New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, November 26, 2020
You guys are going to end up facing all but one of the rookie first round receivers this year. Do you remember your evaluation of Jerry Jeudy?
"Every bit. I feel like I made this comment the other day, there are traits to how he plays relative to how we just saw (Calvin) Ridley in Atlanta. He's got great transition and so that means two things that obviously a player can run extremely well, but they can also stop well. He has good hips. He's savvy. I do remember the evaluation."
In this last game, the microphones picked up Terron (Armstead) calling out a blitz for Taysom (Hill) and telling him not to worry about a guy. How much does his intelligence play a part in his game and help you guys out up front?
"Oh it's significant. Basically it was a five man rush, a five man front and then periodically teams if they get your five offensive linemen blocking those five then they'll dog the middle linebacker through one of the A gaps to try to get him either on your back or possibly force you to throw hot if you're releasing your back. I saw the look you were talking about and Terron was essentially telling Taysom, 'Hey, let's not count him, the outside backer.' And sure enough, he peeled on Ty (Montgomery). So he's a leader for us in that room. Man, I'm proud of him. He's been through a lot, obviously. Week in week out, you know exactly what you're getting and he's an exceptional player."
You talk about the race to improve all the time. I'm curious about how you would explain improvement you made on defense. I know Dennis (Allen) and his staff take a lot of credit there, but it seems like there's a clear line of delineation almost from your bye week to what you all are playing like now, is there anything in that evaluation period that you all came across specifically that's helped you?
"Yeah, look, I think the devil oftentimes is in the details and there's times where you look at things and you say, 'Man, we're close here.' You have to start with, we can't have like two or three dropped coverages in a game. In other words, you can play lights out, but if you drop one or two of them, and all of a sudden they result in big plays, then that's going to do you in every time. So we've done a great job of eliminating for the most part the big chunk plays and then I just think that, look, overall, we found a niche, some of its in nickel, some of its in dime, some of its been in an odd spacing look. But the rush and the coverage are playing awfully well together. And it's probably a result a little bit, Jeff (Duncan), of winning on first and second down that we're getting into these third and longer situations."
You talked about a lot, in the coaching aspect of it, evaluating how you all are teaching and what you all are teaching. Did you all find anything in that process?
"Well, look, I think to Dennis' credit and their side of the ball just like we're hitting it on offense. The first thing that comes to mind is reduce the variables. In other words, I know if we're doing a lot just okay, then we need to find a way to reduce some of the variables maybe. And so, I think offensively we've gone through that a little bit where we come out of a game and feel like man, we had too many mental mistakes. At some point, if a bunch of students are getting B's, you have to evaluate are you teaching the subject properly."
Has Kwon Alexander fit in exactly kind of how you thought he would?
"Man, I think so. I feel his personality immediately now. It feels like he has been here eight weeks. And that's a good thing. His work ethic on the field, he's kind of an infectious leader and I think he loves playing football. I said this the other day that that can travel to any locker room I think and to his credit man he's come in here and embraced his role."
What has Adam Trautman done to increase his role it seems like over the last month or so?
"At Tampa he had his first touchdown and we keep seeing (good) reps in practice. Obviously, last weekend we were without Josh Hill and he keeps earning more snaps. I say this every once in a while, the only thing holding him back is us when you have a guy like Jared (Cook) that you're isolating sometimes in coverage, but he's doing exceptional. Each week in the plan we're trying to find ways where, alright, is this a play for him and does this fit his vision."
For Taysom (Hill), was the vision always immediately like for him to be kind of someone that sat in the pocket more or did he develop into that over his time with you guys?
"Well, the vision was quarterback, right, in the beginning and you're going to have to play quarterback from the pocket. I mean, in other words, we'll design plays that move him or design naked and boots that allow him outside, but ultimately, you're going to have to make throws about six yards behind the center on third down and you're going to have to be effective."