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Transcript - Sean Payton Conference Call 10/26/20 | Week 7 vs. Panthers Recap

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton discusses his thoughts on Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers, hurricane preparations during his weekly conference call.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, October 26, 2020

The two minute offense has been so successful scoring, especially before halftime in these last three games. Obviously, those are valuable possessions, but also how much momentum does that create? How much of a rise is that great for the entire team when you guys are able to successfully do those?
"Well, I think specifically yesterday, if you really go through the sequence, we have the sack fumble, they recovered, then they are able to carry down the field and score, they're going to start the second half of the ball. So in yesterday's game, I think it was one of those cases where it shifted momentum clearly. Obviously, a turnover and your offense comes on the field and marches down the field and scores. You hate to finish a half like that, and then come back out on the field and kickoff. And so fortunately, there was enough time left on the clock. I said this, I think yesterday, today, the same way, we didn't know that at the time, but that ended up really being the game winning drive. Especially scoring the touchdown off of that drive, not just a field goal."

What has always made Drew (Brees) so good at that situation in particular?
"He processes information very quickly, the ball comes out of his hands. I think he works on it, he pays attention to the coverages he's getting. And he also goes into a game, I just know this because towards the end of the week when we're meeting on it, he just kind of goes into that situation with an idea of a couple calls he wants to get to. And I think there's a confidence level in everyone else in the huddle around someone like him, and that carries over to the drive."

As of the 10 a.m. advisory, New Orleans is scheduled to get a category one hurricane on Wednesday. Have you guys made any plans at this point to potentially do anything differently on Wednesday?
"Yeah, nothing yet. We've discussed it. And yet, I would say in the early stages, so we're certainly paying attention to it. And we'll have a plan in the event we feel like it's something that could prohibit our schedule. Hopefully, it's not and yet the one thing about a hurricane different than some other events, having lived in the Midwest or out west, you do get this three, four day advance notice, different than a tornado or an earthquake. And that allows you a little chance to prepare."

In a three-game winning streak, I think Sheldon (Rankins) said this morning that basically your message is always just find a way to win that game. I know a lot of that entails the game plan going in, but how much adjustment is required I guess in game when you are talking about that, where maybe it turns into a shootout? Or maybe it's a little bit more of a low scoring game or just what goes into that?
"I think you go in with an idea of how you want to play the game. And sometimes, very quickly, games can be different than you expect. Hopefully, we're always able to see that and stay ahead of it. I thought we came out in the second half and settled down some defensively. It's unusual to play a game and not punt. And I felt like we said it yesterday, the game went fairly quick because, look, there were a lot of long play drives. I can always tell when I get handed the pictures from the last drive by Kevin (Petry), they're on the tablets, but they're also photographs. And when he's handing me the thick stacks, I know that they're long drives. When he hands you just three page and they're real light, it was probably a three and out and I thought the first and second down efficiency was going to be important. And ended up being true obviously, on third down the numbers were good, but they can kind of move in certain directions the games do and you just have to pay attention that."

After looking at the film, what happened on that play early in the early in the game on the long touchdown connection between Teddy Bridgewater and D.J. Moore? Was it just another communication error by the defense?
"Well, it wasn't as much communication this time as technique and landmarks. Obviously, something we've got to get cleaned up. Dennis (Allen) and I just finished talking about a handful of them. This wasn't as much communication as it was just recognizing the formation, the alignments, and then how to play the coverage on that specific play. It's an area of concern. It's an area that we've got to get better at and I think we will, but it's still something, it's one of those things, you come off a win and you look at the good news is we won, here are some of the things now that that are going to cost us in another game down the road if we don't fix."

Can you explain why you had to call that timeout to start the second quarter, like coming out of the break?
"Take me through the sequence again."

