New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
How satisfied are you with the offensive line play thus far this season and is it pretty much what you expected when you have a healthy group like this?
“I think it’s improved and I think whenever you have continuity at that position it helps. Andrus (Peat) is playing now. I feel like we have improved there, last week in particular. I like where we are at relative to the penalties. I think on the offensive line we’re one of the fewest penalized teams in football. There are always some little things you want to work on and this week will be a big test for us, but the continuity as you talked about is something that’s significant in our league.”
What have you seen from Willie Snead with the Ravens so far?
“In just the role you’d envision. Number one, he has a tremendous amount of grit, you see him making plays on third down. He’s an outstanding blocker. He’ll come across in motion, he’ll get to the point of attack in the run game, but he’ll also find the holes in the zone and man to man coverages. He’s doing real well.”
How would you characterize his time with the Saints?
“(He was) outstanding (for us). He was a guy (that) I remember when we practiced against the Patriots in training camp. That was when you just saw his toughness and man he was a tremendous competitor and someone that I certainly loved coaching and is one of those guys who was just going to make it and played real well for us.”
What does Mark (Ingram) specifically bring to your screen game?
“Another back familiar with it. It’s just a matter of what you want to set up and what type of screens you want to run. Some weeks we have don’t have a lot up. Some weeks we have more up depending on who we’re playing.”
Why do you think the Ravens run game has been so successful this year?
“I think, number one, you get a couple different looks. Quite a bit of looks. You get unbalanced. I think the runners have played well for them. I think they’ve given you some wrinkles with the (first) quarterback (Joe Flacco) and the second quarterback (Lamar Jackson) on the field. So I think it’s a combination of a number of things. I think their offensive line has played real well.”
The guys have said they have noticed something different with (Joe) Flacco maybe because of the rookie (Jackson) that they have behind him. Do you notice any of that when you watch film? Does he look like he is playing a little bit different this year?
“You go on and on and you measure your quarterback by wins and your losses, and your playoffs, and your Super Bowls. So his horse has got a ton of skins on it and he is a tremendous competitor. I think he’s one of those upper echelon players in our league. He’s got extremely rare arm talent. He’s first in the NFL outside the pocket and we just saw someone the other night who is pretty good outside the pocket. Flacco has the number one quarterback efficiency rating when he’s outside the pocket. So he’s not just in the pocket as a passer. He can create, he does a great job of locating guys down the field, he can get to those funny body throws. He’s a winner.”
I know it’s too early to reflect on Drew (Brees) record from last week, but did you do anything to celebrate him getting that achievement?
“No. And if there was anything I did it would not be for you guys. But there was no celebration. I mean we’re in the middle of the season. It was a special moment and yet, it was followed by a bye week.”
Is it nice having Cam Meredith be a bigger part of the offense last week and is he continuing to make some strides?
“Yes. I think both he and Tre’Quan (Smith) had more opportunities. We talked about this before heading into the game that eventually that balance throughout your unit of receivers (would happen). We’ll continue to look at that and keep finding ways to mix and match who’s in the game and how we can get them the ball.”