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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton media availability - October 4, 2019

Coach Sean Payton addresses media prior to Week 5 game against the Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, October 4, 2019

How important is it and emotional is it going to be to have Will Smith be inducted into the Ring of Honor?
"I think a lot of it depends on the relationship you might have had (with him). The team is different now. It is great to have his family in (for this even). I said this at the beginning of the week, as good a player as he was and he was fantastic, he was that good of a leader. We miss him every day and it's an honor that is much deserved."

(Ryan) Ramczyk has drawn a bunch of tough assignments during this early stage of the season. It seems like he's kind of passing that every week. Has he gotten even better than the level of the established his first couple of years?
"I think so. He's been real consistent and there's something to be said for that. He's very good with his technique. He's extremely athletic and he has drawn some really good football players. Again, he'll have his hands full this week. I'm glad he's on our team."

Is it nice to see a guy like (Bruce) Arians back in the league and coaching again?
"It sure is. He's always been a good friend and always a good mentor. You can see just in his team, the confidence he brings and instills."

Is he one of those coaches where you can kind of study his offenses over the years in his different stops?
"Absolutely. All the way back to Indy, Pittsburgh, Arizona. Yeah."

What do you think about the job he's done through the first four games as they've progressed through the season with Jameis (Winston)?
"I think they are doing really well. I think you can see it on film. It is different. I know Todd (Bowles) well, the defensive coordinator and some of the guys on their staff. Byron Leftwich, the offensive coordinator, I remember working him out. They've done a really good job in a short period of time."

How much of that is just the confidence that's instilled and how much of it is just the scheme?
"Look, it's a combination of a lot of things. We're teachers so it's trying to put guys in the best chance they have to have success and then identifying what they are looking for. But you can see it on tape."

Has what Chris Godwin's been able to do is, is it almost kind of like interchangeable number ones between him and Mike Evans?
"He plays a lot in the slot and so you see he's had a ton of production after four games. They are in a lot of three-receiver sets and he is another guy with good size and strong hands."

I have a question that maybe I just don't understand the concept behind it, but when top receivers have a lot of success in the slot and top corners don't shadow top receivers into this slot a lot of times why not just put receivers in the slot more?
"I would say there's always that zone or man. In zone, it's different and in man sometimes, well a lot of times, you'll see that happen. A lot of it is based on down and distance and coverage."

How have you seen (Thomas) Morstead involved over his time here?
"It's been a long time. Look, he's always been the constant professionally. He works extremely hard at what he does. He is very detailed. He has got great questions. He researches the week in preparing for the opponent. Lost in all that, he's an extremely gifted athlete if you were looking at length, strength. He's very athletic and I think that along with his work ethic has helped him to have the type of career he's having."

Do you feel like with Shaq Barrett he's being utilized in a different way?
"He's an edge player. I think he's just receiving more snaps. I said on the conference call to Tampa, to have the numbers he's had after four weeks is the equivalent of someone batting .500 in baseball. He's been real productive and he's a handful."

Jameis Winston is coming off one of his best games in his career. What kind of challenges does he present?
"He has a big arm. He has confidence in the skill players around him and then a real good system. So when you combine the scheme and the talent and his arm strength and athleticism, I think that no one could expect 50 some points. Generally, when that happens in our league there are turnovers, a number of them and sure enough in that game there were, but you can just see his confidence on tape."

When signed Demario Davis, was it pretty much what you expected based on who you talked to or are there ways he's surprised you since he got here?
"I think the one thing in free agency, you are never (completely sure)…we heard about his makeup and his ability you see on film and I would say his makeup after having him and being a captain and all of those things have exceeded maybe your expectations when we initially signed him."

The same goes for like leadership and being a defensive captain?
"Absolutely. He's been outstanding."

I think a couple of weeks back, Drew Brees said this week in particular might be a little bit tough for him because he's not going to feel as much pain in his thumb and maybe he feels like I'm getting so much better than I could be close to being able to go. Do you at any point have to challenge that and say we're 2-0?
"No, I think there's experts that are going to handle that. I hadn't heard that, but no. I think he's still rehabbing and working on his recovery."

He's not campaigning for Taysom Hill's special teams work or anything like that?
"No. Those snaps are safe."

What's it been like just having him around this week? He's not going through drills, but he's out there.
"Last week, the same way. He's part of the team and so we don't notice it as much as maybe all of you would."

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