New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
You mentioned the productivity of the running game for San Francisco to us the other day. The specific personnel, I guess especially (Matt) Breida, what makes those guys different, special?
"Number one, their scheme's fantastic and it matches their skillset. The offensive line and how they target their landmarks (is impressive). They are guys that are athletic and I'd say that the trait that every one of these backs has is their home run speed. So they are going to stress you horizontally and put the foot in the ground and you're going to have to be able to really handle this wide zone and then the auxiliary runs that come from it, but they're running it as well as anyone."
As you guys address the penalty situation, it is a point where you don't want to overemphasize it, I guess make guys too conscious of it, that they won't play the way they normally playing?
"I think the key is taking into consideration the film that you're watching, (and) who the culprits are. Is it repeated behavior? Can we correct it or is it something that was a one time deal? A lot of it is dependent on the specific fouls."
Bill Belichick has a phrase he used a lot, he says football season doesn't really start until Thanksgiving. I was just curious on your thoughts on that. Do you think this bears more importance now what we're getting ready to get into?
"Certainly it does for some teams and then for others obviously it is not as important. We just finished meeting and going through this opponent and you're at the final quarter pole, four games left. They're all challenging in their own way and different in their own way and the most important one of them is the one we play this weekend."
What's kind of stood out about (Nick) Bosa to you coming in and playing well his first year?
"Look, you're seeing a great combination of athleticism, strength and speed. That combination to edge you, that combination to go speed to power. It's not just one part of his game. Shoot, he's a handful, he's having a fantastic season."
It seems like he's not the only one in that pass rush that's having a pretty good year. Are they kind of rotating guys in and out there?
"Look, there's some rotation, but the frontline guys that you have in front of you are the guys that you're seeing play and they're playing awfully well."
The offensive line with Patrick (Omameh) coming in there and Nick Easton playing again, how did you feel that they did last week?
"I thought (they did well). I thought there are a handful of things you want to clean up, but those guys battled and did what we needed them to do and that was huge for us."
Ed Orgeron said something earlier this week that he said he picked up from you. It doesn't matter how you got here, it's what you do with it. I'm wondering where that philosophy came from and how have you kind of implemented that in your coaching style?
"I cannot recall specifically where it came from and yet, look, you are in the moment. You're in the now constantly and talking to your team about how it's tough to get in these spots at this time of the year. There is a lot of work that goes into it. There are a lot of close games. Shoot, we have been in seven, (or) eight of these games all within one score. I don't feel like we've played at our best football. Honestly, I feel like there's been a number of things that we have to clean up and improve on and we're going to have to as the competition increases and the stakes increase. The better teams are going to be able to execute more consistently in those situations. This will be a good test this weekend. These guys, I'm telling you, just when you watch this team play, defensively and offensively and in the kicking game, they're as balanced a team (as there is) and a team that plays extremely well in all three phases. That's why they're sitting with the record they have."
Any reaction to Ron Rivera's firing? I know you had a lot of battles with him over the years.
"I have so much respect for Ron and for the work he has done there. I consider him a close friend. Shoot, he'd been in the division for eight, nine years and I think that's, unfortunately the business we're in. But his reputation in our league speaks for itself, and so he's going to have other opportunities. Look, you have a new owner who's making his calls and doing what he needs to do and we'll see where he goes. I'm a big fan, obviously, and a good friend."