Coach Sean Payton's Friday Review before Saints-Cowboys
The familiarity with these two teams, you with (Tony) Romo, Romo with Rob (Ryan), how much do you think that could play in the result on Sunday?
“I would say very little. I think to understand, I know that question is asked a lot, but each week there is some tie. We spend an abundant amount of hours watching video. The thing about our league is you get every game. So the information is there for you and maybe 20, 25 years ago, 10 years ago, I don’t think it would matter much. Typically if there any information to be gained, as a coach that was with another team, it would just be about personnel. But that would be what are the players’ strengths? What are they players’ weaknesses? Does it confirm what you are seeing on tape? I think very little in regards to the outcome.”
You’ve played Dallas three of the last four years, does that help you prepare?
“With the way the schedule is shaped, you could pick a team like Chicago who we’ve seen quite a bit, and it happens to be coincidence on how you finish in the division, (or) how another team finishes. There is that constant change. There is a different defensive coordinator (Monte Kiffin) and personnel changes quite a bit from year to year, but I think I can recall playing when I was at Dallas playing New Orleans one time here in New Orleans (in Dec. 28, 2003). Year to year it is different. The teams are different. There certainly are adjustments to what both teams are doing with regards to scheme. I think from a familiarity standpoint it might be just getting to see another game week preparation on a Jason Witten no different than being able to study Marques Colston. I think from a personnel standpoint you get a little more familiar with (an NFC team such as Dallas) rather than an AFC team that you haven’t played in four years that you don’t have the same appreciation for maybe in regards to on the field what a player looks like, how he runs, how he carries his pads, that type of thing.”
Is last week an example that this defense is a little bit different without Malcolm Jenkins?
“In our league, every team deals with injuries. Typically if it’s a starter that has been injured the next man up you hear everyone say is exactly right, and yet he is one of our leaders. He is a captain and a good football player for us and is having a very good season. I don’t know with the way we played last week that one player offensively or defensively would have made a difference in a game like that. You are always hoping to be healthy. You hear that as you get down to the second half of the season. You are hoping that most of your guys that have taken the snaps in the first half of the season are with you and yet that is always in a state of flux. It is with us this week and it is with Dallas as well.”
Do you sense how personal this game might be for Rob Ryan?
“I don’t think, because I’ve been in games where my first year in Dallas in 2003, we went back and played the (New York) Giants on Monday Night Football. (The game) Went into overtime if I’m not mistaken and we ended up in a hard-fought win. I think that just by the nature of what we do, the appreciation for just a win each week and how difficult it is to get that, I think that a lot of that is overblown. Last week he had a chance to compete against his twin brother. A few weeks prior to that, there was another tie between players. Each week with our league there’s always going to be a connection. It’s not like Fast Times at Ridgemont High where you had the one defensive tackle that just blew up the whole game. Guys are trying to do their best. I always get a kick when they say, ‘Will there be some extra film study?’ We’re studying and preparing as best we can each week, and the worth of a win or the detriment of a loss is the same each week. When you play a game on national television, you want to put your best foot forward. But, do you prepare any differently? From a playing standpoint, the players with a good plan will end up deciding the outcome. I think a lot of that is a little overblown.”
Were you surprised that Dallas let Rob Ryan go?
“I can’t speak on behalf of any other team’s decisions. At that moment, I was transitioning back into our team that won seven games the year prior. It’s hard to look at anyone else’s house when yours has got a little fire in it too.”
What did you like about Rob when you hired him?
“I like his personality. I like (that) he’s passionate about the game. You’re always looking for people that have that passion about teaching, about coaching football. I think he’s an outstanding staff member. I think he’s very good in that regard. You grow to appreciate that the more and more you do this. I think that his players play hard too, and I think all those things have served him well and for us have served us well.”
He was pretty outspoken in Dallas. Has he toned it down or have you had conversation with him about that?
“No. Listen. There’s kind of a way we do things. Every team is a little bit uniquely different, but I’m pleased that we were able to hire him. It’s pretty typical of our league. There’s always transition at the end of seasons with players and coaches. It’s pretty normal.
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