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Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Discusses Day One

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                    **                              <span style="">Opening Statement: </span>                       **                      
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**Q:

Is Sedrick Ellis a guy who can disrupt things in the backfield?*

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A:

He's an active player. He's played probably more nose when you watch the college film, but he's a guy who can play in a three technique. He gives us flexibility in regards to the pass rush. One thing about him is that the guy plays in great intensity. We saw a lot of college film on him and saw him at the Senior Bowl. He was one of the guys as the draft started that we held in high regard and fot we were able to get up there and get in position to select him.*

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**Q:

Do both Ellis' and Tracy Porter's ability to make plays fit needs on your defense?*

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A:

I think you look at all those things defensively and the position. You're trying to find players that fit what you do and I think in both cases these are guys that have those qualities. That's a plus.*

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**Q:

Were you guys pretty determined to be able to drafter either Ellis or Glenn Dorsey?*

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A:

It was a priority. Mickey (Loomis), Rick (Mueller) and I spent a lot of time discussing the scenarios. You understand that being patient, being smart and not necessarily having one specific player, but having a plan in place is the way to go. We were prepared to pick at ten if needed be. Fortunately we were able to move up and get Ellis. I think you go through some scenarios. You hear a lot and you read a lot and then when it actually starts, you really have to pay attention to what's in front and what's really behind you. I think we were able to do that.*

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**Q:

Were reports accurate that you also talked to Kansas City at number five?*

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A:

I'll bet throughout the day and this would be the case with every team, I'm not so certain that those teams in the top 11 or 12 picks didn't all talk with each other at some point during the early parts or prior to round one. We pretty much had a conversation at some point or another, not only with the teams in front of us, but the teams behind us. That's not uncommon. I think that's pretty normal.*

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**Q:

Are you still pursuing Jeremy Shockey or is that dead?*

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A:

I've read so much about that topic. Number one, it's a player on another team that we would never be able to comment on. Obviously there's a history with myself being with the Giant organization and I was there when we selected Jeremy, but that wouldn't be something that I would comment on, just because I think it's inappropriate and there's been enough written about it and half the stuff that was written probably, I don't know where it came from. Mickey (Loomis) and I talked about this and really in all fairness to our team and league protocol, I just don't think it's appropriate for us to even visit about it.*

**Q:

How close did you have Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis rated next to each other and where were they on your overall board?*

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A:

They were both at the top of the board in the first six picks and both very close with each other. I think probably universally throughout the league at that specific position there were two players that everyone felt pretty much the same about in regards to the two defensive tackles. Depending on your scheme, your level of interest might change and might go up or down, but both of those players were high up there.*

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**Q:

What separated Tracy Porter from other guys at 40?*

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A:

He's a guy that does fill a need. He's a returner. He has good ball skills. He was captain of his team. The staff there (at Indiana), I know very well. His prior head coach, the late Terry Hoeppner who passed away not too long ago was someone that I worked with for a number of years as well as Bill Lynch, the current coach there right now and a number of assistants. You scout this player from when he arrived at Indiana, all the way through his senior year, he's done a lot of the things that we would look for in our corners. We were excited. When you get the end and you have two or three players in that round that you've kind of blocked off and you just hope they don't go in front of you, which can oftentimes happen, in this case, we were fortunate that it didn't.*

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**Q:

You guys traded a third and fourth round draft pick, so it's obviously not a rebuilding draft. Are you more concentrated on the present at this time and working on being very aggressive?*

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A:

"There's a lot of picks in there, so we gained a fifth. Sometimes when you see someone, in Sedrick's (Ellis') case, we felt it was important to get to that spot that New England held and secure him. Fortunately we found a willing partner in New England. This changes, you're trying to evaluate what happens in front and behind and what you think's going to happen ahead of you. Fortunately the opportunity arose where you could make that deal.*

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**Q:

Bill Belichick said the groundwork for the deal was made yesterday. Do you agree?*

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A:

I think everyone probably spent a little more time on the phone with each other. I guarantee you Mickey (Loomis probably talked to all of those teams in front and behind at least two or three times. It's just feeling out, exploring your options and being prepared. With the time slot being a little bit lighter at ten minutes, you want to make sure you don't get caught running out of time and Mickey did a great job as well as the entire organization during that process. The thing that all of us felt was that if we could come out of this first pick with one of those two tackles, we were going to be really excited. Certainly there were other players that we were going to be excited about, but we were fortunate and that was through preparation and research. The scouts and coaches did a great job. The process itself went really efficiently. We ended up with a good football player. He has a high motor, great character and a lot of production and certainly a background with his position coach (Ed Orgeron). When you factor all of those things in, you're really just trying to do all the work possible, but when you have that specific relationship, that helps your chances when you start looking at those guys. *

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**Q:

When you look at the competition at cornerback, does Tracy Porter come in with an opportunity to start right away?*

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A:

