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Payton Post Scrimmage August 8

    **New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton**  
    **Saturday, August 8, 2009**  
    **Opening Statement:**  

"We held Reggie Bush out, Adrian Arrington, Lance Moore, Stanley Arnoux, Dan Campbell, Randall Gay, Darren Sharper, Malcolm Jenkins/Chip Vaughn.aspx">Chip Vaughn – those are the people we held out. Drew Brees was excused for a family matter. Mark Simoneau dinged his elbow and we'll take a look at it. He was really the only injury that came up today during the scrimmage. We'll have a chance to examine it and see where he's at. Reggie is fully healthy and would've been ready to go; we just held him out and looked at some of these other backs. Adrian Arrington is getting close; Lance Moore is certainly close; Arnoux we know about; Dan Campbell – we're still waiting to see when that swelling can calm down some; Randall Gay should be practicing on Monday; Darren Sharper will be practicing on Monday; Malcolm Jenkins/Chip Vaughn.aspx">Chip Vaughn – we're waiting to see on this. He has a little meniscus tear. It's not real big but it has caused some swelling and some knee pain and we'll have to examine it further."

Which knee is it on Vaughn?

"It's his left knee."

Is Tracy Porter alright?

"He should be fine. He just had a tight hamstring, but he went through most of the day."

What did you think of the quarterback play out there today?

"Both of those guys kept rolling with the ones, the twos and the threes and I think they did a good job of getting in and out of the huddle."

Was that the first time you've used Carl Nicks at tackle?

"At the very end, we wanted to give him about five snaps just to see how he would do. You're always trying to look for another position for these linemen. When you go into a game and you're dressing seven or eight offensive lineman, you have to have a couple guys that can swing. He played left tackle in college so we gave him about five snaps of work, maybe a little bit more. We'll see how he did on the film."

Were you pleased with the turnovers forced by the defense?

"I'm anxious to look at the tape. It's a two-fold deal when you ask the head coach – when we put it on the ground, you're disappointed offensively but you took it away defensively and that's a positive. The fumble by Mike Bell was discouraging because it looked like he just didn't have it put away cleanly. But I thought we made some plays on the ball defensively, which was encouraging."

How do you feel about this team after the first 10 days of camp?

"I'm pleased with the progress but we have a long way to go."

Do you think you've made a lot of improvement defensively?

"Yes, I think we're making improvement. We'll get a chance to see. That's the beauty of playing these games – we're going to get a chance to see this week against Cincinnati, we're going to get a chance to see each week. But I do think we're improving. I think we have a little bit more depth at some of the key spots and we've talked about that already. I'm encouraged about what I'm seeing."

Are you reaching that point where you need to play against someone else besides yourself to see what the flaws are?

"I don't know that we're in the dog days of training camp now. We're just into it a week now. We've had a good balance of being outside and coming in here. The guys are fighting through some of the nicks and I think they have handled the installation so far. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I think our players understand that as well. It's a day by day thing and we haven't even gotten into the preseason schedule. I think our players are looking forward to a little time here – really half-a-day. We'll watch this film with them tomorrow, we'll grade it, we'll meet tomorrow evening, and then we'll go back at it Monday with two practices."

What did you think of Mark Brunell today?

"Both he and Anthony Hargrove/Joey Harrington.aspx">Joey Harrington did a good job. It was good to get them a lot of work and I thought that both of them handled it well."

How do you think Garrett Hartley/P,-d-,J,-d-, Hill.aspx">P.J. Hill and Herb Donaldson did today?

"I've said there are about three guys that not a lot of people know about that we really like. Herb and P.J. are guys that we signed and Lynell Hamilton is a guy that we've had who was in their place a year ago. I like what I've seen from the running back group as a whole this whole camp. I'm pleased with that position group. We'll just keep evaluating the tape, looking at the good things and correcting the mistakes, but I thought those guys ran hard."

Can you assess how the defensive backs played?

"I'll have to see the tape. I'm paying more attention to the offense initially as I'm calling it. We got our hands on some balls. Roman Harper made a nice play on the ball. Outside at corner, we got our hands on a few balls. I thought that was encouraging."

Is it important to score in a scrimmage like this?

"You get competitive and you saw towards the end there even with the third group – both offensively and defensively – the players were getting into it and they wanted to see a stop defensively or a touchdown offensively. To some degree, I think it is. It's a game of winners and losers. It's not a game of 'let's all go home – it was equal.' You're constantly measuring your success or your failure and that's the game."

Chris Reis seems like he can make plays rushing the passer. Is he more than a special teams player?

"He's obviously a guy who has been a core special teams player for us, but he's also a safety and I think he's probably had his best camp since he's been here as a safety. He has a pretty good grasp of what they're doing. He does a pretty good job with his disguise in coverage. He's done some real good things. I know collectively you see it on tape. I'm encouraged with a player like that who gives you versatility and given you glimpses of it on tape."

Will Mark Simoneau get an X-ray or MRI?

"Yes, they'll MRI his elbow."

Do you have any idea what the injury might be specifically yet?

"No. It's sore and they'll have to take a look at it."

Will Reggie Bush get a certain amount of snaps in the preseason?

"He'll get a measured amount. We'll be smart. He'll get some carries. I want to keep looking at these other guys behind him, but he'll get some snaps. How much, we'll see."

Are you concerned with Reggie's health right now?

"No, I feel pretty good about his health right now. I feel real good about the camp he's having. I want to continue to feel that way. I'm encouraged about where he's at right now. He's fine. You watch him out here at practice when he's out there and you watch him run. I feel positive about it, but just want to monitor it."

Can you talk about the day Garrett Hartley had?

"He had a good day today. The key is the snap-hold timing. I think Jason's (Kyle) doing a good job of that, getting acclimated along with the cadence to whoever's holding, whether it's Mark (Brunell) or Joey (Harrington). That's encouraging."

How did you think Marques Colston played?

"Early on he got his hands on about three touches and about three balls. He did a good job of coming up with the catch and getting his hands on the ball."

Can you talk about working with the officials? Did they call it like they would in a game?

"I told them to call it if it's something they see and let's watch it on film and get it corrected and not ignore it. There are some things that we can clean up. I think it was a good three days for our guys. It always is. Oftentimes, you have a lot of questions. I thought it went pretty smooth."

Are the players off tomorrow?

"They have a meeting in the afternoon and meetings again later at night. We have two practices on Monday and two on Tuesday."

Are they off tonight?


Will Drew Brees be back Monday?

"We'll see. I really don't want to speculate on it. It's a family matter and I think we'll know shortly."

Is he one guy who can afford to miss some time because he's been so sharp?

"He's done well."

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