Saints quotebook: Sean Payton: November 15, 2018

Head coach talks about Alvin Kamara, Eli Apple and more

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Conference Call with Local Media

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Is Alvin (Kamara) a guy who seems to have a nose for the goal line, has an uncanny way of being able to score?

“I would think that’s accurate. I think that’s a strength of his. I would say the same relative to the third and one we had versus the Rams. He understands how to finish a run. He’s also real good relative to transition and quartering the defense, moving them and then cutting up, slowing down, speeding up, and then cutting up. He’s very gifted that way.”

Is that one of those things where you have to get the guy into the building to find outor is it something you can see on tape ahead of time?

“There’s some traits that you see on college film. It’s hard to project 100 percent of the time. Some of the traits that were more revealing with him were relative to the passing game. But you knew he was athletic and you knew he was very smooth, relative to how he runs. You saw the balance. He just didn’t have the body of work (in college).”

Do you usually see that characteristic in a player so young and early in his career?

“It’s something that’s generally not developed. Don’t get me wrong when I say that, but there’s a natural ability. (Marshall) Faulk had it when I coached him. We’ve had a handful of players that have had it. We’re talking about that running instinct to get a yard or two yards and understanding how to do it. I think it’s easier for some than others.”

Eli Apple caught his first pick since 2016 on Sunday, how much can a play like that help a player’s confidence?

“I think always, the things you do on the field, I’ve said before, move forward and lead to confidence.”

Max Unger said this has been the toughest stretch of defensive lines that he’s faced in his career. How difficult has this stretch been for the guys up front and how do you think they’ve handled it?

“They’ve obviously handled it well. The stretch of games relative to some of these inside players, the Rams game was one where we backed off the practice the next week. Each game there’s a stress and a toll on the front. I think we’ve played some really good fronts of late.”

Is it fair to say some of the linemen have been getting just a little more rest these last few weeks?

“Yes we look at the snap count (in games). If you look at the snap count, if you look at the participation chart (practice report), you’ll see limited. That’s what that means.”

Alex Anzalone has made some really big plays the last few weeks. How much have you seen him progress this season after coming back from the injury?

“He has real good instincts and I think that’s almost a must at that position, but it’s something that helps him tremendously. He has good ball skills. I think he plays in space very well. I’ve felt a step (forward) in the last two to three weeks where it’s hard for us to say we’re not keeping him on the field the whole time and yet we’re being smart with that. But he’s doing real well.” 

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