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Payton on Saints Two Fourth Round Picks

    <span style="">New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Opening Statement

"You get to a point in the draft where you're looking to specifics. Both of these players, we spent more time with having spent time with them on campus for visits. One of them we see certainly as a safety and the other one a guy we'll start off at the weakside linebacker position. He has some versatility. I think both of these guys played in a great program, a program that is up and coming. They're well coached, come from a good defense and we're excited that both of these guys were available when we were picking. We had to sit through round three and then we had these two picks pretty quickly."

Did you entertain any thoughts of moving into the third round?

"No there wasn't a player that said "Go get him" to start any discussions. Generally you like someone when you move into a round. Not that we didn't like anybody, but there was nobody that stood out that we felt like we needed to go and get."

Did Stanley Arnoux fly under the radar because of all the buzz about Aaron Curry?

"They play great defense there. There are a handful of players getting drafted off of this team and that's a credit to the coaching staff. You saw that with Connecticut. You've seen it with a number of programs where all of a sudden they have a great junior/senior class. I think Wake's one of those programs. When you watch Curry or you watch film of Wake, you see Stanley Arnoux. He's the kind of guy you see make a lot of plays. He's around the ball often. Those are good traits to have certainly as a linebacker."

Was any thought given to drafting an offensive player?

"It wasn't as much offense-defense as much as paying attention to the grade itself and these two players stood out a little bit. There was a blip in regard to where they were graded. Obviously they both played defense, so it's really a discussion more about the player and the position he plays than offense or defense."

Can you talk about Vaughn's pass coverage ability?

"He has real good size and range. He runs well. He's a guy that has outstanding speed and real long arms. We're excited about those attributes he has."

What safety position will be play?

"He will play free safety to start. If you were trying to discuss about what were some of the things that caught our eye, he does have in our option good range in the back half of the defense."

Does Arnaux project as an outside linebacker?

"Yes, we project him outside at will for us. That's not a big projection. We just feel like that would be a fit for him. He played in a stacked position at Wake and did a good job of it."

Did you consider a running back at one of the spots?

"No. Just to answer your question, these two players were graded higher than the runners we had left. When the day started, there was a runner at two that had a value grade we felt (good about). The day's not over yet. We're still working and we felt like where their grade was, certainly the position, but more importantly where their grade was, one of the things that we've been able to do very well with these mid range picks or later picks is look for a few attributes that a guy has that we have a vision for and we think these guys have some of those things. When we talk about a Carl Nicks or a Jahri Evans, those are guys that had something that specifically stood out. With that selection or these last two, we weren't looking at the running back position."

Do you consider running back a need area?

"No, I don't consider it a need area. Yesterday we talked about trying to maybe move up. I've mentioned it before. I'd certainly like a big back. We think that would be something that would help us. When you try to identify it specifically as a need. We'll wait and see. It's hard to put it as a need. Certainly you've heard me discuss that kind of back, but what I don't want to try to do is try to manufacture a pick. That's the worst thing we'd want to do."

Seattle took the franchise tag off of Leroy Hill. Would you have any interest in him?

"Nothing right now that I would comment on that. The focus for us has been on this process."

With Vaughn's pick, does this cement Jenkins working at corner?

"I think our intentions are to start him out at corner and the reason I say start him out at corner, obviously we know he has flexibility. Much has been read about that. But ultimately we want to get our first four or five guys on the field. The competition I think is healthy for that position group. He'll start at corner and certainly Vaughn will start at safety."

Will Usama Young be at safety as well?

"That's kind of the direction we're headed. The thought process for us now is moving Usama back there. We haven't really announced it. I've had a chance to talk with him about three weeks ago about that possibility and I think that's something we want to do."

Did any of your scouts or coaches have ties to Wake Forest?

"There wasn't any specific tie. I think our scouts do a great job and when you get to a school like that where in the last five years they've changed their identity as a football program with what they're doing in a tough conference we feel like, it's good tape to watch, especially their side (Vaughn and Arnoux) side of the ball on defense. It's exciting."

Do you see Jenkins, Vaughn and Arnoux all having an impact on special teams?

"We're hopeful they will. We try to take that into consideration with a player. What's our vision for the player. We all know it's hard for a rookie to break into the starting lineup. The easiest for a rookie to make a team and play early is to play in the kicking game. We hope that's the case with these three guys."

What do you think of Jenkins' special teams abilities?

"I think Malcolm has real good instincts and the other thing with him is everyone you to about him describes him as tough. He's physical, he has courage and he's not afraid of contact. I think those are some of the things you need to have in order to be a pretty good special teams player. It's hard to play special teams or at least it's hard to play special teams well."

Will Jenkins miss some offseason workouts due to Ohio State's academic schedule?

"Ohio State players are on quarters which basically sets them back a little bit time wise. He'll be in for the rookie camp next weekend. His graduation date of his class is June 11 or 12 and then he can come here after that. He'll miss our veteran's minicamp and a couple of the OTAs and he'll join us. That's just the way it is with schools on quarters (system) and there's about 20 of them."

Does that affect his on-field or classroom progress at all?

"We can't control it. Obviously it's not optimum. We've gone through it before with players. We know the schools that have been involved and we just have to work around it. It's a rule that's in place. We just have to do a good job in the three days that he's here next week we bring him up to speed and then quickly when he returns on the (June) 12th or 13th, the day he arrives here, we have that block of time for two to three weeks before he breaks and we return to training camp. Obviously you'd rather have him here the whole time, you just have to deal with it."

Can you discuss the ball skills of Jenkins and Vaughn?

"I think they're two different players. First in Malcolm Jenkins' case, you see him at corner. I think he has outstanding ball skills. I think he's very good at run support. In Malcolm Jenkins/Chip Vaughn.aspx">Chip Vaughn's case, he's a guy with real good range. He's a guy that has long leverage, he's tall, and he can run. They're additions for us that we think will help the Saints in the secondary. Their skill sets are a little different. Nonetheless we think they're good defensive players. We're happy to have them."

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