It was just right after the second quarter started, like, we're just coming out of the commercial break and like a 15 minute mark of the quarter.
"Yeah, I kind of remember it, you don't really see it on film. But I think a lot of it had to do with, certainly I was probably slow getting the call in. And by the time we got out there relative to the motion we needed, I just went over in called the timeout. You don't want to use one like that, but (it's more attractive) rather than take a delay (of game penalty)."

How much of your ability to run the ball effectively in the last few weeks is directly tied to the athleticism of your offensive line? And is the ability to run the ball something that you're, I don't know, sort of figuring out with this team?
"Well, look, we, we put a high emphasis and obviously value that part of the game for our team under center in the shotgun. We think we're talented, talented at the running back position and up front the same way. And so, the bigger question each week is, how, you know, what do we feel like we need to do scheme wise and what type of run design do we need to play against the defense we're seeing? You know, and I thought look, especially in the first half I was pleased with how we blocked them and the landmarks we got to. And some of the things that we had gameplanned for. Upfront, we had a couple injuries. Obviously with Nick Easton being out and Terron (Armstead) going out early. We had some guys playing more snaps then used to. And yet, that's our league, I say it all the time, so. But, it's an important part of how we want the game to unfold, relative to what it does for play action, what it does, what it does really for your third down. You know, if you're running the ball with some effectiveness, those numbers tend to be a little bit shorter than longer."

I know you guys typically tend to try to go after like intelligent players, it's one of the things you look for, but with (Marquez) Callaway in particular. What does that say about him that he stepped in and kind of, understand what you want to do this early in his career and be in that position to make as many plays as he did last yesterday?
"He played well and I've been real pleased. We've been pleased with his progress. Normally, you might have had a chance to see him prior to the start of the season and some of the preseason games, but we felt like he had a good training camp. He opened eyes. We received a chance to see him explosively on some plays and it's great to see someone's progress, especially a first-year player in this season. It's encouraging and we'll continue to build on that."

I think on that first drive guys might have like 11 different personnel packages, was that kind of, I know you guys typically use a lot in a game but was that maybe more so this week, just with the number of guys you had out?
"Yes, partly because of that. A lot of times the change, if you will or the combinations of the tight ends, you know, with (Adam) Trautman, (Jared) Cook, Josh Hill and then throw Taysom (Hill) into that rotation. There's four guys that could be used in combinations. And then, obviously at the receiver, so some of it is a byproduct of what we're choosing. It certainly wasn't this week to see what they would do defensively, because defensively, they were pretty consistent with what they were going to be personnel wise. They kind of play a buffalo package. And regardless of what you put out there, they're going to align to it. So it had more to do with just our own players and what we were trying to accomplish than it did, trying to see how they were going to defend it."

What is your level of concern with the secondary right now? Is that a lot? Or are you not that concerned about it?
"No it's closer to the a lot than not that concerned about it. I think it has to be. And that's something we'll continue to work on. But yes, we have to eliminate the explosives. Teams are good enough throwing the football where they're going make plays underneath. But in a handful of these games this year, these chunk plays are the ones that, like I said earlier, are going to hurt you in another game, and be the difference rather than you being able to overcome it."

When it comes to the pass defense, how do you feel like you are doing as far as putting pressure on the quarterback?
"
This past game, we had a couple snaps, (where) we had a free rusher and Teddy (Bridgewater) to his credit came out of it and made a play down the field on third down. I think it was third and long, third and longer, early in the game. And, of course, we got the big sack when we needed it (in the fourth quarter). Obviously we want that to be (where) it goes hand in hand a little bit with the pass coverage. So we feel like that's an area that we can improve on. And, and I think it'll help relative to the first point we were just discussing." 

With some of these coverage busts, why does that happen with some of these guys that have been around for a while and maybe weren't doing it so much in previous years?
"That's the $6 million question right now. And we have to get it figured out. It wasn't as big of a challenge a year ago. And yet, it's something that, that's creeped up right now. And coming off of training camp, I wouldn't have thought that would be such an issue, but it is right now and we're addressing it."

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