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Payton Gives Final Injury Report, Talks about Ivory

Posted Oct 28, 2011

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Friday, October 28, 2011

Opening Statement:
“RB Mark Ingram with his right heel did not practice and will be out for this game. Chris Ivory in the next 24-48 hours will be brought to the 53.  Tight end David Thomas, concussion was limited and will be questionable. Zach Strief with his right knee was limited. He’ll be questionable. Jon Vilma, left knee, limited, probable. The rest of these guys will all be probable; Sedrick Ellis, ankle, limited, probable. Jon Casillas, knee was full, probable. Jimmy Graham, ankle, full, probable. Will Herring, hamstring, full, probable. John Gilmore, neck, full, probable. Turk McBride, the shoulder was full, probable..”

Your team won’t have a logistical issues with the World Series wrapping up and a potential celebration?
“No, I asked. Someone today had mentioned that tonight’s game was rained out, one of the teams was in our hotel. That’s not true. We’re all set tomorrow with our normal walk-through in the morning, airport (travel) to St. Louis.”

Couldn’t a victory parade affect logistics?
“I don’t know that it would impact us. We usually get an escort. There might be more people in the city. I think they’ll work their way around that.”

The game plan with Pete Carmichael Jr., can you discuss the level of collaboration between the two of you?
“Let me give you some insight into the week in what’s pretty normal. On Mondays, the first part of Monday is spent on the game we just played. There’s a staff meeting. We review the player grades. We discuss the game and if the players are in, we go down to a team meeting and the players will have lifted weights and received treatment prior to that. The second part of Mondays are spent individually as coaches, both sides of the ball, myself included, watching tape of the opponents. Usually around 4 or 4:30, the defense will have a scouting report from our pro personnel of our opponent. This week either Ryan Pace, Ryan Powell, one of our guys, Terry (Fontenot) will give an advance. It is someone who was just recently at their last game. That advance, Terry Fontenot, Ryan Powell, Ryan Pace, they kind of rotate. Joey Vitt add one and so that’s presented to the staff defensively at 4, offensively at 4:30. The rest of Monday is spent watching cut-ups and tape. Tuesday, both offensively and defensively you begin gameplanning, putting in the runs you want. Aaron Kromer spends a lot of time with Bret Ingalls and Terry Malone (in run game). Pete, Joe Lombardi, CJ (Curtis Johnson) will spend time looking at the passing game. Generally, late afternoon or after the lunch hour, the running game for first and second down is complete and then we begin the passing game for Wednesday’s practice, which would include our drop back, play action pass, screens and nakeds. That’s generally finished somewhere by nine in the evening. Then there’s preparation for the next day, cards, things for practice. Wednesday comes and that same scouting report we got, our players get in the morning. There’s a team meeting, a special teams meeting, an offensive and defensive meeting and the pro personnel people will come down and basically go through the players, how they’re seen by us, strengths and weaknesses. We’ll practice Wednesday what was planned Tuesday, first and second down. When practice is over with, we’ll meet with the players and put closure to it and then on Wednesday P.M., once again we’re back in meetings discussing third down, third and two, three, four, six, seven to ten, 11 as well as two minute. I don’t know that defensively we’re doing the exact same thing at the exact same time. Typically they’re on the nickel as well. We meet and present and walk through and work on third down. Thursday P.M. after meetings we get onto red zone, goal line and short yardage. This whole time, there are things exchanged, ideas. This has been really consistent since ’06. This is what we do. Some nights are longer than others based on the scheme we’re playing. After Thursday night’s finished. We had what we did today in meetings, presentation of the goal line, red zone, short yardage then the practice of it. When you get to Friday p.m. if there were boxes empty during the week they usually get filled, so the players are out of here earlier. The coaches are out of here earlier. Saturday walk-through and we travel and get ready to play Sunday. Aside from Monday, there’s a lot of input from a lot of coaches and decisions that we make, let’s do this, this and this instead of this. Let’s add. It’s never etched in stone. There are some times on Thursday and Friday when we might say let’s go add this base run that seems to be pretty good that we don’t have in the plan after a couple days of practice. What does take place during the week is you begin to see what looks good and how the players execute a certain scheme and the run and pass and you begin to formulate not necessarily the list, but some things that are a priority based on how they look during practice and each week these aren’t’ new thoughts and ideas. The newness sometimes is formation, the personnel, because we talked last week when you play a team like the Colts and you deal with (Robert) Mathis and your dealing with (Dwight) Freeney, there are some things protection wise that are critical and I think what’s most important week in and week out is identifying their best players on both sides of the ball and kicking game, how are we going to account for them, trying to take advantage of players where we maybe think it’s a favorable matchup.”

