New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, Post-Practice Media Availability, August 9, 2011
"There are three players that remain on the failed physical list: Chris Ivory (left foot), Tracy Porter (left knee), and Greg Romeus (right knee). These players did not practice: Ezra Butler (hamstring), Marques Colston (right knee), Jarred Fayson (left ankle), Adrian Arrington (left ankle), Fabian Washington (hamstring), Ramon Humber (right quad). We rested Jon Stinchcomb (left knee), Roger Allen (left knee), and tackle Alex Barron (right knee). Today was our introduction to red zone. Tomorrow will be outside again. Thursday will be inside leading up to Friday night's game against San Francisco. Just going ahead real quick, the following week we will be on our normal schedule here (afternoon practices) leading up to the Houston Texans game, and that's officially when our camp kind of ends here. We are going to practice one week out west in Oxnard (California). After we play the Texans, we will fly to Oxnard, train there, play the Raiders, then come back home after that, and that will end camp. So we are really adding a week. We are adding a week on to our normal schedule for training camp and holding it out there. I think we will benefit for many reasons. The weather/environment is something I am familiar with. Going out there to play Oakland will be a good week for us to finish up."
Has that (Oxnard) been in the works for a while?
"Probably a couple of weeks, we just started talking about it. What I wanted to do – Mickey (Loomis) and I talked about it for a while – I wanted to lengthen training camp. Logistically there were some issues here with our hotel in adding a week to training camp, more than we normally would have. With the trip to Oakland, we looked into a few different locations, but Oxnard was one that we spent some time with. When we were able to put the pieces together, we ran with it."
It seems like there is some "musical chairs" going on with the linebackers (besides Jonathan Vilma). Tell me what you've liked that you've seen so far.
"Well, we have more depth; we have experience and we have some young guys. When I talk about experience, you're looking at Will Herring, Danny Clark. I consider (Jonathan) Casillas and obviously Shanle to be experienced players. Clint Ingram is healthy and a much different player than he was a year ago. Plus, we have the younger guys that are competing in there. So it gives us some versatility. It will be an important evaluation for us as we get into these games."
Are you concerned about your numbers at wide receiver with a game Friday night?
"No, I think we have a chance to get a couple of these guys back. I think we're alright at that position from a depth standpoint, so I think we will be able to handle it. The two ankles (Arrington and Fayson) are ones that I think we will have back sooner than later. They're not one to two week long injuries I don't think, so I think we'll be okay."
Without the benefit of a scrimmage, are you eager to see some of your young guys play in a game?
"All these guys. We did a little live work at the end of practice there, but all of us will be anxious to see how they respond in a game setting. We have a few days to get them prepared for that and I think it's an important step in the evaluation process but we'll be excited and I think they will be too."
Was the idea of extending training camp by a week something you decided before camp started or is that something you kind of figured out once camp started?
"As camp began, we kept looking at the calendar trying to find more time where these guys are together. I think we travel well, and we do a good job. We've done this before in various places. After we complete this camp, this gives us an additional week – it's more time together."
Is it more camaraderie than playbook installation?
"It's all of the above. When you get out to Oxnard, some of you will see it. The weather is perfect from a standpoint of teaching and training. It gave us an additional week, and we're going to take advantage of it."
Will Friday be in any way different than a first pre-season game without the lockout?
"Certainly there will be fewer snaps for the young players than they normally would've had in leading up to this game. That being said, as far as how we play our guys, I don't think it will be that much different. We typically look at snaps, not quarters. Numbers can be pretty deceiving. We try to get somewhere between the 12-17 snap mark. There will be a couple of exceptions regarding certain players. When you get into your second phase, you look for a similar pitch-count, then you finish the game."