New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, September 28, 2020
The last seven quarters or so, the past rush hasn't gotten much going. What do you think's behind that?
"Well look, this past week, Aaron's (Rodgers) a tough sack. The balls coming out, I just finished watching, you know, a full Blitz cover zero. And he comes off a play action, retreats and throws a touchdown pass off of a naked take. But obviously, the coverage and the rush go hand in hand. And it becomes tougher if we're not getting the rush. That is something that we feel is obviously essential for us defensively. So we will continue to work on it. But we had a few pressures, we had a few hurries. Not enough, though, especially in the second half."
So that rotation, a little different every week, with the front there. Are you finding a rotation that you kind of like and are settling into or still working on it?
"The one thing I'd say we do, and Dennis (Allen) and Ryan (Nielsen), those guys on defense do a good job with is, all those defensive linemen are playing. If they are active for the game, they are getting in. Usually we are going into a game with eight and all of those guys are receiving valuable snaps. Hopefully we have (Marcus) Davenport back this week. We think he can provide some added rush. But, they are all going to play and the key has being on schedule and taking advantage of the long yardage situations. That's the thing I think, frustrating from last night was we get them into some long yardage situations they convert or come up with a big touchdown pass. Those are things that we need to be, obviously a lot more efficient at, especially in the third and longer yardage."
What do you see in secondary wise? I know, I think you mentioned previously discipline was something that you wanted to see improvement on. But are you seeing something specific there?
"No, look. First off, Malcolm Jenkins played extremely well, last night. I think both corners had their moments and yet we can be better. So, it gets back to a little bit, we were just discussing about, relative to the clock and the quarterback's head and the timing, as it pertains to coverage down the field."
So when it comes to, like pre-snap penalties, how much, is there any kind of correlation between that and just not having the normal crowd noise, you feel like?
"Well, look, one of the, this goes both ways. So, one of the advantages of playing at home generally, is you're dealing with the silent snap count. And that's a tick in the defense's favor, because, what that means is, basically, the offensive line and the defensive line are on equal terms. When you're playing at home on offense, you're using your audio snap count, and you got a little bit of an advantage there. So currently, we're in an environment where both teams are on offense are playing kind of like with a home crowd, if you will. No one's using, or having to use the silent snap count. We knew Aaron (Rodgers) was real good, extremely good with the hard count, and that bit us last night a couple times."
Did you see better offensive execution in this one, since the yards went up obviously, the points did you see more efficiency there?
"Yeah, there's some encouraging things. There's still some details that we need to work out but I think (Alvin) Kamara was outstanding in space. The play he made on the long touchdown pass was remarkable. It was a great effort by him and a great effort by a few guys going downfield. (Erik) McCoy, I think Josh Hill (and some others) they get involved in in the play later on. There's still some things though, some small things that we got to continue to work out to be as efficient as we hope to be. And I know collectively we feel that way."
You guys got the ball with 8:47 in the fourth quarter remaining and it ended up being a three and out. It was three, two checkdowns to Alvin (Kamara) in and a short throw to Deonte Harris. When you look at that drive, was that too unaggressive? Or is that all you were getting at that point?
"Yeah, part of it was all we were getting. And still, there's two or three drives in there. offensively, that are frustrating. We mentioned last night, of course, the turnover on downs by our defense on fourth down, and then the fumble. And then the drive you're referencing was another one."
You talked about attention to detail. And I know that's something that you've prided your teams on over the years. Is that players, is it coaching methods, or all the above?
"Listen, it's a great question. And I think we have to as teachers, start with us, relative to how much and then here's what can happen. You have an injury, you have a replacement take (his) place, how many reps has he had added relative to the gameplan? And so those specifics (are important). Now, there were more of them last week than there were this week. And yet there's some younger players playing, we've got to bring them up to speed. And then let's make sure we're doing the things that we feel like they can do extremely well."
With Alvin (Kamara), is there a singular thing that stands out with him? You know, whether it's balance or speed, or is just the whole totality of him that makes him what he is?
"The one trait that, until you see him on the field, the one trait is his physical balance. He's got a skill set that can come off contact and stay very upright and that becomes challenging to tackle. So there's a size or a strength element that's maybe undervalued with him."