We've done this each year, and you guys that cover us regularly know that we're going to play the best players. We hope that they're guys that we've identified and drafted, but we've played players that we haven't. That competition is healthy, and I think that leads to a healthy locker room. Our players, to a man, know that any position as a starter or a backup is going to be one that's earned. Any roster spot is going to be one that's earned. We keep looking at bringing in players that fit what we're about, and I think with these two players we have really solid guys and talented players that fit our scheme. We'll see; there will be a lot of competition – not just at corner, either.*

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**Q:

You had that famous moment at Emeril's a few years ago when you realized that you could get Reggie Bush. Was there a moment today when you knew that one of the defensive tackles might slip to you?*

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A:

The selections at two and three were important for a number of reasons. A lot of us went back and forth on what we thought St. Louis was going to do, and after they selected (Chris) Long and Atlanta selected the quarterback (Matt Ryan), it began to shape up a little bit how we might have anticipated. But you still don't know and there's not an exactness to it. You try to touch base with those teams and anticipate the needs of those teams, just as they would be anticipating your needs, and you go from there.*

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**Q:

When you had a shot at getting Sedrick Ellis, what was Ed Orgeron's reaction?*

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A:

He was fired up. He's a guy that wears his emotions on his sleeve. Again, there's a lot of background there with Ed and Sedrick, and that's a good thing. That gives us a lot of insight into what we're looking for. There was a lot of excitement in the room; not just the head coach and the general manager and the directors, but all the way down to the scouts that spent a lot of time evaluating the players. Specifically in Ed's case, it's unique because of the relationship he has. He's a player that we became comfortable with at the Senior Bowl, really to the point that we didn't need him to take the additional visit in. There were a couple of players that we looked at and said, 'Why are they coming back for another visit?' There would be some benefit to maybe bringing in a couple of others. We felt pretty comfortable in what we were getting with him. He was excited, though.*

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**Q:

I know you'll look for the best player available, but with your remaining picks do you think you'll look more for offense or defense?*

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A:

This is really where you're looking at players that you feel can come in and make your team. There is still a lot of work left. It's a little different format this year with the (first day of the) draft ending soon after round two. That being said, tomorrow will be a long and important day. We'll work and spend a lot of time tonight to make sure we have a plan of attack in place as we approach tomorrow and we'll go from there.*

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**Q:

How important will tomorrow be in contacting potential rookies that might come in as free agents?*

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A:

We did a study, and when you look at the free agent starters and free agent Pro Bowlers in our league, it's a high number. We've been able to take a Steve Weatherford, a Pierre Thomas, and Tyler Palko as free agents. There are so many great examples of guys who didn't get drafted but came in and turned a lot of heads around, so that's why tomorrow is a busy day and an important day for us. In our recruitment of these players once the draft ends, I think they realize that they're coming to a program that truly is going to play the best players. We went through the list the other day of the number of guys that weren't taken in the draft that wound up playing in the Pro Bowl, and it's interesting and it certainly motivates you to find those players. We'll spend tonight looking at the lower portion of the board and making any adjustments and then be prepared tomorrow, because I'm hopeful that we can identify another young player that even though he wasn't selected, he comes in here with a chip on his shoulder and just wants to make the roster in some way, shape or form – either on special teams or at his position, and we're all for that.*

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**Q:

There were reports that had Jammal Brown offered in efforts to move up. Is there any accuracy in that?*

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A:

No. I think this year – and every year it changes – the draft is a popular event and I think the league does a great job of promoting it and as that has gone on, there is more written leading up to the draft and I bet it's about 50% accurate and 50% false. When it comes to a player like Jammal, I think it's a credit to him. As teams try to look at what you might have a surplus of, or you might depth at position-wise, but we're not interested in trading our left tackle Jammal Brown. But I read a little bit of that, but you'll go crazy trying to pay attention to all of it. There was no interest in our part of trading him. He's had a great offseason – probably one of the better offseasons of anyone on our team right now.*

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**Q:

A lot of people had Cincinnati taking Ellis one place ahead of you at number nine. Did you figure on that as well?*

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A:

I think that gets back to strategy. You don't know. There's no certainty, and when the draft's over of course everyone has their guy that they've targeted and that's what you get used to hearing. You try to do as much research as you can and look at depth on teams. It came to a point where here was a guy that we had a strong conviction about, we felt that the value in the trade was going to be very good and fair, and we were able to make it and get ourselves in a position to get him. Who knows? It may not even have been Cincinnati; it could have been someone moving into Baltimore's pick at number eight. We just didn't want to take the risk and we were excited to be able to get there.*

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**Q:

What do you foresee from Ellis next year in terms of playing time?*

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A:

I think it's early to know exactly. He's a guy that just like the corner, we're looking for them to come in here and compete, learn the system and compete with the other guys. They're all competing for playing time and reps. We have depth at the three-technique and depth at the nose and he's a guy that will come in and compete right away for playing time at those positions and that will take care of itself as we go through the minicamp and training camp.*

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