New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, January 4, 2021
You guys got the Sunday game against Chicago, how much does that factor into Alvin (Kamara's) availability? I'm not sure if he'll be able to practice.
"Well, I think if it was the Saturday game he doesn't play, a Sunday game he can play. Obviously, anything during the week will have to be Zoomed."
Would you consider playing him or any player if they weren't able to practice and Sunday was the first day he'd be able to rejoin the team?
"Yeah, we'll see. I think it would depend on the player and the situation. But yeah, a lot of it will be our decision based on where we think we are with the week, the player and we have to be smart."
I know during training camp, the team did the Loews Hotel and kind of created a mini bubble. With the first playoff game and then if you win the second playoff game being at home, is that something you think you will explore again, in some way or fashion?
"I am not sure. It is something that obviously, number one is optional, relative to the union and management council. So we're just trying to focus on this game and players being smart. Everyone, not just players, coaches, front office, (making) good decisions relative to the size of the groups and people that are around."
Did you have to sort of address that again or hammer that point down? Was there any concern about sort of anybody getting relaxed with that as the season wore on, and the cases popping up last week?
"Yeah, that would be just me and the team really. Again, I wouldn't go through any of that with you guys."
Are you guys allowed to have in person meetings at all at this point? Or is it still like the thing where you cannot have them for two days or whatnot?
"Yeah, we're on the Monday, Tuesday players on their own and then Wednesday we kick everything up so players can come in for treatment, they can come in (and get in) the lift by themselves. There's a certain group of protocols. So yeah, there's been no change, nothing new."
I guess I ask that because I didn't know like Saturday if there was some issue with maybe players not wearing masks in a meeting or something?
"Again, listen, I got you. We're just focused on (football and doing the right thing), we are doing a real good job with everything that is considered and then focusing on this playoff game."
Chicago now as opposed to then with (Mitch) Trubisky as opposed to (Nick) Foles at quarterback. Are they substantially different now offensively?
"Well, I think you see a little bit more under center run game. They're doing a good job with that play-action boots and nakeds off of it. I think they're playing well upfront and I think it's been a little bit more complementary game and listen, I think that you see a little different team. Yeah."
Going back to yesterday's game, what did you see on Malcolm Jenkin's interception on that play?
"It was a good play. We got our hands on, five interceptions is impressive. We got our hands on a lot of balls. I thought we did a good job, by and large, keeping the ball in front of us. And then I thought we did a good job of affecting the quarterback with our rush."
Can (Mitch) Trubisky do some of the things that Jalen Hurts was able to do against you? Is he maybe as our runner or as a quarterback running the read-option, he a guy who is sort of in that mold, would you say?
"Yeah, I'm not going to make the comparison. But I would say Trubisky is someone that definitely can run, can flush out of the pocket, pick up 15 yards, 20 yards. He's a threat when he's either handing it off, maybe in the read-option scheme. He has a skill set that's obviously different than Nick (Foles)."
I know we've asked you about the depth a lot this season, but does it say anything about the organization that you guys were able to land a free agent like Ty Montgomery this offseason, despite the fact that you already had so many weapons on offense?
"I think we are always looking to find players that will help us with some versatility. And to make the transition, I credit Ty to make that transition from receiver to running back on a Saturday. But I think it starts with, look, it starts with a culture we believe we've kind of created and we're looking for like-minded players that can fit, that we feel like we have a vision for. And so I was pleased with how he played."
With Terry Fontenot and Jeff Ireland likely getting interest from other teams in the next few weeks. What's been Terry's value to this organization in the last 16 years that he's been here?
"Listen, he is a tireless worker. He is someone that's been very instrumental, particularly when we talk about the pro side of the game, free agency. He's someone that loves football, he's passionate and I think all those traits will be will lead to him having that opportunity at some point."
Can you say whether any of your assistant coaches will be discussed for any other opportunities?
"I'm not going to talk about any other (coaches). I'm not going to Mike (Triplett). I'm not going to do that during the playoff week for you (to) have an ESPN hit."