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Payton Wrap Up At Superdome

Posted Aug 17, 2010

Saints coach discusses acquisition of Ladell Betts

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton met with the media following Tuesday morning's practice at the Louisiana Superdome. During his session, Payton discussed the acquisition of RB Ladell Betts, practicing at the Superdome and the progress of rookie CB Patrick Robinson.

Opening Statement: Yesterday, we waived Larry Beavers and signed Ladell Betts. We wanted to get over here (Louisiana Superdome) at some point this week, and we chose to do it this morning. We were going to do it in the afternoon yesterday and we changed that schedule around. This afternoon, we will just have meetings and we will get ready for Houston tomorrow beginning in the morning.

What do you think Ladell Betts brings to the team? He is a veteran player. He is someone who we think has pretty good balance and understands protections well. He worked out well for us. He is coming off an injury, so we need to monitor and be smart about how we practice him, especially in the first couple of weeks back with his ACL. His experience was something that we valued and his workout was good.

Will he play this weekend? No. He has an ACL injury. He hasn’t been involved in football. We don’t see him playing this weekend.

Can you talk about the performance of Will Smith in camp? He is doing well. He has been solid. He is one of those guys that plays the run and pass equally well. He is certainly one of our leaders on defense. He has been very consistent.

Would you ever consider flipping his position? No. We will move guys around but it is safe to say his natural position is over there at the right end. That’s where we feel he best fits our scheme as well. That would be how we normally align, and anything other than that might be a changeup.

Can you talk about moving practice to the Superdome today? We wanted to get a feel for number one, the new surface. Every year, we try to get in here once because they change the surface out every year. Each year it is a new turf. We got a chance to move around on it. They can harden it if we wanted. We will see how today went. I thought it went pretty well. The locker rooms and some other things are different including where the coaches are on game day. They are going to walk through those logistics and try to have that covered before we come in here on Saturday night.

When you look at a guy like Ladell Betts, do you look at how he is going to fit in to this locker room? A lot goes in to that. He is a veteran. With all the research we have done on him, he is a guy that is popular with his teammates. He is a good, all around football player. He’s versatile in that he can play in the base. He is a guy that helped on special teams. The main thing is getting his rehab done and monitoring that he hasn’t been in football for a while. Mainly, his conditioning and his ACL injury. Bringing him along like we have had to do with Jimmy Wilkerson or Heath (Evans). He is a little further behind with just getting him.

You cut Larry Beavers after he had a great play in the last game. Do mistakes stay with you longer than success? You have to evaluate the player and have a vision for what the player can be. There are a number of things that he has done well because he can run. There are a lot of areas that we feel he has to catch up on. That was one example of a player who has done some good things but was behind in some other areas.

What are your thoughts about Patrick Robinson’s play the last couple of days? So far, the key is consistency. He shows good speed and cover ability. One thing, more so than anything else, like a lot of rookies, is being able to transition and handle the whole entirety of the defense and what he can do. The same thing applies for what he can do in the kicking game. Can he cover? Can he be a gunner? With him being healthy now, we are anxious to see his progress. You see the ability, but the key is how quickly they can put that on the field.