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Transcript - Sean Payton Conference Call 9/30/20 | Week 4 vs. Lions

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton previews the team's Week 4 matchup against the Detroit Lions during his weekly conference call.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

You guys haven't played Detroit in a couple of seasons now. Matt Stafford, how does he look now compared to then?
"I thought he played one of his better games last weekend. I think, they're a dangerous team, especially when they're healthy at receiver and having (Kenny) Golladay back in the lineup, I think is significant for them. He (Matthew Stafford) has all the arm talent that you want at that position. He can fit it in the tight windows. I think he's played well."

Are the Lions the kind of team that is not playing kind of equivalent with its record, just after some of the teams they are facing this early going here?
"Yeah, I think to some degree. I mean, look, they were ahead in the Green Bay game. And then Green Bay, obviously is a good team, they come back and get the win. They're ahead, way ahead in the Chicago game, and gave up some big plays. And then they win a big game on the road. So you know, look, we're focused entirely on their defense, offense and the kicking game. But we're just as importantly focused on ourselves and correcting the stuff that we need cleaned up." 

Those issues, is that communication, is it focus? The issues you're focusing on with your own team, is there a common theme with any of them?
"No, we have to play better. We have to be better in our assignment, we have to be better with our technique."

With (Kenny) Golladay in that lineup. What does he add to that offense?
"The first thing that comes to mind is his downfield, scoring threat. He is a big play target. He had great production a year ago. Matt (Patricia) has a ton of confidence in him and if you just look at his numbers from a year ago, I think it's pretty evident." 

Has your coaching staff noted some changes in how games are being officiated? There was a report out today about holding calls being way down and pass interference calls defensively, being way up. Is that something you have noticed so far?
"I don't think we've noticed it specifically. We've certainly noticed calls that are affecting our team adversely. And specifically our DPI numbers, our holding calls defensively on the perimeter have to get cleaned up. And then obviously, you notice the calls that shouldn't have been made."

When Alvin's (Kamara) giving you guys, such a reliable target on the outside, and then he's getting all sorts of yards after the catch, can you guys treat that as sort of an extension of the run game with the way he's playing right now?
"Whether you statistically put it down as a reception or a gain, we're trying to move the football, we're not keeping track of how many rushes in the first half (he has) or how many passes (are thrown to him). Obviously, we want to have balance and that's something that we look to have in each game, the ability to run the football. But yes, he's playing well for us and he's an explosive player. We need to continue to look at ways of getting him the ball in his hands."

What has Jamie Collins added to their defense?
"He brings length, he brings versatility. He's a guy who can cover some of the oddball players that are difficult sometimes for linebackers. He's someone that can run and he has that range across the field to make a big play. He's also a pressure player, someone that can rush the passer. So I'd say that's quite a bit." 

The Packers used a lot of play action, some of which was a pretty good success this week. How do you guys counter that defensively? And do you see that maybe on the rise more in the last couple seasons?
"To answer your last question, I do not see it on the rise more. It will continue to be on the rise if we continue to defend it the way we have. We need to have better eyes. We know we need to have much better eyes relative to what we're doing. Honestly, we looked like a high school team defending the bootleg the other night and that was kind of embarrassing. So that has to get corrected."

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