New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
What is the scouting report on playing in Denver in snow? Something you guys don't do very often.
"Yeah, good question. For years, you try to figure out when you travel to altitude, and I think all the research and science suggests you go not as late as possible. If you're going to go early to get acclimated, you need to go 10 days prior, obviously, that's not happening. So I think that there's a big focus on hydration during the week and then traveling in on Saturday rather than Friday."
What are some of the challenges Drew Lock will pose for our team?
"I think the very first one is a very good running game. And when they're able to get that going, and they did last week, then that quarterback becomes dangerous relative to the play action, the balance. And so I think it starts with their running game. And they've got two really good backs and (Phillip) Lindsay and (Melvin) Gordon."
You brought Trevor Simeon, what are you hoping from him?
"Yeah, we brought him in. Look, today will be his first day, it'll give us a chance to see him for the first time. And with everything that's going on right now, the ability for us to have a third quarterback trained and ready in the event, someone got Covid, or something else happened. We just felt strongly that that was something we needed to do."
When you look at Denver defensively, what are you seeing?
"Well, two things. I've known Vic (Fangio) a long time, he's going to play out of a base 34 front. And he's also going to play out of a nickel package and some dime on third downs. The challenges are sometimes you'll see his nickel to your base, and sometimes his 3-4 to your nickel. And so he's an outstanding defensive coach. He has a great staff, a veteran staff there. And they've played good defense this season. And so I think the identification as to front and coverage when they're in their base package, and then understanding what they're trying to do in their subpackage."
I know you said before, one of the things that drew you to Taysom (Hill) was kind of the way guys gravitated around him. Does that take on kind of a new life when he's the starting quarterback?
"Yeah, look, I think guys lead differently. I think we've got outstanding leadership at that position. And yet, how Drew (Brees) leads or how Taysom leads or even how Jameis(Winston) leads are entirely different. Some are more vocal. And I think the first thing that you have in common with all of them is they're winners, they work hard at their craft, players see them in the morning, players see them late at night, there's early departures. And I think some of those things have been developed before they even arrived here. But yet the leadership element of it is it starts with the respect and then the production."
Has Taysom's footwork been a key focus since he came in? It looked like when he's back there, it almost looks like Drew's bottom half just the way you kind of dropped back and got set and things like that.
"Yeah, look, I think anytime you start with a new system, he's played more gun than under center. And so some of that is a change. But he's got good feet, he's got strong legs, a strong lower body, he sets himself well. Quite honestly, it's something that you're constantly working on all of them with. It's no different than pitching or any sport where generally speaking, if there's an error in location, a lot of times those guys would tell you it's foot related."
What are your thoughts about Bradley Chubb?
"Man he's playing well. We're jumping ahead to third down now. He is a very, very good rusher. We loved him coming out of college. We know him a little bit coming out because I think our defensive line coach (Ryan Nielsen) had him when he played at NC State. It's good to see him healthy back on the field and he's someone you have to account for."
Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) had five pass breakups last week. How hard is it to find a guy with ball skills like that? Is that something that you can't really teach?
"Well, look, there's two things, to have the breakups, you've got to be in position. His feet are very good, he's quick, he sudden. And then some guys, the ball kind of finds them. He's one of those players who can get his hands on balls, he can turn it over. So there are others that play corner that maybe can get their hands on it, but they have a harder time catching it. But fortunately, he's one of those guys that has good instincts. And he understands the splits, he understands what routes he's seen. All those things, I think serve them real well."