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Transcript - Sean Payton Conference Call 9/23/20 | Week 3 vs. Packers

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks team improvement heading into a Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers during his weekly conference call.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

With your fine for not wearing the mask how the league wants you, do you have any comment on that? Are you going to change maybe how you, if you're going to wear the Gator or do something different moving forward?
"Yeah, look, I just got to do a better job, when we're not on offense. It's okay if you're pulling it down while you're calling plays. But what happens is, I get caught up in the game and half the time, forget that it's down. So I just got to be more diligent with it."

You weren't the only one getting fined there. How tough is it to remember that, especially since it's not something that you are used to?
"Well look, it's something we're just going to have to remind ourselves to, maybe change the type of mask you're wearing, because it's easier I think, if you have the gaiter on, where you lose track that it sits around your neck. But look, like anything else we'll find a way to, to be more diligent with it."

In the first couple of games with the penalties. Have you seen that to be more technique issues or is it physical lapse?
"Well, it's probably a combination of both John (Deshazier). We've got to as coaches be better during the week. When you get in games that are going to be close, there are too much, too many yards there in penalties (surrendered). Obviously, we're near the bottom of the league. And so, that's the bad news. The good news is, it's only two weeks in and it'll be a lot more concerning here going forward, if it continues. So, we've got to work harder at it, we've got to coach it better, and, and reduce those fouls."

Is that somewhat of an adjustment period, I guess, each season, because I think it was last season, they kind of started high and then it dropped off as far as I guess, adjust to the way it's being called?
"Yeah, I think to some degree, and then also it can vary by crew. Some crews will have a higher rate maybe than others. And yet, we really just have to work on better technique and a better job with our eyes and not relying on some of the holding fouls or PI (pass interference) fouls that we're getting. Those are the ones that jump out unusually high."

Have you been able to kind of put your finger on why Emmanuel Sanders just is not very productive so far? Drew (Brees) said that you are trying to dial some stuff up for him, but it just kind of wasn't there.
"We are (just) two weeks in. So, I see him being a big part of what we do offensively. We didn't have enough snaps the other night, unfortunately. That time of possession was a big factor in it. But, his touches are going to come."

Some of the inaccurate passes that we're seeing on offense, is that more of a result of like, timing and chemistry and things like that then just passes not being on the mark?
"Yeah, look, I think we've got to be a little bit more detailed in all areas. And I'm talking receiver play, tight end play, running back play, when we're in the route tree specific to our timing and what we're trying to get accomplished. And I think that's something that we saw on film. Just the attention to detail relative to our spacing."

The Packers defensively, they were in a bit of a shootout in week one and last week a little bit better. How would you characterize what you've seen from them?
"Well, the physical front inside, when you've got a veteran like Kenny Clark that knows (the tricks of the trade), who's a strong player. Za'darius Smith, who can wreak havoc in your passing game and your running game, not to mention the other guys that are playing inside. It's also a good group on the back end, corners are outstanding players, as are the safeties. So, it's a different structure. And we just finished playing relative to more of an okie style, two outside linebackers, three interior lineman. So we have to get that adjusted and understand the front, understand how the coverages are matching." 

Do you feel like Green Bay is somewhat of a kindred spirit or sort of Exhibits A and B, just how hard it is to get to a Super Bowl in the NFL?
"They're a good football team. And obviously it's difficult to get to that final game. Anyone who's been in this league understands that, and yet they have an outstanding quarterback (Aaron Rodgers). They (have) put up fantastic numbers here in the first two weeks. Like every team in the offseason, they've tinkered with some things. But they're playing real good football, at a high level. They pressure you a little bit with their offense and they've gotten ahead in both of the first two games this season. It became a one dimensional game to some extent for both Detroit and Minnesota."

Did Aaron Jones do some of the things, is he kind of like, similar to Alvin (Kamara) for their offense?
"Yeah, look. We're going to see a lot of good backs here during this stretch, but he's one of them. He's explosive with the ball in his hands. He has great vision and balance. and certainly (is) a key figure in what they're doing offensively."

Just having spent some time in Illinois, did you have any interactions with Gale Sayers at all or just, even as a kid, just kind of remember him?
"I remember him vaguely, mostly highlights. You hear stories, you see video and you know he was so explosive and dynamic. He didn't have the years relative to a long career, but it was, it was special. I think the first exposure, all of us, early on if you follow football (we had to him) was Brian's Song, the movie and seeing that interaction with he, and Brian Piccolo (was special). That was my first memory of the player and that was an all-time movie."

With no fans being at the first couple of games and you guys and players basically having to generate the emotion. Have you noticed Craig Robertson and what he does to keep people amped up? Is that something you're able to tune out and kind of keep it in the background?
"Listen, I love his enthusiasm. I love when we're playing (what he does). You have to play this game with some enthusiasm. So his energy is contagious. He is one of our leaders and I think you can't help but notice the way he plays and even when he's not in the game (the positive impact he has on his teammates)."

What do you remember with Taysom Hill with the Packers in the 2017 preseason?
"I've said it a million times. We were looking at a practice squad receiving candidate in Max McCaffrey. We had worked him out, prior to that preseason. So I felt like we knew the player well. We were looking at his exposure in the preseason. While we were watching him, while I was watching him, I kept noticing Taysom and he was in at the end of the second half, the end of the game (in their preseason). And he was in most of the time when Max (McCaffrey) was in. And then after that exposure we went ahead and made a cut up of Taysom and started looking at him specifically. And that's kind of how it unfolded."

What are your impressions of the Packers offensive line, specifically in terms of pass protection?
"Number one, they do a great job of getting the ball out. You have guys like (David) Bakhtiari in there and (Corey) Linsley at center. It's an experienced group. They clearly are on the same page with the quarterback, relative to their (blitz) pickups and much like Drew (Brees), the ball comes out (with Aaron Rodgers) and he's someone, Aaron, who's difficult to pressure and get your hands on because of his quick release, his awareness and understanding of the defense and where the free rusher might be."

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