New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Monday, October 14, 2013
Opening Statement: “The players are in, they have had their lift and the running. This will be a break after today. They will come back next Monday. There will be treatment for the injured guys through the week. We will have a bonus day on Monday. Wednesday will be our first official day back. I thought the overall mood and spirits were good. Obviously it was a tough loss and when you do it long enough they understand there are going to be some games like that where you are wrestling over one specific play or one sequence of plays. We certainly do that as coaches and like I told them after the game, I was proud of how they played in the second half specifically, that was something we talked about at halftime, going out there and eliminating some of the mistakes. We were able to get the stops defensively. We weren’t able to get that one first down that we needed and gave them the opportunity to go ahead and win the game which they did. They had a really good play, but we move on from that one here fairly soon and get focused toward Buffalo.”
Is there anything in particular play calls you were wrestling with?
“It was just a decision philosophically, run or pass, knowing that when you throw it, there is a potential of clock stoppage.”
If number 95 (Chandler Jones) had not have stayed home, do you believe Drew Brees would have gotten the first down?
“Yeah, that is one of those that are hard to tell. It is a good question. It’s one of those low risk reward plays. You know you are going to keep the clock moving and you probably have a chance to be a little bit more affective on first or second down. We have done it probably two or three times here and typically the result is all or nothing. The end closes and you have a chance, it is hard to tell on that angle if we were able to get the yardage necessary, but we know the clock is going to keep moving so that was the thought behind it.”
Would you rather everyone not obsess over a short sequence of plays and evaluate the game as a whole?
“I think we are taught to evaluate all the elements of the game and I thought one of things that was important was that we ran the ball well in the second half. Something as simple as looking at maybe a little bit more of that in the first half. Those are the things that I look at, but you can point to the end where you have a chance to win the game and that is certainly something we have been good at and something that we have done. As a play caller you are paying attention to what you are seeing. We’d gotten some pretty good stops and the turnover so you go back and forth about it and you wrestle with it. But I think as a coach and our staff, we try to look at all the different things that took place during the course of the game, how they were defending us in nickel and base, offensively their hurry-up packages versus our defense. So there were a handful of things that you look close at that you want to improve on and that is what we will do.”
What does this week off give you and your staff a chance to do in regards to reviewing the first six games?
“First off you are able to and probably more so now than ever, you are always staying up to date with cut ups and tendencies statistically. Maybe 10 years ago it was a little bit more difficult, but I think the most important (thing during a bye week to receive) is rest, especially for our players. The schedule was something, and I have said this to you before, after seeing Andy Reid (give players the majority of the bye week off) in Philadelphia, I don’t know what his record was, it was pretty significant, we kind of shifted to this where we got guys away. They have been going for a while and so I think it is something that every team when it comes, sometimes it comes early, sometimes it comes later, but I think it will be a good break for them.”
I know you said you didn’t want this game to linger, is it pretty much flushed now?
“It always takes a couple of days, but the thing we ask our players to do and we have done the last five weeks, after a win there is that next day and then hey, it is time to move on. We have to approach a loss like that very much the same. You are looking at it closely trying to make the corrections and then clearly when we get started again next week that will be the case. I think it is similar to that.”
Is it a concern going forward about other people copying how the Patriots shut out Jimmy Graham on Sunday?
“If someone has Aqib Talib it is. Listen, he (Talib) is playing, he got injured I know, but I said at the beginning of the week, you watch the film on him, transitionally he is playing very well, strong at the line of scrimmage. He’s a good jam and reroute guy. He has the size so I think it fit and it was something that we kind of expected and then you just get into looking at where are the other matchups. We had a big play to Ben (Watson) in the first quarter where Talib was outside and Ben got matched up on a linebacker. Those are some of the things we do offensively and find those ways where we can move and create leverage points for Jimmy (Graham).”
Did you have any problem with the last play of the game?
“Look, no the last play, this is distribution of credit, assignment of blame Monday and so that is just the industry. And no there are so many different plays in that game, I thought Tom (Brady) made a great location throw and the receiver made a good catch above his head. You can’t beat yourself up over that. There are a lot of sequences that take place that you can look at. I think it was a good play by those guys.”
How were the Malcolm Jenkins and offsides penalties explained to you?
