New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton addressed the media following an hour and a half workout outdoors at the club's practice facility. After signing autographs for fans for 40 minutes, Payton discussed the format of tommorrow's scrimmage and the pickup of five-year NFL veteran WR Mark Bradley.
"Roster move-wise, yesterday we released Matt Simon and we signed wide receiver Mark Bradley. We still have the same three guys on PUP: (Darren) Sharper, (Robert) Meachem, and (Clint) Ingram. (Patrick) Robinson and (Scott) Shanle sat out today's practice. We cut it back a little bit knowing that we are going to be scrimmaging tomorrow. This afternoon will be inside."
*Tracy Porter was back today; how did he look? *
"Good. He had back spasms, so we rested him for a couple of days and I think he felt a lot better."
With players like Porter and Robinson sitting, how much more important is practice for players like Randall Gay and Leigh Torrence in particular?
"It increases their reps. You see those guys move up in to slots and the rest of the group plays more. Fortunately for us, Tracy's injury was minor. Hopefully, we will have Patrick back sooner rather than later."
After a history of injuries at that position, how much do you look at guys like Reggie Jones who are trying to make the active roster?
"You pay attention to all of those guys. Depth at that position is important as well as how they play in the kicking game, if they are the fourth corner. Those are things we factor in."
What was it about Mark Bradley that stood out in the tryout?
"He is a player that has some experience. He ran pretty well, and we thought he caught the ball well. The key is getting him acclimated quickly. He did work out well and he does have some experience. He is more of a veteran. As it pertains to Simon, I mentioned to him yesterday that it was nothing that he had done right now, it was just us taking a look at a different type of player."
Was there any particular reason you spent a longer amount of time with the fans today?"
Our practice was cut short. From a schedule standpoint, we had more time. It's hot out here, and a lot of those people have been waiting. We were trying to make sure that we got everyone covered."
What are you looking to see in tomorrow's scrimmage?
"First off, mentally, you want to make sure that guys know what to do, or that they are trying to do what you are coaching. There will be mistakes, as always, but you want to see how guys will perform. The situation for the scrimmage will be much like practice. Full get-up and we will roll through around nine sets and mix the special teams in like we have in the past."
What is the quarterback rotation for tomorrow?
"We haven't set on it yet. You are going to get a chance to see all four of those guys. Tonight we will discuss reps, and how many."
Can you talk about how this camp may be a little bit more important for Randall than other camps he has been in?
"I don't know if that's fair to say. When you talk about Randall Gay, he is a smart player. He knows what to do, and he has good instincts. Those are things that have served him well early on in his career and now in the middle of his career. It's good to see him healthy. Obviously he is in his second year with what we are doing defensively, so he knows what's going on. He is a very instinctive player. He has the flexibility to play a lot of spots."
Can you talk about the experience of going to the White House and what it means to you to meet the President?
"I think all of us are looking forward to the opportunity of going there. It's a chance to see a significant branch of our government and really get a chance to see the inside of the White House, which most of us haven't had a chance to do. It will be early on Monday. We also are going to have a chance to go over to Walter Reed Medical Center, a hospital there, where we can visit a lot of people who have been injured in action. I think everyone is looking forward to that, and then that afternoon, we are flying up to New England."
Other than guys with health issues, are you going to hold anyone else out of the scrimmage tomorrow?
"No, it will be just the health issue guys. If he is healthy, they are going to practice tomorrow."
You got to meet Monty Williams, what do you think of the Hornets hiring somebody with no head coaching experience?
"That was the first time I met him. I have heard a lot of good things about him. We are big fans and are pulling for those guys to do well. It's a great opportunity. In talking with him briefly, he seems excited about it, and ready for the challenge. I know he's tall, and I know his son is going to be tall."
How is Bobby McCray doing so far?
"He's doing well. He'll get a lot of work tomorrow. He's rotating in with the first group and he's in good shape."
What about Jimmy Graham?
"He's learning. We're giving a lot to him and he's handling it well. The key early on is getting a chance to see him do the things that he knows and instinctively does well. That will be part of the plan this season as it pertains to someone specific who is young; making sure that you give him things that he does well. Each day he does something special that stands out."
What specific factors will you take in to consideration to determine the quarterback rotation?
"We'll look at tonight's meeting. At the meeting tonight, we will look at the amount of reps we're getting. I'm sure it will be hot, so I want to get those guys some snaps early in case we have to cut back. All four of them will go. Drew (Brees) will have a series, and probably be done, and then Patrick (Ramsey) and Chase (Daniel). The second time around, I will probably move Patrick, Chase, and then Sean (Canfield) up. They'll all get work."
Was there a weather consideration in moving the time?
"Yes. Trying to avoid the hottest part of the day as well as the most likely part of the day where there could be rain. We have moved it up and hopefully we can avoid that. Last year, we had to go inside."