Sean Payton was interviewed by Mike Florio at the NLF owners’ meeting. He discussed the Jimmy Graham trade and the Saints plans for C J Spiller as well as the changes on defense.  Payton believes it the coaches and scouts job to find offensive weapons capable and making the same impact as Jimmy Graham did on the field.

Sean Payton Interview With Mike Florio

“I think it’s tough. Especially — and Drew’s been, shoot for nine years now, he’s played with a lot of different receivers, a lot of different tight ends,” Payton said. “And what’s lost a little bit is there’s an energy that’s required when you’re the quarterback and you’re watching film with these players and working on certain routes. And so it’s difficult.  And yet, from a bigger picture standpoint, you’re wanting to play better defense and reduce the amount of points you may need to score to win a game. So losing players like that … those are always difficult. But they impact a quarterback, especially when it’s a tight end like Jimmy Graham. And now it’s our job as coaches to find additional targets. And we feel like we got one in (pass-catching running back) CJ Spiller, who’s a completely different position but nonetheless a playmaker when the ball’s in his hands.”

“What’s unique this year is there have been a few trades.” (Kenny Stills and Ben Grubbs)

“Of course it’s a significant trade when you’re trading a guy like Jimmy Graham, who’s a Pro Bowl player,” Payton said. “It’s really looking at, hey, where are those areas where we feel like we need to improve, where are those ‘must’ areas, and then where are the assets that we feel we can do that? Mickey and I discussed this trade for, shoot, a week leading up to it. And we really felt strongly it was gonna require the player, Max Unger, but also a first-round pick.   And so, you don’t go in skeptical with something like that, because typically there aren’t a lot of trades with players like that. And yet with Seattle for about a week it was able to work out. So we gotta look at, ‘How do we improve our defense, how do we improve certain weaknesses of our team?’ You don’t ever want to lose a player like Jimmy, and yet we feel like this gives us an opportunity to do that.”