Sean Payton Calls The NFL Draft The “Life Blood” Of The Saints Organization, First Round Selection Could Be Defensive Line Position
April 28, 2011 – 7:45 am by Steven Cuce
So after an enormously disappointing Super Bowl defense in the 2010-11 campaign, which saw the Saints (11-5) lose in Wild Card weekend to the Seahawks, a team that went 7-9 in the NFC West, what has Sean Payton been up to this off-season? Well for starters he’s seems very relaxed during the on-and-off lockout. He took it easy the day before the NFL draft by golfing at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans Pro-Am with PGA Tour golfer Ryan Palmer. He also had some time after golf to sit down and chat Saints draft with our pals over at Fox Sports Radio on the Loose Cannons.
The Saints would like to upgrade their defensive line in the upcoming draft as well as the defense as a whole. Some of the most recent mock drafts I have seen have the Saints taking Iowa defensive end, Adrian Clayborn, but don’t be surprised if New Orleans throws a curve ball and drafts a running back. The Saints were banged up at the running back position last year losing a few starters to injury and if a player like Mark Ingram is available at number twenty-four they won’t shy away from taking a player they have rated at the top of their board.
Sean Payton joined Fox Sports Radio with the Loose Cannons to discuss what he is doing during the turbulent times of the lockout and the draft coming up, if he feels the lockout is more difficult on the coaches, are the Saints looking to draft a defensive lineman at pick number twenty four in the first round and what is the most important characteristic when evaluating and drafting a college quarterback.
What are you doing these days with all the confusion of the lockout and the draft coming up?
“You know what we get asked that a lot and really the simple answer for us has been preparation for the draft and starting with the combine in February there’s a lot of college workouts. Here it is a day away [from the draft]. These last three weeks for us have been the final readings if you will. The final stack by round, by position, and so our focus has been on this draft and all the other stuff, you know we often times are no different than you guys [the media]. We’re finding out as we hear it. It’s hard to keep track of it and it’s easiest when Mickey Loomis our general manager can call me in and give me an update because we’re not…clearly we’re not trained to keep up with it and a lot of it is unprecedented.”
Do you feel the lockout is most difficult on the coaches?
“I don’t know to this point that it’s been a big hindrance in regards to what we’re doing with preparation. In other words our calendar is when the season ends is pretty much the same every year. It’s shifts from free agency to the draft and so the free agency was different this year clearly. The next phase of it is the draft. Now I think for the newer staffs it probably is more challenging because you get ‘X’ number of mini-camps and you get an additional one when you are a new staff. I think I look back to our 2006 season when we first got here and there’s a lot you have on your plate right away and it’s not that you don’t any other year once you’re able to establish and put your program in place and your team in place. There’s some things that begin to function and operate without checking on it, so I think it’s probably more challenging for the new staffs.”
Are you looking for defensive line going into the first round of the draft at pick number twenty-four?
“I think that’s a good place to start. It’s an area we feel like we want to address and help get some depth and help bring some young players into that group. I also think it’s an area of this draft where there is some depth. You know when you are picking later at twenty-four it becomes a little bit more challenging and you’re group of players is seven, eight, nine. They say you have to like twenty-four players when you pick at twenty-four, but it’s different and so you know the last four or five days has really been looking at that group and kind of going through some scenarios and come into the second round for that group of players and you know I think this… I think we get excited every year because this is the life blood of our program. When you get a chance to bring new people in that you’re going to be with and that’s exciting. It’s something we take very seriously. It’s something that you know we’ve had good fortune in the last five years with not only the first round, you know ninety percent of the discussion is on ten percent of the draft. The second, third, fifth round, sixth round, those are key elements to building a team and I think that’s…you really can make some hay there.”
What are your recommendations on those teams looking to get a quarterback in the draft? What is the one thing that is most important in evaluating a college quarterback?
“Well I think this: I think he’s got to be accurate. Yeah, now I think they can hone those skills sets, but he’s got to be accurate. I think there’s a mental and physical toughness that goes with…if we were trying to take common characteristics it wouldn’t be height or weight. It wouldn’t be regions in our country where they played in other words all those things vary, but if we were looking for common characteristics? How do they play from behind? Are they accurate? Are they tough?
Listen to Sean Payton on Fox Sports Radio here
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Fox Sports Radio, Loose Cannons, New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton
Post a Comment
E-mail (will not be published) (required)