Metairie, La. - The Saints may have a bye week to relax, rest, and recuperate but Sean Payton plans to be busy scheming against the Bills and game planning for the rest of the season.
The following are Payton's comments to the media, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
Opening Statement: "The players are in, they have had their lift and the running. This will be a break after today. They will come back next Monday. There will be treatment for the injured guys through the week. We will have a bonus day on Monday. Wednesday will be our first official day back. I thought the overall mood and spirits were good. Obviously it was a tough loss and when you do it long enough they understand there are going to be some games like that where you are wrestling over one specific play or one sequence of plays. We certainly do that as coaches and like I told them after the game, I was proud of how they played in the second half specifically, that was something we talked about at halftime, going out there and eliminating some of the mistakes. We were able to get the stops defensively. We weren't able to get that one first down that we needed and gave them the opportunity to go ahead and win the game which they did. They had a really good play, but we move on from that one here fairly soon and get focused toward Buffalo."
Is there anything in particular play calls you were wrestling with?
"It was just a decision philosophically, run or pass, knowing that when you throw it there is a potential of clock stoppage."
If number 95 (Chandler Jones) had not have stayed home, do you believe Drew Brees would have gotten the first down?
"Yeah, that is one of those that are hard to tell. It is a good question. It's one of those low risk reward plays. You know you are going to keep the clock moving and you probably have a chance to be a little bit more affective on first or second down. We have done it probably two or three times here and typically the result is all or nothing. The end closes and you have a chance, it is hard to tell on that angle if we were able to get the yardage necessary, but we know the clock is going to keep moving so that was the thought behind it."
Would you rather everyone not obsess over a short sequence of plays and evaluate the game as a whole?
"I think we are taught to evaluate all the elements of the game and I thought one of things that was important was that we ran the ball well in the second half. Something as simple as looking at maybe a little bit more of that in the first half. Those are the things that I look at, but you can point to the end where you have a chance to win the game and that is certainly something we have been good at and something that we have done. As a play caller you are paying attention to what you are seeing. We'd gotten some pretty good stops and the turnover so you go back and forth about it and you wrestle with it. But I think as a coach and our staff, we try to look at all the different things that took place during the course of the game, how they were defending us in nickel and base, offensively their hurry-up packages versus our defense. So there were a handful of things that you look close at that you want to improve on and that is what we will do."
What does this week off give you and your staff a chance to do in regards to reviewing the first six games?
"First off you are able to and probably more so now than ever, you are always staying up to date with cut ups and tendencies statistically. Maybe 10 years ago it was a little bit more difficult, but I think the most important (thing during a bye week to receive) is rest, especially for our players. The schedule was something, and I have said this to you before, after seeing Andy Reid (give players the majority of the bye week off) in Philadelphia, I don't know what his record was, it was pretty significant, we kind of shifted to this where we got guys away. They have been going for a while and so I think it is something that every team when it comes, sometimes it comes early, sometimes it comes later, but I think it will be a good break for them."
I know you said you didn't want this game to linger, is it pretty much flushed now?
"It always takes a couple of days, but the thing we ask our players to do and we have done the last five weeks, after a win there is that next day and then hey, it is time to move on. We have to approach a loss like that very much the same. You are looking at it closely trying to make the corrections and then clearly when we get started again next week that will be the case. I think it is similar to that."
Is it a concern going forward about other people copying how the Patriots shut out Jimmy Graham on Sunday?
"If someone has Aqib Talib it is. Listen, he (Talib) is playing, he got injured I know, but I said at the beginning of the week, you watch the film on him, transitionally he is playing very well, strong at the line of scrimmage. He's a good jam and reroute guy. He has the size so I think it fit and it was something that we kind of expected and then you just get into looking at where are the other matchups. We had a big play to Ben (Watson) in the first quarter where Talib was outside and Ben got matched up on a linebacker. Those are some of the things we do offensively and find those ways where we can move and create leverage points for Jimmy (Graham)."
Did you have any problem with the last play of the game?
"Look, no the last play, this is distribution of credit, assignment of blame Monday and so that is just the industry. And no there are so many different plays in that game, I thought Tom (Brady) made a great location throw and the receiver made a good catch above his head. You can't beat yourself up over that. There are a lot of sequences that take place that you can look at. I think it was a good play by those guys."
How were the Malcolm Jenkins and offsides penalties explained to you?
"They are two different types of calls. The fourth and one we have been good with. We put in different personnel and sometimes we will have a play we will run and sometimes we are not. I think because have gone for it quite a few times on fourth down bring authenticity to, hey a defense last week in Chicago we were able to take advantage of that and the call went the other way. I will leave it at that. The other calls are difficult. They are quick, bang bang, player safety I get all of that, you just understand you can't control that. You don't let consume you."
How would you evaluate the first part of the season going into the bye?
"I said to the players today, I am encouraged that there are a handful of things we are going to work on and improve on. We haven't played our best football and we are sitting at 5-1. You can easily look at a few games that could have gone a different direction but it didn't. I like the work ethic, the competitive nature of this team. I like it a lot. I think that getting back after this bye, there are a few things we are able to clean up and work to improve on as we are ready to hit this long stretch of the season. We are 5-1 and we are getting ready for the seventh game."
What are your thoughts in terms of the blocking technique of the Patriots and the last play of the game?
"(We are going) back to the things that we can't control."
What are your thoughts on Khiry Robinson?
"I think the ball came out on a play. When we were in Chicago for instance, we recognize that was going to be an opportunity to run the ball some, Pierre (Thomas) has played well up there and was playing well in that game. We may have thought that Khiry was going to receive more touches in that game and I thought he handled the opportunities outstanding yesterday. But the (emphasis on) ball security for a young player of understanding of how it is different in our league is something we will continue to work on (with him). But to answer your question, he's been explosive. He's been tough. He's been hardnosed and we will continue to look at his snaps and evaluate how he fits in each game plan."
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