New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Sunday, August 19, 2018
“We had a couple different periods with different points of emphasis. Obviously we got two-minute in (the) red zone, a lot of third down work but overall a pretty good practice. These guys will be off tomorrow and then we will come back and get started on the Chargers.”
What do you want to see when they meet with the Chargers?
“Well look when you get a chance to practice with another team you get different formations offensively, different type of schemes defensively, different system and our experience last year with them was really good. It was competitive, and those guys do a good job, our guys practiced hard on both teams. I think it's a good workweek.”
How important is that to make sure you get good work in and that tempers do not flare during joint practices?
“I think it's important. Both teams have the same interest, you know? In other words, we're trying to improve, we're also trying to make the right decisions relative to our rosters and be healthy coming away from the practices and the games. It's just being smart and understanding what the common goal is. I think we can compete, play hard and I felt like a year ago that happened. Anthony [Lynn] and I of course worked together before (in Dallas) and so we're looking forward to it.”
Has anyone surprised you so far?
“No, I think each day there's been some good things and then periodically maybe a protection that we need to clean up but that still is ongoing.”
When you look at their bookend defensive ends and you’re practicing against them, seems like it would be good measure for the tackles?
“Yes, absolutely. It's a good pass-rush team, both of those guys, [Joey] Bosa and [Mark] Ingram played last night. We saw some of that game on TV, but those guys played really good football especially as the season went on last year. I think it’ll be good work for us.”
It's a team with a lot of talent across the board, right?
“Without studying the roster yet, I know Anthony and those guys have high expectations in their division, rightfully so. They've got a quarterback that's been successful throughout the course of his career. Their defense played extremely well last year and offensively, I think they were the top passing team in the league. So yes, I think there are two similar teams with the same aspirations and we have a chance to work with each other for a few days and then play again.”
Now that we’re in camp, what is the challenge of determining how much you want Mark prepared knowing the suspension is looming compared to the other guys?
“Last week we gave Mark a little bit more work than Alvin [Kamara]. We're deep, we have a number of healthy running backs that we're trying to evaluate, and we keep kind of just rotating who's up with the first group. We’ll do the same during the course of this week and for the game. We haven't really sat and laid out the playing time numbers yet, but we'll try to get more snaps in with the first group on both sides of the ball.”
Those wide receiver details you mentioned, how quickly can those guys get that cleaned up?
“I think daily. A lot of things are little things, and some come from inexperience, some of them were things that we just have to pay attention to. But they're working hard, and I think the most important thing is those guys have to paint a perfect picture for the quarterback and they'll make the right decisions. When the picture gets lost a little bit with a split or a depth, then process gets a little bit flawed.”
Is there more leniency when it’s a younger, new guy coming to the system than a veteran guy?
“Yes, there's a sense of urgency, but absolutely. There are some formations that are new to it. We have a few guys that just got here a week and a half ago. It’s important we get up to speed and it's the first step in the evaluation, ‘does the player know what to do?’ and I think we have to help get them there.”
You’ve been doing joint practices for years, has it been hard to find the right team?
“For years we practiced with Houston, and those were all I think experiences that were good work, then I think New England. Am I missing anybody? The Chargers, there's probably one other team in there. A lot of it's a schedule that generally comes with a preseason game, it's usually week two or week three. Some years you don't have that but generally it is in our second or third week and it's been someone that we’re getting ready to play.”
Was that second play by Marshon [Lattimore], was that an interception or did Mike [Thomas] take that to the ground?
“I think that's a down by contact. I didn't see it well, but he had a good day, Marshon got his hands on the ball quite a bit.”
How about [Benjamin] Watson since he’s come back?
“He's working and he's getting back into playing shape. It was good to get him some work last week because he didn't play in the first game. But I think he's progressing.”