Philosophically if you two weren’t compatible you wouldn’t have hired him in the first place?
“Yes. It’s interesting. Peter was recommended to me by Tony Sparano who I coached with in Dallas. Tony had been with Pete in Cleveland. I met Pete before. He had a great reputation and when I was hired here, we began the process of assembling a staff. I would say Pete was one of the earlier hires. He was a quality control coach in San Diego. We hired him to be quarterbacks coach, which was a promotion. That came a month and week away from all of a sudden Drew Brees becoming available and us signing Drew Brees. That was really kind of a coincidence, and yet when that happened, Pete had some insight into how things were called in San Diego, I thought this was us putting in a new offense from the beginning, we were able to take some terminology he was used to and even in the PowerPoint presentation, when he came on his visit, we were able to present a package and offense in a way he was able to see and hear how it was going to be called in terms of that system that he was familiar with that we went ahead with and used, because we hadn't installed yet. It was important that we stuck with what I knew, but there were some things that were easy to put into place. A year or two later, Peter had an opportunity to be a coordinator and chose to stay. Shortly after that he was promoted to be our offensive coordinator after Doug Marrone took the Syracuse job. In fact he had two chances in back to back years for a promotion. As (Bill) Parcells would say he’s been a real good soldier, a guy that works his tail off, is very disciplined in his schedule and is very intelligent. He’s had a lot to do with the success we’ve had here. He’s someone I trust and will ask a lot of times what do you think of this. He’s met directly with Drew Brees in the course of the week. When they meet it’s Pete and Joe Lombardi now who is our quarterbacks coach that meets with the quarterbacks. There’s five and a half years now of a system, terminology and scheme that have been constant. So clearly, that transition for instance that took place last week was easier and cleaner to do with Pete’s experience. That’s the first time that he got to call a game. That’s always something. Its’ different. His preparation was outstanding, so whether he’s calling a game or not calling a game, the input through the week and on gamedays is just as critical. Again, when we’re talking about last night’s meeting, we’re talking about five red zone throws that we like from the five yard line to the ten. To some degree, we’re beginning to narrow things down. That’s what makes Drew so effective. He understands when the play is sent into him, he knows what it is based on his study and the reps during the week.”

Tony Sparano tried to hire him later?
“He did. Cam (Cameron) first did and then when Tony got hired, he called.”

You couldn’t say no to Sparano?
“Technically under the framework of the league, any coach like a player (is property of the club), regardless of whether it’s an obvious promotion financially or from a title standpoint. If he’s under contract, the team that’s being requested can deny permission. We were denied permission two or three times when I first got hired in ’06. I think Mickey (Loomis) and I looked at that. We philosophically approached it if a guy like Dennis Allen has a chance to promote or get promoted where it’s an obvious one, we wouldn’t stand in the way, nor did we with Pete and so I think in one case he went down and went through the interview process, but ten, eight, 11 years ago that was kind of abused a little bit where coaches had another title and another title, so we just try to look at each case separately. In Dennis’ (Allen) case, the question I had for John (Fox) was will Dennis be calling the defense or are you going to call it? Dennis is calling the defense. We went in that direction with it.”

Is there a talent to calling plays?
“I think some, there’s a feel, some instincts that kick in. I think it’s something you can progressively get more comfortable with and get better at. I think the one thing I mentioned to him last week is I still have to remind myself in doing or not doing is that when you call the first down and send it in, it’s easy to get caught up watching the game. You see the result and you go to second down. I think when you get into a little bit of a flow, after you’ve sent in first down, your immediately beginning to think what your second down thoughts are. Face it, second down and seven, ten, four. If it’s second and two, we need to give some thought to not taking a minus play, but my point is if you can get onto the next play mentally and not spectate, then your tempo and timing can be quicker. When it’s second down and eight, generally, I’m looking at third and eight with the assumption I have an incomplete or maybe we don’t get any yards and if we do, you just slide your eyes over to the third down, three box. I think intelligence is important. I think being quick and totally invested in the week’s work. So, last week, I could have called the game. That wouldn’t have been fair in that it would have been me looking down at plays and just calling them. We progress forward each week, we’ll look at it. Know this, the coincidence after having a chance to see Pete and how quickly and cleanly it came out and he was able to do what he talked about. As soon as that play was down, he was on to the next personnel grouping, the next call and some of the times you get caught up as a head coach, maybe at an official, maybe dealing with a technique with a player. All of a sudden now you’re getting to the next call later than I should be. There are some that are better at it than others, absolutely.”

Do you plan to let Greg Romeus practice with the team?
“Right now there’s nothing imminent. I know his rehab is going extremely well. I can’t tell you that like three weeks ago with Chris Ivory that when PUP is over, or three weeks ago he’s ready to play.”

Would you like to take advantage of having him?
“It would depend on all the other things that would happen as a result of moving him (active). Certainly we’d like to get him practice time.”

How is his rehab?
“He’s close. In fact, the week he had this week all reports up there are he had his best yet. Now he’s overcoming an ACL later in the year in college. When we drafted Greg, we understood that and probably wouldn’t have been able to draft him where we did had it not been for the injury. He’s doing well. He’s another one of my training room partners. I see him in there two seats over to the left.”



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