New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Training Camp Presented by Verizon
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Post-Practice Media Availability
"We will look at the tape, but I thought, look, the work we get here is outstanding, whether it is starting at the beginning with the individual one-on-one routes, (going) into the team periods. (There's) a lot I'm sure we're going to have to clean up when we watch the tape and that's what we just finished talking about. You're in a race to keep improving every day. When you see someone else, you receive different looks (on) both sides of the ball, different looks in the kicking game, and get on that tape and we try to improve between today and tomorrow."
How drastic would you say the climate differences (are) and how does that affect what you can do?
"It's significant. And so you're not breaking as much maybe as you would be at home. Typically we'd have six or seven breaks and I think that's one of the good things about coming here to work."
How much more does it mean that this is a team that had a winning record last year, has high expectations this year in the Chargers like the Saints?
"Much like us, I think just the prior two years. They're a team that obviously was a playoff team a year ago. I think when you get two teams working together like that it helps both sides."
Taysom (Hill) had a nice completion today. What do you see in him and what are you looking for in his development?
"It's kind of twofold and it's tough because where he's excelling in one area and you would say really far down the line (there is a lot of potential at quarterback), (he is) one of our key contributors in special teams and also a key contributor with what we do offensively in a different role relative to the quarterback play. I think he and Teddy (Bridgewater) have had a real good camp. You see the progress, you see the progressions, you see a more and more comfortable player and that's encouraging."
Simmie Cobbs Jr. made a couple of plays today. What are you seeing from him
"He did. He's developmental right now in his second year. There's some times he does some things very well and there are other times that he's got to work on the specifics of the position. I think that he's one of those young players that needs the reps, needs the work and a practice like today is extremely beneficial to some of those younger guys."
Do you remember two years ago, I think in preseason, in the game against the Chargers, Alvin Kamara a 50-yard rushing touchdown in the first series? Do you ever have a lightbulb moment when a player makes a play like that?
"I think historically when we talk about a player that gains confidence, that run was early in the game, I want to say it was the first series. Yes, I think that takes place in our game. Players do things very well and they build on those things and that's where the confidence comes from. I think very early on we saw a lot of positive things from him. The confidence not only grew with himself as he played, but it also grew relative to what we wanted to do."
These joint practices seem to be becoming increasingly popular around the NFL. There was a long period where they kind of disappeared. What does it take to have a really effective one that helps your team? Can it accelerate things for your team in training camp? Can you especially be efficient with the work?
"I've been fortunate now in 13 years where for the better part of five or six years, we shared a practice with the Texans because we always played a preseason game proximity-wise. We have had four with the Patriots. This is our third now with the Chargers. I think my experience with them is it has always been a positive experience. It has always been a chance for growth because you're at that stage of training camp where you're going against each other for however many weeks and now all of a sudden you get a little bit different alignment. I think the key is the coaching staffs, the communication relative to what we are all expecting, and the players understanding, hey, let's take this opportunity to get better and let's not let it turn into anything other than that."
The NBA does a lot of studies on load management. Are you all doing more of that in practices?
"Same thing. That's the new word."
As a coach, did you worry about that 20 years ago?
"I would say 20 years ago, 15 years ago, it was be mindful of the veteran players and I think we're much further along. Who has had surgeries, where you are at in your practice week. We put together a list, a plan, a load management plan throughout training camp. Group one, group two, group three players, group one being the highest, not at risk, but guys that you got to really pay attention to, they might've had an offseason surgery specifically. Group two might be more of a veteran core. I think we're further along and we're more specific as opposed to let's give a veteran this day off."
I don't remember Drew (Brees) ever having a practice off before this year. Has he ever done that before?
"We have done that so this isn't the first year, but I would say five years ago he was not. I think probably it is challenging for him sometimes and yet he understands the benefit of it."
Along those same lines, obviously Keith Kirkwood was out here earlier on the practice field. How encouraged are you with him?
"He's doing well. He's going well."
How much do you think Drew (Brees) and (Alvin) Kamara and those guys are going to play this week?
"We'll see. We haven't met on that. We typically will meet here either tonight or tomorrow night and we'll finalize what we want to accomplish in this game. Once we figure it out then we'll…I don't know that we'll announce it, but we'll know."
Bill Johnson is getting back into the coaching ranks, being hired at LSU as defensive line coach to fill in for their injured defensive line coach. You worked with them for a while. What did you like about working with him
"He's a tremendous teacher and he's an outstanding person and really good staff guy. He had a lot to do with our Super Bowl (Championship team). He's got a wealth of experience and he's done it for such a long period of time that I think that'll be a big plus for LSU."
In terms of the work, third year with these guys, has anything in terms of this script majorly changed?
"I'd say the format generally's been fairly consistent. Obviously the players are different. There's things that are different with what either team is doing, but generally what we have tried to accomplish on day one, then day two and then the final day has been pretty similar. There might be some situations we look at that we did in a year ago. But I would say for the most part it's pretty similar."
Go behind-the-scenes with Drew Brees and the Saints quarterback crew as they challenge the Los Angeles Chargers on their home turf.