Coach Sean Payton sat down for an interview with ESPN's Chris Berman and Jon Gruden during the second round of the NFL Draft. Below are some highlights:
On DE Cameron Jordan and RB Mark Ingram both being sons of former NFL players:
"Certainly, that is something we feel is beneficial. Both of these players are guys we graded out really well. We spent a lot of time in the evaluation process. You don't know when you are picking as late as No. 24 how things are going to unfold in front of you. When Cameron Jordan slipped, we really, really liked this player. He was in for a visit. We spent a lot of time with him. Area scouts, Rick Reiprish and Mickey Loomis (were in on) coming up with that decision.
"Shortly after that, we began to look at a way to get Mark Ingram, the running back out of Alabama. He too is someone we are really familiar with. We were excited for the opportunity to get back in the first round to do that."
On how he plans to utilize the running backs this season:
"No. 1, we have always separated the skill set of Reggie Bush. There are so many unique things that he does. That is a little different to that position. Pierre (Thomas) is a guy that we feel very strongly about. He had a heck of a 2009 season. He was injured last season but he is a guy that even after the injury against Atlanta, we were able to play him in a few games. He will come back and rehab strong.
"Now we take a guy like Mark Ingram. We have another young player in Chris Ivory. It is a position group that we feel strongly that we need to have enough bodies to carry the load for the length of the season. (Jon Gruden's) comments yesterday were right on about us really getting back to that running game, helping our defense out and having that balance in the offense that we had in 2009."
On how the NFC South has done in the NFL Draft so far:
"Clearly, it is a competitive division. The first thing that comes to mind when you look at this division is the quarterback play. Not even discussing Drew Brees but you look at (Josh) Freeman in Tampa and Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Certainly, Carolina is going to be in the process of developing a young quarterback. You are going to see week in and week out a real talented quarterback. Carolina is going to be developing Cam Newton.
I also think you see a commitment by this division. Whether it's the pass rush of Tampa Bay, the receivers Atlanta added to their roster, (or how) we were able to help ourselves with an end and a running back. I think it is extremely competitive and I think all those teams helped themselves in the last 24 hours."
On if he believes RB Reggie Bush will be with the Saints this season:
"I do. I had a good visit with him this morning. I know there has been a lot talked about and I get back to really looking at his role. It is uniquely different than some of our other players. I had a chance to talk to him this morning, much like five years ago when we visited with Deuce McAlister when we drafted Reggie Bush. I think more importantly your players want to know your vision as a coach and 'how do you see myself being used?' For us, we have a clear vision and clear blueprint on what we want to do with Reggie Bush. Certainly that is separate from Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram. They are all different players. I think we will handle that. We definitely plan on (Bush) being a part of what we are doing this upcoming season."