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Head Coach Sean Payton Post-Practice - Training Camp Practice #1

    **New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton**  
    **Friday, July 31, 2009**  
    **Opening Statement:**  

"Just a couple of notes in regards to participation, of course Malcolm Jenkins is not here. Adrian Arrington, we'll keep working with his hamstring. Lance Moore is getting some individual work and getting some one-on-one and seven-on-seven on a limited basis and in the mean time we just have to monitor his shoulder. His rehab is going real well. (Jonathan) Vilma is doing well. We just cut back some of his reps, but he participated for the most part in all the drills."

You cited the training camp in Jackson as a big part of your 2006 season. Is there any concern about losing some of that edge in having training camp here?

"One of the things that we have tried to do is to create a camp environment here. That's one of the big reasons that we've set up everything at a hotel; to give these guys a chance to get off their feet with the meetings. I think it's what you make of it. There are pluses and minuses to wherever you decide to hold camp. Obviously the pluses are the facilities; the ability to get inside with bad weather. We're looking forward to it. The set-up here with the fields and the facility in here is really what brought us back."

What were your first impressions after one practice?

"I thought it was good this morning. It's the first time we get a chance to see these guys carrying their pads. You go through the whole offseason and you're never in shoulder pads and I thought it was pretty good. We got a lot in already, just because of the offseason and the spring work. I thought it was a good start. Guys are in pretty good shape."

Were there any heat related problems out there?

"No; none that I'm aware of. I thought it was pretty good. We have always tried to be fairly judicious and cautious that way. On paper, I have one break scheduled but I think that in each practice we take about five and let them cool down and get into the next drill. We'll continue to do that and pay close attention to the weather and how they're doing."

Is there a target number with the heat index that would cause you to take practice inside?

"No. We've gone out when it's extremely hot. The way the practice schedules are shaped up outside of this weekend – this weekend we're going to try to stay outside for the first two-and-a-half days – but once we get into a routine, typically the morning practice will be outside and the afternoon practice we'll go inside. There may be a time where we audible and switch back inside, but the good thing is that we have that flexibility. I thought today's weather was pretty good. There was a breeze and I thought they handled it pretty well."

How do you think the defense has bought into Gregg Williams and the style that he's brought here?

"I think they're all in. I think our players are excited and certainly there is a lot in regards to scheme, in regards to the change from what we did before, but I think they want to be coached hard and I think they're looking forward to and are excited about the opportunities."

Do you think the increased pace of the defense at practice matters much?

"I think it matters a lot. What ends up happening in the course of a game is that turnovers provide one less opportunity in that course of a game for the team that turned it over and an additional opportunity for the team that got the turnover. Really the reason that turnovers matter so much is that if there is a difference of two in a game, the team that ended on the plus side had more opportunities than the team that didn't. I think to practice at that and the way they're approaching it is going to pay off a lot."

Knowing Gregg Williams' reputation for a swarming and attacking defense, do you think this is a style that players generally want to play in?

"Players want to have success. You guys have seen great defenses that have been pressure-oriented. We talked recently about the death of Jim Johnson and what he created (in Philadelphia) over a number of years and the problems that he created. Then you can turn around and talk about some of the great Tampa Bay defenses that swarmed to the ball but played with a different type of philosophy. I think it comes down to pursuit, fundamentals and personnel with the right scheme."

Do you think your personnel is a good mesh with his style?

"I think so. We're certainly approaching it that way. Once we know what we're wanting to do, the key is to then put the pieces in place. That's a big part of this camp. We'll spend a lot of time trying to figure out who and where and as we approach the season, that's important."

Did Vilma do more today than you had expected?

"He did about what we thought, and that was just to cut it back a little but still be involved in every drill. I thought he handled that part of it well. The time from when he had the surgery gave him three or three-and-a-half weeks before we got here to today and in his case we all feel it was a good decision because now it's something that won't linger on."

Will he dial back a little bit this afternoon?

"I think it will be the same. He'll get about two-thirds of what he would normally get from a reps standpoint and then we'll talk about it at night and see where that takes us."

Was it good to see Marques Colston back out there with the team?

"There were a few guys and Marques was one of them that was full go today. Reggie was full go today. Some of those players that were limited in the spring are getting back and certainly it's good to have someone like him back."

With the camp he had before his injury last year, is it disappointing to see Adrian Arrington injured again this year?

"We have a long way to go here. My experience with hamstrings is that when you start hurrying them, then they turn into injuries that linger on and on and on. What we have to do is work his rehab, make sure that mentally he knows what's going on. To his credit, he picks things up quick, so if he misses a rep I'm not as concerned with the mental aspect of it as I am with when he gets back and getting in playing shape. We just have to make sure that he's healthy before he gets inserted back into the lineup."

What did you see that you liked from the defense out there today?

"It was pretty much what we saw in the spring. They're getting to the ball well. I think they have a real good grasp as to what's being played. I like their hustle and they're doing a real good job of stripping balls and trying to create turnovers. It was good to see that."

It seemed like Robert Meachem was playing with a lot of confidence out there. Have you seen that?

"He made a big play on a go route. He's healthy, and I've said before that with him, he's so much further along mentally with what we're doing that it has allowed him to play and not really have to think while he plays and that's just going to help him."

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