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Sean Payton: "this is an important game for a lot of guys"

Sean Payton met with media post practice on Thursday

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Opening Statement: "Just like a week ago, (we are using) the same schedule in regards to our practice (the day before a game).  This afternoon was looks versus the Oakland Raiders offensively, defensively, and the kicking game.  We will meet tonight.  We will have some walkthroughs in the morning and (then) get ready to play.  I'll tell you what I told the team.  It is an important game for a lot of guys and obviously this evaluation process is ongoing.  But for a number of players, they will get more snaps and more opportunities for us to see where they are at."

How much are you going to see of Seneca Wallace tomorrow?

"You will see a good portion of him in the second phase.  Drew Brees will start and he will come in next."

Is it important to see Seneca tomorrow?

"Yes, absolutely."

Can you talk about Jon Vilma?

"All I can say is this, he has gone to Philadelphia.  He is getting scoped and we will have him back and go from there."

Is there a concern because that knee has been operated on a lot?

"This is a little different of a procedure so we will see how he does when he gets back."

Does this give you a chance to see more of David Hawthorne?

"We saw him last week.  We saw him all during training camp.  His role will increase in this game because of that." ![]( "New Orleans Saints")

Are you getting worried about the depth at linebacker?

"No, the most important thing is getting the chance to evaluate these players.  A guy like Jon Vilma, I know exactly what we have in that player.  So it gives us a chance to see not only Hawthorne more, but if he is going earlier, then the guys behind him are getting to play quicker too."

What have you seen in Matt Flynn?

"He is a guy that we had graded high coming out of the draft and Green Bay drafted him.  He went up there and earned a number two spot and beat out someone that was drafted ahead of him that same year.  He went on to Seattle and now Oakland.  We have kind of followed his career quite a bit and I think this is a great opportunity for him and someone that we feel pretty strongly about.  He is a good player."

What kind of role do you envision for David Hawthorne?

"He was injured last year, so we see him as one of the inside linebackers in the (3-4) defense.  That would be his position, rather than outside.  I think he is a will in what we do or that weakside position."

What are some of the things you look at in evaluating a backup quarterback?

"Well, you look at decision-making, how he is in and out of the huddle and just operating the offense.  Just ultimately is he moving the team?  Are you converting on third downs?  Seneca (Wallace) has done this long enough.  He has started a lot of games in our league.  His experience is something that helps him, but also he can make plays with his feet.  When something breaks down, it's hard to measure that in practice, but when you get into a preseason game it gets a little bit easier to see."

Is Seneca a guy kind of fighting an uphill battle against Luke McCown?

"I don't know if anyone is fighting an uphill battle, but he is certainly in a competition."

Can you talk about Dennis Allen?

"He is someone that was with Atlanta as a quality control coach and I had heard a lot of good things about him from some coaches that I had worked with.  So as we were assembling our staff he was initially hired here to help with the defensive line but it was a full time position.  Shortly thereafter he was promoted to secondary coach and we saw very early on his talent and his ability to teach and communicate.  You get a coach like that and it's hard to keep up and all of a sudden he is on the way to be a coordinator, maybe even quicker than you can put him in that position and now he is a head coach and that is not very surprising at all.  It's something that you get excited about when you see somebody that was on the original staff (get to become an NFL head coach), both he and Doug Marrone were on the 2006-2007 staff.  I saw this all the time to Mr. Benson, let's not get worried when others want to talk to our coaches, get worried when no one wants to talk to any of your coaches.  It's a good thing for him.  He worked hard at it."

Will Junior Galette and Marques Colston be questionable this week?

"Galette won't play and we will probably hold Marques too."

What do you want to see tomorrow?

"You want to see if the player is comfortable and knows what to do.  Does he get aligned quickly? Is he instinctive? How does he handle game situations?  We grade alignment, where he aligns, that has to be a plus or a minus.  Does he know what to do?  And lastly, does he do it?  How productive is he?"

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