Saints quotebook: Head coach Sean Payton (August 15, 2018)

Saints are going to "ramp up" Marcus Davenport's schedule

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

When you were doing two-minute there, was that no time-outs and trying to get into field goal range?

“What we did it a little differently, that was the end of the first half. Every half ends that way. When we typically do end of game, there is a need (for) three (points) or need (for) seven (points). End of half, you’re really looking to score period. It was end of half, no timeouts and end of half, one timeout. The understanding (is) that the half tries to get extended. If I feel like our defense gets a stop and the clock is running, I might use a timeout to try to get another possession. Most of it all was end of the second quarter.”

What is the cutoff of time, if you’re a defensive player, that you cannot let a player go out of bounds and if it’s inbounds they won’t have time to get their field goal team out?

“We look at 16 to 17 seconds, we feel like we can get a field goal unit on the field. South of that, you're going to run out of time, so that's a whole different situation. Nonetheless, the idea that for a lot of these younger players if we’re in the second quarter and there is under a minute left or two minutes left, someone's going to be in two-minute offense each game. No one's in the four-minute. You can't always guarantee at the end of the game, but someone's going to be in a two-minute offense at the end of the half.”

Do you traditionally have checkpoints after doing this for so long, how much you want to see in each preseason game or does it vary from team to team?

“I think to some degree we do. Then there are some things that maybe deviate and change. It might be the health of certain players. We'll have more players healthy for this game than we did for Jacksonville. Then there'll be certain goals for the game. When we meet, we'd like to see these (for example these) eight players playing earlier, to receive a good evaluation. That can vary each year based on who the players are. There are some things that year-to-year don't change as much, certainly with your own personnel, there are some variables.”

What is different about Trey Hendrickson this year than last year?

“He has a good grasp as to what we are doing. He is stronger. Fortunately, right now he is healthy. You feel him. There is a presence to him. (He is) In his second year now, knowing what we are doing, we have seen some really good things in practice, so hopefully that can continue. He’s played well.”

How has the transition of tight end to tackle been for Nate Wozniak?

“I think it's been good, and yet it’s a difficult switch. He's a developmental guy that I think has gotten better. He's begun to carry a little bit more weight. He's linear, so there's some strength to that, and also some challenges to pad level that he's working through. I think for him, it’s going to be important in the long picture, regarding each offseason and (each) practice. You take a small outlook, or you could take a larger. It's going to be just the steady improvement, but I think he's gotten more and more comfortable. The key is strength relative to some of the guys he's playing against. When he gets someone that's powerful, it becomes a lot more challenging just because of his anchor. But he's a developmental player and he's competing.”

How important has the offensive line been to the reshaping of the roster the past three years and how intentional was it?

“You have heard me say this before, It’s a position group that permeates your team. I think it's one of the more, if not the most, important position group. There’s so much they're responsible for. They can bring an attitude to your team and that can kind of permeate through the locker room. Obviously, they are smart. There's a toughness element to them and I think that, generally, when you look at a good football team, you’re seeing the team that has a good offensive line, both with the protection, and also with the running game. There's a lot that goes into it. It’s obviously a position group that we feel strongly about, whether it's in free agency or in the draft, using resources to improve.”

Was there something very deliberate done to that area? ’15 was a year you all really started making some roster changes trading for Max Unger.

“There's been incremental steps to it. The draft selection of Ryan Ramczyk, that comes as he’s available for our second first round pick. Going out and finding Larry Warford from Detroit, we felt we needed a guard. Each year, there is this vision as to the whole picture. It is a group that we put resources into.”

When you say for Trey (Hendrickson) you can feel him, did you feel like that feistiness was going to transfer from college to here?

“You saw toughness in the player and that is a great trait. There is a physical presence to him. It is not necessarily the feistiness, it is how a player plays between the whistles and can he defend the run. Can he affect the pass? Do we consider him a pressure player or not? What are the things that we think he does very well, and then let's try to do those things? I think in year two, he’s a guy that’s in the mix and definitely for playing.”

When you’re looking at improving on third down offense and defense, what would you say is the number one thing?

“I think offensively, there's a handful of things that go into that. You are going to have to be able to separate from man-to-man tight coverage, especially on the early third downs, third and two, three, four. Generally, you are going to have to have smart players that understand coverage and when coverages change. Your protection’s extremely important. You've got to have a third down running back, who you feel can handle the pressure. Defensively, it's contesting those throws. It's having a grasp as to the down, the distance, and understanding what the opponents are trying to do. It's a technique, it's fundamentals and it's awareness as to the down and the distance. Also, what we're trying to take away, and where is it weak.”

As a coach, how do you balance talking to the defense and wanting them to get the stop there, and then coaching the offense and wanting them to get into field goal range in a drill? Is that ever difficult?

“At times. If one side of the ball or the other doesn't practice particularly well, and the other side does, there's a part of you that's frustrated, yet encouraged with the performance of the other side. It's a teaching situation with time left on the clock, understanding a chunk play is what we cannot give up, and the underneath throws are what we want to give up. We got baited there for an underneath throw. A ball went in behind, and if you're looking at the clock, say wait a minute, we back up, blew a whistle, and here's how much time is left in the game. Let's let them throw that underneath throw eight times in a row.”

Is that play as simple as that?

“That was an example of just football awareness. We need to understand where the clock was. I think we were inside of 35 seconds, so it’s just playing smart. Whether it’s an offensive mistake or defensive mistake, I'm responsible for.”

Will Drew (Brees) play in this preseason game?

“We’ll see.”

How good was it to have (Marcus) Davenport back out there today?

“It's good. The news we're hearing is really good, so he's going to be kind of ramping up and accelerated (schedule), with regards to getting back on the field.”

