Gameday

Wildcard Playoff Postgame Quotes: Sean Payton

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New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers**

NFC Wild Card Playoff *
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Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 ● Mercedes-Benz SuperdomeSaints Head Coach Sean Payton

Opening statement:
“Hard-fought win. The end of the game came down to the final series. We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a different type of game. A few of our young guys were up for the challenge. The early part of the game when we were able to hold them to field goals ultimately proved most valuable. (We) Came up with enough plays offensively. (There were) A lot of loaded fronts, defensively. We were able to make some of the plays down field.”

On going for it on fourth down late in the fourth quarter:
“They just went with a little hard count and called a timeout. We wanted to win the game. We talked to Drew about how we could punt there and play with a little longer field position, no timeouts for them and yet we felt we had a call. Try to get the ball to Mike Thomas. They did a good job in coverage and they made a play. Unfortunately, it ended up being intercepted. That’s part of it. We were going to try to win the game on that play.”

On how Panthers defense affected the run game:
“I think early on they played five-on-five man front, which they’ve been playing a lot more lately. A lot of down safety. It was hard to find some of the coverage looks that you see so much of on film. There was a lot of five-man pressure and that made it more challenging. That all being said Brandon Colman, (and) Ted Ginn (Jr.) were outstanding. Obviously, Mike (Thomas) and all those guys got involved. Very quickly we started adjusting.”

On Josh Hill’s contributions today:
“It was significant. We felt strong good about that play call. It had like ten stars on the call sheet. It was really the first first-and-ten inside the twenty and it was on the perfect hash. It was played just like we expected it to and he did a really good job.”

On Ted Ginn Jr. ’s involvement:
“We received different looks today. Those plays evolve as they change a little bit. They’ve been pressuring more in the last few weeks. We received a lot of single safety pressure and single safety zone so that’s going to put your outside plays on a premium.”

On 80-yard touchdown after Panthers missed field goal:
“We’d rarely sit on any good plays. It was a great read by Drew (Brees). It was kind of an inside go with a deep in-cut and coverage kind of collapsed on Mike (Thomas). You watch that closely on film, Drew (Brees) kind of shuffled quickly to his right and found (Ted) Ginn (Jr.) behind the coverage. It was a heck of a play by him.” 

On Brees’ decision-making skills today:
“When you get to this stage of the season, the experience these guys have varies. Some have none. Some have a handful or quite a few playoff games under their belt. There is only one way to get the experience and that is to play in them. Fortunately we play well in them here. You start looking at how Drew has played in these games at home. There is a sense of urgency throughout the week. You just sense it around your team. I thought we practiced well. It was old-school Wednesday and then we kind of held off and had millennial Friday for some of these younger guys. Overall I was pleased.”

On confidence he had in Wil Lutz during 57-yard kick:
“Just the confidence I had seeing him kick during the week. You worry about the ball flight more than anything. You worry about the block. Generally, as you get further out the flight of the ball is going to be different. Fortunately, he hit it real well and that was a big play.”

On defense’s durability:
“I think the first 12 points were field goals. That ultimately is a significant part of why we won this game.”

On the Tyeler Davison sack in the fourth quarter:
“Those were all big. We were able to get them in some third and long situations. You really accept the looks and kind of stay on him (Cam Newton) with pressure. Credit Carolina. That is an experienced team that’s been in playoffs. Clearly, we know coming in it was going to be a tough out. It was not going to be like the first game we played them or the second game. It was going to be a challenge. There’s a ton of really good prideful players there that we have a ton of respect for. We’ve seen them over the years and we knew coming win that this would be completely different.”

On bringing back the Super Bowl XLIV Championship team:
“We just wanted to create a great environment. Everything from the towels in the chairs. I love it when these guys come back. That, to me is a sign you have a program. I want them to feel welcome. They were a big part of what all of us are currently standing on. (The) Stadium crew did a great job. We had a fly over. Good work.”

On if he thinks Carolina’s defense was testing Drew Brees:
“I think that’s a stretch. I think when you play, defensively, you look at the games past and you try to look at ‘how can we take away from what hurt us in the first two games, how can we apply pressure and how can we get them off their balance. If you’re rushing five, six, or seven yards per carry it comes easier. I don’t think they wanted to challenge us as much as they just wanted to defend us. You saw it last week against Atlanta as well.”

