Saints quotes Wednesday from England
Quotes from Sean Payton, Cam Jordan, Drew Brees, A.J. Klein, and P.J. Williams after Wednesday Sept. 27 practice.
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Conference Call with New Orleans and International Media
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
When someone comes into a role where they don’t receive the snaps they ordinarily would, how do you evaluate if they are a good fit?
“Anybody we bring in, I think the most important thing is the vision and secondly communicating the vision. I’m not sure what player you’re discussing, but yes, we would typically have a vision for the player and go through it.”
Can you talk about having Willie Snead back and the role you envision for him at first if he plays?
“We’ll see. We’ll wait and see how he’s moving around. It’s been a little bit of time since he’s been playing. We’ll see how he handles the work week.”
With your process in 2008 in preparing for a game in London and the success you had in winning that one, how much of the same preparation philosophy did you bring to this trip?
“We had done it back in 2008 as a team. Then you could pretty much choose where you were going to practice, where you were going to stay, lay that all out. Now, you have a choice in recent years as to whether you come early, but (in terms of the league dictating/providing), here’s your hotel, here’s your practice field and you go. So, it wasn’t like there were many choices that way, but I did think it was important to come east from an Eastern Time zone already and the transition was fairly smooth. Getting adjusted with today being Wednesday, we should be close to being adjusted by now.”
With more time over here, do you have to say something to your players to make sure their focus is on football since it is a unique experience, or does the additional time allow them to enjoy themselves initially before getting to work?
“I think it’s a more enclosed environment. They’re all here, we are all here eating together 24/7. I think it is much easier, a more controlled environment than when you are at home in a more spread out environment. Tuesday’s our gameplan day, it’s their day off. We started up this morning with our team meeting, a special teams meeting and (we are) ready to break up into offense and defense. I like that environment that we’re in right now. There isn’t a lot of time for the other English pleasantries right now.”
Those guys at the running back position, they talk about how it’s important for them to communicate because they are sharing snaps and good communication will help them get into a rhythm. Is it important to get the right guys at that position in that situation?
“I think that’s necessary in building any team. I think the players that truly put the team first, and I would say this group has done a good job of that (it’s important). It was put into plan in the beginning and the difference between us and the NBA is that the NBA has a draft and then they follow it up with free agency and sign what they can’t draft. In our business, we have free agency first and then the draft, so I think it is a good group of running backs. There’s a lot of different skillsets there. There is youth and everything in between. I feel like we’re fortunate to have the runners we do.”
What did you think of the tape and were you encouraged by the things you saw versus Carolina?
“Yes, I thought (with) the defensive front we faced, I thought the guys ran hard. I thought we did some good things in regards to getting to the edges. I thought we ran it inside pretty well and I thought our tempo helped us and we made enough big plays.”
What were your impressions of Ken Crawley?
“He did a good job, he did a very good job. I was real encouraged.”
What is your biggest challenge this week?
“Our challenges this week we’re going through with the players right now. No. 1, I think we’re seeing a real good running back and a real good up-tempo offense that’s dangerous with the screen passing game. The ball can come out quick and there are a lot of explosive plays on that film. Defensively, you have to start by dealing with this (Ndamukong) Suh, he is a guy that is a dominant player inside. I think they do a good job taking the ball away, they tackle very well and they limit the explosive (plays). I think in the kicking game they are at the top, I’d say top third (in the league), this (Darren) Rizzi has done a good job their (special teams) coordinator. They are dangerous in the return game. If a ball’s not kicked out (of) the end zone it’s coming back. Their punt returner (Jakeem) Grant is a dangerous player and you’re playing a team coming off a tough division loss. Our focus obviously needs to be on who we are playing and the type of game that we think we’ll be played and I expect it to be a big challenge.”
Is this the same Jay Cutler and what are your thoughts on him?
“He hasn’t gone away for three years and come back now. I mean he still has the broadcasting pin in its plastic wrapper. He just played last year so it’s the same guy we’ve been seeing.”
Where there any guilty pleasure that you wanted to do when you got to London?
“Monday or Tuesday no, it was coffee, a little orange juice here and we were game planning. The players, they were out (day off) Tuesday, but that’s our (coaches) gameplan day. I have not been outside the hotel yet. We head out today for practice for the first time. We are somewhere in the western suburbs.”
