<span>New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Sunday, August 2, 2009
"On practice, Adrian Arrington, we're working with the hamstring; Lance Moore practiced on a limited basis; Will Smith/Kendrick Clancy.aspx">Kendrick Clancy is having some back spasms – we should have him back tomorrow but we held him this afternoon. There were two other players this afternoon – Robert Meachem/Jo-Lonn Dunbar.aspx">Jo-Lonn Dunbar with a mild hamstring and Dan Campbell with a finger."
How do you feel about your defensive tackle position?
"We have some depth there and some flexibility with a couple of ends that can move inside. (Paul) Spicer is a guy that can go inside; (Anthony) Hargrove is a guy that can go inside. Certainly we have (Sedrick) Ellis and Kendrick (Clancy) and we have depth a little bit behind those players in (Rod) Coleman and (DeMario) Pressley. Remi Ayodele has had some experience there at the nose too. When it's all said and done, typically we want to have a rotation inside with that front and I think we'll have a chance throughout this training camp to evaluate those players."
Gregg Williams has said that every job is open coming into this camp. Do you feel that way on defense?
"The point is that we don't take anything for granted. Each year in our league you see positions won or lost that maybe the media had penciled in a certain player and another player won the position. We take that approach. Certainly there are some players that are more established in their positions than others, but that being said, I think there is a lot of competition. We talked about that in the very first team meeting, that regardless of your years in the league or your experience, it's something that we have to see right now and we're really going to go by what we see."
Is there a particular battle at some of the linebacker spots?
"We have some young guys and those guys are taking snaps. Scott Shanle had one of his better years last year, but there is competition. We're deeper at that position group than we have been in my first three years. Overall, we're pleased with some of the depth and some of the younger guys. It's early now, but I'm anxious to see how they do when we get into the games and get into the scrimmage looks."
How will you handle Reggie Bush throughout camp with his knee?
"On the two-a-day schedule we'll back off the second practice and on the one-a-day schedule go full with him. He'll have at least one full practice a day right now and when we're on an 'A' schedule, we'll back off him in the afternoon practice. There are going to be about four or five other guys that we'll do that with as well."
With his injury history do you plan on doing that as well in the season?
"We'll see. I think a lot of it during the season is the mental aspect of the game. The key is keeping him on the field and that's something that we'll pay close attention to. He's very competitive and he wants to be out here. There's a balance there that we just have to be smart with."
After one weekend, do you feel that you've been able to create the training camp environment you were looking for?
"I think the routine has worked out well so far, knock on wood. From a logistics standpoint, the schedule has gone smoothly. Any time you're having your first camp somewhere new, we're all creatures of habit and those habits are broken a little bit and you have to get into a new routine. It seems like the time to and from the hotel has worked out pretty smoothly and the players have grasped the schedule pretty quickly."
With having moved the practices indoors the last few days because of rain, do you think some of the previously scheduled indoor practices might be moved outside?
"We'll see. Tomorrow we'll be outside in the morning and inside in the afternoon. Tuesday, the plan is to be inside with the walkthrough and then outside in the afternoon. Really the weather has kicked us in here a little more than we had hoped because of the fields, but with the way it sorts out, we'll be out there plenty."
Are you pleased with the backup quarterback situation right now? Do you have them in a particular order at this point?
"Right now it's either. Both Mark Brunell and Anthony Hargrove/Joey Harrington.aspx">Joey Harrington are getting a lot of work. It's going to be easier to see them once you get into the game setting. We're working both of those players with the second and third groups. We have a lot of time here to evaluate them."
Are you confident in how they're performing?
"Yes. I think we have experience there and I think we have some youth there as well with Joey. I like our depth at the position."
Is Joey picking things up well?
"I think so. The challenge he has is that any time you're working with the third group is that the picture that you're getting isn't always going to be clean. He's working with some younger guys and whether it's protection oriented or on the perimeter, sometimes there are some adjustments he has to make because of that. Overall I like where he's going."
Is there anything about practicing inside that you can't do outside?
"With this facility we can do most everything. We can't really punt; we can set up our punt drills and work off the JUGS gun, but that's really the one aspect that you're limited with here with the ceiling height. Other than that, we can pretty much do whatever we want. It's a full field. I think it's a great set-up."
What are your thoughts on Adrian Arrington's potential?
"We just have to get the hamstring healthy. He's a guy that picks things up quick. We just have to get him back on the field."
Do you remember how many times practice was affected by rain when you were in Jackson?
"I think overall it was three times in three years. Last year was the first time that we really had to cancel a practice and go into that gymnasium. There were two other practices that we cut a little short, but that was pretty good, considering the rain they're getting now."
Was this the biggest concern you had about having camp here?
"There were a number of things. You're a little shorthanded when you don't have a rain plan, and that's the case with any team that goes away to training camp. Other than that, this gave us a chance – forget the rain – it gave us a chance to get in here a little bit and get out of the sun for 'x' number of practices. We still get our work in the humidity and the heat and there's still a change-up by coming into this building."
Is there a point where you worry that the intensity in practice is getting a little too high and are you getting close to that point?
"I like to see what we're doing right now. I think the intensity has been good and that's part of training camp. We'll be smart and judicious about the tempo in each drill that we have and make sure that we define it with our players so there's no gray area, but I think it has been good."
Is Carl Nicks going to be the starter at left guard or is there an open competition there with he and Jamar Nesbit?
"He's taking the reps with the ones right now and that's a position where we thought he played pretty well last year. I expect him to be competing with that first group and involved in that first group. Certainly Jamar Nesbit has experience – not only at guard but at the center position – but right now, Carl is taking all of those reps."
How do you know the weather conditions in Jackson? Have you been following to see what it would've been like up there?
"I have been. From what I hear, the groundskeeper there said that we wouldn't have been able to practice yet outside because of the amount of rain that they've had."