“They are two different types of calls. The fourth and one we have been good with. We put in different personnel and sometimes we will have a play we will run and sometimes we are not. I think because have gone for it quite a few times on fourth down bring authenticity to, hey a defense last week in Chicago we were able to take advantage of that and the call went the other way. I will leave it at that. The other calls are difficult. They are quick, bang bang, player safety I get all of that, you just understand you can’t control that. You don’t let consume you.”
How would you evaluate the first part of the season going into the bye?
“I said to the players today, I am encouraged that there are a handful of things we are going to work on and improve on. We haven’t played our best football and we are sitting at 5-1. You can easily look at a few games that could have gone a different direction but it didn’t. I like the work ethic, the competitive nature of this team. I like it a lot. I think that getting back after this bye, there are a few things we are able to clean up and work to improve on as we are ready to hit this long stretch of the season. We are 5-1 and we are getting ready for the seventh game.”
What are your thoughts in terms of the blocking technique of the Patriots and the last play of the game?
“(We are going) back to the things that we can’t control.”
What are your thoughts on Khiry Robinson?
“I think the ball came out on a play. When we were in Chicago for instance, we recognize that was going to be an opportunity to run the ball some, Pierre (Thomas) has played well up there and was playing well in that game. We may have thought that Khiry was going to receive more touches in that game and I thought he handled the opportunities outstanding yesterday. But the (emphasis on) ball security for a young player of understanding of how it is different in our league is something we will continue to work on (with him). But to answer your question, he’s been explosive. He’s been tough. He’s been hardnosed and we will continue to look at his snaps and evaluate how he fits in each game plan.”
New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Monday, October 14, 2013
Is the game already out of your system? Have you already moved on?
“No. It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, so we’re still angry. You watch the film and know there were a few things that could’ve made the difference in the game there, especially at the end. I think what it comes down to is just the fact that we gave them three opportunities at a two-minute drive and you give Tom Brady that many chances and he’s going to make you pay. I think for us offensively you just look at it and say, ‘Man, what could I have done differently? What could we have done differently? When the defense got that first stop, maybe just get one first down.’ They had all three timeouts, they had the two minute warning, so it seemed like everything kind of fell right into place for them trying to kind of salvage time. I think for us, we’ve got to be able to close the game out.”
I know a lot of people are scrutinizing if you throw a pass on that final series, but the bootleg didn’t seem like a bad call.
“Yeah at the point you’re absolutely trying to run the clock. If nothing else. Then just try to extend the play and run as much time as you can off the clock and just go down, make sure you hang onto the ball, and just punt it away. We had a couple of plays prior to that on the previous drive in their territory when we kicked the field goal where you just wish you could’ve just, man, found a way to get a first down, you know? Listen, we got four yards on the first play, we just didn’t execute very well on the next two. That’s something we need to get better at.”
Coach Payton said that he had no problem with the defensive coverage on the final play. He said it was just a perfect pass by Tom Brady and something you can’t control. After watching it a few times, do you agree?
“Yeah, I mean that’s a big receiver (Kenbrell Thompkins). You throw it up real high in the back of the end zone, kind of where he can get it or nobody, and he got it.”
Coach Payton was complimentary of New England and the job they did covering Jimmy Graham. You hear about this being a copycat league. Is this a concern for you all going forward in future games?
“No, because I think that early on the times where we threw the ball to him and he didn’t get the completion, it was good coverage, good technique. We were kind of playing into the technique that they were trying to play him with. I think that, really, if teams are bound to determine to take away Jimmy Graham, then there are plenty of other guys that can beat them. Then they’re going to have to worry about those guys and then Jimmy will (make them pay). Jimmy is going to make his plays every game, and I think it’s on us to find creative ways to get him in the positions we want him in order to make those plays. I think we all just kind of had not our best performance, and unfortunately we didn’t go a good enough job of getting Jimmy in those situations to be able to make plays. And then he got dinged up there at the end of the game, which kind of prevented him from being in there to make some as well.”
What do you take from these first six games? You won five, and yet Coach Payton says you all haven’t played your best yet.
“No, we haven’t played our best. Going into the bye week, I think this is good timing in that I think we’re going to get some guys healthy. Coming out of this game, we had some guys dinged up. We’ve had some guys – Roman Harper, Lance Moore – that have missed some time and that you’re kind of looking forward to getting back, (Mark) Ingram. We’ll kind of use this to our advantage, but also I think it’s just a good break in the season in that we went to training camp, we had four preseason games, we had six regular season games, so it’s kind of like it’s been ten weeks really since we’ve had a break like this, and going into that ten more games of the regular season and hopefully more where this is time to make that late-season run.”
