New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton met with the media Tuesday and touched on a far-reaching variety of topics. Let’s run through the highlights.
“[Offensive line coach] Aaron Kromer last week had been requested for an interview with St. Louis and he had a brief meeting when we arrived in the Bay Area, but it was just when Jeff [Fisher] was accepting the position. [Offensive coordinator] Pete Carmichael had a request sent in by the Oakland Raiders -- they’ve not formally interviewed, so we’ll see what happens there with Pete.
On the overall season: “Well, I think your standards continue to get high and are high for what we want to accomplish and so I think just shortly after a loss like that it’s hard to maybe come up with a summary. Certainly there were a lot of good things about the season and yet you get that pit in your stomach with the way it ends, and so that’s difficult, having had a season where it ended with a win, where your last game was a win, you know what that’s like and for everyone else in the postseason that’s not the case. With that being said we aspire to win championships here. That’s our goal when the season starts, that’s our last goal -- win the division, put ourselves in the best position possible with seeding and win the Super Bowl -- we’ll continue to strive for that, that’s what we set out to do.’’
On the health of running back Pierre Thomas, who left the San Francisco game after taking a big hit: “Very good. At halftime, I saw him and it was a lot better than maybe I expected though, so he’s going to be just fine.’’
On a timetable for re-signing quarterback Drew Brees: “Well, that’s a good question. I don’t know. I think if that question were asked to [general manager] Mickey [Loomis] or Drew right now, I don’t think there would be any timetable. Certainly, the sooner the better and yet I think this time away here initially after the season ended will be good for everyone to kind of remove yourself from the emotion of the season and you know I think will be something that would certainly be on one of our priority list.’’
On if it was defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ decision to leave: ““Yeah, well, yeah. You’re talking about a guy he’s worked real close with for years (Jeff Fisher). We visited (Monday) and I think there were a lot of things looking at this move that didn’t surprise people. It was a matter of getting through the season, though, and not allowing it to be a distraction a week ago in the playoffs. We visited and spent some time on it and went from there. Our visit is between he and I.”
On what he’ll look for in a new defensive coordinator: “The real, real talented coaches come in all age groups and they come from all over. They come from college, they come from our league. Some have been head coaches, some haven’t. I just look back at my own experiences and someone gave me an opportunity for the first time. I think that you try to pay attention to all of those things. I think you do as much preparation and homework as you can on the candidates and spend as much time visiting with them, but I don’t think you try to profile.’’