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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton weekly conference call - September 5, 2019

Coach Sean Payton speaks to media prior to Week 1

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Studying the Texans, I guess defensively we all know about J.J. Watt, but what are some of the other things that might stand out about them? I guess we could add in Watt because he's obviously a guy that no one can overlook.
"I think (the) first thing, Romeo Crennel does a great job with the scheme that they run. They're very, very technique sound. They're an extremely stout defense. You see their rushing numbers. It's physical defense and I think it's coached extremely well."

What kind of specific problems or unique problems does Watt present to your offensive line? A guy who, I guess moves up and down the line across the line and looks for soft spots?
"Number one, he's a really athletic and talented player. He can get on an edge. He can beat you with speed. He has great stamina, so you know you're going to be in for a battle all day long. All those things, whether he's lining up inside or outside, make him challenging to play against."

For the second year in a row, you've had an undrafted rookie defensive lineman make the team. What about Shy Tuttle helped him earn a spot on the 53 (man roster) coming out of the preseason?
"We felt like he really came on towards the end of camp, (especially) the last two, two and a half weeks. I think all of us noticed that. It's a hard position to find, especially a position to find in college when you're not drafting them."

What are you looking for from him with whatever playing time that he gets on Monday night?
"We'll see."

Do you ever get excited to see a matchup with somebody like won against a really good player like (Ryan) Ramczyk and J.J. Watt? Do you just kind of get lost in the game and not worry about that sort of stuff or do you kind of enjoy seeing and stuff like that play out in the field?
"It's an important matchup, but there are so many other important matchups. I think that if you're noticing it a lot during the game, it's probably going better for the rusher than the protector or the offensive linemen. Generally, you're hoping it's the other way around. There are so many other elements to these two teams in this game, but that's certainly one and they're both very good players."

Along those same lines, what is it about Deandre Hopkins that really jumped out to you when you pop on the tape?
"I think he has very strong hands in traffic. He's very confident. You see him make a lot of catches in contested areas and the quarterback (Deshaun Watson) has that confidence in him. The timing of watching those two work is very impressive."

When you're preparing for a quarterback like Watson, how much does it help having played Cam Newton twice and you've played Jameis (Winston) twice? How much does that help just preparing for a guy like that?
"I think (Deshaun) Watson would be closer to Cam than Winston. Look, we see a guy like Taysom (Hill) move around everyday in practice. That's the thing that's impressive about Deshaun (Watson). He's able to make plays outside the pocket when a play breaks down. You have to be able to try as best you can to keep him from really hurting you in all areas of the field outside the pocket."

I'm not sure yet if you've officially announced Erik McCoy as your starting center?
"We haven't yet. We'll announce it Monday"

In general then, Terron (Armstead) said yesterday that from OTAs to the first day of training camp to now he's seen huge strides in every phase. Would you agree with that assessment?
"A lot goes into that transition for a first-year player, especially at the center position."

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