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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton weekly conference call - October 7, 2019

Coach Sean Payton speaks to media prior to Week 6

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, October 7, 2019

What do you see from Marcus Davenport's film yesterday?
"He played well. He was productive. He's one of the defense game ball winners. I thought he played with his length, he did a lot of things well, and there's a few things in there you look at that you want to clean up, but obviously it was a real good game for him."

Did Jared Cook have his best all-around game yesterday?
"I think just measuring receptions and the touchdown. He had some big plays and I felt like heading into that game, we've got to continue to look at ways to get him the ball and he and Teddy (Bridgewater) hooked up on a handful. The touchdown going in (halftime) was significant. He's a big target. He's got a really good grasp as to what we're doing in the passing game and so we just got to continue to look at ways to feature him and oftentimes he's opposite of Mike (Thomas). Sometimes that goes hand in hand, if Mike's drawn a cloud, there's probably going to be opportunities for him opposite of where Mike is."

How well is your defense playing at all levels right now?
"I thought we defended the pass well. I thought we affected the quarterback. The one thing, I said this in the staff meeting this morning, if you just watched the game and you watched both quarterbacks, I thought we protected well offensively and Teddy had time and I felt on the other side of the ledger, I thought we affected Jameis (Winston) enough and quickened the clock in his head. We went into the game understanding that the deep ball, down the field throws, those are something that obviously can get you beat and I thought we handled that element of the game really well."

What did you see from C.J. Gardner-Johnson yesterday?
"Well, he's smart. He understands what we're doing. There are some packages that involve him as an additional DB. He transitions exceptionally well. I think he tackles well and he's got good ball skills. We're encouraged with him as a young player."

How do you decide to go for it on fourth down at the end of the game yesterday?
"Think about this for a second, it was just over a minute and it wasn't really a decision. Situationally, there's only one thing that can beat you at that point and if you're kicking a field goal and it gets blocked, scooped and scored not a lot of time was off the clock and now they're back on the field with their kickoff team kicking an onside kick with, 50 seconds left and all of a sudden you're in a tough position. Whereas the decision to go for it there wasn't based on, obviously we're trying to get a first down and end the game, but the decision to go forward, there was time left on the clock related in that uh, they're going to have to then if we don't make it, drive the length of the field and then get an onside kick and then do it again. A lot of it had to do with where we were at in the game. The quickest way for a team to get back into a game like that though would be a blocked field goal, scoop score on one play and I just felt like it wasn't worth risking it where we were time wise so that that's more of a time management than it is whether to go for it or kick the field goal."

Sheldon Rankins had his first sack of the season last night, how has he progressed since getting back on the field?
"Yeah, absolutely it's a credit to him, it's been a road to recovery. Anytime you have an injury the significance that he had. He's one of the leaders on our team, one of the more respected players on our team and an important part of what we're doing and I know his teammates were excited as well."

Are you concerned about Deonte Harris and the fumbling issues thus far?
"I think there are things we can clean up and I know he's real conscientious and he'll work on those things. He's too talented of a player right now and I think our approach is working that much more on the technique and getting himself stationary and set and then also when you hit a little adversity not to allow the first bad play to effect plays later in the game. But that's part of the process and we're going to work our tails off and clean a lot of that up. He is a talented player and we will continue to work with him on the technique."

Do you look at a fumble differently if the player is gets hit and fumbles?
"Yes, there is fielding a ball cleanly, differently than fumbling a ball after you have fielded it. Yes, the key for him is just the decisions, understanding the hangtime of a ball, all the little things that go into being a returner in this league and I think he has the traits to be an awfully good returner in this league. We will keep working on the specifics in ball security and also the technique of getting your feet set and getting in the proper position."

Was getting Taysom Hill involved part of the game plan or more so how the game played out?
"Probably a little of both. I think the one thing that took place in the game the first snap he was in we saw an adjustment they made defensively, which was really intriguing in the middle field. (The) Safety kind of came down into the box and gave us really, almost like a a no deep look and so right away we started trying to find ways to have him throw it. He made the one scramble, one completion. He did a good job when he was in there and I think two part, I think some of it was part of our plan where, look I don't want him entering the game and every time he enters it's simply zone read. He can do more than just that and so it's important they are going to have to defend him throwing the ball, him handing the ball off and that was part of the plan and the snap counts were higher so he played more. But the other thing was what we saw the first time he was in there and so right away there were a couple of things that we just adjusted to try to get us a shot down the field."

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