New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Training Camp 2016 Presented by Verizon Media Availability
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
"It looks like things are thinning out here a little bit. Very similar to last week, our guys will eat here, we'll pack and bus to the airport, fly into Houston. We'll meet with their coaches like we did with New England and go through tomorrow and Thursday's and Friday's practice, we will get organized."
Can you discuss the change of scenery even though you are still in training camp?
"The schedule is going to still suggest we are in training camp. I think guys understand this is an important time of the year for a lot of these players. Every one of these games is a chance for them to turn it on. You want to see improvement and want to see how guys played from week one to week two. I think they're smart enough to understand that. We talked about it. It's an ongoing evaluation and really the sum total of a lot of hard work and reps. We'll be in the training camp mode there with Houston and get back to New Orleans after the game late Saturday night. There will be a Sunday schedule, Monday back at it. Everything about will still be that kind of mindset."
Do you think you were able to make training camp a little more competitive?
"I think we were able to. I think we had a great environment. The weather was cooperative. There was one day where we were delayed 15 minutes, but we got a lot of good work done. We had a lot of competitive drills. That's going to continue. I think the players handled it well too. This facility is I think very conducive to I think getting your team ready to play. It allows the players to have that focus. It eliminates a lot of the distractions. Even on their off days, these players are together. They're over here getting treatment, watching tape or eating together. I like to see that."
Do you like the makeup of this team?
"I do. Without comparing them to any other team. This is a group that is very focused, very driven. It has been a competitive camp. I think they're only going to get better. We're on a race with the other 31 teams on finding the right 53 and preparing on the week one opener. That's a ways away right now as we evaluate these players and these 90."
Would you like to return to The Greenbrier?
"This is outstanding, yes and you guys have seen it now for the third year in a row. It gives you a real secluded environment for a period of time. That's why we've tried to split it and still have that training camp at home for our fans there. I think in today's game it gives you all the things you're looking for from a teaching standpoint and I think that I still look at camp as getting away and having a chance to get around a shoelace so I like that about it and people have been great, starting with Jim (Justice) and his staff. They've been amazing."
Have you talked to Sheldon Rankins? What is his attitude like?
"Yes. I saw him that day. Absolutely. I think considering, I think the specific injury I won't get into, but he had the other foot in high school and it's a fracture right down by the fibula and the rehab and process and surgery and all that should be fairly smooth. We're fortunate that it wasn't more significant and yet I'm sure he'll approach and attach the rehab just like everything else. Yes, he's been upbeat."
Do you have roster options with that type of injury or is it too early to say?
"No, it would all be based on the time frame when we think he will be ready. That will be a little early to predict right now. It clearly is not going to be season-ending at all."
C.J. Spiller says he feels healthier and more comfortable in this training camp. Do you see that as well?
"You can see his burst and you can see that the strength has come back in that leg. He'll come back Saturday and get a lot of work this week. You can see noticeably the strength in his movement."
Have their been any other guys lower on the depth chart like Tommylee Lewis that have jumped out and done something similar in your eyes?
"I think there's a group of corners that probably a large group of our fans don't know yet that are doing a real good job. I think we have good competition at the safety position. We talked about some of the younger receivers. I think we're deep at the running back spot. There are a few of these young linemen, Jack Allen's a young free agent center who's had some good reps here at camp. So I think that's where I'm going. If you're really paying attention to the playing time, you're seeing some of these rookies out there in the first half, whether it's (Ken) Crawley and (DeVante) Harris, Vonn Bell, those guys are all competing on defense for playing time, P.J. (Williams) the same way, he's lining up and playing with the first team and he's been playing well. That's real encouraging. At the running back position, I think you're going to see, we have a handful of guys some of them do different things. Daniel Lasco, (David) Onyemata, that draft class so far we have been impressed by how they're prepared and how they're transitioning and have come to the field. That's encouraging."
Now that you've had a couple weeks to evaluate it, have the tweaks to the schedule had the desired effect?
"I think this. I think they've been efficient. I think our injuries are down in relation to the years prior and I think it's allowed us from a meeting standpoint, I think in the past it was designed for practice, meetings an afternoon practice and more meetings. Really that model has changed, so I think we're getting more of the installation done in the afternoon meetings and a little bit more individual film time in the evenings and I think that's been pretty smooth."