this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Posted by dtatum November 01, 2007 Opening statement: "The three players that did not practice were Scott Shanle (hamstring), Jeff Faine (pectoral), and Charles Grant (ankle). Alfred Fincher was limited still. We'll see where these guys are at tomorrow." Which ...
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Transcript of Sean Payton's Thursday press conference
Posted by dtatum
November 01, 2007
"The three players that did not practice were Scott Shanle (hamstring), Jeff Faine (pectoral), and Charles Grant (ankle). Alfred Fincher was limited still. We'll see where these guys are at tomorrow."
Which hamstring is injured for Shanle?
"I believe it's his left hamstring."
Using a watermark analogy, is .500 a very symbolic place to get to, especially after the start you had?
"It gets you back to an even spot at the half-way point of the season. After this game, we will have played eight games. Before we can win number five we have to win number four and the opportunity starts this weekend."
Is it nice to get rid of the albatross of the 0-4 start?
"When you put together some wins, it builds some confidence. It's a lot better than still sitting here working for the first or second win. That being said, there are still a lot of things we have to do to play better. In this game, our margin for error will be a lot less. We're playing a real good team."
Brian Young was a full-go today?
What has he shown over the past few weeks?
"He's an active player. He's active inside. He's an effort guy that plays with a lot of energy. He gives you good downs in the run and gives you a good rush from inside at the tackle position. That's a credit to his ability and also to his work; he's one of those guys that goes hard."
Is there a difference when you know that you're going to be going up against a very physical team?
"There's a challenge about it because if you don't match that intensity, then you can look bad. You have to be able to play a physical game or else usually you'll end up on the wrong side of the docket. That's why these guys present a big challenge. There are certain things that they're going to do in the running game that they've done each week. They have a real good balance with the two backs and they block real well. They have a good front - probably one of the best offensive lines we've played all year."
Is that kind of challenge one of the things that makes football fun?
"It's a physical game and generally when the game is over - not all the time, but most of the time - the team that wins is the one that plays better in the fronts. If you can hurry a passer, his chances of being as good diminish. If you can't hurry him, his chances of being successful go way up. That goes with the running game and everything else and it really starts in the trenches."
Since the point you were asked about making personnel changes at 0-4, what has been the best development on the field?
"I think we've done a better job of eliminating the things that keep you from winning, be it the turnovers, the fumbles, interceptions. We've done a better job of keeping the ball in front of us and not allowing the pass plays behind us that plagued us early on. Those are some specific things. We've done a better job on our third down on defense and offense. I think that's one of the reasons that we've been able to win rather than lose."
Do your defensive guys feel like they're underrated as a run defense?
"They've done a good job against the teams we've played of late in defending the run. This team we're playing Sunday is a lot better running the football than some of the teams we've played. They're one of the better running teams in our league, so this will be a big test."
Is there anything that worries you about playing against a backup quarterback?
"I think you have to prepare for a different player, but you prepare for the offense. (Quinn Gray) is a guy that they've rallied around and he's shown leadership ability. He's someone that they have confidence in or he wouldn't have been on their roster for the last few years. You prepare for the offense. He's someone who has a strong arm. He has poise - you can see that on film. The thing you see about their team is that they care only about the end result, about winning. That's really what you judge a quarterback by, and that's what we try to preach. We're only concerned with getting the win; we're not concerned with the style in which we get it whether we throw it or run it."
Is there usually a big improvement for a quarterback from the first start to the second start?
"Any time you're gaining more reps and more experience, there's a good chance that you're improving. As he gets this work with the number-one offense all through practice, normally you don't get a lot - Jamie (Martin) doesn't get a lot of work here - it can only help you."
Would you expect them to adjust the play-calling after figuring out what he's more comfortable with?
"I think they'll continue to expand as they see fit."
Transcript of Sean Payton's Thursday press conference - New Orleans Saints Beat - Times-Picayune NFL - NOLA.com