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Payton Recaps Friday Night's Practice

Posted Aug 5, 2011

Saints coach talks about signing C Olin Kreutz, updates the transactions and injury report

Listen to Coach Payton's Post-Practice Press Conference

Opening Statement

“We signed center Olin Kreutz today, and waived wide receiver Michael Galatas, which keeps us at 90. The following players are still on the Failed Physical List: Charles Brown (hamstring), Chris Ivory (foot), Tracy Porter (left knee), Greg Romeus (right knee). Those who did not practice today: Ezra Butler, Marques Colston we rested with his right knee, Jarred Fayson with his left ankle. It should be noted that with Chris Ivory, this morning he was in Philadelphia undergoing sports hernia surgery. He went ahead and got that done. He had some pain and discomfort along with the injury to his left foot. That surgery was done this morning. Dr. (William) Meyers was the guy that performed the surgery.”

How far does that injury put Chris Ivory back?

“Realistically, I think it’s a three-week procedure. The feeling was to get this done now. We could have gone the route where we tried to rest him and have this thing linger throughout the season, so we went ahead and made that decision. The report back to us was that it went real well. The tear was clean and he felt that the repair went real well. He (Meyers) felt like this was something that would take three weeks. The real question is whether the foot is ahead or behind the sports hernia. They are probably around the same range, which made it an easy decision to have this surgery done now.”

Does it slow down the foot?

“I think you can still rehab the foot without stressing the surgery he just had. But again, he is working through two things.”

With the signing of Olin Kreutz, how fortunate is it to bring in a veteran with that kind of experience?

“Very. Again, this is a unique season, a different season as you know with free agency and training camp going on and he came in yesterday for a visit. One of the things that’s pretty impressive about this guy is that he has played a long time (13 years), he looked at this as an opportunity – and he left a couple other options on the table that paid a lot more money. His main interest was finding the right fit and the right team, and he felt real good about what he saw. He was at practice yesterday. He was scheduled for an early flight this morning, but he never got on it. He just stayed at the Airport Hilton, and fortunately we agreed on a deal today. His experience, his competitiveness, and all those things are important, and certainly will be important for us.”

Does he make the offensive line a little better?

“Yeah, you know, each guy is a little different. It’s just interesting to be around him, we have a lot of respect for him. You watch him play on film, he goes till the whistle, he’s a tremendous competitor, he’s been to six Pro Bowls, and he’s been with a team that has experienced winning. We’re excited about it and excited about what that brings to our offensive line and our offense in general.”

Now, what does this mean for a young kid like Matt Tennant?

“I would say this situation is fantastic for Matt. He has a chance now to continue his growth. He’s going to compete, and he knows he’s competing. That being said, he’s got a chance to spend time with a 14th-year veteran and see the things that have allowed this guy to play this long and play at such a high level. I think, more than anything, we feel real great about the progress in the short year and a half that we’ve had with Matt.”

The organization has brought in Aubrayo Franklin, Shaun Rogers, and Olin Kreutz on one-year contracts. Do you guys have sort of a “win now” mentality?

“Well if a guy has something to prove, and wants to prove it here this year and hit free agency the next, we completely understand that. We have been successful with guys like that. We’ve had a few players that, if they fit what we are looking for, they can come in here and help us win. Really all we are focused on is now, but we do feel like we have a young team, a young nucleus. Once again, it really enforces the importance of your own draft and being able to hit on players and develop those players. And, periodically, find one of those players: a Darren Sharper, an Olin Kreutz, Shaun Rogers, Darren Sproles, just piece them into the master plan. Hopefully these guys come in here and they get adjusted quickly and get acclimated. All of them have a number of skins on the wall and have played successful football. And now, having them do that for us is the key.”