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Sunday with Payton

Saints head coach talks about practice in heat, sleeper at RB

Opening Statement:"Looking at the afternoon practice, we got into some of the nickel and third down work.  We rested Jeremy Shockey, just with some knee soreness, nothing serious.  He had it looked at today and we'll just get him some treatment; we'll get him back as soon as possible.  The rest of the guys are the same as far as injury status."

Was this one of the hottest practices you've ever experienced? Does it make it tougher?

"No, I think it's probably one of the hotter ones here in New Orleans, but I think we had hotter practices in Jackson. We took six breaks just to make sure guys were keeping hydrated. You have to manage it.  At some point at training camp you're going to have to fight through some weather like this and we were fortunate with some cloud cover. It doesn't make it tougher; I just think it's part of getting in shape in training camp, mentally and the challenge of focusing on your job when your body starts getting tired."

I know it's early, but after five practices, how do you think Troy Evans is doing?

"I think he's doing well.  I think one of the things with Troy is that he is experienced and knows what to do.  Obviously he is versatile because he plays so much in the kicking game.  He is handling the snaps well, so he will be a guy we give a look to during the preseason.  You know exactly what you are getting with him; he's very consistent that way."

It seems like every year there's a running back that kind of catches people's eye. Can you talk a little bit about Chris Ivory?

"He's done that.  He comes from a small school as a transfer.  He went to Tiffin and transferred from Washington State.  He's a guy that we targeted a little bit as the draft went on.  Much like a few of these free agent running backs, we were able to sign him after the draft.  I thought he stood out.  He's done some pretty good things that were encouraging.  He carries his pads well, he has good speed and he's big and put together well."

Does it give a guy like him hope that in the past you undrafted free agents have made this team at that position?

"I think so.  I think that's one of our selling points when we are on the phone with them on that Sunday after the draft with him and his agent.  We look closely at our roster and there are opportunities if you can prove yourself, so I think so."

How reliable of a receiver has Lance Moore become?

"It's one of his strong suits; you know what you are getting.  He understands the passing game, he understands how to run routes, and he has strong hands in traffic."

We saw you work a lot on special teams today. How valuable are your kickers?

"We feel like we have two young kickers, the punter and the kicker both.  One of them was a rookie a year ago, Thomas Morstead, our punter that we drafted.  And certainly, Garrett, we've had him now in his third year.  We don't take that for granted, those are key parts to winning games."

You said you weren't sure if you were going to keep two active QBs and one on the practice squad, but it's pretty clear you are going to keep three, so one guy is going to be out.  Does that make more pressure or more difficult for a guy like Sean Canfield to come in here when he feels like his margin of error is thin?

"I think looking around at the camps right now, you probably see competition like that.  I don't think…we had one year where we went with three and then you kind of piece it together, pretty much guess that two of those three will make the roster.  One might be a practice squad player, but I think like any other position here, there's competition and those guys want to play well.  The games will help define that position for us, just like a lot of these other spots."

Doesn't it seem like it would be difficult to come out here every day feeling like there's no room for error?

"That's what every one of these players has to be able to do.  There aren't many players that don't' because of the roster limits. The kicker, the punter, obviously there's a handful of starters, but that's pretty common in training camp."

Do you feel it's fair for people to say that Lynell Hamilton needs to fill the role Mike Bell had last year? Do you see him as more versatile than Mike Bell?

"He's a different player, so his versatility is different. He can play in the kicking game and when he got to play last year, early, it was hard for him not to get involved each week because of his ability to do other things.  We try to be open minded about that and the roles can change some and I think it's easy to do this with the loss of Mike Bell.  We'll see."

Anthony Hargrove and Remi Ayodele seem to be neck and neck for a starting defensive tackle position. How do you see that going so far?

"Well, they are different body types.  Remi's a nose; Hargrove is playing at the three, and he's playing at some other spots.  I don't think you would view those two guys, necessarily, as competing with each other.  They are competing for reps, but they are different positions.  Remi's playing the nose.  Hargrove's going in sometimes at the three, opposite of Sedrick Ellis, sometimes he will play inside.  They are a little different."

Courtney Roby made some nice plays for you in the passing game today. What have you seen from him catching the football so far?

"He's a guy that has been with us.  He understands the system, he can run, and with where Robert Meachem is at and where Marques Colston is at, some of these other guys are getting some more work with the first groups."

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