New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean PaytonMedia Availability TranscriptThursday, April 28, 2011
Opening Statement: "We really didn't think he would get down that far. Mark Ingram was someone that we thought a lot of as well. After the selection, Mickey (Loomis) and I began to talk about that scenario. You have to find someone that is willing to do that. There were a few picks taking place. There was some confusion as to what was happening with Baltimore in their selection along with the Chiefs. Ultimately, New England had interest. You get a little bit re-focused. It gets quiet in there. When we sorted out who Baltimore was taking, New England was up and we were able to get a deal done. Obviously, we are excited. We are excited about both of these players. There is always that little bit of uncertainty as you head in to each draft and certainly that was the case this year. Mickey and I sat there and we talked about it and we both felt, in regards to Mark (Ingram), real good about this player. We like this player a lot in regards to what he brings to the field, but off the field as well."
(On getting two players in the first round)
"It's a little different every year. There is probably more uncertainty the further back you get. It varies year to year. I think that you are just always trying to keep your options open and pay attention. There are times where we traded up in the first round, or any round, to get a player. In this case, we did the same technically with our second round pick."
(On the window of opportunity)
"It's finding players that fit our profile and we think that these are players that can help our team win games. We always feel that sense of responsibility to our current team when we make these selections and bring players like this into our locker room."
(On Mark Ingram's involvement in the offense)
"There are a lot of good traits that he has and certainly we feel like we have a lot of good running backs on the team. Last year, we got nicked up with some injuries. He will clearly have a role. In anything and everything these players, they always earn in regards to their snaps. We will figure out a plan and move forward with it."
(On losing next year's first round draft pick)
"It's really simple, you just know that the pick next year…I think earlier today, we saw a team in our division, Atlanta, make a very aggressive move for a receiver. You look at the talent, you look at the player. You also take a very close look what you think is going to be available in the second round this year where we were selecting and that all factors in."
(On Ingram serving as security if Reggie Bush does not return)
"This selection is really a selection that has no bearing. Reggie has a certain skill set, and there are things that he does that we value a lot. This is a runner who, I would say is a much different style. I wouldn't even begin to look at how it will affect Reggie's status with us. I have said this before, and heading into this offseason, the importance of the talents that Reggie has, he has been a big part of what we have done successfully in his first five years."
(On addressing the front seven first)
"We wanted to find a player that we felt could help the front seven. You begin to look at your stack. I would say that Cameron (Jordan) was the one defensive player left in that first tier. There are a few defensive players that were in that second tier. Mark Ingram was right there. You prepare yourself for all scenarios and there is a scenario that possibly exists where you take Mark Ingram at 24. You go through those hypotheticals."
(On if Cameron went 23rd, would Ingram have gone 24th)
"Absolutely. Those are the slots. When you get two picks away, you know that you are in a position that it's not going to be those guys in front of you. It worked out. I think Cameron, when we go through those scenarios, it was one that we were kind of surprised with."
(On the improvement of the roster with these two selections)
"It's two players better. It works out and that's why we are drafting players. We feel like these are two good additions. We have got a lot of work to do still."
(On Ingram's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield)
"I would start with this first, I would say that one trait that is impressive is his ability to block pressure and pick up. He is someone who is real physical in his protections. He is someone that is used, to some degree, in the underneath passing game. He is a physical back, he can catch the ball, but he is good in his protections. There will be a learning curve and he will have a lot to learn. I do know this, we saw him in an offense that is fairly prototypical. I think Nick (Saban) has done a real good job, obviously, with that program. I know he felt real good about this player as well."
(On Ingram being a third down back)
"We will see on that. We like the skill set but there is a lot that goes in to not only first down, second down for a young player, but third down as well. We will just see how it goes. We will see where he is at."
(On meeting the players before the draft)
"Both of these players happened to be guys that took a visit here. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't. Both players were guys that we spent time with at the combine. Both players were here. They are guys that we felt were bright. One is a Senior and one is a Junior. Both of them come from winning programs. Coach (Jeff) Tedford has done a great job out at Cal. They have been coached hard and we felt that these were guys that saw themselves as being successful in this league. A lot of times we will bring players in and not have the opportunity to draft them. In this case, both of these players were here."
(On both players having family history in the NFL)
I think that is secondary. I think the players understand the challenge and the work that is necessary to have the success that both of their fathers had."