Payton: Brees focused on getting a win, not returning to San Diego

“Anything with practice? We are in, I would say a typical Friday schedule. I think the weather is similar to what we are going to get Sunday, so it would be good work outside.”

How did the guys react this week based off of Monday night?

“I think it is a short week. I think real strong. Obviously there is a sense of urgency of winning a football game, playing in some tough games and you have to make corrections still and quickly turn around and get ready for the next game.”

How much of it all do you evaluate differently, a two score game like you had Monday compared to the one possession games at the end?

“I think they are evaluated the same. Oftentimes in wins there are things that can get overlooked that need correction. Obviously in a loss there is a microscope in everything we are doing. But I would say the way of every close game. That is pretty consistent. I think it is important when the game ends, what are the things that kept us from winning that game. So much the same way, and I would say the same with a win.”

Did you spend extra time on special teams work this week and focusing with cleaning up some of those things?

“Those are the details in each period. There are separate phases that are completely different unto themselves. Protection versus coverage. We will play close attention to the league. Every Friday we will show some clock management errors and some things that take place and those type of plays would be on there.”

When you look at the defense and how they have played the last three games, what is the biggest thing that has been missing without Dannell Ellerbe?

“Let’s start with Dannell Ellerbe, he is someone that has good speed and range. He is a good tackler and I think in the New York game there were a lot of good things on tape. Obviously quite the opposite in the Atlanta game. But look, you are going to be without players, whether it is (Delvin) Breaux or (Dannell) Ellerbe. There are going to be a handful of guys (that are going to be lost like) P.J. (Williams) and you have to make sure you are training not only your top half of the roster but the bottom half.”

Do you feel like you guys have figured out some of the stuff that has held you back on third down?

“Our numbers were better last week. It is interesting, when we put up the Week Three statistics third down wise and you begin to evaluate this season, it is much like your third test and you know you are having 16. So the percentages can greatly change. Now when you get into week 12 or 13 and those trends still stay there then it is harder to change something. But we were better last week. I think it is an important down this game. This is one of the better third down defensives in the league. I think they are second right now. They do a good job rushing the passer. They are aggressive in their coverage and you have to make sure the ball is coming out on time and it’s hard to do when they are playing a lot of man to man. I would say conversely this is a pretty good third down offense statistically speaking. So it is one are that would definitely be one of the focal points in the game.”

Are San Diego’s running back different from the guys Atlanta had?

“Each one of these guys are different. It is a little different scheme and yet he (Melvin Gordon) is a talented player. I think he is playing well early this season. You can see the difference from a year ago and how they are running the football and their commitment to trying to do that.”

You have watched every game Drew (Brees) has played for the last 11 seasons. When you look at him going back there for the first time do you kind of sit back and smile and say I can’t wait to see what he does with just a little extra motivation.

“This is more about the team. For him to play well, there are all these other elements that have to be in sync. I was asked that earlier in the week by the San Diego media. It is unique that it’s 11 years and it is the only stadium we have not gone to because there was a London game. I know he is spending a lot of money on tickets and I am probably second. I know he is first. It is an important game because we are looking to get a win. His routine during the week, his preparation during the week, is not like he says he is going to be here at five in the morning now. Obviously he wants to play well, but just knowing his preparation and his schedule, it is another opponent and a place that he is familiar.”

How do you think James Laurinaitis has been playing?

“I thought he played really well in New York. I thought last week, not so well. But again, I said this the other day, there were a number of guys that did not play well on that side of the ball last week. I was encouraged two weeks ago.”

When Sheldon (Rankins) get back, how much of a difference could he make?

“Well he is part of it. He is a good sub rusher. He is strong. The encouraging thing is sometimes when you have a rookie and you are getting him back from an injury, you are unsure of what type of player you have. I think we are pretty confident in what kind of player we have. We are anxious and yet his rehab is on schedule. I think anytime you have a starter like that it can help.”

Do you think he could play right after the bye?

“I think that would be too early, but he is doing well. He is on schedule.”

How do you handle mixing the roster around when you have injuries?

“I think every week you’re playing close attention to, not only what the players are doing but what we’re telling them as coaches. This is scheme fit, their strong suits. You are looking closely at all of that. I think the status quo sometimes can be your enemy. I think you look at every area, not just one specific area. No different to the meeting schedule to how they are practicing, you look at all of that.”


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