On secondary’s communication struggles:
“There was a couple of snaps that we will watch on film and get cleaned up. One of the challenges, it’s a good challenge, but it’s dealing with crowd noise. Just the communication really. By no means was it perfect but it was good enough today.”

On reducing Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara’s roles:
“You want to get those touches for all of those players and yet when certain moves are taken away you have to be ready to make plays elsewhere. Credit guys like Brandon Coleman and Ted Ginn and Josh Hill. Drew (Brees) does a good job of finding the guys that structurally the defense is probably going to be giving up or in the framework of his progression who the ball should go to and he did that today.”

On the first home playoff game since the 2011 season:
“It all feels the same. You feel like you age. There’s stress involved and yet there’s that feeling that it’s why you do it. It’s why we report in the offseason, it’s why we get into conditioning and lifting, the roster moves. Everything that functions within the framework of the building from the business to marketing to tickets to cleaning to cooking, it’s all about the product. Then being successful I think there’s a sense among everyone in the building that they’ve all been successful. I think that attachment to our fans is the same.”

On reflecting time with Drew Brees and playing these games at home:
“I think someday down the road, I think it’s a way off, you can reflect on them. They kind of run together over time.”

Fan impact on the game:
“The impact of the noise you can’t even (imagine how tough it makes it for an offense unless you are on the field), I wish we could bring like 10 fans right in the middle the field and have them hear what happens. We’ll experience (the other side) now going to Minnesota. There’s a stress level when you’re dealing with it all the time and you are on the other side of the ball. I definitely think it hurts with communication in the huddle. It hurts with formations. Certainly your cadence is not used and then that’s an advantage, offensively, if you can use your cadence. If not, I think there are a lot of challenges. I think it was as good tonight as far as I can recall as it has been in a long time.”

On Cam Newton’s concussion evaluation:
“I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t see it.”

