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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton media availability - September 27, 2019

Coach Sean Payton addresses media prior to Week 4 game against the Cowboys

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, September 27, 2019

Do you see some similarities between one time when you were a young coach and coming up through the ranks and someone like (Dallas Cowboys' offensive coordinator) Kellen Moore?
"I know of Kellen. I don't know him (personally), but I think it's exciting. I can recall the first time calling plays in New York and I can recall the first game and first season. There is a sense of responsibility you have because it can impact the game. And so, from afar, it appears that it is something that he has done very well. They are playing extremely well right now. Their statistics offensively and defensively are outstanding. It's about communicating. It is about leading. It's about working on a plan and then also working with others amongst the staff because ultimately, you're calling a play and if you're meeting on Wednesday about something you're not comfortable with and someone else is really wanting that, you've got to be able to say, look, I'd rather hold on that. And that's not easy to do sometimes when you're young on the staff. But I think that certainly it's looked good to date.

Is it apparent at all the difference between (former Dallas offensive coordinator) Scott Linehan and what (Kellen Moore has) done early?
"I would say so. You see a different flavor relative to what they're doing and yet, it still involves some base principles. I think it is different."

When you look back at last year's game (against Dallas), was it a lack of what you all didn't do or what Dallas did do?
"Probably a combination of both. I would start with how well they played. I think it would be shortsighted of me to say, well, we just didn't (play well). They played exceptionally well. They beat us in most of the areas. I thought defensively we played well for good majority of the game and it was a lower scoring game. Every once in a while in our league you come away from a loss and you get humbled quick and then you got to get back up and get ready to go the next week. That was one of those games."

Last year Drew (Brees) talked about how you guys have worked together for so long that he would often complete your sentences and vice versa. Having these two young guys in the quarterback's room right now, how would you describe them? Are they sort of like sponges?
"First off, they have been exposed to a routine and a schedule relative to how Drew prepares. Those guys are together all the time. Taysom of course misses some of the quarterback meetings because he is in the special teams meetings. They're different too. Our job as coaches is to put the players in the best chance to be successful. As we prepare for a gameplan with Teddy (Bridgewater) and/or Taysom (Hill), that is different than maybe the gameplan that we would be putting together for Drew. There are a number of things that we are doing differently. Last week, I made this comment, Saturday we always have a team meeting and then the night before, and then we'll meet offensively and defensively and then there will be snack. And then after snack we would go into the quarterback room and go through (plays) and Drew would go through and dot the plays that he likes in each section. And this past Saturday, Teddy asked Pete, 'Do you mind right after the offensive meeting, if we do our dots and then eat afterwards?' And we're like, that's fine. Now I'm texting Brees. I said, 'We're already changing the schedule while you're gone.' There are little things, but the work ethic and the attention to detail is something that has to transcend whoever's playing that position."

How much better was it to get in this building and not be planning in a hotel room ahead of a game and being away for two weeks?
"It was pretty good out there. One of the challenges of being at home, there aren't many. Obviously, the advantage of crowd noise, the advantage of routine and familiarity and yet a game like this, the challenges of tickets, the challenges of friends and cousins and family members all coming in. I just finished up talking to our players about 'protect your routine' and that might not be easy to do for some relatives that are coming in because everyone wants a little bit of time with each player. So when we were in Washington, we were in a hotel room isolated from everyone. You do get a schedule and you do have that extra time. And so it's just understanding the differences of home and away."

What have you seen from Mario Edwards so far?
"He is quick. He is sudden. He is someone that has good football instincts. He has now stayed healthy. Of course, we had his father in Dallas."

That was my next question.
"It's not often you have a cornerback (Mario Edwards Sr.) and then a defensive tackle (Mario Edwards Jr.), but he's doing well. He's a good addition for us."

Is that the first father-son you've ever coached?
"I'm sure I've coached more father-sons than just that. I'd have to stop and think about it. Probably not a lot, but it's the first that can I can recall. I know Kellen Moore hasn't coached any father-sons. That would be fair to say."

A few years ago when Drew Brees was out with an injury, he kind of simulated the entire game on the sidelines down to breaking the huddle. Being as you had a game to call, do you remember noticing that at all?
"What I remember the one year we had a bye and he's routine-driven, and so we had our practice during the week and players were off on the weekend. And I think it was a Saturday. I was up here in my office getting ready to leave. And when I was leaving, I saw him out on this field, he was playing by himself basically. So, at first, I didn't know who it was and then I walked over and I said what are you doing? He said, 'I'm trying to simulate a game to stay on schedule.' That's just how he prepares. That's been pretty good for him. I can't speak for this week. I know he gets in tomorrow. The one thing you find with an injury is it's quiet, it's lonely and the train still goes. I experienced that in '11 when I was injured on the sideline and all of a sudden you're in the training room and everything else is functioning without you, and you realize that this isn't stopping for anyone. You want to get back as quick as possible. And I'm sure he feels the same way."

How much does having Brees wear the earpiece and being on the sideline, not only help from an extra set of eyes, but even maybe just a morale standpoint too?
"I think just from an experience as the pictures come and when he is looking down. He's seen so much that it's an additional coach. He also understands that there's a lot going on and, here's a picture, this is what they're doing and yet we do not know if we are going to get that same picture the next time based on the call. I think it will be good for him to be back. Certainly for our players too."

This is an officiating question. I know your teams dealt with it, but league wide, it seems like it's about 18 and a half flags per game which appears to be a decade high through just through three weeks. But is that something that you've kind of noticed and wondered about what's going on there?
"The thing that we try to do, and I think I try to do more as I've gotten older is try to focus on the things that I can control. I used to spend time on everything and you waste energy sometimes doing that. But look, we do pay attention to the crew that has this game. We know what this crew is calling, we know where they rank, we know where they rank special teams, defense and offense. We know everything about this crew from last year. We also know we're 12-1 with this crew since '06. If I see anyone complaining to the officials, they'll get an earful. That's hard to be with a (specific) crew."

You mentioned a couple of weeks ago, penalties are still too high with the team. I guess you've addressed that with your team?
"Absolutely. Part of that was my fault even at the beginning of the game, just getting plays in. You run out of 3rd and 15 calls and you run out of 1st and 20s. It's hard enough in our league to make first downs. It's that much harder when you're having to make twice the yardage."

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