New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, December 9, 2016
You signed linebacker Travis Feeney?
"Yes we did. Josh Hill went to reserve/injured. Travis was a guy we had high grades on coming out of Washington. He actually played (Hau'oli Kikaha's) position a year later. He was one of our 30 (draft-eligible pre-draft) visits. We just kind of followed him and we were able to sign him off the practice squad."
Is he the type of guy who is able to absorb what you would need him to do this weekend for the team?
"No. He just got here today. I don't know if he knows where his locker is."
Where do you see him playing initially?
"I see him playing at Will. He is athletic. He is long. He is someone that ran well and someone with traits that we like a lot."
With Josh Hill going on injured reserve, how much of John Phillips' play has helped you guys?
"It is important. John's experience, he is smart. He has played well. At the start of the year with two tight ends and John is someone who knows what we are doing very well."
Can he (John) do as much of the receiving stuff as Josh can?
"It will be route-depending. There are some things versatility-wise Josh did as an F (receiver). But he is someone that knows exactly what we are doing by gameplan."
How common is it that you kind of keep track of a guy that you had on a visit?
"Fairly common. If you took the 31 other practice squads of 10, you would have draft grades on those practice squad players. They are not all rookies. But you'd also have pro grades on every one of those 10. That would be very normal for a pro department to have current grade and we reference a college grade specifically with a rookie."
Can you discuss Kenny Vaccaro's decision to drop his appeal?
"It was something (where) he spent some time talking about it. We spoke with him. I think so it doesn't carry over into next season it makes a lot of sense. That'll begin at some point this weekend. He will not not play this weekend. And so it begins this weekend. This will be the first game of four."
Will Roman (Harper) step into his spot?
"In some of the three safeties look(s). You have Vonn (Bell) and Jairus (Byrd). We still have depth at that position."
What brought Jairus (Byrd) closer to the line of scrimmage this year and how has he been playing?
"He is very comfortable closer to the ball. I would say in the last month, he has done a good job with his tackling and he has some flexibility with where you can put him."
Is Kenny Vaccaro allowed to be in the facility? In regards to the suspension.
"No. No. That would begin after today. He is a month away (from the facilities)."
Does the fact that you have a lot of guys that play that position help you in filling the void at that position?
"There are experienced players and I think you adjust."