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Sean Payton talks about Saturday's scrimmage



New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Training Camp Media Availability
Friday, August 1, 2014
 
Opening Statement:
“Tomorrow morning (the practice followed by the scrimmage) will be the same start time, 8:50 a.m., just with regards to warm-up.  We should be on the upper field here, the far field.”
 
How do you find a balance on defense between guys that are really good against the pass and really good against the rush?
 
“You are looking for the complete player.  Obviously we play situationally, so there are certain players that will come on the field in obvious passing situations.  Parys (Harlason) is stout against the run and yet one of the things that attracted us to him a year ago was that he gave you some ability to get an edge in the pass rush.  So a lot of it is situational, a lot of it is depending on your personnel and then being smart playing to your strengths.”
 
What is the status of Champ Bailey?
 
“No status (update).  We don’t discuss injuries during training camp.  That is not new either.”
 
What are your takeaways from the red zone battles today?
 
“It kind of went back and forth, it was our first install so you saw some assignments on both sides of the ball.  We will pick that back up on Monday after we scrimmage tomorrow.  Hopefully we can create some red zone opportunities within the framework of the scrimmage.  From an install standpoint, we will go back on Monday and kind of have a similar practice we had today with not a new install but just covering the red zone, points of emphasis.”
 
Can you talk about how well Pierre Warren has been playing?
 
“Well he has pretty good football instincts.  For a lot of these guys, for their ability to pick things up and then take it to the field, especially with where we are at now in our first week of camp, it really helps them.  The guys that struggle sometimes are the guys that don’t exactly, that aren’t 100% sure of what to do. I think that has helped him”
 
Can you talk about the fumble snap between Drew Brees and Jonathon Goodwin?
 
“We had two.  Look we have a couple of different centers and we are rotating those players and it is just a matter of us paying attention to the detail.  That is something that doesn’t happen a lot.  Obviously we need to do a better job of coaching it and practicing it.  They got some work in after practice and we will continue to make that a point of emphasis because it just puts a damper to the drill especially when the first play starts off like that.”
 
Anything in particular you are looking for tomorrow in the scrimmage?
 
“Hopefully we can create enough situations.  We typically will script throughout the period of the scrimmage, special teams situations via punt (and) kickoff, but with regards to offense and defense, you want to see guys playing fast.  We’ll limit the amount of calls we have and try to get to the nuts and bolts to a lot of things we do so the players can play fast and then we will look real close at the tape.”
 
Can you talk about Brandon Coleman?
 
“I think he is stronger in his lower body.  He is a little bit further removed from the injury he had his last year at Rutgers. I see him carrying his weight a little bit better in this fall training camp then he was able to in the spring.”
 
Can you talk about the defense today?
 
“I thought their pad level was better today.  I mentioned this a few days ago, it’s kind of a seven man front so I thought their intensity and get off was very good.  We will see it on film, but I thought compared to the other seven-on-sevens, it stood out.”
 
Can you compare to having training camp at The Greenbrier compared to New Orleans?
 
“Obviously the temperatures are different so what’s noticeable to me, you can start with the IVs and the lack thereof, but the water breaks we take don’t have to be as long (as in Metairie).  We don’t have to have as many.  You can kind of sense it.  One of the things, we will put down one break per practice (in the schedule), but whenever we have been in heat, that might be four really, where they hydrate and we take what time is necessary.  Even after a special teams drill there’s a lot of running going on, we will have a break.  It seems, I’m very certain the recovery though has been quicker and the amount of breaks that we’ve had to take is fewer.”
 
Does it help the soft tissue injuries?
 
“I think everyone is looking to reduce those type of injuries, the hamstrings, the groins, all of those that give you problems and the more and more research that comes out, the more and more you hear about hydration.  I think from the simple fact of players hydration levels being a little higher, it is something that we have to pay attention to when we get back home and transition from here back into the heat of Metairie.  I think they do go hand in hand.”
 
Do you think having training camp at the Greenbrier helps the younger guys stay focused?
 
“I think for all of them, you are always trying to avoid that point in practice where they are just trying to get through it.  I think that is a much higher wall than here if it would be if you were in 100-degree temperature.  There is still that balance of getting in condition.  I do think from a retention standpoint, teaching environment, it is better.”
 
How many former players have you heard from complaining about not getting this treatment?
 
“I am sure there are a lot of former players that are (complaining).  It is hard to envision the environment here.  Every one of us before we got here last week had maybe a little idea, but the staff here, everyone involved in getting this facility ready from the fields to the Performance Center, the weight room, there was a lot of work done (to complete it).  It has obviously exceeded everyone’s expectations.  They have been great.  I said this at the beginning, when you have a good training camp experience it is not really about (the) buildings or (the) fields; it is generally about the people.  This has been fantastic that way.”
 
What do you expect out of Shayne Graham this year?
 
“He is a very consistent kicker.  Statistically his numbers over the course of a career have been really, really good.  In the brief time we have had him, he’s been very consistent.  He had the last game in Seattle, which was really almost impossible with conditions.  We have a good competition there.  He is someone that has a routine and he is in good shape.  I think the one full offseason with us has been good.  Just that consistency and knowing kind of the distances and where the comfort zone is when it comes to making a decision as to hey, let’s get inside the 28 or inside the 30 for a field goal, but his percentages have been outstanding.”
 
What do the coaches from around West Virginia and Virginia get out of you having camp here?
 
“A lot of the staffs, today, we had two or three different staffs.  I know Virginia Tech was here, I know Marshall was here.  We had West Virginia here earlier in the week.  We had a number of college coaches come out.  I think it is beneficial even if you come away with a drill you didn’t have before you came or maybe a technique or something you saw.  It seems like a while ago, but when I was in college we went and had a chance to visit with the Steelers and had a chance to visit with the Bears and then actually spent two days up in Wisconsin visiting with the Saints when I was coaching at Miami of Ohio.  You always come away from those trips learning a little bit more and trying to pick up on a few things that might be applicable to your team or your position group.  We like having them in and then they’ll have a room where they can watch tape and certainly they’ll have time with position coaches for questions.  It’s always good to shoot ideas back and forth (with them).  We actually gain something as well.  We have a chance to visit with them about their scheme, about their players coming out next year for the draft.  We always try to open the doors to college coaches as well as high school.”
 
What did Khiry Robinson have to develop this year?
 
“I think the assignments with regards to pass protection.  That is probably the most challenging element for a running back.  There’s a handful of different protections and so becoming more familiar and more functional in that area.”
 
Can you talk about helping Tulane out by letting them use your facilities while you are here?
 
We’ve always had a good close relationship.  Clearly with C.J. (Curtis Johnson) being the head coach there, whether it is a bowl game schedule they are on or a weather schedule with the building of their new stadium, there’s a transition facility-wise and we are always open to helping them any way we can.  They have been great supporters of our program and I feel like we do the same with theirs.”
 
Do you get a sense that the veterans are amped up for the scrimmage?
 
“I think they treat each day as an important, we are really at one practice a day opposed to two.  It is a little easier to get yourself mentally and physically ready for that one practice with this afternoon’s being more of a walk through.  I expect the same type of intensity tomorrow morning and then there will be a break and we will come back Monday and start again.”

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