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Sean Payton Post-Practice Report

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    **New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton**  
    **Tuesday, September 1, 2009**  
    **Opening Statement:**  

"From an injury standpoint today, Anthony Davis, Charles Grant, Tracy Porter/Billy Miller.aspx">Billy Miller, Zach Strief all were full-go; Darnell Dinkins was limited and then he aggravated his foot. We'll get a peek at that after practice to see what that is. Out were Stanley Arnoux, Adrian Arrington with the hamstring, Jammal Brown, Reggie Bush with the calf, Pierre Thomas with the knee, Malcolm Jenkins/Chip Vaughn.aspx">Chip Vaughn and Usama Young with the shoulder. Today was really some work against ourselves. Tomorrow we'll put together the plan for Miami with these guys. Today was really Saints on Saints for really the last time now that tomorrow we'll go to Miami and then the following week we're into Detroit."

Do you expect Reggie Bush to play Thursday?

"I don't know. I'm hopeful and yet I want to be smart about it. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. It's progressing well with the rehab and everything, and what's most important is the opening game, yet I'd like to get him some work if it's possible."

Will Pierre Thomas play?

"I don't think we're going to be able to play Pierre in this game."

Should fans that are getting caught up in all the points you're scoring this preseason be cautious?

"In the preseason, you work two aspects. The main thing is to get better and improve and then the second aspect is to make sure that the evaluation process is correct. Those are the two things that we're trying to focus on. There have been some things that we're pleased with and there are some things that we have to clean up."

Could you keep three quarterbacks on the roster?

"That's certainly something we could do. We haven't announced what we're doing, but that's something we could do."

Have you decided if you're going to keep two or three?

"We haven't decided. We haven't made our cuts yet."

How much time will the ones see on Thursday?

"Probably a series."

Are you comfortable enough with Jermon Bushrod to not consider playing Zach Strief at left tackle?

"Right now I'm giving Zach work at right tackle and some left, but Jermon mostly left. To answer your question, yes, if we were starting right now it would be Jermon at left."

Is now the time to get Paul Spicer and Bobby McCray acclimated to playing with the first defense?

"They're going to get a lot of work in the first part of this game along with Jeff Charleston, and then Will (Smith) and Charles (Grant), I want to still get them plenty of work before we get started. That will be the plan going into this game."

For the guys that are on the bubble, is this game as important as the full body of work over the preseason?

"The evaluation process started in the spring and it really culminates in Thursday's game."

What have you seen in Bushrod this year that you didn't see in past years?

"He has progressed like some of these other young players – like (Robert) Meachem, like Usama Young. He's really doing a good job. He has played well the last two weeks out against two pretty good ends. He'll just work on getting better. I think he is certainly feeling more confident and that's a big plus."

How big of a game is this for Lynell Hamilton/Skyler Green.aspx">Skyler Green?

"He has been real competitive. He's a guy that is a returner/receiver so he'll get plenty of looks in Thursday night's game. He's competing with a group of players at that position, especially for that fifth spot."

How can the success you've had this preseason translate to the regular season?

"It's merely playing well. I've been on teams where you may have played well in the first half and you felt pretty good about how the starters played and there was some carryover into the regular season, and then I've been in situations where maybe you didn't play as well early on but you ended up winning the game. The key is continuing to improve and measuring week to week how you're doing as a team; that's the big thing. Outside of that, you can't really draw any conclusions. You have to play them but the games we're playing right now aren't going to count on the record. We have one more opportunity and then we get going for real."

Do you usually have a pretty accurate feel for how the team is coming around and how the season is going to go?

"There are so many things that go into that; there are a lot of variables that go into that. Your schedule early on, injuries, etc. I'm pleased so far, but that being said, there were a number of things when we looked at the tape from last week's game that we have to improve on."

I saw where John Fox's Carolina team went undefeated in the preseason when they went to the Super Bowl and have done it a few other times. Has he ever placed an emphasis on that when you've talked?

"I know John well enough to know – no different than us – that we're playing the games to win. Any contest we're going to be involved in, we want to win it but still we want to get the proper evaluation of our players. Those are the things that we have tried to emphasize."

What would you tell the three young running backs – Lynell Hamilton, Garrett Hartley/P,-d-,J,-d-, Hill.aspx">P.J. Hill and Herb Donaldson – as they go into this last preseason game?

"The same thing that we have told them to date. We keep preparing them to in the game do the little things and become familiar with this 34 front. It's nothing different than we would have told them heading into the first three games."

Is there one main thing that you took from Bill Parcells in the time you spent with him?

"There are so many things. One thing was the importance of getting this 53 right and how important that was, having a vision for each player on your team, a clear vision for what they're going to do and how they're going to help the team and communicating that vision to the player. Those are things – among other things – that he was very good at."

Do you still consult with him much?

"Yes. Sure do."

Was releasing Rod Coleman difficult for you?

"It was difficult because he had put in a lot of time throughout the offseason all the way through minicamp and training camp. When you get to this part of the year and you're having to talk to players that have been with you since March, those are never easy."

Was it a case of you feeling good about your younger players?

"It was probably a combination of the players that are playing in front of him and where he's at. That was one of the decisions we made yesterday, along with a couple of others. There are more of those tough decisions coming up."

Do you think that one game can make or break it for a guy when it comes to making the 53-man roster?

"I think one game can leave an impression. I was in New York in my second year there and there was a return specialist that took a kickoff return for a touchdown in that game – Bashir Levingston was his name – and it helped him make the roster. Again, you have to evaluate everything. It's important to look at today closely – today was a good practice and tomorrow we'll get a handle on Miami and go play them Thursday in a short week."

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