New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, September 4, 2015
Where does it grade on your concern level to finish the preseason 0-4?
"I think more specifically our focus now is really on the individual players in the game and the evaluation process. Honestly, there were a lot of guys that played a lot of snaps, plenty of snaps for us to confirm or possibly change an evaluation on (the player). Really our focus has been more on finding the right 53 here and the decisions we have to make."
You expressed frustration with the cornerback play last night. How do you feel about the guys that got snaps last night and potentially playing a lot in Brandon Browner, Delvin Breaux and Damian Swann?
"Well they are all different types of players. Of course Damian (Swann) is a rookie first year player. I wouldn't put (Delvin) Breaux in that category because he has played quite a bit at the CFL level and has come in and transitioned well. Of course Brandon Browner is an experienced player. They are different typed players but all of which are going to be key contributors for us this year. I think more importantly is the evaluation of some of those other guys."
You've talked about how impressive Delvin Breaux's original workout was and he has left no doubt that he is ready to be a NFL starting caliber corner or at least get that opportunity?
"Yeah, listen, we think that his production and performance throughout camp has been very consistent. He has good ball skills, his technique, his man cover skills, he can run, those are all things that we have been able to see consistently."
At what point are players going to get the news about upcoming roster cuts? Do you bring up at the same time that if things work out we would like to have you on the practice squad or does that come later in the process?
"No, to your second question that would come in the initial dialogue. The key is just educating the players in the team meeting today already and just trying to explain by 3:00 P.M. tomorrow rosters have to be at 53, and then kind of explain the process of waivers. It is the first time for a lot of them and once those players clear waivers then, and only then, do they have an opportunity to sign to a practice squad. To your first question, it is within the next 24 to 48 hours. We still have a lot of discussions as a staff still. We've met once already, we will meet again later today and so it is kind of a process. There is not like a set time where beginning tomorrow at 9:00 A.M. it'll take place, obviously it has to take place by 3:00 P.M. tomorrow."
Dustin Hopkins got to kick both field goal attempts; (if would have made) that 53-yarder, would that have confirmed your decision? Did it lead you back to square one at the end of that game?
"The one thing that you are wanting as a coach is that you are wanting to see all of these guys do well with the opportunities. It is a good distance. He had the leg for it and he just missed it wide. We'll have to go back now and really look closely at the kick opportunities in the game which are a little more limited, obviously, as what they have done total in the preseason. It is obviously easier when you are evaluating a very statistical position like kicker where you are seeing (whether) is it in or is it not. It becomes a lot easier when you see a guy who is real consistent. He has been, I would say, fairly consistent in camp. He has been striking the ball well. I was hoping and we all were hoping that it'd be a wider margin with either of those players and not really having our opinions set to start the process. We'll see where that takes us."
Starting today and also tomorrow there are going to be probably hundreds of guys on the waiver wire around the league. Do you kind of huddle with the scouts and pro personnel people to get their info? How does that work as you're evaluating other players out there?
"Yes, absolutely. To the point that we bring up every year, I think paying attention to, especially this wire, is extremely important. That is a lot of information that is going to take place in the next 24 hours to digest. Being organized and making sure that we're taking the information gathered by not only the pro scouts, but the college scouts that were assigned certain teams during this preseason, and gathering that information to make sure that we are looking closely at not only the decisions that we make internally here, but decisions that other teams are making, to possibly upgrade our roster."
You gave Willie Snead prominent snaps starting the first half and every once and a while one of these young guys comes along in the preseason. Is he still being evaluated or is he one of those guys that has clearly earned a role on this team?
"He got a lot of work last night. He has been consistent in camp. I thought he played well last night again. He is a smart player so he can play multiple positions. We have been impressed and I would say that I have been impressed with his body of work. It has been very consistent."