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Transcript - Sean Payton Conference Call 10/21/20 | Week 7 vs. Panthers

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton discusses his thoughts on fans in attendance and facing former Saint Teddy Bridgewater in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this Sunday during his weekly conference call.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

With the new allowance of fans for Sunday's game agreed upon by the team and the city, what are your impressions of it? And what will it add?
"Gosh, I don't know, it's good to see that. Obviously, both teams worked together and came up with a plan not just for this game, but for the upcoming schedule. Hard to gain an idea without really seeing each week. I think it's great that that we'll have more and more fans there safely, I might add and kind of go from there."

Having seen some Carolina offensive film, how many tendencies look familiar with some things that Teddy Bridgewater was doing in New Orleans and your offense in general?
"Yeah, I mean, look, there's quite a bit from a scheme standpoint. It's interesting, there's always a few wrinkles. And I think the tape is good to watch. Teddy's playing extremely well. I think they've got good balance and have found that with Mike Davis. I think the front's playing very well and then outside, it's one of the better receiving cores that we've seen with the addition of (Robby) Anderson coming in. You can see the confidence that those guys are playing with and you do recognize a lot of your schemes, a lot of different formations and they're not just ours. They're kind of league wide, but the way they're presented."

Is (Teddy Bridgewater) particularly suited for that kind of level read offense or however you would describe the similarities?
"Yeah, he just finished running it here."

I guess I should say how does he fit this offense best? What traits of his make him a fit for this offense?
"Well, look, it starts with all the things we saw. He has an outstanding skill set, he moves, he's got good arm strength. He's accurate. He's a fantastic leader. And players play hard when they're with him, but it starts with his ability. And I think that you're seeing him extend plays, he does it throwing although he'll tuck it if he needs to. He is spreading the ball around well."

Is it easier to prepare for a team you are familiar with or do you have to, with all the tweaks that you may have to do to try to disguise things, does that make it more difficult?
"Yeah, listen, I just finished with our team meeting, this season's Carolina Panthers is entirely different than what we've known for years under Coach (Ron) Rivera, and obviously Coach Rhule's there now. So we're seeing an entirely different defensive structure with new faces, an entirely different offensive structure. Now granted, from an offensive standpoint, there's some similarities but it's not what we've had prior when we when we faced Carolina, so new offense, new defense, new coordinators, obviously new head coach that goes without saying. And so, that's where the preparation lies, the film, the players themselves and then what they're doing within the scheme and then what they're doing in the kicking game."

Are you expecting Mike Thomas to play this weekend?
"Yeah, we'll see. I think he's feeling better. We really don't get into injuries or predictions. So you guys will be the first to know."

The discipline portion is over, though. That was just one game with him?
"Yeah. Yep." 

And how did he react to that?
"That's it. Not interested in talking about how he responded. We're getting ready for Carolina this week. We had a good bye week and here we are."

Can you put a finger on why you guys have not been forcing as many turnovers in the start to the season?
"Well, it's good question. Just going through the numbers, we're plus one as a team, which puts you right in the middle of the pack. We've got our hands on a few and yet I think over all, we can we can play better team defense, we have to. That starts with third down, that starts with red area and those areas. We're doing some things well, we've improved in some areas and yet there's usually a combination. There's usually more QB pressure, more hurries lead to deflected passes, intercepted passes, forced fumbles so hopefully we can see that improve here in the next few weeks."

You guys wanted to get back to basics during the bye week. Do you feel like you guys were able to accomplish that and do you feel like that's going to kind of propel you forward?
"Yeah, when we'll see. It's an important game. It's a division game. You really can't control when you're bye week is. We had ours and we handled a few things that we wanted to address. Now we're counting on a good workweek. I think (it's the) first home game, first or second home game at noon start time. So we're kind of on a traditional schedule, if you will."

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