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Joint Practices Wrap Up

Saints head coach talks about three workouts with Pats

Following the conclusion of his team's third joint practice with the New England Patriots, head coach Sean Payton discussed the productivity of the two days of workouts as well as additional issues.

 

Opening Statement:

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"We'll go back to the hotel this afternoon and meet; we're not going to practice this afternoon. Initially on our schedule we had a practice, but we'll have meetings, take a look at the tape and meet again tomorrow and get ready to play tomorrow night."

How beneficial have these head-to-head practices been?

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"I think at this time of training camp especially it certainly raises your awareness level and it's certainly a good change of scenery. When you get a chance to see different looks, both offensively and defensively for both teams and as well as in the kicking game, it has really worked out well. I thought we had good tempo and for us it was a little break in the weather from what we're used to. It has been good."

Have you worked out yet how much the starters will go tomorrow night?

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"We'll take a look at the snaps. We always play maybe a quarter – somewhere around 15 to 18 plays. Generally one group will get more reps in the first quarter and you might have to keep the other group in a little longer to get the snaps even. Then the seconds will get into the third quarter and we'll make a change again with the thirds."

Do you know what happened to Lynell Hamilton in practice today?

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"No, I don't. We're going to get an exam right now. It was something that was kind of a freak deal. He planted – and it's his knee – so we're hopeful it's not serious but we'll find out after he gets examined."

What have the former Patriots players – Randall Gay, Heath Evans and David Thomas – brought to your team?

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"Those three guys have certain roles. In Randall's case, he's played the nickel for us and he's played outside. He's versatile and he has given us a lot of snaps at corner. Heath got off to a good start before his injury last year and in Thomas' case, he played maybe more snaps than we thought he would after Heath's injury because he somewhat filled in the role of the 'F' as well as at tight end."

What will the rotation be at quarterback tomorrow and what do you expect from the backups?

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"Drew (Brees) will get 'X' number of snaps and we'll see how the offense is doing. Patrick (Ramsey) will come in and then with the third wave, you'll see Chase (Daniel) and we'll see how many snaps we can get him and whether Sean Canfield gets in in this first game or not."

Overall, how was the whole experience up here?

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"It's been good. It's been a good opportunity for us to see a lot of things differently than we've been used to seeing them and I think it's good for the players too."

What do you think Rex Ryan brings to the game?

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"He has a confidence about him and that certainly rubs off on his team. He's a good football coach and in a very short time, he has a team believing and playing very well. He's done a great job."

Do you find him amusing?

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"I think he's very talented. A year ago, I had to do a short piece for Sports Illustrated and I projected the Jets to have a good season and sure enough they did. He's a guy that has always been respected as a defensive coach and now you see him as a head coach and I think he's extremely talented. We played them early in the year last year and that's a real good football team."

As the defending champs, when he starts talking about them winning it this year do you have a reaction to that?

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"No. We're just worried about getting formations right right now."

How important has it been for you to replicate what you did last year from the get-go, starting with training camp?

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"You never try to pick up where you left off. We start from scratch again and I think there's a certain path you have to take that involves a lot of hard work and study and preparation. We're early in camp still, considering that there are still four preseason games left. We have a lot of work to do and a lot of stuff to clean up. But any time you begin a season, you want to start off on a good note. We were able to do that a year ago and we'll see what we do this year."

Is Hamilton a guy that needs to play in these games to show anything?

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"We saw a lot of him a year ago. He played quite a bit for us in the kicking game as well as on offense. He's certainly a guy that factored in last year and contributed quite a bit so we know him a little bit better than some of these younger backs."

So if he's held out tomorrow night, that's not necessarily fatal for his chances?

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"No. Not at all."

Does this team haze rookies and in what form?

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"I don't think so. Occasionally you'll see them sing a fight song or something like that and we do a rookie show but that's about it. Maybe they'll buy some chicken before we go on a plane flight but it's pretty typical."

Is it a waste of time to do anything more than that?

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"That's just what we do."

Did anything stand out from your conversations with Bill Belichick this week?

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"We just had some good visits about both teams and where we're at in camp and what we're trying to do. He has been real helpful and they've done a great job here. We really talked about this program and this organization in '06 when we got here and really studying them closely, knowing that they were the model. They've been the model for teams in our league to have success."

Is there an ongoing bet with you and Drew Brees on the success of your books?

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"Just a small wager. We have a year here though, we have a lot of time. It's all been good. The focus now is obviously on training camp and everything is going well."

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