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Head Coach Sean Payton Sept 3

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Opening Statement:

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"First on our injuries, Hollis Thomas (triceps) did not participate, Troy Evans (ankle) did not participate, Brian Young (foot) full participation, Mark Simoneau (back) was limited today, Mike McKenzie (knee) was full and Deuce McAllister (knee) was full."

Could you describe what the last 72 hours has been like for the team?

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"Overall, I think we've had good attention to detail. The plan that we put in place was relatively smooth. Everyone here has been great for us, starting with the hotel and us getting here Saturday night and Sunday and then Bill Polian and the Irsays with the Colts organization in allowing us to use this facility that has been open all week and it's been real smooth. Probably two-thirds of the team traveled Saturday via our team charter and then a number of players that were planning on being out of town that weekend flew in from the cities they were at. We had a meeting Sunday night and we went to work Monday. Overall, it has been very smooth."

Do you know right now the extent of any damage you might be facing when you get home?

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"I think everyone now has touched base with either family members or neighbors or someone that might have insight – I got a call yesterday from a gentleman that's looking after our home and everything is intact. Fortunately there's nothing in regards to trees being down; I think right now it's mostly electricity and when the power is up and utilities are going. The question more now is when people are deciding to go back. I think a lot of people are planning that trip to be Friday, which is when we're going back as a team. The game is still full speed ahead on Sunday and we're ready to go."

What about at the practice facility?

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"As far as I know, it's solid. Everything's good."

What emotions were you feeling when trying to determine where Gustav was going?

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"The challenge always is making a decision, and you saw the state's decision this time around of treating anything of that magnitude entering the Gulf seriously and then begin your plan. You really try to get out of predicting or projecting where because by the time that takes place to where there is some exactness in where it's going to hit, it's probably a little too late. Our plan all along – starting with Mr. Benson, Mickey Loomis and Dennis Lauscha – was rock solid. I was asked last week where we were going and a lot of that can fluctuate based on availability. Had there been an event here at this dome, then it might have been another city. But from a set-up standpoint in regards to Indianapolis, beginning with the hotel, getting transportation into this city and then the facility here – it's been perfect."

Did you find the team having divided attention at all on Monday when the storm hit New Orleans?

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"I think people kept really updated as to what was happening. We saw it on television and everyone was up to speed and aware. The players and staff – everyone involved with this trip – had a lot of time Friday and Saturday to make sure that their families were taken care of first. Really the plan was two-fold: the first part was family members and getting them squared away and then part two to the plan was our relocation to Indianapolis and really all of it has gone really smooth."

What will it mean to play that game Sunday at your home stadium?

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"It brings a sense of normalcy. Anytime you have something like this take place, it brings a sense of routine and I think that what our people miss most now is their routine. It's a beginning step in the routine and we understand and appreciate that."

Why did you specifically choose to come to Indianapolis?

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"Within each location, what we were looking for was the same facility for the full week, same hotel for the full week and what we found in Indianapolis was a fantastic hotel situation with meeting rooms all on the second floor, we found a great set-up in regards to this facility for the whole week and really a great location when you look at relocating players that had left town. Once you leave in a plane, it could have been St. Louis, it could have been Atlanta or San Antonio, but James Nagaoka, who handles this area for us when it comes to the specifics and the logistics, spent three or four days hitting the phone on the best place given those parameters, and this place came up and clearly has been outstanding. I can't say enough about the job he's done. Every little detail in regards to our meeting rooms, in regards to the bus schedule, the logistics have been fantastic."

How has the city been as far as welcoming you and the players?

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"There really hasn't been much contact. Right now, our focus has been on this game plan and I think the city as a whole would want our focus to be on this game."

What are your thoughts on Lucas Oil Stadium?

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"It's magnificent. In my opinion, it's the nicest stadium that I've been in and I've been in all the new ones. It's fantastic. From the set-up – number one, you have panels on the end zones which outdoor lighting. The challenge with these indoor facilities is the lighting and you get some of the natural light from the outside. I haven't seen the roof open, but it's fantastic; it's great for the city."

What have you seen from the practices you've had so far this week?

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"We had a good practice on Monday, yesterday was the players' day off, and then today we had another good, spirited practice. The focus is certainly on this game and we've tried to keep it that way. I thought we had good work. It was crisp and guys are healthy. You can tell the difference from when you're in a game week and the preseason."

What do you expect from Mike McKenzie, Deuce McAllister and Jeremy Shockey this Sunday?

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"Basically, all I'm going to list is just what I list. In other words, I would never on a Wednesday comment about availability or any of that. It's inappropriate. What's appropriate is what's mandated by the league and what we're mandated to report is what their practice status was today. That's where we're at."

From a purely football standpoint, do you feel your team will be as prepared to play as if you were home this week?

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"Yes."

Are you concerned at all about the turnout from the city on Sunday?

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"Knowing our fan base, I think our turnout will be fantastic. It will be hard to find a seat. Again, this is a city whose ties to their team are unique and different. We've talked about it before, but it gives them a chance to get back and get into a routine. From a timing standpoint with today being Wednesday, I think that a good majority of that region and city will be back into town and I think you'll see the turnout for the game as great. We're looking forward to it."

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