New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Training Camp Press Conference
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"The players that didn't practice: Ezra Butler, Tom Johnson, Johnny Patrick, Jeff Charleston, Fabian Washington, Will Herring, Chris Taylor, Aubrayo Franklin, Clint Ingram, Roger Allen, Jarred Fayson, Carl Nicks, Mark Ingram, Junior Galette, and Mitch King. We did a little more third down work today and tomorrow will still be offense vs. defense and then we'll shift towards the Raiders plan."
What are your thoughts on Mark Ingram?
"I think he's going to play. I think he'll practice tomorrow and I think he'll play Sunday. Our expectations with him would be that he'll be a go."
What about strongside linebacker, do you expect Will Herring to play or will Martez Wilson get some playing time?
"I think Martez Wilson will get a lot of the snaps. There's a good chance we'll get Will, but he'll be a little more questionable than (Clint) Ingram."
Has Martez Wilson been showing you some things as a rookie?
"Yes. For him, it's the every down discipline with assignment and technique. He'll get a lot of snaps."
Have you gotten what you wanted to out of camp here in Oxnard?
"I thought we were a little sharper this afternoon than we were yesterday afternoon. I think the setup has been really good. Meetings have gone well, the logistics have been real smooth, and I think it's definitely been good so far."
What have you been trying to stress on this week at practice?
"The thing we tried to stress coming off the last couple weeks was the consistency and the execution. There are a lot of players here right now. Our numbers are high in regards to who's practicing. Just getting that consistency we look for in all three areas, that's all we've been stressing."
Is there any new understanding coming out of the report with Will Smith missing two games at the beginning of the season?
"I've only heard that just because you have. I haven't heard anything more than that report, but I have heard that and nothing has been confirmed with us."
What have you seen out of Cam Jordan so far?
"It would be similar to what we were just talking about with our linebacker. It's just the every down consistency. He's physical and he shows up on the one-on-one rush snaps. He's a guy that I think has picked things up fairly quickly and yet all the details that go into playing that position on every down is something he has to work on and improve on."
Can you talk about what it takes to get to the Super Bowl?
"I think to get to that game you have to be a team that is opportunistic, you have to do very well in the turnover ratio as the season goes on, you have to win that, you have to have balance offensively, and there's a little bit of good fortune that takes place in regards to injuries, and you have to be very consistent week in and week out. If you go back to 2009, once that season got started, we were very consistent and there's going to be weeks when you fall behind and you have to have that resiliency to be able to come back when you're not ahead early because you play 16 games and there are going to be a number of times when you fall behind in games, and so how you handle that and us going to what we are now with the roster to becoming a team, all those things factor into that."
You've mentioned the roster and team plenty during this camp. When do you think that point will come?
"The obvious date would be when we cut down to 53, but this is a process and the most important part of this process is the selection of these guys and making sure we get the right 53."
From what you've seen from this team up to this point, do you think this team has a good of a chance as any to make it to the Super Bowl?
"I think you go into each season with that, and I think we have confidence and we understand how difficult that task is and yet we look forward to the challenge. We have enough guys that have had experience and played in that game and understand all the things that go into it, so I think there is a confidence level that we have in playing in that game and yet we understand how difficult it is to get there. We have a lot of work to do still. We still have two preseason games to play until we start the season and two weeks from tomorrow night is when we start the regular season so that's going to be on us pretty quickly."
How big of an impact can Jimmy Graham have on your team this year?
"A lot. He had a big impact for us last year as a rookie and he's a guy that's very gifted. He's a very good pass receiver. I think his second year in our offense, you're seeing him have more and more confidence and more knowledge of what he's doing. He certainly has a chance to have a big impact."
Do you see any of his skills from his basketball days translating?
"We see the height, we see the speed, and we see some of the athletic skills and outside of that it changes a lot but he's handled the transition well."
Can you talk about the trades with players in an attempt to improve your running game?
"There are a number of new faces in regards to who we acquired in trying to help us as a team offensively trying to run the ball. Darren Sproles is one player with a lot of experience. Mark Ingram is a draft pick that we got in the first round. Pierre Thomas was a key signing for us before the lockout and we got some other players. We haven't seen Chris Ivory as he's recovering from his foot and sports hernia but he's close. Joique Bell and a number of these guys have played well. It's a deep position and one that we feel like is very talented."
You said that you wanted to improve the efficiency in the running game. How do you define efficiency?
"You look closely at yards per attempt. In other words, you're running the ball but how well are you running it? You look at your yards per attempt, your big plays in the running game. At some point, the thing we did in 2009 was we finished games with the running game and so an efficient run under four minutes might be a three yard gain to get a first down and keep the clocks moving. Those are specific areas and we have a method to grade red zone efficiency, the run game which might be different in the field, tight red zone, short yardage and goal line. The simple way to define it is running it better."
Are you enjoying it out here in Oxnard?
"This has been great. The timing for us has been good. We were finished with our camp out in New Orleans and this gave us an opportunity to come out here for a week before we head north to Oakland so it's been great. The people have been wonderful. The city of Oxnard and the hotel here are very used to the needs of an NFL team and it's very organized."