Sean Payton, Dirk Koetter discuss first Saints-Bucs matchup this season

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New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Conference Call with New Orleans Media

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What about the job the offensive line has done so far this season?

“I think one of the things that’s helped us is the versatility with a few of the players (along of the offensive line). Senio (Kelemete) has played a few spots, you’ve seen Ryan Ramczyk play both sides of the ball and you’ve seen Andrus (Peat) play inside, play outside and I think that experience will be important. The rosters and the way they are made up in our league sometimes can be challenging as you’re trying to put together your gameday actives and deal with injuries. I said this before, I think there’s a handful of things that have gone right in that regard, the selection of Ramczyk I think was significant because of the flexibility he gave us at tackle. We’ve had Terron (Armstead) down, we’ve had Zach (Strief) down and I think that fortunately we’ve been able to move some guys around and (have) been able to still play winning football.”

What have you seen from Tampa Bay, they have been struggling lately?

“It seems like we play these guys in tough games. They’re a divisional opponent, so the teams know each other a little better. We’re kind of in the midst (of non-divisional play) so far, this season seems like we are getting into our divisional games later than before. I know we had one, but this whole week we’ll be focused on their offense and defense, (and) the kicking game. They’ve added some pieces to what they do (well). They are moving the ball very well, they’re second in the league on offense, near the top of the league in passing offense and I think they’re explosive (in) that way. Defensively, they played I thought a real good game last week against Carolina when you watch the film. They did a good job of containing that (Carolina) offense. It will be a challenge like it always is when you play someone like this in your division and our focus will be more internal in regards to how we are preparing and how we’re practicing.”

What have you seen out of Kendell Beckwith?

“He has played a lot of spots and a lot of snaps. There is some film of him playing the Mike, there is some film of him playing the outside backer position. I think he has been impressive and he’s someone that carries his pads well, he’s strong, he’s big and he’s had some versatility and that’s pretty challenging to do in a system when you’re a rookie at linebacker.”

What do you remember about the draft process with him since he was a former LSU player?

“We liked the player, he was big, we had him in here, actually at our (local) pro day he came in. A lot of it was the fit and what round, but there are some many of these guys you get to know before they get drafted, but he was a guy we researched, (he’s) from Louisiana (a) small town. C.J. (Curtis Johnson) coached his brother at Tulane. It’s a pretty small fraternity (down here) when you’re talking about an in-state player and us knowing the player and we know him pretty well. It’s good to see him doing well.”

How much of a consideration is run defense at the slot corner position? Is it important to their coverage skills?

“I think if they can’t tackle, it’s tough to play them. I’m just saying because we on offense can force them to tackle like there are plays where we can run and they have to tackle. So at some point, if they’re having trouble tackling then they’re going to have trouble.”

In the context of Mark Ingram’s whole season, how do you view the end of his last game with him losing two fumble? And how does the team hope he’ll respond or need him to respond?

“I ‘m sure he’ll respond. It’s every once in a while something like this happens. The second time it (he fumbled) in the game, in the four minute, I know he was disappointed (and) upset. I was upset. Situationally, you’re carrying the ball and carrying everyone’s hopes and dreams, not just your own. He’ll work to fix that and I’m sure he will.”

Overall, it does seem like he’s been having a pretty solid season and an important part of the offense, right?

“Yes, I would say that.”

As you look over the last two games, what has led some of the issues against the run with a few long runs against you?

“Well I would say, very, very specifically there’s been an explosive singular or two plays. In Green Bay it was the first series. Last week, there’s an explosive (run). The minute you get (a) plus-50 run, you’re almost always going to have a team that rushes for over 100 yards. Your yards per carry is going to be high. But those are still runs that occurred, so one of the things this week is we’re going to have to (be) better at eliminating explosive plays defensively.”

I know that Doug Martin was suspended the first month of the season, what have you seen out of him as he’s working his way back into the running game there for the Buccaneers?

“He’s a strong runner with good balance. We’ve seen some real good games from him. He’s a guy that you have to populate. He has good vision. I think (he was) very good instincts as a runner and he’s someone that’s played well versus us.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter

Conference Call with New Orleans Media

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What has Kendell Beckwith provided for you guys this season?

