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Payton's Wednesday Media Session

Coach talks about who may sit out vs. the Texans, DT Sedrick Ellis and the depth at the receiver position.


New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
August 17, 2011

Opening Statement
"The same two players remain on the failed physical list: Chris Ivory and Greg Romeus. These players did not practice: Ezra Butler, Ramon Humber, Clint Ingram, Joique Bell, Tom Johnson, Johnny Patrick, Jeff Charleston, Alex Barron, Malcolm Jenkins, Leigh Torrence, Tracy Porter, Tory Humphrey, Courtney Roby, and Jahri Evans. (Evans) had a little swelling in his knee so we backed him off of practice, but he should be fine tomorrow. We did a little more third down emphasis today. We shift gears tomorrow with Houston in mind."

Can you talk about Sedrick Ellis and your view of him with some of the other guys you brought in?  He's somewhat of a smaller player now compared to the other guys.
"He's active and he has good balance. He plays the three technique but he can also play the nose. He played a little bit more nose in college, so he has some versatility. He had probably his best season here last year. With that versatility and his balance, he provides a lot that you look for in a defensive tackle position. The other two players are a little bit different but he's certainly a key component in the defensive line."

As far as all the injured players, do you have any idea who will be able to play Saturday?
"It's a bigger list than I'd like. It seems in the last two or three days it has gotten bigger. I think Jahri Evans is a guy we can expect to see. Courtney Roby with his left elbow should be fine. We're monitoring Tory Humphrey. With Tracy Porter, we'll be smart. I don't know if I will play him in this week's game, but he's on schedule with no setbacks. Leigh Torrence with his left hip is close. Malcolm Jenkins is the same way. Then you get to Ezra Butler, Ramon Humber, Ingram, Joique Bell, Tom Johnson, and Johnny Patrick- three of those guys that were injured in the game that won't be ready for this game. Jeff Charleston - we'll see how his ankle is doing. Alex Barron won't be ready. You're at that point in camp where you're hoping to get these things treated and we'll get these guys back on the field. For a number of these guys, it's critical that they're back out here. We still have to be smart."

What is Tory Humphrey's injury?
"Tory has a right knee injury, but it's nothing serious. He has some swelling and we iced it. He probably wasn't even out here any bit of the practice. He'll be questionable for the game."

What kind of progress have John Chiles and Jarred Fayson made?
"With both players, there's a lot going on with the second nickel install. Both of them had some setbacks. I think you'll see both players play in this game, especially in the second half. I've been pleased with these newly acquired receivers. The list of free agents is probably the strongest group we've had since we've been here. I'm anxious to see how they do in the game. We didn't get to see them play a lot of snaps last week, but they'll get enough snaps this week and we'll get a better feel."

With how set the wide receiver group has been for a long time, how tough is it for one of these young receivers to make a leap into that group?
"Their job is to improve each day. Their job is to make an impression. Their job is to help in the kicking game and if they can answer those questions, the first way to make the team is to contribute on special teams. But if they can do that then they're pressing other players that can play that similar role. We have depth at that position and yet there are a few of these guys like (Joe) Morgan, not just the return last week, but he's done some things in practice. We'll just keep paying attention to what we see and keep evaluating the tape. When you get closer to the first roster cut down and the second roster cut down, you have to look at the bigger picture as well as the short term."

Trumain McBride is a guy that has been working with the first team nickel defense.  Is he a guy that has been turning heads at practice?
"Number one, he's experienced and he knows the system. I think that has really helped him. The guys that potentially get behind a little bit are generally because of the overwhelming amount of football. We're trying to slow down the process of our installation, but he's handled it well and he's experienced and he'll get a chance to play a lot Saturday night."

Would you say that the reason that the list of injuries is longer than it has been in past training camps is due to the lockout?
"I would say this is pretty standard right about now. The list just recently got to two pages, so I like it better when it's just a page. I don't know that we can point to that though."

Was Will Herring one of the players you targeted early and what did you see in film?
"Yes. We saw a young player with durability and a player who was really good on special teams. We felt he was a guy who could contribute more in a base defense."

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