Every team has played one game. Half of the league’s franchises are 1-0. The other half are 0-1. All are now trying their best to win as many of the next 15 games as possible.
As Saints coach Sean Payton explained during a Tuesday visit to PFT Live, all coaching staffs are now trying to fix the issues that arise when a team that was cut from 90 to 75 to 53 men plays its first full game together.
“We just played our first game here last weekend and we are getting ready to play Tampa Bay,” Payton said. “We all find ourselves in a race — and I mean literally a race — to make corrections and quickly to get ready for the second game but also the long haul, and I think we are one of those teams there is a lot on tape that we’ve got to get cleaned up.”
For the Saints, who beat the Falcons and held them to 17 points, plenty of work still needs to be done.
“We had a few big runs but we had some minus runs,” Payton said. “We didn’t get the hats on the people we wanted to, maybe we missed a cut. I think that we made an emphasis in the running game for us this preseason. I think that needs to be better.”
Payton had criticism of the other two phases of his team.
“I think defensively we gave up some chunk plays,” Payton said. “Two-thirds of their rushing total came on one run, a couple of their pass plays quickly changed field position, and then lastly twice we had great field position from a punt return but there was a penalty that all of the sudden negates the return, and the field position we find ourseleves on our own 18 or 20 instead of midfield, so the hidden yardage in the special teams is something that we really need to clean up.”
If they get it cleaned up, they’ll keep winning. For the Saints, the goal is to win enough to play postseason games in the building where the Falcons, otherwise 13-2 since September 2012, have now gone 0-2.
We’ll likely be posting more quotes from Payton’s visit to the program. If you want to hear the whole thing, just click the button below.