NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Saints placed Luke McCown on Injured Reserve with a back injury that required surgery but were able to sign veteran Matt Flynn as a replacement.
The former LSU Tiger practiced for the first time with the Saints Wednesday. The following is a copy of Sean Payton's teleconference with the media before that session:
What do you like about Matt Flynn and is he a guy that will move behind Drew Brees as the number two quarterback?
"I think we want to just follow the week here and just see where those two are at. I mean obviously I have a pretty good idea of where Garrett (Grayson) is at and then how Matt progresses. He is someone that I would say we followed closely throughout the years. He's been with a few different clubs and I think we know the player pretty well. He worked out did a good job. He's someone that understands the system and there is some carry over to where maybe he's been some other places and he fit what we were looking for. Those guys will get some work this week predominantly with scout team and they will also, both of them will be heavily involved in what we game plan wise."
Anything you can share what happened with Luke McCown?
"No, there wasn't a specific ugh (occurrence) and sometimes that's the case with a back and without getting to technical and sometimes you're able to have an epidural and kind of come back and be healed or feel a little bit better and so this was maybe a little bit further along and he should have no residual procedures and there wasn't one event. It wasn't something specific. He began having soreness and tingling in his left leg and spent some time and went and saw a specialist and went ahead with the procedure."
Are you concerned that you may be getting back into the shootout mode that we have seen before in games?
"Well look it's going to be hard to win and consistently like you alluded to it's a weekly deal and there will be some games you play in that are different than your baseline or what you'd expect to play like each week and that happened a few weeks back and yet we've got to keep looking at the things that keep hurting us. What are the things that are hurting us defensively? Are we getting off the field on third down? Is it chuck plays? Right now our red zone defense isn't very good and what I mean by that is the ability to just force some field goals. We're going to have to play a lot better this week based on who we are playing. This is a team that has skill outside and they are not afraid to get the ball down field and they play very well at home."
Is Matt Flynn a guy you considered previously?
"All the way back to when he came out he was someone that was a targeted player out of college. He had a great career at LSU and is someone that over the years I've seen maybe locally here or down in the Destin area and just kind of kept up with his career and at different times through these off-seasons I know he's been a guy we've discussed."
Do you believe that in certain situations like pass interference or holding, that at some point some players are judged a little bit more harshly because of their previous history?
"I don't know that. I know officials spend a lot of time on an upcoming game and look closely at fouls that teams have committed. They're alert, aware and all of that. If you're comparing it to the Michael Jordan foul-no foul, or the elite player getting certain treatment, (I don't know about that). I think the rules have changed and I think that officials have been told to call this more and call this less. I think we're seeing more and more attention to the back end. That is something that we just have to pay attention to."
You guys made a significant change to your defensive scheme, wanting to play more of the press-man and single-high safety (coverages); how do you feel that adjustment's fit the team? Why has it had inconsistencies?
"You're essentially asking why are we inconsistent on defense. I think it fits who we are from a corner perspective, when you look at our size and you're talking about Keenan (Lewis), Brandon (Browner) and (Delvin) Breaux. Now, the nuances within it and there are quite a few, we've got to be better at. It doesn't fall just on the corner. The pressure falls on these inside linebackers and the guys playing underneath it. Certainly, we feel like we're a man-to-man team, and we feel we're going to have some variations and some pressure variations. That's the detail and all the specifics."
When you lose a tough game on Sunday after winning three consecutive, is one of the messages to the team "you guys have done this before so you can do it again"?
"It's just (about) putting together this week's game and not looking ahead past this week. (In) the meeting this morning, we go through offensively, defensively and the kicking game – what are the keys. There is video on the opponent (and) there are statistics on the opponent. I think the quickest way (to get back), after a loss like that, is to get back at practice and improve. I don't know that we looked at it like hey, we'll get right back on a roll again. I don't think you can look at it past one week out."
The Redskins have only given up nine sacks all year; is that something that is part of their offense or something that they do to not give up that many sacks?
"It was one of the notes (that was just talked about) in the team meeting. They are a team that takes a lot of shots down the field. They are fifth in the NFL at most 20-yard passes attempted. They are going to find ways to block up the front, maybe some seven or eight man protections and get the ball down the field, and yet I would say to your question, the ball is coming out quickly with some tempo out of the shotgun in the normal situations. Some of these gun offenses do a great job of getting the ball out. That still can't be a deterrent. We still have to find ways to affect the quarterback. Statistically, at this point in the year, you'd have to pay attention to those numbers, because we are well passed the quarter point. We are really at the halfway point and that is telling us that the delivery time is happening fairly quickly. Kirk (Cousins) has done a good job of just locating and processing what he is looking for, and delivery the football. I think it is a byproduct of how they, philosophically, want to pass the football."