How do you evaluate 5-1 when the one loss is with five seconds left at New England?
“Well, you know, we won one the first game of the season on a similar situation: 4th and goal, and we knock it down. We won in week two where we had no business winning that game. Sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t. You just hope that you’re in a position where more of them go your way than not because arguably half of the games in this league are decided by the last possession and at times the last play. You could say, certainly, that that’s been the case for our team. Three out of the six games have come down to literally the last play.”
Is this team as good as the 2009 team?
“I think we have the opportunity to be better. I think we’ve just scratched the surface. As well as our defense has played, I know that they’re sitting there going, ‘Man, there’s things that we could do better.’ Offensively, certainly I know there’s things we could do better. So when you’re sitting here at 5-1 and you’re able to say those things, then that’s a good thing.”
Marques Colston only had one catch yesterday. What was New England doing to him to prevent him from having much of an impact?
“Here’s the thing: you got back and say, ‘Man, we weren’t really efficient.’ I mean there were guys open at times that were – (I) just didn’t find them. That’s on me, that’s on all of us. Everybody who scored a touchdown yesterday was a guy who hadn’t scored one before. Here’s Khiry Robinson with an expanded role now, playing well. Travaris Cadet can get worked in and you see what he can do. Obviously (Nick) Toon and (Kenny) Stills are going to continue to get better with the more opportunities they get. I mean Stills, that was a huge catch at the end of the game to take the lead with three and a half minutes left. We’ve got some playmakers, and it just gives you a lot of hope and confidence for just the role that some of these guys can play as we move forward here.”
It wasn’t anything specific they were doing against Colston though?
“No. the ball just happened to go other places.”
New England had shown a propensity to rough up Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez in an earlier game two weeks ago. Did the Patriots putting Aqib Talib on Jimmy Graham catch you guys off guard?
“No, that was one of the scenarios that we figured might happen. He’s going to get doubled, he’s going to get hit off the line, he’s going to maybe get matched with Talib. We had all these different scenarios, and it’s different for different situations too, you know. What do they do in base defense, sub defense, third down, red zone? I mean there’s all kinds of different situations where a team is going to have a plan. We knew they’d have a plan and we knew that even though we didn’t know exactly what it was going to be – we’re going to have to wait until we got into the game – and then, you know, we had adjustments off of that. We just weren’t really efficient at executing those things.”
It seemed that Coach Payton was pretty level headed, even after losing a heart-breaking game yesterday. Was there anything you noticed about him?
“I think he knows how hard guys fought. He knows, I think, just the weight of this game, the gravity of this game, just how meaningful it was to all of us. For us to not play very well in the first half – here we are 17-7 coming into halftime – but yet, we just stayed the course and to take the lead in the fourth quarter and have a chance to win, that’s all you ask for. Man, everybody battled and everybody played their heart out and yet, some things just didn’t kind of fall our way, and that’s the way it goes sometimes. I think at times when you lose, especially a tough loss like that, you make more of an impact when you’re encouraging and very positive. And then hey, if we win that game, I’m sure he would’ve been more critical if we won that game. He’d say, ‘There are a few things here that could’ve gotten us beat. ‘ In reality, those things did get us beat. I think it’s all a learning process and I think, at times, human nature will tell you to do one thing when really you may need to just take a deep breath and do the other. I think after a loss, human nature would tell you to get all riled up, mad and angry and yell. But I think cooler heads prevail and Sean has a good feel for that. He said, ‘You guys battled. You played your heart out. It didn’t go our way this time, but there aren’t going to be many more like this. Let’s be ready to win those.’ “
What were you thinking when Tom Brady gets the ball back with 1:13 left on the sidelines?
“I’m thinking that this is the third chance we’re giving them. I know what my mindset would be at that point: there’s nothing that’s going to stop us. While I had the utmost confidence in our defense, I just know the player, I know the mindset. That’s on us as an offense; we can’t let them get back on the field.”
Describe that mindset.
“Well it’s like in Tampa. Just give us one more chance, right? And they miss a field goal, we’re going to win this game. Three plays later, we win the game. So they were feeling like we’re feeling right now. That’s why you love this game. That’s why fans love this game. That’s why there’s always a lot to talk about because there’s one play here, one play there that determine eighty percent of the games in this league. That’s why you love it.”
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