Following the morning practice, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton addressed the media in a trancript below. Among the topics he discussed is a change in practice schedule for this week where previously scheduled 3:20 practices on Tuesday and Thursday will now be moved to 8:50 a.m. The practices will be open to the public.
Opening Statement: **We have the same list of guys that we've backed off on. We rested Jimmy Wilkerson and we will continue to monitor him and his progress. I think, tomorrow, we will get (Marques) Colston back for some work and off the PUP list. We will be inside in the P.M. practice. Tomorrow, we are going to change the schedule a little bit and come outside with our full practice, our single practice, in the A.M. at 8:50. At 8:50 A.M., we will be outside with a full practice, then we will do our walkthroughs later on. So we'll have one practice in the morning, that's different.
Lance Moore seemed rejuvenated. What are your thoughts on him this camp?He's consistent and he's a guy who knows what we're doing. It's good to see him healthy. He's somebody that really has a great grasp on what we are trying to do, and rarely makes a mental error.
Do you have any time table on Jeremy Shockey?I think it's just us backing off some of the reps, but I would say in two days.
What is Matt Tennant's status? Will he be here this afternoon?He should get back to us here Monday. I'll have a chance to visit with him, and we will get him up to speed.
To clarify on Jeremy Shockey, will he miss tomorrow and Wednesday?That hadn't been said, so there is no clarification needed. The bottom line is that somebody asked me, "what's your prognosis?" and I said probably two days.
What's his deal?A knee. He has some soreness. Everything came back negative, so we are just backing off his snaps.
Can you talk about Commissioner Goodell's schedule?He's not going to be at practice tonight. He's going to be meeting with our players this afternoon and have a chance to tour the facility. He won't be at the P.M. practice.
Will you have a chance to speak with him in person?Yes.**
Is there anything burning on your mind to speak with the commissioner about?No. More than anything, just to touch base and have a chance to visit. There is nothing specific.
Do you keep track when there is talk about labor negotiations? Do you pay much attention to it?Not really. Especially this time of the year. That's for next season, and there is not really much we are involved in. So, no.
Did you move practice because of the heat?No, we are just trying to put a little distance between the full padded practice we had, for instance, last night and then this morning. Then on the B schedule, if I move that practice in the AM, there will be 18 hours between when we practice again rather than a shorter period of time. We are just trying to optimize the amount of time they have between a full padded practice. The schedule will just completely flip. What we did in the P.M. we'll do in the A.M. And then in the P.M., they'll lift weights, they'll meet, we'll do a little walkthrough.
Are you going to do that later on also?Yes. I anticipate doing that for the B schedule the rest of the way.
Will you talk a little bit about how your quarterbacks are looking so far other than Drew Brees?I think, number one, there is a lot going on. There is a lot of offense in, a lot of defense in. What's going to be important is how they play in the preseason when they get in to the game situations. We grade each play now. We grade the throws and that stuff but getting them in a game situation or a scrimmage situation, even next week against another team is going to be good.
So that's going to determine, basically, who is going to win that job?Yes. you evaluate the reps in the preseason. You evaluate closely, and there is a lot that goes in to that.
Are games more important than practice?Yes. Games are part of the process. Practice, you are able to see a lot and you begin to get an idea what you have. But a lot of times, guys will go out and maybe not play as well in games, and sometimes guys will go out and play better in games. All of that goes in.
Will you talk about what you saw in Scott Shanle when you made the trade for him in 2006 after that exhibition game?Well, I had been with him in Dallas. Gary Gibbs and I were there and so we had a little bit more background on the player. We knew he could run, and he was smart. And he has quietly become one of our better players on defense. He's a consistent player. You know exactly what you have, which is a good trade. He's got good athleticism.
Can you see big progress mentally in Stanley Arnoux and Chip Vaughn who kind of went through the same thing?Clearly they are much more along now than they were a year ago. That being said, they are healthy. They're not being held back by an injury. In their second year, there is a lot more that they have going for them right now. It's good to have them on the field, competing.
Mickey Loomis said in a pre-Thursday conference, that if anything needed to be improved, it would be the "goal to go". Where is it that it needs to be corrected?You study closely your goal line offense, your goal line defense, and you don't get as many snaps during the year. You might have 15-16 snaps total in a given season, so its working against the different looks you are going to see. When you need two yards, it becomes more difficult. Just becoming more efficient and finding the right ball carrier that we want to run our goal line offense.
When you look at your punt return game, statistically you weren't as good as you would have liked to be last year. What did you see that you need to improve on to make the game better. *We need to keep the returner a little bit more clear. We can do a better job on our holdups. That aspect, is one specifically in the spring we worked on, we talked about. We got better at it. Just taking advantage of the speed we have with a guy like Reggie (Bush) and the other returners we have, winning on the individual blocks, especially early in the play.*
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