New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Opening Statement:"We had a chance to get outside with some of the shoe gear. Even the surface here is different than the stadium surface. Making sure we get the right shoes is important. We had our normal Thursday routine. The schedule is pushed back an hour. We did that all week long."
There is unfortunately another tropical storm in the gulf. Will the team leave tomorrow?
"I think the plan is, yes. We were able to handle this pretty smoothly but our plan is to leave tomorrow in the afternoon. Just to be smart and not get caught. It really more sounds like a potential wind issue on Saturday so we will leave in the afternoon tomorrow."
Would you walk through at Soldier Field?
"No, I don't think so. We're going to look at a couple of area fields near the hotel."
There is a 60 percent chance of rain on Sunday. Is that what you were talking about with the shoes?
"Yeah, well forget the rain. I think the shoe type for this surface is different than the grass that we play on here. But with that being said, add the chance of rain, we have to be prepared to handle the elements. We have in the past. Our guys understand that. Those are things that we can't control and yet we have to be prepared for. Recently, Tampa Bay was one in which all of a sudden we had a delay. But we're on top of that. If we're having a light practice on Saturday there is probably a good chance it's raining during that as well."
Kick returns have been slowed down a little bit since it's been moved to the 35-yard line but it doesn't look like it has slowed down Devin Hester?
"Number one because of the environments outside it's not as controlled as the kickoffs that might take place here, in the Georgia Dome or some of these other areas. Wind is usually an issue with this field, so it's not a given that balls are going to go deep in the end zone. He's arguably the most decorated returner in our leagues history and that's just a fact, both kickoff and punt returns. He is a dangerous threat with the ball in his hands. You've got to be sharp in regards to your assignments and regards to your lanes. That's a big deal in this game. That's field position and that is something that he's been exceptionally well at. We've been on the long end of a punt return there. He's outstanding."
Even thought that was years ago it's something you don't forget, right?
Can you talk a little bit about how John Jenkins was thrust into the role he's in and how he has handled that?
"I don't know that that's the right term. He was someone that coming off of training camp we knew was going to play. Certainly, he may play more because of an injury. (Brodrick) Bunkley was able to go today and received limited work but John (Jenkins) has done a great job at handling those snaps and he's really adjusted well and given us a lot of valuable snaps."