Do you think the player protests will continue this weekend around the NFL?
“There are some things you can’t control and I would imagine on Sunday throughout the league again it will vary by team and we’re kind of focused on the I’m not going to say more significant issue, but the one thing we can control is playing a good football game. Last week all those remarks came when we were traveling to Carolina and it really got to us late that night and the next morning and to our players’ credit, we were focused on one thing and that was going out and playing a good football team and our goal as coaches is to make sure we are ready to do that again this week and that’s what we are going to do.”
New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
How normal do you feel like the routine is right now?
“I feel like we have done a great job normalizing our schedule. We landed and that was not normal. That also led into meetings a couple hours after landing and getting a lift in and making sure the body was right. That went all according to schedule. We had an off day to try and get acclimated, I’m sure some guys took naps I don’t take naps. I did however get to see Big Ben, me and a couple of my d-lineman walked around the city for five to six hours. Of course we had to get back off your feet and flesh out your system and make sure the body is good. It was a great win for us, but at the same time the first one of the season and we want to make sure we keep that ball rolling.”
Do you want to take advantage of being in London to a certain extent?
“We did, yesterday was phenomenal. I got my son a little London/UK inspired type bear and I got my daughter a little Manchester City soccer outfit and I got him (son) a Manchester United outfit. They will be rivals and be here together. We are here for bringing things together and so after Tuesday we are solely focused on the Miami Dolphins, which I’ve been told by fans are flying in on Friday. I didn’t learn that from the coaches or the reporters, I learned it from fans. Fans seem to be a little bit more hip to what is going on and apparently NFL banners are everywhere. British people have been completely excited about us being here and have been super hospitable. We walked into the store at Lulu Lemon and they showed us the café there. Being over here you realize Big Ben is under construction. One person told me it’s been under construction for like two years, another said since February, so I had to look it up and it has been since February. That being said, taking in the sights, I saw the London Eye of course that’s all of 100 paces out. We started off at Buckingham, I didn’t see the row of guards I thought I was going to see that don’t move and you can make funny faces at them. I am sort of disappointed, but we saw a lot of different sights and we had a great meal. I am over the English breakfast, if I see beans in my breakfast again…It’s not for me you guys can keep that part, but other than that it’s been phenomenal and again we woke up this morning and are completely focused on Miami and our tourism part is over.”
What are your thoughts on the events that happened in the United States this past weekend around the NFL and things like the plan in Green Bay for fans and the team to link arms?
“To begin with, it was rapid fire. Something that we’ve all been aware of, something that we’ve all been conscientious of this past year and a half, two years of (Colin) Kaepernick initially kneeling, bringing to light social injustices, bringing up topics that really hadn’t been focused on, I think a lot of that surfaced and was brought to attention…It has now escalated to, where it’s odd you guys (British media asking first), for us to have a President create offense, whether you felt some type of way about it or not, it was like, hey, I feel that in this kneeling, in this whatever, we still pay homage to our flag, we still pay homage to our people, we still respect our troops, we still love everything about our country, and it’s because we love our country that we have the ability to take this knee, the ability to place our hand over our heart, the ability to not only hum, murmur or sing the lyrics, but take pride in the national anthem. That still does not deter us from the fact that we are Americans. That’s not going to deter us from the fact that we respect our flag, that we love being an American. It only gives us more pride to say, hey this is the day and age where I can show and demonstrate something, what’s on my mind and what’s on my heart, and prove this to the world that this is an important topic to pay attention to, while in the meanwhile trying to unify a single mind. Pushing forward, that’s the question, is how do you go forward and bring in unity? Of course I’m completely in solidarity with the entire movement, but as I’m sitting, my hand is over my heart, as I’m sitting, my eyes are still searching for the flag, as I’m sitting, I’m still singing the national anthem, the same way I’ve done every time I’ve heard the national anthem since for as long as I can remember. At the end of the national anthem, I’m still kissing the flag on my helmet, I’m still buffing my helmet as I get ready for the battle ensuing. With that all being said, I want to bring to light everything that’s happened. You can’t forget everything that we have to go through.”
