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Payton Pleased with Competitive Week of Practice

Saints Coach updates the injury report, discusses the depth of the linebackers and running backs


New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Post-Practice Media Availability Transcript, Sunday, August 07, 2011

Opening Statement:

No transactions. The players still on the failed physical list: Chris Ivory left foot, Tracy Porter left knee, Greg Romeus right knee. The following players did not practice today due to injury: Ezra Butler hamstring, wide receiver Jarred Fayson ankle, Adrian Arrington ankle, cornerback Fabian Washington left hamstring, tackle Alex Brown left knee, we rested (Marques) Colston one more day with his right knee, and Mitch King with his heart and chest. Ramon Humber had a quad during practice and cornerback Johnny Patrick had a wrist during practice. Tomorrow's schedule for them will be off. Tuesday, we will be back with a P.M. practice. I think the schedule time is listed, 4:00 P.M.

Can you talk about the younger players at the wide receiver position?

I would say this, and we talked about this the three or four days before our whole team was together, that is a position group with a lot of free agents that have come in and done some good things. The first thing that strikes you is that they can run. I am anxious to see how these guys do in the preseason. There are two or three young guys, and a couple that have been with us for a year or two. It is a position where we are deep. We do have some young speed and we are anxious to see how they do in a game.

Without the normal off-season workout schedule, how would you classify the physical status of the team after a week and half of training camp?

I look at it, not quite a week and half in because we didn't get everybody until the last part of the week. I do feel like they are in good shape. There are a few areas that you have to pay attention to. We've got time, but I am pleased with their conditioning level. There is still room for work. I think that one of the reasons that we decided not to scrimmage yesterday was that we just felt like it was a quick turnaround from guys just getting here and then all of sudden us deciding to have a padded scrimmage. Throughout the course of next week, we will have some contact drills that will lead us up to the 49ers game Friday night.

Are you worried at all that Tracy Porter might not be able to play in the opener?

No. I think we are (on) schedule with him so I feel pretty good to answer your question. I think we are going to see him, hopefully, by the Houston weekend if not, the Monday after the Houston week. I think he is on schedule. There is nothing surprising about where he is at right now.

Do you think that two weeks will be enough to get him ready?

We are on schedule. I think that Houston week, that game, will be a tough one. The Monday after that game, the week following that game, our plan is to get him going.

How open are the outside linebacker spots?

There is a lot of depth there. We have some younger guys. Some veteran guys. I think that you are seeing real good competition at the Sam linebacker position as well as the Will. It's probably the deepest we've been, and most talented we've been, at that position in our six years.

Are those positions open?

Yes. We are going in with the idea that we are going to get a lot of reps at the Will. You have seen (Scott) Shanle and you've seen (Jonathan) Casillas and some young players. You have seen, at the Sam, of course Danny Clark and Will Herring. You have seen(Clint) Ingram back healthy and Martez Wilson. We've got a lot of time to evaluate their spots and those will be two competitive spots that we have a lot of depth at and a lot of good competition at. I think we view it that way.

Can you talk about the addition of Korey Hall out of free agency?

He was a guy that is versatile on offense in regards to his blocking and receiving ability and also a guy that can contribute in the kicking game. Green Bay had depth at that position, and for us, we were able to get him in that first week.

Did you look at multiple fullbacks?

We had two or three guys. Korey being the first guy we wanted to call. Fortunately for us, he had an interest and that was the first free agent acquisition from another team and it worked out well.

Does that mean the team will probably not re-sign Heath Evans?

Right now, that would be something that would be accurate. I've talked with Heath and I think the plan for us, not only with Korey but if you watch Jed (Collins) I think he is playing real well. Those two are competing at that spot and we have a young player with (Kolby) Hurt that is getting reps. We are three deep right now and we are comfortable with that depth and who's here right now. I don't expect us, anytime soon, to look outside the building.

Are you going to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with Chase Daniel for the backup position?

Right now, I think the one thing we are seeing with Sean (Canfield) is more improvement. We are not seeing a rookie anymore. He is someone who is understanding what we are doing. I am anxious to see, not only Chase's growth, but how Canfield responds too.

What kind of player do you think Chase Daniel can be?

I am anxious to see him this pre-season. The first requisite is just scoring points, leading this team. There are things he can do that are a little bit different. He can escape and gain yards with his feet. That's one of his strengths. I think he has worked tremendously hard in the off-season. I think you are going to see a guy who has made a ton of progress from year one to year two. We are confident, as we were a year ago, with him as our two. We are confident that he is going to make the improvements and still do the things that are necessary to win a quarterback, which are protect the football, move the team. Those are some things that are attractive about him.

He led his team at Mizzou, do you think that is one of those intangibles?

I think so. If you look back, he is a guy that won a lot in high school. He was part of what Missouri accomplished. Those are important characteristics for that position. Obviously, you need the talent, the ability to throw the football, make good decisions, and be accurate.

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