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July 28 Coach Payton


Opening Statement:

"On practice today, Tracy Porter and Devery Henderson did not participate. We examined their hamstrings and the news was relatively good. They didn't seem to have a lot of swelling – I don't want to give you a timeframe, but we'll just keep rehabbing those guys and be pretty cautious about bringing them back when they're ready. Mike McKenzie missed this morning and we anticipate for him to practice for the first time this afternoon. He'll be moved from PUP to the regular roster. Todd Blythe sat out this morning's practice and he'll probably sit out again this afternoon and probably be ready to go again tomorrow. He got his bell rung yesterday in a blocking drill. We're just giving him 24 hours to get back to speed. Bobby McCray had some back spasms, but nothing serious."

How do feel Usama Young has played so far in camp?

"He made a couple of plays in the red zone (this morning). He's going to be in the thick of it. He's a guy in his second year now that has to push to play and he'll be one of those guys that we'll look at and evaluate and this preseason will be real important for him."

Is Usama noticeably more comfortable now?

"He's in his second year and he has a pretty good grasp of what we're trying to do. It's now just a matter of applying his technique and honing in on the details of playing the corner position. But he's not a rookie anymore and he played enough last year on special teams where I think he'll be ready to compete. He's made some good progress and we'll be anxious to see what he does here in these next few weeks."

What have you seen from Adrian Arrington?

"He's picked things up quickly – I've mentioned before that he's pretty smart, so from an awareness standpoint that helps him. He has strong hands. A lot of these guys that we're talking about are going to have a stretch of time here in Saturday's and the preseason games to compete for playing time and he's one of those guys."

In this morning's practice, would you say that defense looked better than the offense?

"I thought we struggled early offensively. Defensively we did a pretty good job of getting to the passer and we were able to force some turnovers on defense, so that was encouraging. This was the first real hot practice weather-wise that we've had and I think we battled through it. This afternoon I'm sure will be the same way. The emphasis was really on the red zone and it will be in the afternoon practice as well."

Mike McKenzie is going to be a 100% full-go?

"We'll be smart, but he'll be practicing. We'll probably keep him on a one-a-day schedule, much like Deuce and Shockey to start with."

Are you concerned with the hamstring injuries to Porter and Henderson yesterday?

"I think the key is not pushing them back too quickly because it is an injury that if it's not rehabbed and rested properly that you can get it re-aggravated and we don't want to do that. It would be hard to give you a timeframe, but I think we're at least a week out with both of those guys based on the nature of the injury. They were mild hamstrings, which is a good thing, but that being said I don't want it to turn into something that becomes a month or two month-long process."

Are these just training camp injuries that happen or are you more concerned?

"We've been pretty fortunate really, with where we're at now and the amount of practices that we've gotten in, our (injury) list is pretty small."

Is the return game difficult to gauge with simulations in practice?

"I think it's a little harder in practice just by the nature of the tempo and the teaching scheme. We'll have a chance to evaluate it better in live situations, particularly the preseason games.

With Devery being a known commodity, can he take more time to recover or does he need to be back out there competing as soon as possible?

"I don't think that Devery's at a position where we can say that we know what we have with Devery, and I know that he wants to get back out there as quickly as possible. It's a little bit different in the case of Tracy (Porter) in the sense that he's just starting out and he needs these reps. But with both players, we'll see – whether it's a week or two weeks – but today it was moderate swelling, not much at all, and some soreness, which you would expect, and that was good."

How has Lance Moore looked to you?

"He's someone who is extremely intelligent. He has secure hands and he's out there battling. He keeps himself in good shape and he's at one of those positions where he's going to have to help us out on special teams."

Any update on the Sedrick Ellis situation?

"No news. Like I said yesterday, we're into the fourth and fifth day of practices and he needs to be here, sooner than later."

When do you really start getting concerned about him not being here?

"Last Friday."

Is there a "point of no return" that he needs to arrive by?

"We're at a point that he needs to recognize – and I'm sure he will – that the slots ahead of him have signed and he's missing valuable playing time and valuable reps as a rookie. So then when he comes in we have a week where we have to get him acclimated because he hasn't been here and that's why there's some urgency on his part."

Do his chances of being in the lineup go down with each day he misses?

"That's hard to say. If he's missing, he's missing reps and he's missing opportunities to learn and get better and that can affect his play. If you just look at the history of guys that have held out in their rookie seasons for a period of time longer than four or five days, it hasn't been real good."

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