Do you think the message is getting across? Even on Monday Night Football it seemed like there was a lot of negativity from Cowboys fans.
“A lot of negativity, and a lot of positivity. Don’t get it twisted. We are the American people, we are people who pull together and are united. There is nothing about that in this rift, there can still be understanding. That’s what you’re really pushing for. Understanding and unity is all that you can really push for. It’s the 21st century. At this point, love should overcome that hate, and be the bridge upon which people can come together in light of everything that’s happened.”
New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Piggybacking on Cameron Jordan’s comments a little, how much have you guys had a conversation about what may or may not happen when the national anthem is played on Sunday?
“Cam (Jordan) and I had a long conversation on the way over here and there are conversations taking place amongst guys on the team. I think we’re trying to find the best way to handle this, to show unity, and yet show respect for the flag as well. I am not sure if it is going to be something this week. But I am sure it will be something at some point.”
You said you respected the cause or you didn’t necessarily support sitting or kneeling, have you changed your opinion on that with those conversations?
“No I still feel like if you are an American you should stand and show respect to the flag and what it symbolizes. Certainly I respect the cause. I think what you saw last weekend especially was a direct result of the comments that President Trump made. Unfortunately I think he put all athletes, all black athletes, minority athletes, he put them in a corner and forced them to take action. So that was unfortunate that he made the comments that he made. And I don’t blame the guys for feeling like they needed to do something as a reaction to that.”
When you say you talked to Cam and some of the other guys are you hoping that whatever you guys do you do all 53 of you this week?
“Whatever we do, yes, those have been the discussions that have taken place. We want to find something that we can do together that shows unity and does not show division. But at the same point I think that we are all are very much on the same page as far as the cause is justified. It’s just the means by which the protest (is conducted), the awareness is raised. How can we do that in a respectful manner?”
On the game itself, after coming off a win, are you anxious to get back on the practice field and gameday? How is this different for you from ’08 to ’17? Does it feel different?
“Yes, so many things were new back in ’08. It was a new experience for all of us. Here we are almost 10 years later. Most of this team has has not been over here before. There are only a handful of us that were here in ’08. Now that I think of it, there’s only two of us (Brees and Zach Strief), I think, but coaches (more were here in 2008). I think just the plan and knowing what to expect and the way to communicate that and the way that Sean (Payton) can communicate that and the coaching staff. These facilities are great, they are better than what we had when we were here the first time. I think we just had a really good plan coming into this having done it before.”
Now that Willie Snead IV is back, did he hit the ground running? What do you expect out of him this week?
“Yes. He looked good. I think that is a process and repetition. He has been out for a little bit now. But I think that he is obviously a great element to what our offense can do. So, I am sure there will be a package of stuff and we’ll be trying to continue to build on what we’ve gone on the last few weeks. But obviously he can be a big part of that.”
It seems like you’ll also get both your tackles back at some point? Are you excited about what this full offense will look like soon?
“Absolutely. Especially the guys up front. I think you definitely want as much continuity up front as you can. I think the idea that Andrus Peat can play left guard, he can play left tackle. Ryan Ramczyk can play left tackle, he can play right tackle. You’ve got a lot of versatility. Senio (Kelemete) has played both guard positions, center and left and right tackle. He’s played every position on the offensive line. When you have that type of versatility its good. Then again you do like to get your rotation and get it set.”
Did you get a veteran rest day today? Is it every Wednesday?
“Yes, I did. That’s my normal Wednesday routine now. Yes, I do certain elements in practice and then I don’t do other elements.”
New Orleans Saints Linebacker A.J. Klein
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Can you talk about Kenny Vaccaro down in the box?
“Kenny is a very physical safety, obviously one of his strengths is to be down in the box and to help out in the run game, setting edges. He definitely helps free us linebackers up, because they have to account for him.”
How are the rookies working out on defense?
“I think it’s worked out well. Obviously Alex (Anzalone) at the linebacker position has done a great job understanding the defense. All of the rookies have done a good job of that this year.”
What are your expectations of what you’re going to see from the fans on Sunday?
