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Head Coach Sean Payton Q and A

    <span>              <span style="">Opening Statement: </span>                 

"We just finished our third OTA. We have all of the veterans minus Will Smith and the rookies all here. There's one rookie player, a fullback we signed (Olaniyi) Sobomehin who's still in the process of graduating. He is a free agent we signed out of Portland State. In regards to Charles Grant, I know that we have issued a statement, but the only thing that I might add is that obviously it's something that we take very seriously and certainly our condolences go out to the family. The most important thing is the justice system taking its process, something that the league will handle and certainly the state of Georgia will handle. In the meantime we wait. Charles was here today at practice. He's going to head to Georgia tonight, be there tomorrow and he'll return to New Orleans on Friday. We'll support him and through the New Orleans Saints security, we will gather as much information as we can in the meantime and let the process take its place."

Is this a matter that your security team has been and will be monitoring?

"It would be hard for me to get into elaborating specifically on this. The bottom line is that they are very serious charges and we're going to support him right now, do our best to help him, help the league and helped the state of Georgia with their investigation. I know Charles has been available and made an effort to do everything just as they want. Certainly that would be our advice to him and it becomes a league and state matter right now. Obviously the seriousness of it is the death of an individual. There's nothing more that I want to elaborate on than that we have guidelines that the league wants us to follow and for good reason."

Is it your understanding that he will be able to continue practicing with the team?

"Right now he'll be continuing with us and doing everything that the league and the state of Georgia ask of him and we'll keep you posted if there are any changes. I really don't think it's fair for me to elaborate anymore on it. We're still gathering information. Our own security people are still gathering information and we'll go from there."

How much have you and the organization been in contact with Will Smith concerning his absence from these workouts?

"He and I had a chance to visit about a month and a half ago and you'd like to have all your players here. It's not unusual. I think you just go around the league and each team has a player or two that's unhappy with his contract and so in the meantime our focus is on the players that are here. We have one more OTA tomorrow; they're off through the weekend and back in here next Thursday night. We start a mandatory minicamp next weekend."

How is Bobby McCray doing?

"He's doing fine. He's nicked up a little bit with an injury he got in his pec from lifting weights, but he's coming along."

Do you think Will Smith will appear at minicamp?

"It's mandatory and I would expect him to be at minicamp."

How is Jonathan Vilma doing?

"Vilma's doing well. He's participating in half a practice. He's not taking part in any of the team reps, but he's working in the individual and seven on seven sessions. I have been encouraged with his progress. There have not been any setbacks. It's been real positive."

Can you discuss the progress of Adrian Arrington?

"He's had a couple of good practices out there and he's made some plays out there today. He's learned quickly what to do, which is half the battle for a young receiver. He's a big target and still has a ways to go. His transition has been pretty quick and that's been encouraging."

Have any other players caught your eye out there?

"Sedrick (Ellis) has done a good job. It's tough because you're limited in how much you can do in regards to the rules. I think by and large the offensive line has had a good offseason. Jammal Brown has had one of the better offseasons, I know the best he has had in his career here. He's been doing extremely well."

What is the overall mission of the OTA sessions?

"It's about getting them back on the field and getting them quickly indoctrinated to what we're doing from a scheme standpoint, the timing and the mental part of what we do, along with getting used to performing football movements, being on offense, defense and the kicking game. There is a lot of drill work. There are a lot of installations that we're giving them a lot of which we will give them again in minicamp and again in training camp. You're trying to tinker a little bit with some things you've done in the offseason that you might want to change."

How is Jonathan Goodwin doing so far?

"He's doing well. He's an experienced player and he played quite a bit for us last year, so it's been a lot smoother for him being that he's comfortable with what we're doing. He's someone that has had a good offseason. That group in general has done very well from a lifting and conditioning standpoint. I think he's handled the transition well."

Is DeMario Pressley here?

"Pressley was here. He has a foot injury that will probably be about a two-week deal that we have to work through based on his rehab. It was an old injury that flared up yesterday. The good news is that initially we thought it might be a little longer, but it should be about two weeks."

Could you run through the injuries you have?

"Here are the guys that didn't participate: Deuce McAllister – knee, Josh Bullocks – knee, Aaron Glenn – ankle, Mike McKenzie – knee, Mark Simoneau – hip, DeMario Pressley – foot, and Eric Johnson – ankle. Those guys are all not surprises. Pressley's injury just came yesterday. Simoneau has a hip; it shouldn't be anything, but it keeps him out of next weekend. We talked about Eric Johnson at an earlier press conference with his ankle and Aaron Glenn is rehabbing his ankle and should be close to go for minicamp, and Josh Bullocks the same way."

Did Bullocks have surgery?

"Yes, on his knee."

Will Deuce McAllister be ready for minicamp?

"We'll see. Our goal for him is to see how quickly he's coming along. The key is not pushing it too fast. He's kind of a wait-and-see on minicamp. But he would be a full go for training camp right now."

Is there anything wrong with Steve Weatherford?

"Weatherford was out here and tweaked a muscle. He went in to get treatment, but he should be fine. They're going to go take a look at it and make sure."

Is Deuce on schedule of where you expected him to be?


Was Randall Gay lining up in the base defense or only in nickel?

"He was playing base and nickel."

How is Robert Meachem progressing?

"You don't see the gait and he's healthier, which has helped him. This offseason has helped him."

It looked like you were working a lot of dime situations today. Is that the case?

"It was a lot of third down; a lot of nickel and dime. We were in a lot of nickel and a lot of third down groups today. The first two days we were in more base personnel, so you guys saw a lot of sub groupings on both sides of the ball."

Do you intend to add another linebacker?

"We may add another linebacker."

Would it be a veteran?

"I don't know that it would be. I think that the key is finding the right guy and it could very well be a young player."

Are you pleased with what you have seen from Mark Brunell?

"He's a quick study. Obviously he's experienced and he seems to be in real good shape and he's throwing it well. He's had a couple of good practices here and we gain from a having a guy like him, just from his experience as we install and talk about what we're doing scheme-wise. He's coming along."

Do you have any thoughts on the owners opting out of the CBA?

"It is what it is. They're pretty unified in their vote. I don't think it was a big surprise to anybody."

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