grade on him when he was coming out as a player. That was the first time really having a chance to visit with them."

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome's crowd is always really loud on gamedays. How much more important it is for them to get fired up early on, especially against a quarterback like Kyler Murray?
"Our crowd's fantastic. We have an LSU night game though. And then we play at 12 noon. So we have to get our bloody Mary's going and our rally caps going. And I think it's important not only just on the third downs, but there's a lot of communication that takes place from the sidelines into the quarterback. We did this against the Rams effectively a year ago and I think that crowd noise just as they are breaking the huddle, that can really help relative to the communication."

This team in particular?
"Absolutely. I think just as they are pre-snap communication team, we have to be a pre-snap crowd noise stadium."

Looking back to last week with the way that Latavius Murray ran, how much did that just kind of embolden the talent that you knew we had coming in and stepping up in a role when you needed him?
"He was outstanding. When you have both he and Alvin (Kamara), you have a lot of flexibility. He's one of those guys that as the game wore on, I felt like he got better and better and better. Just that combination of both those players, I don't want to say it's a luxury, but look, it's certainly a real good position group."

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