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Transcript: New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton training camp interview - Friday, Sept. 4 

Payton spoke with media on overall assessment of training camp at Saints Training Camp 2020

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Video Call with New Orleans Media 
Friday, September 4, 2020

Can you just assess how you feel about how training camp went this year?
"I would say this, look, one of the things as a coach that you never know heading into the start of the season is where you stack up versus everyone else. Now when you play preseason games, you do have a chance to get a look at your starters, a little bit in week one, little bit more week two and three and so on. So it's one of those races I alluded to the other day, that you're unaware really of how the other 31 teams are doing. I felt like we've gotten a lot accomplished. I felt like the last week and a half has been really good. Injury wise, I think knock on wood, I think we've handled that pretty well and we've avoided some of the soft tissue injuries that can come up in training camp. But it's not that far away here before we'll really receive an assessment of where our team's at and then we go from there. But overall, I've been pleased. There's still a number of things that we're going to have to work on next week in our game prep and then get ready to go."

With the cuts coming tomorrow, is it more of a difficult process because you didn't have those preseason games?
"Well, it's to some degree less exposure in game situations. We've tried to create those situations in practice. I think the one thing I just finished talking with the team about is, the cuts take you to 53 that hadn't changed, but the practice squad has, and so the flexibility that each club has throughout the league, with 16 now on the practice squad is a pretty substantial."

Are the cuts tougher this season with the lack of preseason evaluation?
"I think from experience, it can move to different position groups. One season a few years back, it might've been linebackers or tight ends and so I think that can vary. I do think the additional practice squad allotment's going to be a plus heading into this season and you focus on a 53 and a 16, (so) 69 is your team and I think again this year, to answer your question specifically, there'll be a few positions that'll be a little bit maybe more challenging than what might have been our decisions a year ago."

Looking at the defensive end position, are you confident that Marcus Davenport can be someone who can be reliable just because of the injuries the last couple of years?
"Yeah, absolutely. He's had a real good camp and shoot, he's someone that I think is going to be an extremely important part of what we do defensively."

Are you in the market to find another end, specifically Jadeveon Clowney?
"Every year during the course of training camp, you're always looking not only internally, but externally and if you feel like there is a player that fits a vision and fits a role for your team, we've done that throughout our time here. I think going back to 2006, we brought in Mark Simoneau right before the start of the season in a trade and the same way with Scott Shanle. So we'll look closely at what options we have. It would be only with the right fit. Specifically, I won't comment relative to just one player, but that's something I think every club is paying attention to throughout the preseason."

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