New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Opening Statement: "Today's practice was again third down. We had some two minute situations. It was a little shorter than they normally have been. We cut a period out, but overall I thought it went pretty well. I have one transaction, tackle Jason Smith was released yesterday and we didn't bring in anyone. We just cut one more roster spot down (to 80)."
Is Glenn Foster making it difficult for you guys to make a decision?
"He's playing exceptionally well so I don't think that's made it difficult. When you get a player who comes in a rookie class as an undrafted free agent and is playing like he is and well enough to make the team, that's a good deal. That's a good sign. We are pleased with how he is playing. He is very consistent, (and) explosive. He was a player, after the draft that a handful of teams were interested in and fortunately for us we were able to get him (signed) to a contract. That's a good thing."
I think he said that he spoke to you a couple of times, is that correct?
"Yes, he was kind of committed to Kansas City and then he and I spoke three different times in that hour. It was at Illinois (where he was) and when we are talking to a free agent, one of the things we try to, it's a short period of time here, these decisions are made within an hour, but we try to talk about our past track record. And that, we have had a number of players make this team that weren't necessarily drafted. These players coming out now are very smart about the depth chart about the roster and not making the decision over $2500 prior to taxes in signing bonus. They are really looking close at where can I make a team and where can I have a chance. To his credit, fortunately for us, he chose us."
Are you curious to see how Travaris Cadet responds after last week's preseason game where he had two fumbles and lost one?
"He is a very diligent worker and very conscientious player; those are all very good traits. And I think he will respond the right way."
What kind of mentality does Andy Tanner have to come back each season after being cut so many times?
"He's a great worker. He's improved a lot since (he's been here). It seems like he has been here for a long time, but he had a good practice today, you bring his name up. He is very detailed in what he does and it is a tribute to his work ethic and patience. It's not easy. For a player like that, every season will be like this, in tough competition, trying to make a roster. One thing about him, he knows exactly who he is. He has had a good (training) camp."
Are Andy Tanner and Preston Parker going to be part of the tough decisions you are going to have to make?
"They are all a part of that equation and sometimes you can't just look at the position (on the) depth chart. You have to look at the linebacker, the corner, the safety, so not only is the player like Andy or Preston competing internally with their position group, they are competing with the other position groups and they are also competing with the other players that are in the league."
Have you seen enough from Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper to show you that they will play better this year?
"They have had good camps. They are playing a little different position. We will see. We are anxious to not necessarily get started right away; I think we played pretty well in the first two games. The first series in week one wasn't as good as we hoped, but we just keep building off that in practice."
What has Bryce Harris shown you bouncing back from his injury?
"He's come back and really jumped back in. For some guys coming off an injury like that, it takes a little longer but he's come back in and battled pretty well. It has been encouraging."
You have talked about a window of opportunity, is that a media creation?
"I was listening to a discussion yesterday and they were discussing various teams in the NFC and what the projected outlook is. In year one, it's get your feet wet and start off, this was another team, maybe 7-9 or 8-8. That's not how this league works. There is urgency every season, urgency to improve, urgency to each year improve your roster and so I think that subject comes up in times with a very good quarterback. Fortunately for us, we have one and we have one who's healthy and someone who works extremely hard and takes care of himself. Every season that window of opportunity, for me as a coach, feels like it's immediate. We work to do everything we can to find a way to be at the top of the division. I think the mindset that goes along with that window of opportunity would be in 2006 we are just looking to finish .500, first year in a new program. I think that each year is different and certainly there are goals and expectations, most importantly we don't try and put limitations on what we think we can and can't do. We don't know enough about this team yet, once it's finalized.
Does it seem like there are more good quarterbacks in the league than ever?
"They are being coached and prepared as well as any time. It was about seven or eight years ago, the discussion of are there enough good quarterbacks in our league and I think the answer is yes. I think certainly there are some seasons that produce more. This past class fared very well if you look at the young games that came in and played as rookies and Colin Kaepernick who played in his second year. Being developed at the high school level, at the youth football level, the offensive systems and what you are starting to see and what you have been seeing, they are better trained. They are more ready than they have been in years past. I don't think there is any shortage at that position and I think that's a good thing."