Saints staying home as Hurricane Zeta comes through New Orleans

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Sean Payton
(Photo: Parker Waters)

With Hurricane Zeta approaching, the New Orleans Saints elected to stay in town ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game at Chicago. Saints coach Sean Payton is getting his players out of team facilities quickly today as the storm hits southeast Louisiana late in the afternoon and early evening.

“We’re going to try to get these guys out of here a little earlier and catch up to film work tomorrow,” Payton said. “

Payton sees the Bears pass defense as being solid.

“They’re talented on the back-end, personnel-wise,” Payton said. “They give you a mixture of schemes. They’ll play some quarters-look with a press technique. They’ll mix up some cover-1 looks. They do a real good job of rocking the safeties and then the rush that compliments the coverage, all of those things have been good as you watch the tape.”

The Saints have controlled the ball well offensively in their last three games.

“You want to win the time of possession,” Payton said. “Often times, it’s the by-product of executing in the run or the passing game on early downs. I think it’s more or less something you have to earn.”

Payton said he did not know if Emmanuel Sanders would be eligible or able to play Sunday after missing last week’s win over Carolina due to COVID-19 issues.

Alvin Kamara may be well on his way to his best season in the league. While Kamara has superior athletic skills, his mental skills are just as good.

“We have drafted and signed very smart players out of college that on the football field maybe needed more repetitions or weren’t instinctive,” Payton said. “Conversely, the league’s full of players that made not have been academically smart or players or students that may have appeared to be not very smart and yet on the football field, they’re extremely intelligent and instinctive. He’s both.

“He rarely surprises the quarterback in the passing game relative to his routes. He understands protections. He can pick things up very quick during the week. He just has a great ability to learn and then great instincts as he applies it to the game.”

How does Payton view the progress of his offensive line to this point of the season?

“I think we’re hopefully continuing to ascend,” Payton said. “We’ve had a few injuries, Terron last week and obviously Nick and periodically, a couple of guys have had to step in. I think we’ve improved week-to-week and it’s part of the three games we’ve won and I feel like it’s not only the protection but the consistency in the running game.”

Payton again praised Drew Brees for his ability to dissect what defenses are trying to do against him and the adjustments he makes, particularly in the final minutes of a half. Payton said that the confidence of Brees in those situations is a huge asset.

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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