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Payton Discusses Lineup for Raiders

Payton talks about who might sit out against the Raiders and the play of RB Mark Ingram and CB Tracy Porter


Opening Statement:

"Here's the list of players who did not practice: Ezra Butler, Tom Johnson, Johnny Patrick, Jeff Charleston, Fabian Washington, Chris Taylor, Aubrayo Franklin, Clint Ingram, Roger Allen, Jarred Fayson, Carl Nicks, Junior Galette, Lance Moore, and Joe Morgan.  Joe Morgan, we're going to scope on Monday.  He has a meniscus.  We did the MRI today.  It's something that came up in practice yesterday and should put him at two to four weeks from a time frame.  Obviously, he won't play this weekend.  Mitch King received work.  Sedrick Ellis received work, limited. Will Herring the same way.  Roman Harper had a small fracture in his right finger.  That happened at practice and they went ahead and splinted it.  He should be fine.  I may not play him this weekend.  If it was a regular season game, he'd be ready to go."

What's Lance Moore's injury?

"He has a groin.  It happened yesterday.  We rested him in the walk-throughs this morning and this afternoon's practice.  I probably won't play him Sunday as well.  It's something that we think we'll get him back next week and we'll decide if we want to play him on Thursday."

How much does Joe Morgan's injury affect this team?

"If you look closely at the guys I mentioned, there are four or five guys that have been injured that hopefully we're going to get back.  We're going to get a good group of these guys back for next week, but obviously not in Joe's case.  We'll have to make a decision with the information we have right now and go from there."

What's the plan with the Raiders this weekend?  Are you planning to let the starters play three quarters?

"What we talked about last night is we're going to play them through the first half and then we'll get a pitch count at halftime as far as how much they've played.  Generally one side of the ball or the other gets more snaps.  We'll probably look to come out in the third quarter with at least one side of the ball and go from there, so at least through the first half and then some substitutions.  The primary starters will play the first half and then we'll see where we are at halftime to see what we're going to do in the third quarter."

Can you tell us about the progress Mark Ingram has made?

"He's a quick study and what I mean by that is he learns very quickly.  He's picked up our offense.  We rested him a couple days just to get off his knee, but he's doing well.  He's come in right away, he played at a real good program, he's been well-coached, and he has a lot of ability.  He's been exciting.  Real quickly he's made some strong first impressions."

What's the hardest thing for a Heisman Trophy winner to adjust to in the NFL?

"I would really equate it to any first round pick that has additional pressure in regards to playing and getting acclimated.  Some take longer than others and then certainly when you're a Heisman Trophy winner you get more attention.  He's handled it well and I think he's handled those big spots before at Alabama and he's handled this well."

How has it been going with Tracy Porter handling the nickel?

"We're just trying to have some flexibility and train these guys to do multiple things so he's someone that can play inside.  We've seen Malcolm (Jenkins) come inside with an additional safety and certainly we've seen guys like Leigh Torrence so it's really just giving ourselves flexibility when we get into nickel situations not only with the first group but there's a handful of packages that Gregg (Williams) is playing so some of them can put Tracy inside and I think he's handled that well and we'll have a chance to evaluate some.  He'll have a chance to play in this game, but we'll be careful with how many snaps we play him so he would be maybe one of those early substitutes somewhere in the early part of the second quarter."

How did you feel about the way Mark Ingram looked today?

"I thought he looked good.  We were in helmets and shoulder pads, but he's going to play Sunday and we're going to be smart about his reps, but he's looking good."

As far as the amount of work you're able to do in this weather, has it been as productive or more than what you thought it would be?

"We were hopeful when our camp ended in New Orleans that we were able to add a week.  What the weather has allowed us to do is get our practice in and it helps the latter part of practice where the focus is more challenging when it's hot and you're dealing with the heat.  It's what I hoped it would be.  It's been awhile for me since I've been back here.  I was here in 2004 and 2005.  The facilities are very good and logistically the players aren't having to travel a lot.  It's well-run.  These guys have done a number of training camps so you can see that right away when it comes to the food, the meeting rooms, and the practice fields.  It's been really good and they've done a good job."

What do you think about training camp here?

"It's been talked about a lot and I think there's a base tie for us in New Orleans.  We've always tried to be logistically smart.  We've had weeks in Indianapolis with (Hurricane) Gustav.  We've had a week in London when we played there.  We've been in Houston when we practiced with the Texans so a lot of it would be dependent on what the preseason schedule is and if we're playing out West.  The experience here has given the organization the chance to really see the benefits.  In a perfect world, you'd like to have that time in New Orleans in the heat that I think is important and yet an option like this that can you out of it.  A lot of it is who you open up with.  If you open up the season at Tampa, then you have to be concerned that you're leaving this environment and you're playing the first game in early September and it's 100 degrees there.  I know in Dallas that was always a concern of ours.  It was always who we were playing early in the schedule.  At that time in Texas Stadium the temperatures were getting into the 100s.  It's just having that balance but the facilities have been great and the impression has been really good."

What about the fight today?

"It was our first one I think.  One of the things is you see the veteran players just watch because they're not going to waste any energy.  We've had some good, competitive practices.  Our guys have handled it and we've had a lot of contact here.  We've been in full pads.  Today was the first day with helmets and shoulder pads, but we've had good work."

Do you think it was because guys were picking on Darren Sproles too much?

"I'll have to look at it.  I think there was a collision in there.  I think Leigh (Torrence) and Jimmy Graham maybe came in and, who knows, we'll see it on tape."

What type of preparation do you have to make to play the Raiders?

"It starts tonight and tomorrow.  Getting used to their offensive sets and information and their personnel of their defensive fronts and coverages.  That will go on tonight, all day tomorrow, Saturday morning and then we'll fly up there Saturday afternoon

What's your message to Saints fans going to watch the game in Oakland with what's been going on around last week?

"We have a great following and I think for our fans, they travel well and the thing we always notice is their turnout and their vocal support.  Some stadiums are bigger challenges than others in regards to the fan base and I think the Raiders have great fans that get into the game and get excited for their team.  This is always a great place to play in the preseason because there is that enthusiasm for a game."

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