Saints Head Coach Sean Payton – Rams-Saints Postgame Availability— November 26, 2017
*(Opening Remarks) *"Obviously, it's a disappointing loss. I credit the Rams. Clearly, they were better in every area today. I just thought you could point to a number of things, but we looked, in so many areas, I thought sloppy. Our third downs and offense stunk, and we hurt ourselves. We had 117 yards of penalties and obviously weren't good enough."
*(On why he thinks they struggled so much on third downs) *"We'll go back and look at the tape. Whether it was protection. Look, it might of been the third-down playing was bad, but we'll see. We'll watch it on tape and get a chance to see and make the corrections."
(On the long touchdown run play by Saints RB Alvin Kamara early in the game and the adjustments the Rams made afterwards)"Listen, he had a long run in a sub-personnel play. But look— (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) and those guys did a good job of keeping us off-balance and playing the run well. We weren't able to throw it enough to take advantage of it, but there wasn't any wholesale adjustment after that run. It was a big play and certainly you want to get back to having that balance, we just weren't able to. As soon as we had a series, we'd get a penalty and we'd be first-and-20."
*(On why he decided to go for the field goal with 10 minutes to go as opposed to going for a touchdown) *"Just the percentages. It made sense."
*(On if field position played a factor in the loss) *"Early on I felt like their return game hurt us — start the game mid-field, they had a couple. And then I thought as the game wore on we were better in that area. But, I would say that if we're going to look at that tape, we're going to see hidden yardage and it would favor them, especially early. I would agree with that."
*(On the Rams' pass rush and if they were able to exploit their protection more than he thought) *"Yeah, we'll see. You're hopefully getting the ball out in time and you're wanting to have enough balance — ran and pass. But, obviously we weren't effective at doing that so we'll look at it."
*(On if Saints CB De'Vante Harris got hurt or if he just wanted to make a change) *"No, we just made a change there. A couple missed assignments."
*(On how much coverage lapses hurt their defense) *"Look, I didn't really see us affecting that passer as much as I'd like. I thought they ran it the second half when they wanted to and we weren't able to make enough plays. But certainly, the time of possession on offense didn't help our defense either. All in all, wasn't good enough."
*(On how much he thinks the upside is going into the final stretch) *"Listen, when we get back to New Orleans, we'll see where were at with our preparation. We've got obviously a big game coming up next week and we'll get ready to play it. But, we can't gloss over this though. We've got to look at this closely."
(On how much he thought Saints DE Cameron Jordan was able to disrupt the Rams offense)"We'll see. Obviously not enough."
*(On if switching up the offensive linemen affected what the offense could do) *"No, I felt like it was later in the game. I didn't feel like we were doing anything special prior to it, so it'd be hard to point to that as a turning point."
*(On how after some of their wins, he said the team needed to focus on some things that they could get better at and if he saw more of those today) *"Absolutely, I thought our week of practice was just okay at best honestly. It was average at best, I'll say that. Obviously, we didn't come in here and play well enough early and we'll get a chance to see all of this tomorrow."
*(On playing against Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips a few times now and if there are patterns in his defenses or if he switches it up every time) *"He does a great job. I think the big thing would be, there's things that he does and does very well. Then some of the nuances come maybe on second or third down with what kind of personnel you're going to get. He does a good job with that. They rush the passer well and look, those guys play hard and he's done that for a long time. I tip my hat to those guys and they did a good job."
*(On how tough it was to watch lackluster practices knowing the importance of this game) *"Well, we didn't just sit and watch it. You have a gut as the week goes on. Just leading into this game, you make your corrections and you handle the week."
*(On their running game other than Alvin Kamara's big run) *"Struggled. I thought we struggled with some consistency. But then if you really looked at it, we had a run or two and then all of a sudden, the drive started and then we had a penalty. We had 117 yards of penalties tonight. So, offensively we had our fair share of those and you run out of second-and-20 or third-and-20 calls."