New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, November 19, 2020
You talk a lot at times about needing to recognize the kind of game you're in, and how it needs to be played. How impressive was the defensive performance in this last game under those circumstances? I think from the point it was 10, nothing, they didn't really give up much after that.
"Yeah, our first drive efficiency had gotten a little better and then all of a sudden it dipped relative to stopping the opponent. But I thought, man, after we kind of weathered the storm, if you will, or the beginning part of the game, I thought we played real well."
Just in general, I know this team has sort of had a reputation, especially in years past, for being so offense heavy. Do you think the defense, especially in these last couple years, has really put its stamp on this team and been able to sort of dictate a lot of games itself?
"That's what we are trying to do. It is a team, it is not an offense, or it is not just defense. We're trying to, number one, play a complementary game. I think that's important. Situationally, we have improved defensively, we started off the year and we're still looking at the numbers, red zone, third down, those numbers are climbing back to a better position. But yes, most importantly, when you're trying to win enough games to give yourself the best seed, you're going to have to play well in all three areas."
Whether it's Malcolm (Jenkins), who you guys brought in free agency, or some of the rookies like (Marquez) Callaway or (Cesar) Ruiz, it seems like all of the offseason additions you guys made are really starting to kind of settle in, I was just wondering what the key has been kind of getting those guys squared away and within the program?
"Yeah, each one's a different story. Each one has come in and either showed us something right away or developed. It's hard to pinpoint, or predict the learning curve of a rookie, especially in light of the type of offseason we had this year. But fortunately, it's been an area we've been able to identify certain players that come in and then had a vision for a specific role. That's happened with defensive tackles now. It's happened a handful of times with an offensive lineman or receiver. And hopefully, we can continue."
Malcolm Jenkins was saying that in the league there's a lot of guys that either know scheme, or they know how to teach, but there aren't a lot of coaches that know both. And he was saying Aaron Glenn is one of them, or seems like one of them to him. From your perspective, what are some of the things that you think make Aaron a good teacher?
"Well, he's passionate. That's the starting point, I think you have to have that passion in wanting to see your players perform at that highest level, you take it personally if you don't play well. It means a lot to you, that's what passion means. And I think Aaron has those traits. And then I think he communicates well, I think he's a player who not only has played back there, but also was able to communicate what he's looking for. And I would agree with Malcolm's assessment."
Following up on Malcolm, he said him playing quarters is something that he's more used to being in the mix, closer to the box. He's kind of doing some things that are kind of challenging him, he said and that Glenn has helped him with it and he's starting to feel more comfortable?
"Yeah, and look, he's played well and responded late. He's played in some of the dime packages down low. He's played in some of the nickel back high and that flexibility is important as the safety."