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SmashMouth 09-18-2010 07:33 AM

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Post-Practice Press Conference Transcript
Opening Statement: “The (injury) report is the same as yesterday in regards to our injuries. (Jonathan) Vilma with his groin was full. Anthony Waters (hamstring) did not practice. Zach Strief, knee did not practice and Chris Ivory, knee, did not practice. Today was much like a Thursday for us with a nickel emphasis on third down. Tomorrow we’ll be on red zone, goal line, short yardage.”

You mentioned that last Friday that you looked at statistics for teams’ performance in their first game and the correlation that might have with postseason. Have you seen what it is for a team going 2-0? “I haven’t.”

I’ve heard it’s 65 percent? “The spot we’re in is trying to circle the next opponent and put everything possible into that plan and that preparation. That’s something that I think these players understand having gone through it. I think we recognize this is the only game we can play and it will be a challenging game.”

You seem to be very good at getting your team’s attention against an opponent that has had a lot of recent success. How do you get your team’s attention against a team that just got whacked like San Francisco did at Seattle? “I think our players understand this league more than anything and they understand when you look at the film really, there are a couple turnovers and a couple big plays by Seattle’s offense, a couple double moves that end up scoring touchdowns, but if you watch the body of work clearly on this team, I think that speaks for itself. As they watch the tape on this defense and they watch the tape on this offense they see the things that we have to be able to handle. Each week that can vary, depending on the team we’re playing. I think they do a pretty good job of not really paying attention to as much the end result or the score, but more importantly the scheme or individuals executing. That’s what you have to do. This team opening up at home on a Monday night…Our players are smart enough to understand that we’re going to have to play our best football to win and be in this game. That’s just the truth. That’s not anything more than that.”

You talked about the 49ers defense some yesterday. Do you think this is a really good defense? “It is. When you go back and you study how they played last year against some of the better offenses, Indianapolis Colts for instance at Indy..I watched that film last night, you watch how they can take the ball away. Houston had a big lead and very quickly they forced two fumbles. They’re back in that game. You look at the Minnesota tape on the road last year where they certainly should have won. If you just take the best of the NFC and AFC has to offer and find the games where they played those top teams. That film itself just shows you where they’re at. Those are the tapes. You can’t’ watch enough of the film. Those are the games that really stick out in your mind when you watch other teams that have really good offenses. You see this front, the way they create turnovers and how they’re playing at the back end.”

Are they a team that plays up or down to their level of competition? “I wouldn’t say that. What they’ve begun to do there is that they have a lot invested in that defense and it starts with Patrick Willis, who’s a Pro Bowl linebacker. The guys up front they have are doing an exceptional job. It’s certainly evident on film.”

Can you talk about scouting Alex Smith when he was coming out of Utah, where he was then and where he is now? “I think all of us evaluate those early parts of the drafts. Certainly he was taken first. He was a guy that won a lot of games at Utah. He can run and beat you with his feet. He has a live arm and seems to have really, after he went through some struggles early in his career has gotten back and played some good football, especially at the latter part of last season. He’s athletic and he is something that poses the threat of not only throwing the football, but running the football”

How challenging can it be for a quarterback like him in that he’s worked with so many different offensive coordinators and worked with so much offensive terminology? “I think that can certainly play a factor in the growth. You’re always hoping you have continuity within a program, yet in our league more so now than ever before there’s change constantly with offenses and defenses. Each year almost a third of the league if not that, changes out. I think if you traced defensive coordinators three years, ago, currently there’s five or two years ago there’s five that are with the same team today. The same applies on offense. Those changes take place and that can hurt the quarterback. That can slow down his process if that’s causing him to learn system after system. That becomes challenging.”

Is it important that each of your five captains knows the pulse of the team? “I think so. I think that’s certainly one of their responsibilities. They’re veteran players that understand the process and what’s expected. They were voted on by their teammates. I think they take that responsibility seriously.”

Do you let the team work through those guys? “I think anytime, whether it’s in a team meeting with everyone or potentially strictly with Jon Vilma, or Drew Brees or Will Smith, I think every once in a while there are some specific points you might want to bring up with those guys and it might mean that we have to get this locker room straightened up where we’re not keeping it clean enough or it might mean something specially pertaining to the game. They do a good job of that. I think their experience, success and the confidence their teammates have in them, helps them in that.”

It seems like when we speak to Drew, he’s not only speaking for himself, but as a representative of the team? “I think that’s accurate. I think he understands it and takes that message and rolls with it seriously.”

You said Sedrick Ellis got a game ball last Thursday against the Vikings. How did he perform? “He’s very athletic. He gives us versatility in the early downs as a guy who can play against the run and rush the passer in nickel situations. He’s really right at a good weight for himself. He’s moving well. It was great to see the camp that he had carry over into the first game of the season. He’s doing a good job. He’s healthy. He’s certainly one of our key contributors on that defense.”

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QBREES9 09-19-2010 12:07 AM

You said Sedrick Ellis got a game ball last Thursday against the Vikings.

I like this.

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