NEW ORLEANS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
Opening Statement:[I] thought there were a lot of good things, obviously, in that game as a team. Liked the time of possession. A lot of the things we pointed out that we felt like we needed to do with field position both in the running game and depending the run, we were able to accomplish a good team win. Any questions?
Q: Arguably one of the most complete games you've been a part of?
A: I don't know. It was a good win, so we have to take a peek at the film, I'm sure there will be some things that weren't as clean as we'd like. Overall, the time of possession, our run numbers were – it's a tough team to play here. Every week, I guess it's up to me to worry and focus on the details. I thought our staff did a good job in the preparation for some of the things we were going to get from Buffalo. To measure it against other games would be a little early.
Q: How instrumental was the 1st drive [in] the second half? You guys obviously deferred to the second half and that really seemed to put a stranglehold on it.
A: Uh, yeah I mean. Look, I thought it was important for us to score early in the game when they went up 3 and we were able to overcome a couple third downs. All those drives are important, and certainly when you start the second half and you have a lead, you want to make sure that you come back and try and build on that momentum, and fortunately we were able to do that.
Q: Sean, did it kind of reach a point in the run game where you just said 'We'll do it until they show us they can stop us'?
A: It was also managing the clock, where we're at time wise. The objective is to go in and - just being smart, but yeah, I mean if you're feeling like some things are going. Towards the end of the third quarter, we had one drive where, you know, we had some good runs on them, so we tried to build on that and guys ran hard; guys blocked up front real well, too.
Q: Yeah, I'm saying the pick, but beyond that, could you tell what kind of impact [Sheldon] Rankins was having interiorly?
A: One of the things we wanted to do defensively is try and contain Tyrod [Taylor]. He's an exceptional quarterback when he's outside of the pocket, and I thought we did a really good job for the most part of keeping him at that launch point. I'm sure when we have a chance to look at the tape, we'll look specifically at the tackles. I thought it was a real good effort defensively; we did a lot of things well, but that would just be from an observation on the sidelines.
Q: What did you think about his pick, though?
A: [I] thought it was good.
Q: How did big were some of Michael Thomas' catches in contested situations --
A: I thought he had a couple, and then Brandon Coleman had one big one on a third down. You know, they're all specific to the situation, where we're at in the game. All of them [are] important in keeping the ball moving.
Q: Were you able to tell how the line did at all?
A: What do you mean?
Q: The offensive line, just blocking and the running game.
A: My guess is [that] they did pretty well.
Q: I know you want to watch film, but were you able to gather any impressions?
A: 300 yards rushing, that was the information I gathered; that's what they did pretty well. I think that we'll look specially, but, yeah, I think they did well.
Q: What about being able to come on the road- look, they hadn't lost at home this year. You guys obviously just -
A: I think, look, they've got really three losses in like three, four years here since 2014, so it's always a hard place to play regardless of the team. This is a team this year, you know, playing with confidence. Sean [McDermott] does a great job. They beat some really good teams: Oakland, Denver. Our focus was really more about our week of preparation. I didn't feel like the elements were that extreme, the wind was fairly calm, which in November is probably not the norm here.
Q: Coach, I know you don't like talking about these kinds of situations, but do you happen to have an update on Daniel Lasco?
A: I think all the signs are positive, his movement and everything. I think that that's encouraging.
Q: With the elements not being that bad, do you feel like the players take it personal when they hear throughout the week that teams of past may not have played well outside of the dome, and that coming into -
A: I don't that anyone has said that as of late, because that wouldn't be a local media story, 'cause we've played well on the road. It might be the perception of somebody that's unattached to any, like, factual stuff. I think it's just a little cliché. I think we've played well on the road.
Q: On offense, other than making a commitment to run the ball better, what has really triggered this success for you guys?
A: There's a number of things, I mean, we've got a lot invested in the offensive line. I think, although I can't say we've been healthy throughout, but I think the runners and the time on task that we've spent in the offseason – look that's the way the game unfolded. If I said to you, -- our plan was to come in here and try to – the game unfolded that way and so, let's understand what that means. Time of possession and they're a team that I think plays real good run defense, so I don't know that I would've expected it to unfold quite the way it did, if that makes sense. I'm trying to be honest.
Q: Coach, did you see something on film from the Jets game that – because it looked like you did the exact same plays that the Jets ran last week?
A: No, we didn't run the same plays.
Q: Did you see something on film that showed you -
A: We saw a good game, but it wasn't anything in that specific game. We've seen, obviously, all the tape, it's an eight week study. They're aggressive in their front. We got a couple different things that we didn't see in the prior few weeks. My point to the earlier question was [that] we felt like we were going to have to work hard for rushing yards because of the way they deploy their defense. So, I wouldn't have anticipated the result coming the way it did, and yet that happens sometimes, I think, in our game. You know, all of their big games were in the cut-up so when you study formations and you study how they're going to play – this week, they played it different. They played Ramon Humber in some big nickel [packages], which is something they had done earlier in the season. Sean had some that before in Carolina with Shaq [Thompson], and our guys adjusted and we made enough plays to win.
Q: It's been a while since you guys have had this kind of consistent success. How do you sense that the guys are enjoying this? I mean, they are all celebrating and dancing.
A: I think that the focus has been good. They've been able to get on to the next week and prepare. I don't think it's anything unusual.
Q: Sean, you mentioned the perceptions of both playing on the road and another one on the defense. Since week three, your defense has really turned things around from the last couple years. How do you attribute that?
A: Well hopefully we are playing a more complementary game. I know we are playing the run better. Typically, you want confidence, and you want to play with confidence, I say this all the time. When we've had some performances after those two weeks, the Carolina game and the game over in London really, I think, allowed us to gain some confidence. We played well, we took the ball away defensively and I think, like anything else, you have to demonstrate it in performance. Then you can start playing with it. So, I think, pointing to one specific game would be difficult, but certainly it's begun to happen. I think we are playing better overall as a team. So, hopefully we can continue to do that and clean up some of the mistakes.
Q: With the way the running game and defense performed, does a win like this send a message around the league?
A: No, I mean listen. We're nine games in. No one's sending messages, we're just trying to play good football. Anytime you win on the road, it's a plus, and I think this is a tough place to play on the road. I think more importantly you're constantly trying to send messages to your own team, your own players. But, they've responded well. We felt like we were playing a good team today.
Q: Sean, can you recall the last time you had a run team that was able to move, eight to nine yards at a time?
A: I'm not going to be able to reference a game. That's just how the game finished, guys made some plays. You do this long enough, every once in a while you find yourself on both ends of this type of game. You just hope that when you retire you have more on this end than the other, but you'll really have them on both ends. Thank you.