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Transcript: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton training camp interview - Wednesday, Aug. 19

Payton spoke with media about roster improvements

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton
Video conference with New Orleans media
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020

You guys went inside and in shells today, was that a change in the situation or was that just scheduled?
"Today was a padded day scheduled so we went helmets and shoulder pads (instead). Yeah, we just changed it up by going inside. Tomorrow we'll be back outside and we'll do that (make adjustments) periodically. We were still on an hour and a half time slot with today's schedule."

What are you seeing from Deonte Harris so far after his breakout rookie season last year?
"I think, to his credit, he's been ready for more and more and every time we've added a little bit more to his plate he's handled it pretty well, relative to the route tree. And so we're trying to keep finding roles for him because he does so many things well, but I think that began to happen last year, and after looking at the tape, it certainly will be something we focus on in this camp and then heading into the season."

Do you feel like Bennie Fowler is starting to grasp this offense or just what have you seen from him that you maybe liked?
"He's a smart veteran player. I think there's a physicality to how he plays. I think he can help us in the kicking game. I think he's a guy that can block on the perimeter. And I think he understands who he is and what he has to do to make the team and those are a few areas that you know, he's going to have to excel in."

With Marcus Davenport coming back off the injury how have you seen him progressing so far?
"I think well. He had a good offseason. He was here (at Ochsner Sports Performance Center) with rehab. I like how he's put together right now, his weight's up and I think his strength is up so far so good in this camp. I think he certainly understands the defense now and (it's about) just putting putting practices together, like he's doing and working on his technique, but it's good to have him back out there."

When you say his weight is up that was that kind of a gradual increase you guys wanted to see?
"Yeah, I think so. We're comfortable enough to where he's still playing with the speed we want and yet (he's) strong enough to handle what comes his way relative to the run game and in certain protections."

What did you see from Ethan Wolf that made you want to bring him in?
"Well, lt gives us some additional depth there. He's a strong player. We look at him more as like an in-line tight in who can play on the line of scrimmage and block. He's had some pretty decent, pretty seasoned snaps that we've seen. And so it gives us a chance really to look at what we think might be a developmental blocking tight end that can also do some things in the passing game."

Do you think Marcus Davenport can take the next step?
"Yeah, I think that's fair to say. Look, we've seen improvement in how he's played and we've seen, not just flashes, but we've seen production and with someone like him staying healthy and being out there, we're (a) much better defense."

Versatility seems like something that this team's really kind of putting a focus on. Can you speak about what you've been seeing out of Ty Montgomery?
"Yeah, look, he's gotten a lot of the work and his reps with the running back position. Certainly, we can move him outside and he is one of those players that that does have versatility. I think he's a guy that understands the passing game well, and he also has a pretty good burst, relative to handling the football in the running game. I thought he had a good practice today. So there are some things that from a flexibility standpoint, he's a unique player and we'll try to take advantage of those things."

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