New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Looking at the way Carolina has used Christian McCaffrey, how creative have they been or have they evolved to over the years?
“I think it's really the opposite. In other words, I think he's their feature halfback and maybe two years ago you saw him in a lot of different roles. I think now, of course he’s a guy that has that versatility in the passing game, but man, he's on the field for close to 100% of the snaps. And so you're seeing him obviously as a runner and receiving a lot of carries. And then also in the passing game.”
For a guy his size, has his durability been a bit of a surprise?
“I think it's a good question. One of his traits that he has like Alvin (Kamara), they're hard to get a real square hit on and so he can edge defender, play with good pad level. It's one of the things that he does exceptionally well.”
I think we've talked about this before, but what do you remember about that 2017 running back class? I think Dalvin Cook was in it too with Alvin (Kamara) and Christian McCaffrey.
“Look, you have the grades on players, you identify where you're selecting and you trust your board. Tarik Cohen from Chicago was (also) in that class. You really look at where you're selecting and it's just one position. There's obviously a number of positions that are taking place at the same time.”
I don't think that we asked you about it earlier this week, but after looking at the film, what did you think of how Nick Easton played in place of Andrus (Peat)?
“I thought he played well, I thought we did a good job up front against a pretty good run defense and I thought our protection was good. We got edged a few times early in the game and then kind of sorted that out. But, I thought overall I was pleased.”
Obviously, week 17 last year you guys got the first look at Kyle Allen as a starting NFL quarterback. What do you remember about his performance that day?
“Listen, he made some big throws and certainly you have a chance to look at that film, but we have so much film from this season that you're really seeing him in a starter's role and that's kind of how we're approaching it.”
Is he doing anything different now that what you saw last season?
“He just had limited exposure last season so no. He's someone that's confident. I think he has real good athleticism. He can get out of the pocket and make throws on the run. He has a good arm. He's played well for them this year.”
Has Gerald McCoy added anything to that defense? Anything that’s made them different than what you're used to?
“Yes, I think there's two things. You have personnel that have changed and then in their base package, they're playing a lot of this Okie structure under defense. Gerald is playing in the three-technique position. They lead the NFL in sacks. They’re first in the NFL in getting to the quarterback. You can see that on film. Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin, all these guys are playing a high level. It's noticeably different.”