Friday Practice Notebook
SPECIAL VISITORS: The Saints welcomed the Vandebilt Catholic Terriers Football team to their facility Friday afternoon prior to the Terriers season opener at Belle Chasse.
The Terriers made the visit with heavy hearts as their starting QB T.J. Cantrelle and starting safety Ian Haydel, along with two other VCHS students, were killed in a tragic car accident last week.
One of the Vandebilt coaches, Josh Constant, worked for the Saints in 2006 and reach out to Head Coach Sean Payton to make him aware of the accident.
The Terriers got to watch the end of the Saints practice and after the practice players met with their fellow position group of players on the Saints. Coach Payton gave the group an encouraging speech and a broke a huddle with the team.
"I think more than anything else it's trying to help them through a difficult time and it was great to see them and their team and the families were there as well," said Payton. "Certainly our prayers are with them and yet they seemed in good spirits and ready for a game tonight, so I thought it was a good deal."
THOMAS OUT:Payton ruled RB Pierre Thomasout of Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals with an ankle injury.
"I think without jumping ahead, (Pierre) is right at the corner here," said Payton. "The swelling's gone down. By the nature of the position he's playing we're trying to keep the weight off it. He won't make the trip. The guys that are out for us won't make the trip. He really needs to keep it elevated. He's real close."
"I didn't think it would be a big deal from the Falcons game but as the days went by it got worse," said Thomas. "It was hurting but I was still able to walk on it. It's getting better now and I am walking fine. We are going to take it slow but I will be doing a lot of treatement."
SECONDARY SECURED:Safties Roman Harper, Pierson Prioleauand Usama Young all appeared on this week's injury report. Harper said he is confident the secondary will perform well no matter who suits up on Sunday.
"We have guys like Patrick Robinsonand 'Blue' (Randall Gay)back there and we have all the confidence in the world in them," said Harper. "We have a great defensive scheme and whoever is out there just has to execute what is called."
VOTE FOR BREES:The voting for the 2011 Jefferson Awards All Star Dream Team has started and runs through Dec. 31, 2010. For the second year in a row, All Stars Helping Kids is proud to partner with the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to recognize professional athletes who have committed their time, energy and resources to uplifting their communities.*QBDrew Brees is a nominee and fans can vote for Brees at the link below: *http://www.allstarshelpingkids.org/teammates/index2011.html