New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
2019 Minicamp Presented By Verizon
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, June 13, 2019
I saw Alvin Kamara had the red jersey on to start practice trying out some snaps at quarterback?
“Well I think it was more about he and Teddy (Bridgewater) switching jerseys. As soon as they did it, I started looking at it a little differently There's a couple of quarterback runs we could use, but anyway, he could wear a number of jerseys."
When you say he could wear a number of jerseys, (what do you mean?)
“He can do a number of things.”
Going into his third year, to what extent does that cause you -- I don't know if you could describe in any way how you spend time trying to imagine new things that (Alvin Kamara) could do.
“It starts with some of the stuff he does extremely well now that still sells, meaning that it is still really, really good. He's got the ability to return punts, return kicks. His flexibility in the passing game and in the running game allows you, I’d say moreso your gameweek preparation relative to the team you are playing. When we drafted him, it starts with he has real, real, exceptionally high football IQ, so he can get bored with it. That is why we give him one of those little fidget things you twist when you can't pay attention. So he gets one of those fidget spinners.”
Can you use him in a Wildcat situation or would you prefer not to expose him?
“Well, look, you can and yet I'd rather he (be) on the front end with Taysom (Hill) on the other end. But you can.”
“He threw a fourth and one play action pass at Tennessee from a Wildcat set. Kind of like a tight end pop pass. It was pretty good. He's athletic.”
Do any other guys have a fidget spinner?
“Alvin got the first. It was last Fall.”
Did it have a design on it?
“Nope. Just simple. Hey, when you're getting bored, like you do sometimes, again, he's real smart. So he had his little fidget spinner.”
One thing (people) remember from his rookie year was that first run at the Los Angeles Chargers during the preseason. How much was that an eye opening moment for you and the staff?
“There was a stretch of two games there at Cleveland and the Chargers, we saw the skill set relative to being a receiver and if you remember during that camp, Adrian (Peterson) and he (Mark Ingram), were all receiving a lot of reps and were just kind of into the pads. It was a series of moments, but that was one of them where it looked pretty good off tackle and then there were a few more (moments) that season that were really impressive.”
At what point did everyone just had to say we have to move past the way last season ended and into 2019?
“That probably would vary per player, but I don't think it's something we're discussing. Right now our focus is (moving) forward and it has not been something that (has) been a topic of motivation. It's still about putting yourself in a position to get back. Every team at this time of the year is talking about the postseason and the opportunity to put a good season together and play in the postseason. It starts with trying to win your division first. I would say for most, I'm sure that that's in the rear-view mirror.”
What did you think of what you saw of some of the newer guys whether it be Jared (Cook) or Erik (McCoy)?
“It was really good. Look, there is a lot they get in a short period of time while they are also catching up in the weight room, also catching up with their conditioning. So I think when camp comes, then we begin that same installation that they've had now. There's a lot of repetition in the early stages, which is part of learning.”
You get a guy like Taylor Stallworth who makes the team as an undrafted rookie going into year two, have you seen any different confidence (in him)?
“You do. (He’s) a player who's been here now, a player who has developed more in the weight room and a player who has gotten a taste of it. You get a year under your belt as a free agent and you recognize the hard work that goes into that. He'll be someone we look forward to seeing during camp."
It’s hard to figure out what you’re getting out of the offensive line when nobody is in pads but what have you seen from Erik (McCoy) and has he shown what you guys wanted to see when you drafted him?
“He's exceptionally smart. He picks things up well. He's a strong player. So, some of that relative to your strength in what we're doing in these drills maybe you don't get to see as much but just the under center snaps that may have occurred more in this offseason than he was used to, in college, that type of thing. I'm anxious to see him as we get started and he's someone that's picked things up very well.”
What was the World War II museum visit like for you guys?
“It was fantastic on the 75th anniversary of D-Day and we just happened to be the city that hosts that museum. I think that worked out well where we could get on buses before it opened, (come) in and spend some time and see it all. It's a fabulous museum. We had a chance to meet two veterans that fought during that time. I think it was good for the team. We had a little short video before we left talking about that day and the sacrifice that day that took place to afford us some of the things that we have now. So, I thought it was really good.”
What are some of the biggest takeaways from this offseason training and are you excited from what you saw?
"There's no specific takeaway. We're teaching and we’re giving them the information, we're getting them in the weight room, which is most important -- getting their weights right, building up their strength and stamina. It's a process. I like the health of where we're at right now overall. The key is to put ourselves in the best position at training camp so we can make the right decisions relative to the roster.”
How long before you have an idea of what kind of team you have?
“Honestly, I don't know that you know until you start the first quarter pole of season. Certainly you feel the experience and the competitive nature of guys. We're trained as coaches to prepare in a way and prepare the players in a way where each week (where), there's 31 others trained. And so it's hard to measure this invisible race that's taken place this early where everyone else is at. You just got to assume they're going full speed and making gains and improving their team and see the focus becomes a lot more just inward relative to yourself, you know? And so that's where we have tried to keep it.”
Looking in the back end of the running back group: (Dwayne) Washington, (Devine) Ozigbo, Buck Allen, is it all a matter of how they contribute on special teams in the competition?
“That’s an important part of it and yet you still want to see someone that can function as a runner. When you're a player, maybe at any position, two deep or three deep, the more you can do when it comes to your gameday (roster), then the better position you put yourself in.”
Marcus Davenport, what does he look like?
“He's doing well. Right now we're not in pads, but he's doing a good job.”
He only coached here one year, but you and Ed Orgeron, maintained a good friendship. What makes him special?
“He's passionate about football. (I) think he's doing a great job. When you look at someone who's from this state and loves the game -- I know guys that work with him and for him that how highly they speak of him and I know he's a fantastic recruiter so we follow those guys closely and it's good to see Ed in that position. He’s going to do well.”
When you see clips of him trying to get his players fired up, do you have any specific thoughts?
“I haven't seen those clips. I've seen clips where (his) neck veins are coming out, but I haven't seen those clips.”
Photos from Day 3 of New Orleans Saints Minicamp presented by Verizon on June 13, 2019.