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Payton praises Apple, Rankins & new Saint Brandon Marshall

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The New Orleans Saints handily defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, improving to 8-1 on the year.  Head Coach Sean Payton joined Bobby Hebert and Zach Strief Monday evening on WWL’s “Saints Coaches Show” to discuss the win and the team.

In the dominating win, the Saints rushed for 244 yards, and Payton praised the offensive line for paving the way.  “I thought those guys up front did a good job.  All the backs got a lot of work.  One of the things that gives you those rushing totals is your ability to convert third downs.”

Payton also liked how hot the team started.  “It was great to get started with the first drive and go down the field and end up with a touchdown.”  The Bengals marched down the field and scored on their first drive; but, as Payton noticed, the defense buckled up after that.  “Defensively, after going through their first drive, all of a sudden the third downs started coming.  We did a good job of harassing the quarterback and getting off the field on third downs.” 

The defense did do a good job, forcing two turnovers.  One of those was cornerback Eli Apple’s first interception as a Saint.  “Eli has played his third game now, and he’s getting more and more comfortable with what we’re doing,” Payton continued.  “It’s good to see him with the production and the confidence that goes with it.”

Payton went on to address just how important creating takeaways is and what it does for the team.  “You’re given 11 or 12 possession for each team in a game, depending on the type of game it is.  When you have a turnover, you lose one of your possessions; and they gain one.”   The Saints defense has been opportunistic of late, generating five turnovers in their last three games.  “I’ve been encouraged with that,” Payton said.  “It helped us win a week ago against the Rams.”

And Eli Apple wasn’t the only defender mentioned.  Payton also applauded defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who had a sack and two quarterback hits.

“He’s been active.  He’s done a great job of getting the on the edge.  When you play that 3 technique, at times you get the guard one-on-one.  He’s taking advantage of that.  He’s giving us good snaps in both the run and the passing game.  He’s an extremely instinctive player and smart player, a quiet guy but just really a pro’s pro and a great teammate,” said the Saints head coach.

Finally, Payton told Strief and Hebert what they liked about newly-signed wide receiver Brandon Marshall.  “He’s experienced; he’s a quick study.  He’s a real big target.  It’s another chance for us to look at a veteran player who has strong hands in traffic, who can block on the running game, and is a guy that is competitive.”

Take a listen to Coach Sean Payton’s entire conversation with Bobby Hebert and Zach Strief below.

Listen to the Saints Coaches Show live Mondays at 6:30pm, or catch the replay anytime at WWL.com or the RADIO.com app. 

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