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January 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Sean Payton: “Listen, they did a ton of things well”

New Orleans coach Sean Payton talked to Seattle reporters today via conference call to talk about Saturday’s game. Here’s some of what he had to say:

(On their approach in preparing a game plan to play against the Seahawks…) “Well to some degree, it would be similar to playing divisional games. Where it’s not unusual… we played a game this year with Carolina, then went on the road to Seattle and turned around and played Carolina the next week. So I think that you look at that tape, you study it closely, I think you still you look at the recent games and then all the way to the start of the season and even last year in your preparation.”

(On what made him believe that Rob Ryan was the right fit as the Saints defensive coordinator…) “Well I didn’t know Rob [Ryan] and really hadn’t met him. It was after talking with a handful of people, his passion for the game is contagious with the players, he works great with the rest of the staff. All of those things that you value as a head coach and I think the process was a good one for us and you learn a little bit more when you start researching someone like that and it ended up working out great for us.”

(On how the Seahawks has stopped the production of Jimmy Graham…) “Well each week, there’s certainly areas of the field and situations where you try to feature a player like Jimmy [Graham] and Seattle has done an outstanding job on a number of good players. But I think the main thing is recognizing how they’re taking him away. There’s some things that Seattle does a very good job with, just within in their base scheme and how they play their coverages. They’re very active in the secondary, they do a great job of applying pressure on the quarterback and you put those two things together and it becomes very challenging.”

(On what the Seahawks did that made it a challenge for the Saints offense to be successful…) “Listen, they did a ton of things well. They rushed the passer, they stopped the run, they covered the routes down the field. You name it.”

(On Richard Sherman…) “Well I think he’s very instinctual, I think he works hard in his preparation. So I think he’s smart and you can see that in his play. I think he’s got outstanding ball skills; he’s got the size, the length, obviously the confidence. So you get a unique combination of a lot of things that you would look for in a corner and he possesses those.”

(On the importance of if a man goes down, the next man steps up philosophy…) “Well it’s kind of our league. With the rosters, the way they are, there’s going to be attrition when you look at a 16 game week schedule and you hope that you stay healthier than most and you hope that you are able to keep most of your starters intact. We’ve had a handful of injuries defensively, a few on offense and I think the key is developing the younger players, developing your back up players throughout the work week and some of that is more challenging with the way you practice and some of the tempos you have, but it’s none the less, it’s still important.”

(On the keys to improving the Saints’ running game…) “Well some of it is opponent-based and again I think up front, our guys have done a very good job. Last week, the situation, the type of game we were in, I thought the backs run hard. I thought that at the point of attack, we did a very good job.”

(On the issues he faced at CenturyLink…) “Well there’s probably four or five of these stadiums that really challenge you with communication, they challenge you with crowd noise because it’s kind of like August down here in New Orleans. At some point, it’s as hot as can be and we don’t need to know the exact temperature. So it’s loud and fortunately, we have one of those environments as well. But, you really have to be meticulous, focus all the attention to detail to minimize the plays we were just discussing.”

(On if he has any concerns for the Saints secondary…) “How concerned am I? Yeah we didn’t report any injuries today. So I think this. I think those guys on the back end will be ready to play and I think their focus last week and what we were able to accomplish last week was good enough to get a win and certainly as a coach, you are concerned every week just about your preparation and the match-ups. But I think they’re doing well.”

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