<span style=""> <span style="text-decoration: underline;">NOTICE FROM THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: </span> The New Orleans Saints organization is encouraging fans to arrive at the Louisiana Superdome this Sunday earlier than normal due to increased security measures being implemented at stadiums league-wide. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 pm CT.
In addition, the Saints organization is also encouraging ticket holders to utilize the Ticket Exchange program at www.neworleanssaints.com if you are unable to attend the game. The team is aiming for 100% attendance and will be target reducing the number of no-shows each week.
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"Going through the injury list, Will Smith/Kendrick Clancy.aspx">Kendrick Clancy (right knee) did not practice; Darnell Dinkins (left foot) did not practice; Mike Bell (right knee) did not practice; Jermon Bushrod (right knee/right ankle) did not practice; Malcolm Jenkins (left ankle) did not practice; Jason Kyle (right knee/right ankle) did not practice; Bobby McCray (back) did not practice; Lance Moore (right hamstring) was limited; Rod Harper (left foot) was limited. Yesterday we put Jammal Brown on injured reserve and we signed center Nick Leckey. We also added a practice squad player today, Renardo Foster, who took Chase Daniel's practice squad spot from a week ago. Most of the work today was on base, first and second down."
When did Jenkins and Kyle get injured?
"Jenkins was during the game in Buffalo and Kyle the same way. We'll just keep treating those guys and see where they're at as the week goes on."
Do you have a back-up plan at long snapper?
"We'll have a contingency plan; but I think Kyle will be able to go, though."
Do you have someone on the team that could do it if he got hurt during a game?
"We have two other guys that will practice with it. Today Troy Evans took a bunch of reps at it and Chris Reis is someone that also can do it."
Can you talk about the decision to put Jammal Brown on injured reserve?
"The sports hernia was one thing, but ultimately it was the hip surgery and the prognosis from the doctor that did the surgery in New York was looking more like 12 weeks and that puts you right at that gray area where you begin to weigh the pros and cons of the time away and when he would be able to come back healthy. Ultimately, we made the decision yesterday that we felt like we had to put him on IR to free up a roster spot."
Was it a follow-up appointment or did the doctors always think it would be about 12 weeks?
"He had the sports hernia and then he had the hip surgery, and after the hip surgery the length of time for the rehab was leaning more towards 12 than it was towards seven or eight and that was the concern."
When did he originally suffer that injury?
"That's a good question. It really didn't come up on the MRI until we did the second MRI. But if you asked when the symptoms were discovered, it was the week of the Houston Texans practices."
How fortunate are you to have two guys like Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief who have some experience and can fill in for him?
"Those guys have been here and we've worked with them and developed them. Both of them have played now in important games and I think that both of them will be ready this week. Both of them played last week in Buffalo, so they both have experience."
What strikes you about the chaos that a Rex Ryan defense produces?
"There are a lot of multiple looks. They're playing real hard; they're doing a great job and they're always challenging. When you look at his defenses from the past, this one is buying into that scheme, and when you watch them on film, they're doing an outstanding job. They present a lot of challenges in regards to your protections and then the coverages and trying to get guys out into the pattern and not having everyone in blocking."
What has impressed you about Mark Sanchez?
"He has poise. He's a guy that understands how to win. I think he has done a good job of transitioning quickly as a rookie and playing as well as he has played. You saw that on his college tape and you're seeing it now in New York. Those guys are doing a great job with him and with their plans, and he's playing with more and more confidence each week."
Was Sunday one of Sedrick Ellis' better games that he has played?
"I think so. He was a guy that was active and made a lot of plays for us. We were encouraged with the way he played, looking at the tape especially."
Are you pleased with the way the defense has stepped up and matched the performance of the offense?
"When you go back and look at these first three games, we're taking the ball away, which is encouraging. Those turnovers are big and we're limiting the big plays. Each week takes on a new challenge, but last week as that game unfolded, we started really playing the field position and being smart and our defense responded. As you watched the second half of that game, it was real impressive. That's real positive."
If you were an offensive coach getting ready to face your defense, what challenges would you face?
"It's the multiple looks again. We're talking about a lot of different looks and you only get so many practice snaps today, tomorrow and Friday. Much like the challenges we're seeing from New York and trying to get the walkthrough snaps in regards to the protection assignments and you know that it will be something different that you haven't seen that you have to get coached up on the sidelines. All those things become tedious and it forces you offensively to spend time and devote time to all those different looks. Regardless of whether you're going to see them all in a game, you have to prepare for them."
Can you recall a player you lobbied harder to get than Jeremy Shockey? Is that desire to get him paying off now?
"He's healthy now. Last season he struggled with the sports hernia. Early on the season, he had some good games but the positive is that he has come back in real good shape with the offseason program and then through training camp. That has been a big plus for us, especially at that position."
What has been the impact of Jonathan Vilma on this defense?
"We were able to get Jon in a trade and this is his second season with this system and his second season being fully healthy and he has been a big addition to what we do defensively and a leader for what we do defensively."
With Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas, do you approach that as one position with two different guys or is it more two separate play-calls depending on which one of them is in there?
"There are a lot of these plays – run and pass – that we feel like are interchangeable with our runners, and then there are some specific ones that we might lean towards one of those guys or Reggie, depending on the game plan. They provide flexibility and the key is that they're running with ball security and they're running with good pad level and those are the things that we keep preaching."
When you made the decision to go with Bushrod during training camp, had he done things in the offseason to move ahead of Strief?
"The work that he had had was primarily at left tackle and the work that Zach had been getting had been at right, and we felt like he practiced well during training camp and even the week of the Texans scrimmages and practices, he had done a good job. We feel like both of those guys are guys that are certainly capable of starting and playing and we're going to need both of those guys."
Does the amount of pressure that the Jets get on the quarterback force your hand a little as far as keeping extra guys in to block?
"You have to be careful because when you choose to go that direction, then the quarterback ends up holding the ball with no one open. I think you have to have routes where you're getting guys out into the pattern and Drew is someone that gets rid of the ball pretty quick and processes the information pretty quickly. I think you have to be careful about keeping everyone in. They do a good job of disguising of giving you an illusion of pressure and then all of a sudden they're playing a double coverage or a trap coverage. Those are the challenges."
Is the ability to get five or six yards on first down even bigger against a defense like this?
"I think it's big each week. If you find yourself in a lot of third-and-longs, you're probably in for a long day. Playing well on those early downs is important every week."
Do you appreciate the fascination of this match-up between your offense and Rex Ryan's defense?
"I think it's really more about two 3-0 teams that are playing well; that's the interest level. If these two teams were sitting here at 1-2, I don't think you'd have the same interest level. It really boils down to the fact that you have two teams that have played really well to start the first three games of the season and that's what piques the interest of the fan base."
How is your relationship with Shockey different now than when you coached him as a rookie?
"We're both older. He's someone that plays with passion and each week you try to put things in that are suited for his strengths. David Thomas is another tight end that we acquired from New England. The key with all these players is just trying to find the right packages and the things that they do well. Certainly, I have a familiarity with Jeremy, just from being in New York with him in the early part of his career and just knowing him only helps."
Can his enthusiasm for the game sometimes being a distraction?
"I'd rather have a player that's passionate about what he's doing. He comes here in the morning and it's all football. Bring me a bunch of those guys."
Do you have a sense of Rex Ryan's style as a coach?
"I've never worked with Rex. Certainly I have a lot of respect for what he has done in his first opportunity. You can see the personality of a coach and his staff with the way the players play, and you see that with this Jets team – not just defensively, but as a team in general. They present a lot of challenges."