New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Monday, October 7, 2013
Opening Statement: “We will be back to a normal schedule this week. We have another road game on Sunday. The players for the most part came in, watched the tape and lifted on their own. Tomorrow will be their day off. Wednesday will be base.”
Can you talk about how adaptable this team has been so far?
“I thought yesterday was a good example of it. We felt there were a handful of things besides ball security. We were going to have to play that game maybe a little differently than we have played some other games. It was the first team we played in a while this year where we received a lot of spot drop zone which meant that we were going to be patient with the football. I thought we were. I thought when we threw the ball underneath I thought the runners or receivers who caught it, secured it, advanced it, so a simple check down maybe that you think you are going to get four yards from you got six yards. I thought we handled the short yardage situations in those critical situations pretty well. Late in the game we drew some penalties. I thought overall I was real pleased with the penalty numbers. I think the one thing we tried to preach all year is each game takes on a different, not a different meaning, but they are not necessarily played the same way. Understanding as a team what it takes to win that specific game is something that if your team gets and I think we are beginning to is an important trait. We felt like we were playing a good team that could take the ball away. They were explosive. The quarterback (Jay Cutler) has a strong arm. They had some balance with (Matt) Forte. I thought the early part of the game where we forced the three and outs and we had them in the long yardage situations and forced them to punt (was significant). The whole first half seemed to be spent on their side of the field. That was significant. The score before the half was significant. But again, that game was much different than other ones we have won earlier in the year. I think it is just understanding and being able to play smart football.”
Can you talk about how harped all week about not turning the ball over and you had zero turnovers this week?
“Our numbers without any turnovers, we are not the only team that is like that. Clearly that hasn’t been the case when we lost there. When you go on the road, when we play on the road it is tough to get wins when you play on the road against a good team like that. There are going to be certain things you have to do that give you a chance to win and that was one of them. I felt throughout the course of the game, I never felt like the ball was loose or out there. I think there was one time on Pierre’s (Thomas) touchdown that the ball kind of came free and he recovered it, but I thought we handled that element real well.”
Can you talk about you are winning the time of possession battle but only running the ball for 80 yards a game?
“I don’t know that there is a formula to explain it, it’s just being productive with down and distances. Third down numbers were decent offensively, (but) they were better for us defensively. How you get the first downs, how you move the chains, I mentioned the type of defense we saw yesterday was predominately a lot more zone and so it meant taking advantage of a checkdown as opposed to an incomplete (pass) down the field. It meant when you did run it of trying to have success. We took a few shots. I thought we, look the one to (Robert) Meachem was set up well and I know it wasn’t a penalty called but it very well could have been. It is complementary football. If we are on the field for x number of minutes, just take the game time and then you can tell exactly how long we were on the field defensively. I think both sides of the ball are doing that well. I felt the kicking game was outstanding yesterday. I mean, Garrett (Hartley) in those conditions did a great job. The surface was difficult. Obviously if you are a kicker with wind kind of gusty a little bit and then I thought (Thomas) Morstead did a great job and when we had to cover we did with an elite returner. All those factored in, but the time of possession was significant.”
Can you talk about how you contained Matt Forte?
“He is one of those players that does a lot of things well and so he is not only a threat in the run game, but he is a threat in the passing game. He is very good in protection. When you get on the field and you actually see him you forget he has really good size and I thought we contained him pretty well. He had some runs especially in some of the nickel stuff but by and large I thought we did a good job with him.”
Is time of possession becoming a theme for you?
“We talked a lot in the offseason, a lot about just playing a complementary football game and understanding what does that mean. Part of that is possessing the football and you want to score every time you have it. So we are not purposely trying to create long drives, but be efficient with your plays and if you are winning on third down for instance then you stay on the field. If you turn the ball over conversely then the drive ends and all of a sudden that possession time just kicks the other favor. It is protecting the ball. It is doing a good job on third down and getting off the field defensively. There are a lot of things that factor into it, but it is an important statistic though.”
Is the trust in the defense growing each week?
“We have always had trust in defense in other words, I thought in the offseason and training camp we felt like as a team the guys were working hard so that really hasn’t been a factor.”
Can you talk about Pierre Thomas’s good run on fourth down that he had?
“Yeah, I was pleased. I thought the guys up front played well. They graded out well. I said yesterday; Pierre plays well on that field. Obviously he is from there but he is somebody that gets to the cavity of the defense the right away. He finds the crease. He had the two scores. The screen play was a big play for us before the half. In those short yardage situations, even in Jed’s (Collins) case, look I like these special situations we work on that come up in the second half. We will go for it on fourth down and then other times we will try and draw you offsides. Twice in the second half in critical situations we had first downs result in that.”
