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Transcript: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton training camp interview - Thursday, Sept. 3

Payton spoke with media about artificial crowd noise on gameday at Saints Training Camp 2020

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Video Conference With New Orleans Media
Thursday, September 3, 2020

With Drew (Brees) not going again today, is this just an opportunity for Jameis (Winston) and Taysom (Hill) to get some more reps and some more throws?
"Yeah look, we get a chance in a practice like this or like yesterday where we get a ton of reps for both Taysom and Jameis. This is kind of part of the planned schedule and we've kind of mapped out when we want players going, especially when it comes to the quarterback position."

With the noise that you guys were practicing with the day, is that something that the league has said okay, this is an acceptable level or we're just kind of giving them an idea?
"What we're going to deal with, every team in the league is going to have kind of an ambient crowd noise set at 70 decibels. So we had it at 70 for most of the practice, and then when music is played, it will be at 75. And that that really is for week one. That obviously can be adjusted based on where this thing goes relative to fans, so we had it on 70 and we had the music at 75."

Without a preseason games, specifically to special teams, you know, how much weight do you put on it when a guy has a standout practice or you know, on the flip side has a practice where maybe they have a couple of bad plays?
"Well, that's what we have to go by and, and that's why I think the practices obviously carry that much more weight, the substitutions, all of those things that possibly come up in the preseason that you can clean up, they have to be cleaned up right now."

Not that I need your thoughts on a scouting report or anything but obviously you've been here long enough to remember, I guess when Leonard Fournette was kind of a prep star here at St. Augustine and then LSU. Just maybe thoughts on memories of him or just kind of, you know, I know he did sign with Tampa Bay, but just thoughts on knowing his name from years ago.
"We're familiar with the player, certainly with his career at LSU. It was fabulous and then I think it was a couple years back in Jacksonville, we had a chance to play against him. So that obviously is a good addition for Tampa Bay. It's a another weapon, another type of runner, that you have to account for. And so yeah, I think we're pretty familiar with his skill set and the things that he does well."

A couple weeks back, you said that you guys are just a tick behind in terms of where in relation to where you would be if this was a normal training camp, a normal training camp for you guys. Where would you assess the team is now in relation to getting ready for that first game of the season and where you are at in training camp with it wrapping up. Do you feel like you're still a tick behind or do you feel like you're caught up to where you wanted it to be?
"Well, look, you're never going to be caught up relative to preseason reps, some of the live reps. We will have another good install tomorrow. We will spend a lot of time tomorrow in two-minute (drills). But yeah, I'd say relative to situational football, we're where we would be in any other year. It's just getting the reps where you like. And then in week one, we've got to be mindful as coaches as to how much we want to have in that first game and understand that."

What are your thoughts of the fake crowd noise situations so far? I've heard that you can't change the volume in a game once it's started. So I don't know how that would kind of affect the team?
"For just, for the balance of equity around the league, 70 is the number. Now as the season progresses, that might change. If fans (are able to attend games), if more and more stadiums and teams are going to have fans, I am sure there will be possibly a change in that. But all we can focus on is this first week. And we know in this first week, it'll be at 70 and it is what it is. I have said this before. We try to spend more time focusing on the things that we can control as opposed to the things that we can't control. Certainly we'd love to be able to play this game in front of our fans because this is a tough place to play with crowd noise. But that's the case for every team opening weekend and we'll deal with it."

I bet on the list of things you've thought about dealing with during a game that might come up over your coaching career, this is probably not one of them.
"Look, it's still going to come down to protecting the ball. It's going to come down to pad level, blocking, tackling all the things that wins, in football games. And so that's what we're focused on."

What's the benefit of going through, like game situations like you did today, like taking the team to the locker room at halftime? Is it just kind of getting them used to the pace and the routine of, like a game day?
"I think so. It's a rehearsal, and we're trying to cover every detail possible. There's a few changes as to where we're at in our locker room, based on the policies this year. All of these things. So that on gameday, there's no surprises."

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