What Saints coach Sean Payton had to say about the Falcons 


New Orleans coach Sean Payton spoke to the Atlanta media on a conference call on Tuesday.

Here’s what Payton had to say: 

On the key to the Saints’ 9-3 start. “We started off the season slow and we played two pretty good teams, looking back now, in Minnesota and New England, but we didn’t play very well on either side of the ball. After that second loss, we went on the road for two games at Carolina and then at London verses Miami. We all felt, to a man, that was going to be an important two-game road trip for this team. Not to dig ourselves any farther in a hole. Fortunately, we played a better in game against Carolina and fortunately got the takeaways that you’re always hoping to get. Had some balance and then flew right from that game over to London and got ready to play Miami. I would say I think we’re young. We have a lot of young players on the roster. A lot of young first year starters when you start looking at whether if it’s the corner (Marshon) Lattimore, (tackle Ryan) Ramczyk and (safety) Marcus Williams has been starting. (Linebacker Alex) Anzalone was starting prior to his injury and then (running back Alvin) Kamara, (defensive end) Trey Hendrickson is playing. So, we felt it was an important draft for this team. We added some free agents. Look, there are a lot of things we’ve got to improve on and yet we’ve played a little bit better complimentary football where you’re looking at either time of possession or kind of each week trying to figure out how to win that game.”

On the play of Kamara (Norcross High, Alabama and Tennessee). “First off, we worked him out at Tennessee and after all of his pro days and what not. He’s a bright young man and he learns football well. So, whenever that takes place, the transition becomes a little quicker. He’s got a good understanding of the game and protections. The exposure for us was a little bit more in the passing game and yet you saw him in the running game there. Like a lot of the big schools, there are a lot of backs and they are splitting carries. But he’s done a good job. He and Mark (Ingram) have done a good job of giving us that balance that we search for. At one point when Adrian (Peterson) was here, he was very helpful in that. There is such a presence with Adrian and his work ethic and the way he trains. He’s one of those guys as a young player whether if your Alvin or Mark Ingram, you look up to a guy like that and you pay attention to the preparation. So, having that depth early on and I think Alvin has adjusted well. Each week there are things he’s learning and improving on a little bit like our team.”

On the challenges coming off a Super Bowl season. “As a coordinator in New York, I was a part of a Super Bowl in 2000. We played and had a real big NFC championship game and then we lost to the Ravens in a fairly lopsided game. Here, the second Super Bowl I was involved in and we were able to win. The first thing that comes up is the schedule because your calendar changes with the amount of football you play. With each team it’s different. Nowadays, there is roster turnover every year regardless of your team. It’s replacing players and trying to re-charge the batteries because you finish later. Then get ready knowing that the next season … it becomes even that much more difficult because people have that respect and know how well you played in the year prior.”

More on the luxury of having two backs Ingram and Kamara. “It’s a long season. It’s certainly a tough position in our league. Those guys, on Mondays they are sore. On Tuesdays, just the attrition with what they do requires rest and recovery. At times, you may be without one. I think that Bill (Parcells) told me in Dallas that you want to have depth and stack them there. We were always in the business, even in free agency with a Pierre Thomas, I’m talking college free agents. You go back and you look at

Khiry Robinson, Chris Ivory or Joique Bell, those are all guys who have either been on the practice squad. You are investing time in training players that possibly could be playing for you. I think in 2010, we were a wildcard team up in Seattle and by the end of the season we had two or three backs that were starting for us in games that really hadn’t been with us until Week 15. Julius Jones and (DeShawn Wynn and Joique Bell)….I think the depth and the development is important. When you have what you have in Atlanta. You don’t take that for granted. You have guys that are fresh that can come in an help offset some of the challenge of a long schedule. Take this week for instance, you played Sunday and you’re going to play Thursday. That’s difficult especially on positions like a runner.”

THROWBACK TUESDAY: Alvin Kamara at Norcross high 

On defending the different styles of Falcons running back Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. “They are both fantastic backs. We feel like we know them very well in our division. Those guys both have done an outstanding job. Man, I mean, they understand the scheme and they are versatile in regards to their protections. I think it’s a tremendous challenge when you have the speed. They are guys that you have to play well as a defensive 11. Because they can kind of cut back and make you defend the whole field. Atlanta has done a great job, Dan’s done a great job and their staff has of putting them in those positions of making it really challenging. I think they’ve been a big part of the offensive success there and big weapon for Matt and the offense there and also for the defense.”

On how differently he deploys Ingram and Kamara. “Some weeks we (see) more man defense and some more zone. So, a lot of that can be based on the opponent. Mark has very good versatility and receiver, a blocker and as a runner. I think a lot of it would be dependent on the type of game, type of defense we are playing.”

  


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