Is Malcolm Jenkins showcasing what he is all about?
“Yes, he is one of those smart guys that understands the game very well so when he has a free hit on the quarterback, we had three or four rushes in that first half where we were unblocked, a guy like Malcolm can do that especially we spent a lot of time on the tape with where the ball sat with Jay (Cutler) and that was one of our goals.”
Why does Pierre Thomas run the screen so well?
“I would say two things, I think number one there is a patience involved. The other thing is, each one is a little different and so a player who is pretty consistent and excels at running screens is able to sort through some of the games that might take place up front. Each one presents a different challenge so someone that can make good decisions within a matter of a second and a half, two seconds, with regards to entering the defense or where we want to enter the screen. That for some players comes easier and for others it is more challenging because it happens fast. Sometimes it happens into a straight rush, sometimes into a twist, sometimes it happens into a pressure, teams that defend screens well do a good job with those defensive tackles feeling the guards getting light or like almost feeling the guards letting them win and then right away work flat down the line. There are a lot of things that defensively teams do, but the screen runner has patience and he has pretty good football, I don’t know if it is IQ, but pretty good football instinct because each one can change a little bit. It is not just a consistent, everyone is rushing up the field and then I step up and we would all be able to do it if that was the case. He is pretty good with those quick decisions.”
PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
October 7, 2013
BB: I feel like going through the film this morning pretty much reflected what we thought after the game, which was we definitely had our chances, but we just weren’t able to make enough plays in the end to have the outcome come out in our favor. It was in all three phases of the game. There were some good things, obviously we did enough things to make it a real competitive game, to go down to the wire, but we just couldn’t make enough plays that we needed to make to turn it in our favor, as we have a couple other times this year. We just have to keep working. We need to improve all the way across the board: offense, defense, special teams. We can do a better do job coaching; we can do a better job of playing. We just need to need to keep working harder and correct some of the mistakes that we had and improve our execution. Certainly a lot of special situations, situational football, and learn from this one and move on to New Orleans. That’s what we have in front of us.
Q: Looking back, do you just chalk it up to one of those days where you don’t have any luck? It seems like there were a few plays there where you were just unlucky and it wasn’t your day.
BB: I think there are always going to be a few of those plays in the game, in every game, that you look at and say, ‘Well, that was fortunate for us, or that was unfortunate for us.’ I think you just have to live with those and you hope that they all even out in the long run. I think what’s more important is to control the things that we can control. That’s what we just need to do a better job of. You’re right; sometimes the ball just takes a funny bounce. Sometimes that’s in your favor and sometimes it isn’t. but there are things that we can control and that’s where I think our focus really needs to be, is what we can do a better job on: coaching, preparation, execution, decision-making, situational football, all those things. We have to do a better job on what we can do there.
Q: On the third-and-15 play from the two-yard line, what did you see from that play when you went back to watch it? Was the defense unsettled before the snap and did that have any impact on what happened in the play?
BB: Yeah, I think it definitely had an impact on it. It’s a play that we’ve dealt with before. The other team is in a long-yardage situation, just goes on a quick count, like Cincinnati did, and just runs everybody down the field. We’ve seen it through the years, [it’s] not anything that’s revolutionary. But they did a good job of it, they got set, they snapped the ball quickly. We definitely weren’t set when the ball was snapped. We had a few guys moving into position and I would say, mostly we got into position but obviously it wasn’t good enough. It was a good play on their part and it was not a good play on our part. But I think it was definitely a strategical play that worked for them. They caught us on it. Nothing illegal about it, everybody on their side was set. We just weren’t ready when the ball was snapped and they hit us on it.
Q: When something like that happens, would you like a timeout there in retrospect or is that not an option because it’s going so fast? The flip side is you needed those timeouts at the end of the game.
BB: I don’t really think it was a timeout situation. They hadn’t done that, it wasn’t like it was a problem that they were going at a fast pace and we couldn’t get the call and go get lined up. It was just on that particular play, they turned it into a quick snap situation. We just weren’t well enough prepared for it. It obviously wasn’t well coached on our end. That’s my responsibility. We should have been better prepared for it, but at the same time, we’ve dealt with no-huddle, quick-snap offenses from the first day of training camp, the first preseason game and all the way through the year. So quick snaps and being ready to go and all that, that’s always part of the game. That was really the issue on it, just being set and being ready to play. From a coaching standpoint, we obviously, and I, need to do a better job of preparing for it. That situation I don’t really think kind of happened too fast to take a timeout. I don’t think anybody really realized that there were going to go as quickly as they did, because that’s not really their pattern on third down. I think that’s what threw us off, was the tempo. But there were several times in the game when we substituted when they tried to go no-huddle, like on the goal-line play, on the second goal-line play down there, we were able to get our goal-line all the way down to the 1-yard line, then [Brandon] Spikes made the play in the backfield to take it to third-and-one and we were able to get that substitution made. I don’t think that was the problem.
