New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Can you share any updates on your plans at the quarterback position this week?
"No updates, Mike (Triplett). I'm eating my bagel. I was hoping to be chewing it when you asked that question."
For a long, suspenseful delay?
"Just chewing the bagel."
No update on Drew Brees' injury status either?
"No, nothing specific. Yeah, nothing there."
What kind of bagel is it?
"It's a poppy seed steamed bagel, which are hard to find actually."
You've heard about Arik Armstead (positive COVID test), does that affect you guys in any way?
"I did hear about him. Did that affect us? It put us back into the enhanced protocol."
When your team got out of the intensive COVID protocol the first time, did that happen quickly?
"Well, I think we went a week. And then we played someone else. What game did someone else have it? An opponent?"
I cannot even tell you at this point. I think you are just going to be in double secret probation forever.
"Yeah, we were on it. And we were off of it for a week and then we're back on it. Yeah."
Under Raheem (Morris), are you seeing the Falcons do things differently? Or are they just doing what they did better?
"Both. I think they've taken a little different approach defensively and tried to reduce some of the things that he wanted to remove, and then they're playing fast. They give you fits in a lot of ways. They're tough to run the ball against. I think they're playing with a lot of confidence right now, as a team. And, look, they're 3-1, could easily be 4-0."
When you're going against a guy that can bull-rush as well as Marcus Davenport, how does that impact the protections or how you approach and try to avoid that?
"Well, it can impact how you set relative to your pass sets. I think sometimes you're sliding the protection that way. That can change kind of how you want to handle that. Ultimately, the two traits that tackles have to have in our league as at some point, can they anchor and at some point can they hand handle the speed? And so they get used to that and then the ends are trying to change up the looks to create one or the other?"
With Matt Ryan and Julio (Jones), are you seeing any concessions to age from either of those guys? Or are they still pretty much at the level they've been?
"They're playing at a high level. I mean, both of those two guys, then you add in (Calvin) Ridley, (Russell) Gage and the running back (Todd Gurley II). I mean, offensively, they're operating as efficiently and as effectively as we've seen in quite a while."
When Jameis Winston is in a quarterback, it kind of reminds me of the questions we were asking about Bruce Arians and Tom Brady. When Jameis plays for you, do you want him to run the offense a certain way like you guys always have, high efficiency decisions, less turnover risk?
"We want all of that. So when I answer this question, and then the response is, if Jameis is starting on Sunday, this is. So yeah, we want efficient play from that position."
I think you know why I am asking because he throws the ball downfield more, take more risks than maybe we've seen from Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater in the past.
"I think the one thing we'll always do here is highlight the strengths of whoever's playing any position, not just quarterback."
What kind of a role do you see, just on (Alvin) Kamara and (Deion) Jones, there is obviously kind of a fascination with that matchup. But is that an oversimplification?
"No, I think it's a fair question because it comes up, particularly on third down in the man coverage schemes. There's a handful of linebackers that'll draw that match up, and he's one of them. Listen, just watching the games last year, I mean, 5, 6, 7 different times there's that one-on-one in man coverage route or specific play you're running. I think that that's a credit to both players, obviously, he can move and he's athletic and so it is a matchup, especially on third down."
If I can maybe circle back and I'm not going to ask a direct question, obviously. But back in March, you said that Taysom (Hill) had earned the right to be the backup, maybe just how far you've seen him come in your program. And what led to those comments in March?
"Yeah, listen, most of these young guys have progressed, an advanced understanding what we're doing. And there's a confidence level we have with both players. They are different type players. But yeah, I think that it's a strong room, and we're going to lean heavily on a few of these other guys right now."