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

Coach Sean Payton speaks to media prior to a Week 17 matchup against Carolina

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post Practice Media Availability
Friday, December 27, 2019

Any imminent plans to sign Antonio Brown?
"No, not now. We had six guys in today, really. Six receivers that we worked out and a few of them are practice squad eligible. A few of them are veteran players. We worked them out, giving them physicals, mainly doing our due diligence on all of those players. Obviously, there's a little bit more attention drawn to him (Brown) because of his career, but right now it was more or less us having a chance to get to know these guys and seeing what kind of shape they're all in."

A few months ago we asked about Brown and you said you weren't interested at the time. What changed your mind and made you want to bring him in to the group workout?
"I probably was not telling you the truth a few months ago, but look, I think it is important that we have done this at other positions and we're looking closely all the time at who are the players available and how can they help us. Especially as we get ready here for this postseason. That was the purpose of today with the receiver position. We've done it really throughout the course of the season at other positions."

Is it your belief that he could potentially be eligible for these playoffs or is that more about the future?
"That's a good question. That's the information that we have to receive from the league if we were to go down that road so we don't have that yet."

How much your valuation goes into the person. Obviously a ton, but he's been here obviously videos and postings and things like that. How much do you evaluate that if at all?
"All of that goes into a decision like that. It's part of the process of bringing a player in."

When you get a player like that, do you talk to players like Drew (Brees) and just get their input on players like that?
"Occasionally and you spend a lot of time trying to talk with others in the league that you have relationships with. We've done that and we'll factor all that in."

You guys are on pace to have the lowest number of turnovers by any NFL team this year. How has your team been able to take such good care of the ball?
"I think it is a big part of why we are sitting with 12 wins right now. I think there was a stretch where when all of a sudden we had some injuries defensively, we were playing real good football offensively. The ball security we work on each week. I think the players buy into it, they understand the significance of it and it gives you a chance to win every game. On the other side of it, you can have a great plan, be rested and ready to play and do a lot of things well. But if you don't secure the football, it can doom you for that game even though you were ready to play your best game or we are in the middle of playing your best game. I think it's a credit to the players, but I think it's something that everyone spends a lot of time on, taking it away and protecting it. It wins and loses games."

Do you have to have some good fortune with that too? Just like tipped balls and stuff like that?
"Sure, there's some, but overall, I don't think it's good fortune to be sitting at a number like seven or eight or whatever that number is."

Janoris (Jenkins) and D.J. (Swearinger), veteran players, how much more comfortable are they after being in for several days?
"Both of them are smart players, experienced players and I would say they're much further along than they were a week ago at this time."

Do you see when a team makes a coaching change and they tweak things, do you see anything differently on film? Maybe in the last few weeks with this team?
"A few nuances, but there's a lot of stuff that stayed intact. Obviously, the personnel is the same. We were playing the same style of offense. Certainly, they're dealing with injuries like we are at certain positions. Defensively, there's a few things, but by and large you're still preparing for the film that you've seen on your cut ups and then all the way back through the course of the season, even in the last year."

Regarding Brown again, how do you approach that? Bringing a player who's had problems in the past into the locker room? Do you worry it could affect the chemistry or do you look at your locker room and (trust them)?
"I think we do what we do our homework with every player and we understand this locker room and this culture and we do our work ourselves."

At this point it'd be what you consider a low risk?
"No, I didn't say any of that. I just say this is what we do. I think if we were to sign the player you would say, I guess you'd say it's low risk, but the process is something we take seriously and it's important relative to the makeup of the team."

Is it a little tricky though when you know that just bringing a guy in is going to cause a stir because of his off the field situation?
"We're doing our homework. I think part of that's credibility that you've already established and it'd be a number of players that we've signed or drafted over the years past that some have worked out, some haven't. And yet I'd never met him before, so it was the chance to sit down and visit with him. No different than the other players that were in today."

Can you just speak in general to how you feel about the culture of your team?
"I feel about real good about our current culture."

Are there certain teams that you've had and cultures you've had where you feel more comfortable being willing to bring in players like that?
"Look, I think we had a few years here where it dropped off our expectation, but certainly I think right now I like the way these guys are playing and I like our makeup, our leadership and all of that."

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