Q: Can you talk about Ryan Allen and the contributions he made?
BB: I thought our punt team overall gave us good field position, really all day. The plus-50 punting was good. I think it was five [punts] inside the 20 and three inside the 10. Then a couple times we were backed up, we had good coverage there as well. The punting game and the field position on that end of it was good. I think our opportunities in the punt return game and the kickoff return game that we didn’t really take advantage of some of the opportunities that we had there. If we could have finished a couple blocks, there were potentially a couple big plays to be had there. We just couldn’t quite get that last block or make that one key thing that we needed on those plays to make it a game-changing type play.
Q: Is it unrealistic to expect that you guys would be consistent through the first five games with all the new faces on offense?
BB: I don’t know what you mean. Everybody that’s out there has been out there, played a lot of football for us this year. I’m not really sure what you’re referring to. Other than Matt Mulligan, those guys have all been here, most of them for multiple years. We just didn’t overall offensively perform to the level that we did last week or that we’re capable of doing. I think everybody is accountable for that: the coaching staff, the players, again, I certainly give Cincinnati credit there. They have a good defensive front and they played well but we have to do a better job than that. We put ourselves in too many long-yardage situations. We couldn’t convert in the red area and had some consistency running the ball but not nearly enough in the passing game, and not in any critical situations. We have to do better in all those areas. That’s all of us. I don’t think it’s any one guy or any one thing. I don’t know who the new faces are – Matt Mulligan but everybody else has been here all year or a lot longer than that.
Q: You won the coin toss and elected to receive. How much of that was due to weather considerations and not knowing when the rain was going to come or was it more related to any different viewpoints on the value of the opportunity to have a double score at the end of the second quarter and start of the third quarter?
BB: Those are the kind of things we talk about every week. There are a number of things that are part of the conversation, the consideration. I would say there were a number of factors. In the end, we felt like taking the ball at that point was the better thing to do. I wouldn’t say it was any one big overriding [factor] but just the combination of all the circumstances surrounding the game. When we put it all together, we felt like that was the best thing to do.
Q: What characterizes Sean Payton as a play-calling and personality as a head coach and also Rob Ryan on defense? How does he complement what Sean does offensively with his defensive approach?
BB: Sean obviously has a very aggressive play-calling approach. I think he just does a good job of keeping the defense off balance and he attacks really every square inch on the field, from the middle of the field to the sideline to the back end line. So you have a lot to defend with Sean’s offense and he has the personnel and scheme and capability to attack everywhere. I’d say that’s in a nutshell his system: he’s an aggressive play-caller. It’s hard to predict what he’s going to do because he does a good job of keeping you off balance. That doesn’t mean it’s all pass plays either. He’ll power run, he’ll play-action, he’ll throw deep, he’ll throw short, he’ll screen, draw – he has a good complement of plays that just continually keep the defense off balance. Rob obviously comes from a great football background with his family and he grew up with it and it’s a big part of his life. He’s very dedicated, a dedicated coach and one who has had a lot of experience, not just in the games but like I said, growing up with it and being around it all that. He’s a real student of the game. He definitely understands personnel, game planning and situational football so a lot of the things that he does are very specific to the individual game or situation on that particular play which could change from week to week. It’s not as predictable just because each game and each situation is different and how he looks at that particular one might be the same or different than he looks at another one. That might seem similar because [it’s] a different team, different personnel. There’s definitely a level of unpredictability and aggressiveness in his overall system and play calling and style as well. But I’d say that he’s defensively got an aggressive approach but they keep you off balance and they mix it up. You just can’t count on him to blitz every play because that’s not going to happen. But there are times when they’ll three-man rush, there are times when they’ll send the house and things in between. They’re not just the type of defense that’s going to sit in one or two things and do that all day unless on that particular play it really happens to be working well and you’re having a hard time with it then you might see a lot of it. That’s not really his basic style but I’m sure he would do it if he felt like that was the right thing to do.
Q: The Geno Atkins sack, is that one of the plays that is sort of doomed based on the call, with the defensive call they had on or was that something that could have been executed better by the offense?
BB: It was a play-action pass, one that we’ve run many times through the years. On that particular play, I don’t think Geno really took much of the play-action. He penetrated, we weren’t really able to get a solid block in front of him because we were selling the run. He made a good read and a good play on it. Of course, he’s the type of player that he doesn’t need much. I think obviously we could have executed it better, but it was a good play on his part. He wasn’t taking any of the play-action. He made the play.
|< Prev||Next >|