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Transcript: Sean Payton Conference Call 9/7/20 | Week 1 vs. Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints head coach talks about the team's preparations against Tampa Bay

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, September 7, 2020

What is your, obviously it's game planning, but also your fascination as a coach to see how Tom Brady's game will mesh with Bruce Arians style and what are you expecting from that pairing?
"Well, look, I think it's a good question. I'm sure there's going to be some elements to what they do offensively that Tom has done before in New England, and then I'm sure there's going to be obviously the system in place there that those guys are used to running and having success with. Like every first game of the year for so many teams, especially when there's been coaching changes or personnel changes like this, you're going to have to be ready to adjust and quickly adapt to what you're seeing."

What has impressed you the most if you can boil this into one answer about Tom Brady and his career?
"Well, look, where do you begin? His consistency, his longevity. Ultimately, the Super Bowl success, the amount of games that he's won, all of those things. He's a tremendous leader. He's got fantastic arm talent. He's a very good athlete and I think it's hard to put that into just one answer. He's going to elevate the level of play and the culture of his team there. All the things that that go into someone that doesn't come around very often and obviously a first ballot Hall of Fame player."

When you've got (Tom) Brady going there and you have (Bruce) Arians offense, do you look at some New England stuff to kind of see like how that might fit in? Like, is there more guesswork involved here than usual just given the offseason and him being new there?
"I think that there's a little bit of that. I think, look, Bruce and Byron (Leftwich) and those guys in Tampa have done a fantastic job offensively. And so that's not going to change. There are going to be some elements I'm sure that, as coaches, you look closely at what Tom's had success with and I'm sure they'll incorporate a portion of that. Now how much, I don't know, but I think you're in the first game of the season, you haven't had preseason games as well. We're going to have to be able to adjust very quickly to what we're seeing and how they're attacking us and I think the same way that they'll have to adjust for us."

Can you say where the where things stand with Alvin (Kamara) now and is there a concern how this might affect him if you cannot get a deal done by this weekend? I know it shouldn't, but people are people.
"Yeah, look, I think number one we would never discuss any type of contract progress with the media. I'm confident that at some point we'll get this done and we'll let you know when that happens."

With the NFL's Inspire Change program, you can wear different patches or decals honoring different people over Social Justice. Have you decided what patches and details you'll be wearing and if there are other additional social justice displays or initiatives this week?
"Yeah, I'm not specific to this week. I know our leaders on this team have discussed it and have a plan. But I wouldn't want to speak ahead of it without knowing for sure."

I know that we're obviously looking ahead at Tampa, but if you wouldn't mind, could you need to just kind of take us back and even just talk about the creative nature that you and Mickey (Loomis) were trying to use to sign (Jadeveon) Clowney and even how it unfolded as far as the NFL thing? You couldn't maneuver that way?
"We felt like we got close. We weren't able to match the money and that's one of the challenges each year when you're going after a player. What type of space you have? Mickey and Khai (Harley) and those guys did a great job of really spending time with his representation. In the meantime, we had a good visit when we went out to see him and it was one thought just creatively relative to, essentially, having a team sign a player, take some of the financial burden away from the team they trade him to and essentially they get a draft pick back. The first response we got really from the league we felt was fairly positive and then ultimately they decided against it so we move forward."

How long from start to finish was it where you submitted that plan to the league?
"I think it was within 12 hours. This this all was kind of coming to a head all day Saturday, Saturday evening."

Can you give us your thoughts on keeping two punters on the active roster and the decision process behind that?
"One of the things you guys know is we're just beginning the first week. I think you'll see from us and from most of the other teams in the league, these next two weeks there's going to be a lot more transactions. The flexibility we have relative to practice squad now to active roster on gameday, It'll be difficult, I think for you guys to keep up with because the numbers can be somewhat challenging. Guys can come up, you'll have more inactives some weeks than others. To answer your question, a lot of it has to do with a vision relative to our overall roster and then some flexibility."

Was the number of waiver claims this year about what you expected? I know it dropped a lot and everyone was unsure about how this is going to go?
"It was pretty much like we expected. Yeah, it was real low."

Can you speak to the comfort you have in Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) and Marshon (Lattimore)? They're obviously two high level guys and you're playing in a division where you obviously need high level cornerbacks.
"Yeah, look, we feel real confident in the camp they've had. They're smart players with good ball skills. They're going to get tested early. Tampa is outstanding in all the skill positions, but I'm glad we have them. I feel like they've had a real good camp."

Marquez Callaway, can you just tell us what you saw from him and is he somebody that has a lot of special teams value as well?
"Yeah, we saw two parts. We saw the kicking game value and we also saw a player at receiver that we felt really came on quickly. A lot went into that."

A lot of us are paying a lot of attention to the Buccaneers offense and probably rightfully so. But what do you remember about their defense last year? What do you see in it right now after seeing what they brought back this year?
"Well, number one, they take the ball away extremely well. Number two, they're as good against the run as anyone in the league. The second half of last season, I would say they were playing as good of defense as anyone in the league. They're real tough to pressure the passer. They do a good job of hurrying the passer, (and) creating sacks. They do a good job of taking the ball away and they're extremely challenging to run the ball against."

When you go back to where we were with COVID a few months back and where we are now, is that sort of a sense of relief, the fact that we even got to this point and how has this whole process been for you now that you've had time to look back at it?
"Well, I wouldn't say it's a sense of relief. And I say that because we're still where we were before relative to the virus without a cure, without a vaccine. Yeah, is it good to be back at work, getting ready for the season? Absolutely. I think being away for so long. There are a ton of people in our country that are still away from their livelihoods, their careers, what they are doing. So I think it is great to be back in the facility. It is great to be back around our players and our coaches and all the people in football operations."

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