“No, I really don’t (know for sure what to expect). I haven’t played a game in London since I’ve been in the league. It will be interesting, whether it’s 85,000 or 90,000, I don’t know I just work here (laughter), but no I think it’s a great atmosphere. I know I’ve seen soccer games (played in England) and they get rowdy for soccer around here, so we will see for a football game on Sunday.”
What stands out to you about Jay Ajayi?
“Downhill runner, very physical, one person doesn’t bring him down. You need to gang tackle him. He’s a good one-cut runner, downhill runner. He’s tough. He will test our run game for sure.”
What do you attribute to the improvement last week after the struggle the first two weeks?
“Communication errors, but obviously just doing our job. I’m not going to sit here and point fingers at anybody because we all gave up big plays in those games. But, the thing is going forward we corrected those mistakes and I think it showed last week.”
Do you think youth played a role in the struggles too?
“I think so. Hopefully we got rid of all that in the first two games.”
How much better was it to get on that flight after the win?
“It felt great. A seven and a half hour flight makes it a lot easier when you win. Now we need to come out Sunday and do what we need to do is work towards that same outcome this Sunday to make that trip back perfect too.”
Did you feel like you and defense were able to show the flashes of improvement that were initially shown this summer?
“I think we showed the flashes in the preseason, the first three preseason games. We put it together last week and bounced back. For the most part we kept the running game in check. It’s definitely progress.”
New Orleans Saints Cornerback P.J. Williams
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
How does it feel to be back on the field and performing like you did on Sunday?
“It feels great. Everyday I’m out here trying to get better and improve my skills and doing what I can to help the team.”
Do you feel like last week was everything jelling together?
“Definitely, there are little things that we need to work on. We need to get it together and try to keep it going (winning).”
Do you think a lot of the issues in the secondary got ironed out on Sunday?
“Yes, I definitely think the focus and attention to detail was a lot better, as well as the execution. We’re trying to build up from that. There are a lot of little things we still have to work on.”
Do you know what the Panthers were running when they got the interception?
“Yes, that was one of the routes that I had down that I would jump.”
It looked like Kenny Vaccaro had a similar situation, is that a credit to the level of work that you guys have been putting in?
“Yes, details are everything, know the formation, know the splits and all that. I think we paid attention a lot more in the film room and we were locked in all week and will be the same this week.”
I understand you are friends with Delvin Breaux, what is it like having him in your ear?
“Good, I’ve learned a lot from him. We are pretty much the same type of corner, a press corner. He definitely has had some success and we can’t wait to have him back.”
How does it feel to be back on the field after the scary part of the concussion you suffered last year in Week Two.”
“Definitely, it feels great to be back. I couldn’t wait to get back and hop back in. I just want to get better everyday and work to be one of the best.”
What challenge does Jay Cutler provide?
“I’m looking forward to it. He’s a good quarterback who has been playing for a long time. He’s going to throw the ball, so you definitely have to look for the opportunity to take it away from him.”
Are you excited to play in Wembley Stadium? Do you know anything about it? Do you watch soccer at all?
“Yes, I watch it a little. I’m really excited for the opportunity. But, we’re out here for a game, this is a business trip.”
Are you of the level of concentration level of A.J. Klein where he said he didn’t know where the game was being played?
“That’s the mindset we have. We just want to get this win.”
Were you at the level you wanted to play after these first two weeks?
“Not at all. I gave up some plays. There were some eye discipline things that I definitely needed to fix. I’m fine-tuning my technique. I know exactly what it was. I just have to fix it.”
Dennis Allen talks about the importance of that all the time. What does that entail?
“It’s everything, having your eyes in the right place. You need to have your eyes on the man, not looking at the play action in the backfield or the run. You have a receiver coming across and they’re running a fake run that way, you look that way and it’s over. Eye discipline is a lot of things and also in man coverage having your eyes in the right place on the field.”
Does that eye discipline work against an instinct you might have where you need to tell yourself to stay back and stay disciplined?
“It could be. It definitely is. If you want to make a play by the end of the day you have to do your job. That’s what they coach, do your job and then it will be looking good. If everybody is doing their job it will come together.”
How valuable was it to come in early, but not practice until today and get adjusted to the time zone and climate differences here?
“I was a little tired. It was big, having the day or two to relax and get in the right mind(set) for this practice.”
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