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Coach Payton's Wednesday Press Conference

Posted Nov 17, 2010

Coach gives injury report, previews Seahawks game

Saints head coach Sean Payton held his first press conference since the bye week to give his team's first injury report of the week and preview Sunday's contest against the Seahawks.

Opening Statement:
“Let’s go through the injury report for today’s practice: tackle Jon Stinchcomb (knee) was limited; running back Reggie Bush (fibula) was limited; Chris Ivory (shoulder) was limited; Malcolm Jenkins (neck) was limited; Darren Sharper (hamstring) did not practice; Pierre Thomas (ankle) did not practice; tight end Jeremy Shockey (rib) did not practice; and cornerback Patrick Robinson (ankle) did not practice. Most of the work was base, with some nickel today with the schedule being a little different having gotten some work in on Monday.


Do you see these “amoeba” or free-floating defensive fronts as a fad or something you think you’ll be seeing more of?


“I don’t think it’s a fad. We’ve seen it in years past. I think it’s something that for the last couple or three years you’ve seen more and more, especially on third down. It’s trying to get off the field defensively, not trying to be stagnant but trying to really confuse the protections to begin with and get a guy free. I wouldn’t say it’s anything new; it’s something that has existed now for a couple of years.”


Do you think you’ll see more of it?


“At Carolina we got a few snaps of it. Each week you try to prepare for it. One thing that helps is that when you stay in the third down and manageable situations where it’s not as one-dimensional to where it’s just pass. When you stay underneath third-and-seven, I think it’s harder to play in the third down and two-to-three or four-to-six, and yet each week you work on those different looks.”


You and Reggie Bush had both spoken pretty confidently last week about him returning for this game. Does that still seem likely?


“Yes. He was limited today; he moved around pretty well and got some good work. We just keep plugging ahead and increasing the workload.”


Was Pierre Thomas able to do some more today?


“Yes. He’s making progress. With him, I really just want to go day-to-day here this week and just see how he continues to move.”


What is the status of Shockey’s ribs? Is it a pain tolerance thing?


“He didn’t practice. It’s just getting through that initial soreness.”


Is Pierre out of the boot and off crutches?


“Yes. He’s been out now and was out and all that.”


How would you see your gameday roster looking if Reggie is able to play? Would he take the spot of another running back?


“We’ll see. There are a lot of move parts to it when you take into account the handful of guys that didn’t practice. We have some flexibility and we’ll wait as the week goes on without trying to on Wednesday predict where it would be. We’ll see how it goes.”


Is this the best that Reggie has looked since his injury?


“Yes. Each week he has gotten better and better progressively, so yes. There haven’t been any setbacks, so naturally he’s better today than he was a week ago or two weeks ago.”


What have you been able to do in recent weeks to increase your yards per passing attempt?


“It’s just being mindful of our shot plays and continuing to work on those each week in practice. Those can come on early downs; those can come on third down. It’s each week trying to create those opportunities and yet check it down if it’s not there. Drew (Brees) has done a good job at that.”


Is there anything you’ve done differently as far as play design?


“We always look to tweak and come up with new thoughts and we’ll continue to do that.”


What have you seen from Seattle so far?


“They’re a team with real good speed. They played well last week. First off, in the return game, Leon Washington is a huge threat as a returner, just as (Golden) Tate is on their punt returns. That’s one aspect that jumps out at you. With Matt (Hasselbeck) at quarterback, they’re playing with a lot of confidence. He played well last week. They have speed outside at receiver and they have size as well. Defensively, you get a lot of different looks, especially in the nickel. They’ve been able to rush the passer as well as anyone this season, when you look statistically at their hurries, their sacks, their numbers. They cover well on the back end. So they present a big challenge and there are some looks that are different and are unlike some other defenses that we’ve faced prior to this game. They’re playing with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence.”


You’ve drafted guys from USC in Reggie Bush, Charles Brown and Sedrick Ellis. Do you have a relationship with Pete Carroll as a result of that?


“Just professionally from over the years. Outside of that, it would be more of the league events. He’s done a great job when you look first at the success that they had at USC and then the success that they’re having right now in quickly turning their program around.”


What kind of challenges face you in playing this game and then turning around with a Thursday afternoon game next week? Do you prepare any differently?


“The key is just making sure that you’re looking at the rep count. The focus obviously this week is just on Seattle and then the Thursday game after becomes a little bit more challenging in regards to how much time you spend practicing and meeting and going through walkthroughs. But it doesn’t really affect this week at all.”


Were you able to spend any time on Dallas during the bye week?


“No. Our prep and everything has been just Seattle.”


Can you talk about Mike Williams and his re-emergence this season?


“Every once in a while in our league, a player finds another chance and another opportunity and he has taken advantage of it. He’s making a lot plays. He’s a guy that has real strong hands and does a great job of making plays above his head. Certainly you can see the confidence in Matt (Hasselbeck) in their passing game in calling his number, he gets targeted quite a bit and he’s playing with a lot of confidence. That’s a credit to him and to the staff there. They’ve done a good job of bringing him along and you can see that each week on tape.”


If Reggie is a full-go this week, would that include punt returns?


“We’ll see. We’ll see where he’s at.”


Is it tougher to get back into that than at running back?


“I think it’s a good possibility. I don’t know that it’s tougher. That’s something that we’ll consider and look at as the week goes on and have a plan once the game starts.”