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Transcript: Head Coach Sean Payton weekly conference call - December 9, 2019

Sean Payton speaks to media prior to the Saints Monday night Week 15 matchup vs. Colts

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, December 9, 2019

After looking at the film, what were some of the things I guess that still concern you from yesterday?
"I thought number one, it was the type of game where scoring became (at) a premium. We had a number of errors on offense. We have to get those corrected. We took minus plays, turned the ball over, could've turned the ball over (more times). Two or three times the ball was out. Defensively, we struggled. I thought we played poorly on the back end. We played poorly up front. In the kicking game, I was encouraged. I thought the return yards were real big and I thought that helped us."

This reminds me of what we were asking about the offense after the Atlanta loss early this year. How do you weigh what feels like a one week anomaly and what are some real lasting concerns about the defense?
"Look, we have some guys nicked up and I think at linebacker particularly we have to get those guys back. And at the same time, there were a number of guys that did not play well. As the head coach, you look at the tape, you watch it, you're disappointed with it in a tough game like that, you have got to bounce back against the team here this Monday night. Players are in right now, we're all looking at it and kind of go from there, but we can't kid ourselves. We have to play a lot better. We have to coach a lot better."

A lot of the deep passing plays, did a lot of that come from this team was so good at running the ball, they were able to sell a lot of plays?
"You're playing down safety defense. We have to be able to stay on top. We have, quite honestly, to play better at the deep safety position. They beat our corners, they beat our safeties and we didn't have much of a pass rush to affect the passers. So all those combinations aren't very good. So I don't think it's just one thing."

When did you guys decide to kind of give Deonte (Harris) the green light to just return those balls from like five or six yards deep?
"It's not really a green light. A lot of it's trajectory driven and he's pretty sharp so when those kicks are coming, but with a low trajectory I think he did a good job of making decisions for the most part. There's been no change philosophically as to how we want to bring a ball out of the end zone and a lot of it has to do with the time."

How do you think Terron (Armstead) held up yesterday against a pretty good player for most of that game in Nick Bosa?
"I thought well. I thought very well. Had a good game."

Did having those two linebackers out just kind of force you to scheme completely differently for this particular game than you would have coming in?
"It certainly changes your hand. Obviously, you have to make decisions relative to what you're going to be in personnel wise. So we played a little Buffalo. We played some base. I thought third quarter we played decent. I thought we got some good stops and then back to the fourth quarter. You have to adjust and we just weren't able to do it completely."

In regards to playoff seeding, is it hard not to look at the scoreboard?
"It's real simple. One, two, or three. That's what we're playing for. The focus is on the Colts and us playing better football. We're either going to be in one of those three spots and the focus has to be on improving and the focus has to be on playing the Colts. It is really that simple."

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