On what he can take away from previous game against Vikings:
“It seems like it was last year. Obviously, we didn’t play well enough and I’ve known Mike Zimmer for years. We coached together in Dallas for three years. I consider him a good coaching friend. He’s done a great job and the team has done outstanding. They are perfectly seated where they are. They’re playing great defense. I know they’ve been running the ball well. Every time you watch them they’re doing the things necessary to win so understanding all that, it will be a challenging week and we’ll have to be ready to handle it.” 
(opening statement) “Hard-fought win. The end of the game came down to the final series. We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a different type of game. A few of our young guys were up for the challenge. The early part of the game when we were able to hold them to field goals ultimately proved most valuable. (We) Came up with enough plays offensively. (There were) A lot of loaded fronts, defensively. We were able to make some of the plays down field.” (On going for it on fourth down late in the fourth quarter) “They just went with a little hard count and called a timeout. We wanted to win the game. We talked to Drew about how we could punt there and play with a little longer field position, no timeouts for them and yet we felt we had a call. Try to get the ball to Mike Thomas. They did a good job in coverage and they made a play. Unfortunately, it ended up being intercepted. That’s part of it. We were going to try to win the game on that play.” (On how Panthers defense affected the run game) “I think early on they played five-on-five man front, which they’ve been playing a lot more lately. A lot of down safety. It was hard to find some of the coverage looks that you see so much of on film. There was a lot of five-man pressure and that made it more challenging. That all being said Brandon Colman, (and) Ted Ginn (Jr.) were outstanding. Obviously, Mike (Thomas) and all those guys got involved. Very quickly we started adjusting.” (on Josh Hill’s contributions today) “It was significant. We felt strong good about that play call. It had like ten stars on the call sheet. It was really the first first-and-ten inside the twenty and it was on the perfect hash. It was played just like we expected it to and he did a really good job.” (on Ted Ginn Jr.’s involvement) “We received different looks today. Those plays evolve as they change a little bit. They’ve been pressuring more in the last few weeks. We received a lot of single safety pressure and single safety zone so that’s going to put your outside plays on a premium.” (on 80-yard touchdown after Panthers missed field goal) “We’d rarely sit on any good plays. It was a great read by Drew (Brees). It was kind of an inside go with a deep in-cut and coverage kind of collapsed on Mike (Thomas). You watch that closely on film, Drew (Brees) kind of shuffled quickly to his right and found (Ted) Ginn (Jr.) behind the coverage. It was a heck of a play by him.” (on Brees’ decision-making skills today) “When you get to this stage of the season, the experience these guys have varies. Some have none. Some have a handful or quite a few playoff games under their belt. There is only one way to get the experience and that is to play in them. Fortunately we play well in them here. You start looking at how Drew has played in these games at home. There is a sense of urgency throughout the week. You just sense it around your team. I thought we practiced well. It was old-school Wednesday and then we kind of held off and had millennial Friday for some of these younger guys. Overall I was pleased.” (on confidence he had in Wil Lutz during 57-yard kick) “Just the confidence I had seeing him kick during the week. You worry about the ball flight more than anything. You worry about the block. Generally, as you get further out the flight of the ball is going to be different. Fortunately, he hit it real well and that was a big play.” (on defense’s durability) “I think the first 12 points were field goals. That ultimately is a significant part of why we won this game.” (on the Tyeler Davison sack in the fourth quarter) “Those were all big. We were able to get them in some third and long situations. You really accept the looks and kind of stay on him (Cam Newton) with pressure. Credit Carolina. That is an experienced team that’s been in playoffs. Clearly, we know coming in it was going to be a tough out. It was not going to be like the first game we played them or 
the second game. It was going to be a challenge. There’s a ton of really good prideful players there that we have a ton of respect for. We’ve seen them over the years and we knew coming win that this would be completely different.” (on bringing back the Super Bowl XLIV Championship team) “We just wanted to create a great environment. Everything from the towels in the chairs. I love it when these guys come back. That, to me is a sign you have a program. I want them to feel welcome. They were a big part of what all of us are currently standing on. (The) Stadium crew did a great job. We had a fly over. Good work.” (on if he thinks Carolina’s defense was testing Drew Brees) “I think that’s a stretch. I think when you play, defensively, you look at the games past and you try to look at ‘how can we take away from what hurt us in the first two games, how can we apply pressure and how can we get them off their balance. If you’re rushing five, six, or seven yards per carry it comes easier. I don’t think they wanted to challenge us as much as they just wanted to defend us. You saw it last week against Atlanta as well.” (on secondary’s communication struggles) “There was a couple of snaps that we will watch on film and get cleaned up. One of the challenges, it’s a good challenge, but it’s dealing with crowd noise. Just the communication really. By no means was it perfect but it was good enough today.” (on reducing Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara’s roles) “You want to get those touches for all of those players and yet when certain moves are taken away you have to be ready to make plays elsewhere. Credit guys like Brandon Coleman and Ted Ginn and Josh Hill. Drew (Brees) does a good job of finding the guys that structurally the defense is probably going to be giving up or in the framework of his progression who the ball should go to and he did that today.” (on the first home playoff game since the 2011 season) “It all feels the same. You feel like you age. There’s stress involved and yet there’s that feeling that it’s why you do it. It’s why we report in the offseason, it’s why we get into conditioning and lifting, the roster moves. Everything that functions within the framework of the building from the business to marketing to tickets to cleaning to cooking, it’s all about the product. Then being successful I think there’s a sense among everyone in the building that they’ve all been successful. I think that attachment to our fans is the same.” (on reflecting time with Drew Brees and playing these games at home) “I think someday down the road, I think it’s a way off, you can reflect on them. They kind of run together over time.” (Fan impact on the game) “The impact of the noise you can’t even (imagine how tough it makes it for an offense unless you are on the field), I wish we could bring like 10 fans right in the middle the field and have them hear what happens. We’ll experience (the other side) now going to Minnesota. There’s a stress level when you’re dealing with it all the time and you are on the other side of the ball. I definitely think it hurts with communication in the huddle. It hurts with formations. Certainly your cadence is not used and then that’s an advantage, offensively, if you can use your cadence. If not, I think there are a lot of challenges. I think it was as good tonight as far as I can recall as it has been in a long time.” (on Cam Newton’s concussion evaluation) “I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t see it.” (on what he can take away from previous game against Vikings) “It seems like it was last year. Obviously, we didn’t play well enough and I’ve known Mike Zimmer for years. We coached together in Dallas for three years. I consider him a good coaching friend. He’s done a great job and the team has done outstanding. They are perfectly seated where they are. They’re playing great defense. I know they’ve been running the ball well. Every time you watch them they’re doing the things necessary to win so understanding all that, it will be a challenging week and we’ll have to be ready to handle it.” 
 

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