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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton weekly media availability - November 27, 2019

Coach Sean Payton speaks to media prior to a Week 13 matchup at Atlanta

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Are you feeling ok?
"Yes. I've just got a little voice (issue). I get this once or twice a year."

How much of a motivation is what happened 16, 17 days ago against the Falcons? With a room of professionals, is that still motivation what happened then?
"Honestly, we're playing for a chance to win the division and to do that on Thanksgiving is earlier than we've done it ever before here. I honestly think the focus is on this game. I don't think there's that payback. Those guys played well and beat us and that's our league sometimes. We didn't play well enough, but credit them. The focus this week with three days is quickly putting together the planand the details as to how we're going to play this game. It's a divisional game. It's an important game for us and how do we get our 10th win? That's really the truth."

I know you were asked about the Michael Thomas MVP candidacy on the radio last Friday, were you surprised to hear a receiver had never won that award?
"No. Look, it typically goes to a quarterback or running back and those are important for the players. There's a ton of guys that are playing extremely well. Every year there are and fortunately we've got one that's playing extremely well on our team. I think the focus, and Michael would say the same thing, is on winning and being a part of a championship team. That's the goal and the other things you can't control."

Obviously the word value is in that award, do you ever remember any offensive playmaker on any offense you've coached that has taken such a big chunk of the production like he does on such a consistent basis?
"I haven't looked at it. He's played exceptionally well for us and I'm proud of him. He's competitive and I know how he prepares each week. That's as much as I've really looked at it."

There seems to be more of a groundswell of people complaining about officiating in general, fan bases and coaches. Is it time that maybe, obviously after the season, to look at blowing the whole thing up? Part-time officials and the way accountability is given up, has it gotten to the point where it's maybe a problem for the league and has to be addressed in a big way?
"Again, it's something that the league will decide. I'm sure that there'll be certain things that they want to change and things they want to improve on. Again, we're so immersed in what we're doing right now that over the years you get a little bit more conditioned to burn your energy on the things that you can control that affect your team right now. To your point though, I think that you're going to see more fulltime officials. It's hard to do their job. It's a hard job because of the speed, camera angles now,technology now. We're seeing a younger group of officials now, referees we've not had yet. Usually, we have a three year history, eight year, 10 year history. We're seeing a handful of guys that we haven't worked with yet. That's part of that period and I'm sure we'll continue as a league to work to improve those things."

Is that something they want to help push for?
"Look at it right now I'm not. We're trying to prepare a short week and look, my immediate concern is how we're getting called, how do we correct some of these things, how do we clean up some of those things?

Growing up watching football was there any particular player that you idolized, made you kind of get interested in the game more?
"I'm going to date myself. I grew up as an old 49er fan. So it was John Brodie Gene Washington, Vic Washington, Tommy Hart, Jimmy Johnson, Ted Kwalick. Mike's (Nolan) dad was the head coach and the only reason was because I was born there and my dad took us to the games when I was little. When you move, you just kind of root for whoever your dad's rooting for. You don't know any better. Those were the initial teams that I remember."

You went to the park by Golden Gate Park?
"Kezar Stadium. Kezar Stadium is where Dirty Harry shot the guy in the knee."

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