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Payton Pleased with Week 1 of Trainig Camp

Saints Coach served veterans shirley temples towards the end of practice


New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability Transcript         *
Sunday, July 31, 2011

Opening Statement:
"We signed linebacker Martez Wilson.  He practiced today.  We signed wide receiver Courtney Roby and agreed to terms with cornerback Fabian Washington from the Baltimore Ravens.  The following players still remain on the failed physical list: T Charles Brown, RB Chris Ivory, CB Tracy Porter, DE Greg Romeus, and G Carl Johnson.  The following players did not practice today: CB Josh Gatlin with a right thumb injury, LB Jerimiha Hunter with a right achilles, and WR Michael Galatas had some hamstring issues at practice."

How has Matt Tennant handled the center position with Jonathan Goodwin not being here?
"I think in his second year that transition has gone real well.  These reps are important for him.  He's a player that is going to be getting as many reps as possible, and he's handled it well."

Is it set that Will Smith is going to miss those first four games of the regular season?
"From the impression I have, that is what's going to happen.  I think you just have to make sure you're rolling guys through (that position) and get Will the reps he needs, but also make sure we're prepared if that does happen."

Can you talk about Fabian Washington?
"We're allowed to have 90 players here, and you want to have as many players here that can compete.  Tracy Porter's nicked up right now and the season is going to be quicker upon us than it normally is.  So, it's being smart when you look at all of our numbers.  He's another player that we evaluated when he left Oakland and went to Baltimore.  He was one that, as we started this camp, we felt necessary to bring in another veteran corner."

Does it excite you how far Malcolm Jenkins has come or is it too early to determine?
"Absolutely.  He's a smart player.  The decisions he makes on the field are generally the right one.  He's in great shape, which is very important to him.  He's really become an outstanding player and it's happening right in front of our eyes.  We saw signs of it in his rookie season, and we certainly saw it in his contributions last year."

What were the drinks that were brought out to the players?
"Those were Shirley Temples.  That was one of the provisions in the new CBA that players weren't practicing, so we brought them Shirley Temples.  I wanted to make sure we were abiding by all the rules."

Has it been a big adjustment with having to learn on the fly without a lot of your veteran players here?
"It's not that we don't have a lot of veteran players here.  It's that we're missing 25 percent of our team, and I think every team is dealing with those same issues so you just have to be flexible with your practice schedule and adjust to it.  I think Monday or Tuesday we might adjust a little bit with a time change."

We've seen a little bit of sloppiness and also some good plays.  Is that what you expect to see in training camp and the preseason games?
"I think it's safe to say that's what you see early in most training camps to begin with.  The question is - are we going to see more of it, and I can't answer that yet.  We have to pay attention to the weight room and the conditioning level of our team, and we have to do a good job with our installations and not be in such a hurry."

What was the reason for not going in full pads in today's practice?
"It was similar to full pads.  We went with helmets and shoulder pads.  I think more than anything else there's the progression of getting them used to carrying this gear, which we have time to do that."

What's your impression of Charles Brown?
"I think it's not going to be a long-term issue with his hamstring injury.  You want these young guys to be getting as many snaps as they can, but not at the expense of any setback.  I'll be excited to see him back on the field.   We've seen him enough in his rookie year, and obviously he still has a lot of work to do but he's athletic and he's smart.  We're anxious to see his progression.  Just like we were with Matt Tennant, we're anxious to see his progress from year one to year two.

Do you think he can be a quality starter in the NFL?
"That's why we drafted him in that round.  We feel like he has that type of potential and ability.  The challenge now is to get him to that spot, or even better that a quality starter."

What were your impressions with Mark Ingram today?
"With the rotation of all those players, we were trying to bring him up to speed and getting him the snaps he needs.  Normally, all of these guys would have had a rookie minicamp and OTAs, and in this case Mark hasn't had a chance to do that.  I thought he did a really good job with the reps he had today and we'll continue to build on that."

Is there anything new with the unsigned players who you're targeting?
"We're still in that period where Mickey Loomis, Khai Harley, Ryan Pace and those guys are still on the phone and working 24/7.  We'll continue to work on these guys and get to our total number."

Is the continuity you've talked about with the offensive line something you're most concerned with?
"I think it's important for any team.  Certainly, we value that."

What are your expectations for Shaun Rogers?
"We think that he can be a big factor for us on defense.  He's explosive.  He's a guy that can not only run well, but also affect the passer with his size inside.  I think he's in pretty decent shape considering we haven't had any formal workouts throughout the course of the offseason.  He's one of those players that is quickly getting acclimated to our system and is handling the heat pretty well."

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