Head Coach Sean Payton
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans 20 - Miami 0
SEAN PAYTON: A couple observations: I thought defensively we did a lot of good things today; getting a shutout, of course, is significant. I thought the first half was fairly sloppy, and yet there were a number of good things. I thought in the second half we were able to take advantage of a couple possessions and make it a two-score game.
It was obvious the game was being played a certain way. I'm sure we're going to look at the film and have a lot of things to correct, but it was a good one to get. A long way to come to get it, but it was worth it.
Q. Talk about Ken Crawley*'s play today*.
SEAN PAYTON: Played very well. He's just done -- he's done a real good job. The interception in that first quarter, it's a big play. He's really -- from year 1 to year 2, he played a lot last year. We've seen him in training camp, you guys have seen him really locate the ball, and I was proud of him.
Q. How important was it to get the win going into the bye week?
SEAN PAYTON: Look, they're all important games. I think it's important going into the bye having won a couple games in a row. Certainly, to be at this position starting off the way we did is encouraging. We still have a number of things we've got to clean up.
Q. You guys were using four safeties on some of those third downs. What's the advantages to getting those four guys in?
SEAN PAYTON: We were in a lot of three-safety looks, you know, Buffalo look. They get you in no-huddle, and if you end up getting caught with small guys on the field, sometimes it can be tough against their run game. Dennis' staff did a great job just looking real closely at how we can hold up against the three-receiver sets with maybe a little bit more size.
Kenny, the other safeties, obviously, Vonn and Marcus and those guys, Rafael, they all did a good job.
Q. How about Alvin Kamara's performance?
SEAN PAYTON: Yeah, that would be an easier one to answer. Look, he's an explosive player. You don't know how these touches are going to come. I mean, the shovel pass was kind of a third-down play inside the 7. We decided to use it there. It was a good run defense. I was just pleased with the team when -- you know, we did enough to win a game that was important for us, and we'll make the corrections.
Q. How about getting back-to-back wins, how important was that?
SEAN PAYTON: I think I just said it. You know, it was important -- the two-game schedule for us after New England was going to be important - at Carolina and then off to England. Really this month was challenging, and yet we felt like it was important for us to come out here like we did right away after the Carolina game. I thought our operations people did a great job, hotel and everyone. That was a plus.
Q. How about the penalties during the game?
SEAN PAYTON: Don't get me going here. I'm in a good mood.
Q. Can you comment on the way you won?
SEAN PAYTON: Listen, you've heard me say it before, and Bill said it to me a number of times, it doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective. It's important we understand how the game's being played on offense, no different than how we would want the defense to understand the way the game's being played.
And I thought ball security was going to be key in the game. We won that turnover battle again, the field position, I thought -- it wasn't perfect. There's a number of things we're going to want to clean up, but it was good enough tonight.
Q. On the communication problem in the first quarter:
SEAN PAYTON: Listen, it was a whole quarter. Three minutes before the game starts, that should never happen, not in an NFL game, but it did. We dealt with it.
Q. Is this the start of a winning streak now?
SEAN PAYTON: Hopefully, it's a combination of, you know, the guys paying attention to it generally wins games. Certainly, as that game wore on, every one of those players needed to understand the significance of not giving them an opportunity back in the game. So we took care of it. Again, I was pleased.
Q. When they have a seven, eight-minute drive to start the game, does that change anything about how you come out? Do you think about the clock more on that first drive?
SEAN PAYTON: No. I mean, you're always wanting -- if you start on defense, you're wanting to get off the field, but it doesn't change. Certainly, you're aware of the time of possession, and you recognize the defense had a lot of snaps to start with.
Q. Can you talk about recognizing how the game's going to be played early. Does it sometimes take 30 minutes to make the right adjustments?
SEAN PAYTON: Well, our challenges at halftime were more personnel with tight end, with Josh -- just a handful of guys that the minute they're down, it really affects your game plan. I feel like there were a handful of injuries tonight, and we had to make adjustments. I felt like we spent a lot of time at the half eliminating plays that we weren't going to run or deciding on ones we wanted to, and then what were the ones we wanted to feature? It's not real long. It's like nine, ten minutes, and you're going.
Q. There's been a strength and awareness that Mike Thomas --
SEAN PAYTON: It's one of his strong suits. It comes up regardless of where you're playing. He's strong off the ball and hard to tackle.
Q. On the pregame National Anthems.
SEAN PAYTON: Look, it's a credit to our leadership on the team, and we just felt like they were going to meet and spend some time on it and come up with a plan, and we were going to be really unified, and I thought -- you know, I thought it went real well. Listen, I was proud of the leadership on the team. I'd forgotten Darius Rucker was in. He's a good friend. I'm running over while they're singing. I felt awful because I thought it was done, and God Save the Queen was coming up next, and I'm halfway across the field. Anyway, it was good to see him.
Q. Why did you hold out P.J. Williams at the start of the game?
SEAN PAYTON: That would be between us and P.J. Any more questions?
Q. Why did you?
SEAN PAYTON: Because I chose to. Any more? All right. Thank you.