New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Post-Practice Press Conference
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Just some practice notes: Chris Ivory and Greg Romeus are the two players still on the failed physical list. These guys did not practice: Ezra Butler (Hamstring), Tom Johnson (Calf), Johnny Patrick (Right Knee), Jeff Charleston (Ankle), Fabian Washington (Hamstring), Will Herring (Calf), Chris Taylor (Ankle), Aubrayo Franklin (Left Knee), Clint Ingram (Right Hamstring), Roger Allen (Right Knee), Jarred Fayson (Right Knee). With Carl Nicks, the x-rays came back negative on his left knee. I think we are looking at a week with him, which is good news. We limited Joique Bell. We did not practice Mark Ingram, he had some swelling in his left knee. It's nothing serious. We held him out and we will see where he's at tomorrow. Junior Galette went through half of practice. We are going to look at his left knee.
With their ability to make big plays in the preseason, is Joe Morgan comparable to Rod Harper?
I think it is very comparable. One player was a rookie free agent, in Joe. Rod was really a free agent into the league. Both made some pretty strong impressions early in training camp. Both, in the kicking game (there are similarities) and both played receiver. I think there are a lot of similarities.
As far as Joe Morgan's play, he keeps continuing to produce?
He is young. There is a lot he is working on. He's explosive and you can see that. He runs well. Those are things that showed up right away in our first week. There are still a lot of little things that he is working on to refine his game. We have been pleased with his quick development and the explosiveness he gives us in the return game as well as a threat outside.
Can you talk about the battle at the strongside linebacker position?
It is going well. We are getting a chance to see both of those guys. We still have two more preseason games to go and a lot more before we make a decision. I see both of those players contributing, obviously. Both of those players are athletic. They both have experience. Certainly, Scott (Shanle) has more experience. Jon (Casillas) has done a great job. He is healthy now. Both of them are having solid camps.
How do you handle Mark Ingram, a guy who has not missed practice at all?
He is a quick study. He missed today and we might sit him tomorrow as well just to calm the knee down. He is going to be fine. He has had one of the better camps of this young class. We want to be smart. He has picked things up very quickly and we will just see where he goes.
Are you relieved to hear about Carl Nicks?
Absolutely. The concern yesterday, leaving the practice, was that it might be a longer period of time. About an hour after practice, we got the MRI results and those ended up being negative. That was good.
How much did the workouts at Tulane help?
I feel like, more than anything, it gave us a better chance to come into training camp in-shape. I think the experience we have with a lot of the same things in place, with regards to our personnel and our scheme both defensively and offensively, help when you have that off-season that you miss. I think, more than anything else, it's the strength and conditioning aspect that was most important.
What are you doing differently to prepare for Oakland?
There is nothing new right now. We are still in training camp mode. Our preparation won't really begin until later this week. What we are doing now, is working on our base, red-zone, nickel, run and pass offense and defense, kicking game, and then as the week goes on we begin to spend more time on the Oakland game-plan. I think that is pretty common in the preseason.
Is one running back in particular going to get most of the carries?
That's a fantasy football question, isn't it? At that position, you have to have more than one talented player. We view all of those guys with significant roles in our offense. By week, a lot of it would depend on our opponent. Chris Ivory and Joique Bell are some other guys that are also going to factor in. It is a depth chart that we feel good about. We will have to see each week. A lot of that can unfold as the season goes on. Each one of those guys is uniquely different. I didn't help you, did I?
Can you talk about Drew Brees' assets?
He is a good leader. He is someone who is, aside from football, very actively involved in the community. He is very visible. It's the key elements to leadership. He is someone that has great respect, not only in the locker-room but with our fan base. It starts with a great work ethic. His success on the field is one thing, but the type of guy he is is very much the same. I think our fans look for someone who gives them a good day's work. Someone who, coming after Katrina, really brought hope and brought a sense of pride to our city. Certainly, he has done that. I think there is a way to really compare the two in the adversity that he has overcome in recovering from the shoulder surgery that he had in 2006. It's a good story.