Following the final full-length practice of the week in preparations for Friday's contest against the San Diego Chargers, Sean Payton addressed the media. Among topics he discussed were the release of Troy Evans and four other players, the addition of LB K.C. Asiodu as well as the playing rotation for Friday. Below is a transcript:
* *"We signed linebacker K.C. Asiodu. We released Troy Evans, linebacker, Mark Bradley, receiver and we waived guard Tim Duckworth, corner Danny Gorrer and receiver Rod Harper. We'll be out against tomorrow. Today was cut short. We have league security meetings in about ten minutes."
If the special teams coverage units were playing better this preseason does the departure of Troy possibly not happen?
"It really had nothing to do with how our special teams were playing. In fairness to Troy, we're rolling a lot of guys through in the kicking game to get evaluations. They're really two separate entities. Certainly it's a tough decision when you part ways with a player like Troy who has had so much to do with what we've done here and accomplished, but the two really don't go hand in hand."
What went into the timing of the moves with the cut deadline not until next week?
"The nature of us coming in here now and being on a one-a-day schedule and not being in a true two-a-day training camp mode, we felt like we could begin to reduce ahead of schedule. It's something I don't think is that unusual. It comes probably when a lot of guys, including you aren't expecting it because it's not the normal cutdown time. We're into one practice. We're not taking as many reps as you would during training camp when you maybe don't need as many numbers."
Have you ever seen a player like Drew Brees take so much time after practice and work so hard and be so hard on himself?
"He's one of the guys at his position from a commitment standpoint, has a very high expectation for himself. His bar, his expectations of himself is probably higher than anybody else has ever seen it. It's very normal after practice everyday for him to be working on something specific. That drive and that commitment have made himself someone who is very good at his position."
When you go looking for someone to replace Troy Evans, what kind of qualities do you look for in a guy?
"What you're looking for...Troy's a great example as someone who's a great leader, but also a guy who plays all the core teams, as a guy that can run, who's smart, reliable, durable. Those are all traits that are needed to play so long in this league. I don't know that you look specifically to find one person to take that spot because really, the guys that make this team at linebacker, at safety that may not be starters are going to have to excel at special teams. The traits we just talked about for Troy are a big reason why he has had such a big career."
Can you discuss why you release him at this stage?
"It does two things – it allows him that opportunity. But the question that was asked earlier was did it have anything to do with how the special teams as a unit were playing, which is not the case at all. You've got so many different players coming in each quarter, the evaluation on the specific individuals takes place. Certainly you want to play better overall as a special teams unit. There are guys not playing that will play in the regular season on those coverage units that will certainly make us better."
Where will the new linebacker play?
"He'll play at Sam, but he's predominantly a special teams guy."
What are you looking to see from Patrick Ramsey?
"The efficiency, being able to run the offense, move the offense and score points. That's their number one function is to be able to move the ball."
Will he see some time with the first unit?
""I'll see how Drew's done. I'd like to get him some work with the one's like I did with Chase."
Why did you drop your roster to 76 now?
"We've gotten to a one-a-day schedule and we're taking less reps now. If you're in training camp and practicing twice, you less have to do that. But I've done that before and I've been around coaches that have been there before. When you're practicing the way we've been practicing, that reduction wasn't going to affect us as much. We did that yesterday and we'll probably continue to do that."
Could Ladell Betts and DeShawn Wynn play Friday?
""We'll see. I don't know that yet. Both of those guys are getting work now. They're getting a grasp of what we're doing but we'll have to see how the game goes. I'd like to."
How much will the starters play Friday?
""We'll get a half in and how much into the third quarter will be dependent on the number of snaps. The other night offensively, we were at 35 and at 15 defensively one point."