“Initially, it started out that Kendell was going to provide depth and play in the base defense only, but because we had some injuries earlier in the year, he really played a lot more at the Mike position and played very well. He has really impressed us with how fast of a learner he is and obviously his toughness and just his understanding of football. He’s done a nice job.”

How did you evaluate him during the draft process and how glad were you that you could draft him?

“We felt very fortunate to get him. We felt like if he wasn’t coming off the ACL surgery that late in the season that he would have gone higher (in the draft). I thought his strong suit coming out was runs straight at him and we thought that it would maybe take a little while to adjust to the coverage element, but he’s done a nice job picking that up.”

What have you seen out of Doug Martin since he’s come back?

“I think Doug is playing at a level that’s similar to what I’ve seen in the past. Doug is playing hard and we’ve been behind in games so we’ve had to abandon the run game too often and that’s not good for our running back. I think Doug is one of those guys that gets better the more work he gets. If you’re running the ball successfully then you are going to feed him more.”

How much of a boost do you think Doug Martin will provide to the run game?

“That depends on how well we’re running it. We ran it better last week and we were pretty balanced up until the fourth quarter when we got down by two scores and you’re just running out of possessions. It turned into more of a throwing game at that point.”

What have you seen out of the Saints offensive line so far this year?
“It seems like they’re playing really steady and they’re playing physical and Drew (Brees) is getting the ball out of his hands extremely quick and they are not seeing much pressure. They’re getting it (the ball) out quick and protecting well, they’re blocking the run well. Those running backs aren’t getting all those yards on their own.”

How difficult is it to suffer injuries along the offensive line and not have a drop off in play?

“Impossible, next to impossible.”

Why do you think the team started off 2-5 this year?

“We just haven’t been playing good enough. We’ve been beating ourselves too often and somebody said a long time ago, more games in the NFL are lost than won, so it starts with not beating ourselves. We have to win the turnover margin and we have to out-execute our opponent. We’ve played well in spurts, but we just haven’t been consistent enough and the teams that have been beating us have beat us because they played better.”

Do you think Jameis’ (Winston) shoulder injury has affected him at all in the last few weeks?

“It’s impossible to measure that. The fact that he was only practicing one day a week, that’s not any coach’s or player’s preference, especially for your quarterback. He’s a lot better this week so he’s going to be able to go today which is a good sign for us. I have a ton of confidence in Jameis and he’s played very well at times this year and I’ve seen him do it so I know he can do it.”

What have you seen from Kenny Vaccaro watching film?

“I’ve always thought Kenny Vaccaro was a player that plays full speed ahead. He does a lot for them. He is their strong safety, their nickel. They like him as a blitzer. He does a lot and he is a very aggressive player, always been a big hitter. The way they have built their nickel package around their three safeties, they are doing a nice job of using their talent.”

How does it impact an offense when you see a guy as versatile as him playing in that nickel role?

“Every team has good players. New Orleans is a smart coaching staff and like I said they’re doing a good job of (coaching). Every week you play teams that have very talented players and you see coaching staffs that tilt their scheme in favor of those players and that os what New Orleans is doing right now. It is no different than any other week, it is just that they have a good player, a real good player playing that spot for them.”

When you play a Dennis Allen coordinated defense what are kind of the hallmarks of what he does?

“Multiple looks, pressures the quarterback, very well-coached team that’s going to give you multiple looks. It’s one thing to give you multiple looks but multiple looks that are difficult to handle. Difficult personnel and personnel groups. They broke out a new personnel group last week against Chicago and had a lot of success with that so you have to be ready to adjust.”

You mentioned the pressures he calls, is that blitzing? Some of the things that he calls blitzing-wise?

“Bringing more than four rushers.”

Actually the personnel groups, what did you think when you saw them playing so frequently with five defensive linemen?

“Well I thought, Chicago has a good run game. I would assume that’s the first time (they’ve done that). Chicago has the two good backs and they’re a good running team. It’s the first time they’ve showed it this year. I assume that was a new angle designed to slow down Chicago’s run game.”

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