Is he ready for the preseason game?

“We’ll see.”Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When you were doing two-minute there, was that no time-outs and trying to get into field goal range?

“What we did it a little differently, that was the end of the first half. Every half ends that way. When we typically do end of game, there is a need (for) three (points) or need (for) seven (points). End of half, you’re really looking to score period. It was end of half, no timeouts and end of half, one timeout. The understanding (is) that the half tries to get extended. If I feel like our defense gets a stop and the clock is running, I might use a timeout to try to get another possession. Most of it all was end of the second quarter.”

What is the cutoff of time, if you’re a defensive player, that you cannot let a player go out of bounds and if it’s inbounds they won’t have time to get their field goal team out?

“We look at 16 to 17 seconds, we feel like we can get a field goal unit on the field. South of that, you're going to run out of time, so that's a whole different situation. Nonetheless, the idea that for a lot of these younger players if we’re in the second quarter and there is under a minute left or two minutes left, someone's going to be in two-minute offense each game. No one's in the four-minute. You can't always guarantee at the end of the game, but someone's going to be in a two-minute offense at the end of the half.”

Do you traditionally have checkpoints after doing this for so long, how much you want to see in each preseason game or does it vary from team to team?

“I think to some degree we do. Then there are some things that maybe deviate and change. It might be the health of certain players. We'll have more players healthy for this game than we did for Jacksonville. Then there'll be certain goals for the game. When we meet, we'd like to see these (for example these) eight players playing earlier, to receive a good evaluation. That can vary each year based on who the players are. There are some things that year-to-year don't change as much, certainly with your own personnel, there are some variables.”

What is different about Trey Hendrickson this year than last year?

“He has a good grasp as to what we are doing. He is stronger. Fortunately, right now he is healthy. You feel him. There is a presence to him. (He is) In his second year now, knowing what we are doing, we have seen some really good things in practice, so hopefully that can continue. He’s played well.”

How has the transition of tight end to tackle been for Nate Wozniak?

“I think it's been good, and yet it’s a difficult switch. He's a developmental guy that I think has gotten better. He's begun to carry a little bit more weight. He's linear, so there's some strength to that, and also some challenges to pad level that he's working through. I think for him, it’s going to be important in the long picture, regarding each offseason and (each) practice. You take a small outlook, or you could take a larger. It's going to be just the steady improvement, but I think he's gotten more and more comfortable. The key is strength relative to some of the guys he's playing against. When he gets someone that's powerful, it becomes a lot more challenging just because of his anchor. But he's a developmental player and he's competing.”

How important has the offensive line been to the reshaping of the roster the past three years and how intentional was it?

“You have heard me say this before, It’s a position group that permeates your team. I think it's one of the more, if not the most, important position group. There’s so much they're responsible for. They can bring an attitude to your team and that can kind of permeate through the locker room. Obviously, they are smart. There's a toughness element to them and I think that, generally, when you look at a good football team, you’re seeing the team that has a good offensive line, both with the protection, and also with the running game. There's a lot that goes into it. It’s obviously a position group that we feel strongly about, whether it's in free agency or in the draft, using resources to improve.”

Was there something very deliberate done to that area? ’15 was a year you all really started making some roster changes trading for Max Unger.

“There's been incremental steps to it. The draft selection of Ryan Ramczyk, that comes as he’s available for our second first round pick. Going out and finding Larry Warford from Detroit, we felt we needed a guard. Each year, there is this vision as to the whole picture. It is a group that we put resources into.”

When you say for Trey (Hendrickson) you can feel him, did you feel like that feistiness was going to transfer from college to here?

“You saw toughness in the player and that is a great trait. There is a physical presence to him. It is not necessarily the feistiness, it is how a player plays between the whistles and can he defend the run. Can he affect the pass? Do we consider him a pressure player or not? What are the things that we think he does very well, and then let's try to do those things? I think in year two, he’s a guy that’s in the mix and definitely for playing.”

When you’re looking at improving on third down offense and defense, what would you say is the number one thing?

“I think offensively, there's a handful of things that go into that. You are going to have to be able to separate from man-to-man tight coverage, especially on the early third downs, third and two, three, four. Generally, you are going to have to have smart players that understand coverage and when coverages change. Your protection’s extremely important. You've got to have a third down running back, who you feel can handle the pressure. Defensively, it's contesting those throws. It's having a grasp as to the down, the distance, and understanding what the opponents are trying to do. It's a technique, it's fundamentals and it's awareness as to the down and the distance. Also, what we're trying to take away, and where is it weak.”

As a coach, how do you balance talking to the defense and wanting them to get the stop there, and then coaching the offense and wanting them to get into field goal range in a drill? Is that ever difficult?

“At times. If one side of the ball or the other doesn't practice particularly well, and the other side does, there's a part of you that's frustrated, yet encouraged with the performance of the other side. It's a teaching situation with time left on the clock, understanding a chunk play is what we cannot give up, and the underneath throws are what we want to give up. We got baited there for an underneath throw. A ball went in behind, and if you're looking at the clock, say wait a minute, we back up, blew a whistle, and here's how much time is left in the game. Let's let them throw that underneath throw eight times in a row.”

Is that play as simple as that?

“That was an example of just football awareness. We need to understand where the clock was. I think we were inside of 35 seconds, so it’s just playing smart. Whether it’s an offensive mistake or defensive mistake, I'm responsible for.”

Will Drew (Brees) play in this preseason game?

“We’ll see.”

How good was it to have (Marcus) Davenport back out there today?

“It's good. The news we're hearing is really good, so he's going to be kind of ramping up and accelerated (schedule), with regards to getting back on the field.”

Is he ready for the preseason game?

“We’ll see.”

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