New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
What are some of the hallmarks of a Todd Bowles defense that makes it so effective?
"Well, they play out of a five man front and they give you a number of looks. That obviously make it difficult to run against, but also, from a pressure perspective difficult to protect. So there are some multiple looks that you have to spend a lot of time on. I think they're turning the ball over at a high level right now, first in the league. They're playing the run again, first in the league. They're playing as well, as I've seen, really, as well as I've seen one of his defenses playing a while, and they've got a great mix of personnel that's fitting exactly what they're doing. And then the back end, the same way."
Has Carlton Davis, their cornerback, has he kind of started to ascend a little bit and become one of the better corners in the division?
"I think so. He stars their top receivers that they go against, if he's not, he'll be to our right or the defense's left, but you see him move around. He's got very good transition skills, he played against Mike (Thomas). Kind of followed him the last game. He is physical, he has size and he has good ball skills."
What makes your offense with Drew (Brees) in general so effective against the blitz do you think?
"Well, I think there's a lot that goes into what we're trying to do. Drew, getting rid of the ball, recognizing where the protection is. Half the battle is, knowing where you're short, if you're short. Typically, we might see a pressure, we'll feel like it's picked up and maybe someone loses a one on one. But I would say it's the timing each week of what you're trying to accomplish versus some of the pressure looks."
Their dedication to stopping the run, is that pretty standard that you see around the league? It seems pretty extraordinary.
"Well, there's 32 teams that will say we want to stop the run, right? That's just a fact, everyone is going to say that. And yet they've been able to back that up year after year."
After the week one win, I think you alluded to playing this team again in a month and a half. And some of your players even said the same thing. I think Drew (Brees) said, this might be a different team we face down the road. What do you mean by that? Because you got them in week one, and they had some new parts?
"Well, look, I think we did some things well. We got the turnovers in week one, I didn't think we played very well in some other areas when you watch the tape. I think it was more just projecting how the season would unfold. They're playing with confidence. They're playing well in all areas. And look, you have two teams that are close to or at the top of the division playing against each other. It's middle of the season. Maybe a little unique that you're playing the second game this early, but that's probably normal. Someone has to play earlier than later, but they've had some big wins. And you can see each week the growth maybe in confidence as to how they're playing. The Green Bay win at home was a good win for them. They went on the road and, man, scored a bunch of points against the Raiders and they're good football team."
How much more difficult are they to prepare for you add a guy like Antonio Brown who was activated?
"The challenge in this week's not having any idea about, we think does he come out and play the Z, the X? So you have to be prepared for where they might put him in their scheme. Does that make sense?"
These two teams are where they are with these two veteran quarterbacks, does that say something about having a veteran quarterback be able to guide you as opposed to I guess everybody is kind of always looking for the hot new thing, but these two older guys still have their teams where they want to have them right now?
"Yeah, I think I would add one qualifier, you are talking about great veteran quarterbacks. I mean, there's some veterans, but look, yeah, I mean, they're not playing head to head against each other. And yet they're leading their teams and having success and I'm sure that'll be a big part of the billing for this game."
Back to Antonio Brown, is his skillset so unique and dynamic that it could absolutely have an effect in a game like this even though he hasn't played in so long and then just arrived in Tampa?
"Well, I think so. One big play at the wrong time could be all of the above that you just said, and it doesn't require 11 catches. You know what I mean? So, yeah, he's explosive and smart. He understands football. So how much and where? Well, those will be the questions that we won't know until the game starts going."
Back in week one, nobody knew how the Tampa offense was to look like with Tom (Brady signing) and are they bringing the Patriots stuff and mixing it with Bruce's (Arians)? Did that kind of play out how you were expecting and having the eight games to work with now, what are you seeing from their offense?
"Yeah, I think it's a combination. You're seeing the run game and the way they're putting it together. They're playing some jumbo like we are and I think you're seeing, you get a better feel for what they're wanting to do with personnel groupings. So I think it's a little clearer that way."