New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
2019 Training Camp Presented by Verizon
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Post-Practice Media Availability
"Just a couple of roster moves real quick. We signed running back Rob Kelley and wide receiver Travin Dural. We waived/injured defensive back Chris Campbell and then running back Buck Allen is on injured reserve right now. So we're still at our 90 count."
What did you like about Rob Kelley?
"Look, the film we've seen on him has been really good. We're familiar with him obviously because of where he played (Tulane). He was injured last year. We had him in for a workout, he was heavy. I think one of the things he battles is his weight. I feel like he's in better shape after the workout yesterday. There's been eliminated exposure (in the past because of the weight), but it's been good (current shape). Hopefully we'll get a chance to see more with him at the better weight."
He didn't look heavy today right?
"No, but the last time he was in for a workout, he was 15 pounds heavier than right now. We felt like he was in much better shape."
What did you think of the effort of the practice today?
"I thought it was good. It was third down for the first time. We went through quite a bit of the third down situational down and distance. Again, I thought they handled it pretty well. We'll look at the film and try to get on the corrections here."
What was enticing about picking up Travin (Dural) again and bringing him back to the roster?
"Look, he's familiar with what we're doing. We were down numberswise. He's been training and we felt when we released him there was a good chance there would be a day like today where we were going to be able to bring him back. Fortunately, we were able to."
What would you say is special by Keith Kirkwood? Does he have some Marques Colston in him?
"Relative to, I would say number one, he has good size, he's smart, he's very smart. And I would say he's consistent. You know what you're going to get and I think Marques had some of those traits."
How does this group of returners that's competing compare to the ones he had last couple of years?
"That's a good question. We'll see. Without having had really the firsthand exposure to them yet, that's something that we're paying attention to. I'd wait and reserve judgment until we get a chance to see them really return in some game situations, but it's to be determined right now."
A punt return spot you said is a little more uncertain?
"It is in both areas. I don't know that we've just penciled in someone that we think is going to be our starting guy there. We have a handful of guys competing and we'll receive a chance to look at him. I know Alvin (Kamara) could go back there and play in either role. But more importantly, who else (do) you know can help us in that area."
You often say that you don't really understand what kind of team you have until at least the first quarter of the regular season passes by. Is there a milestone during training camp where you'd like to know what you have before the start of the regular season?
"I do not know in training camp that you can (have) that luxury yet. Certainly you (are) trying to find out as much as you can about your players. We are young in certain positions. We have experience in certain positions and yet, it's a different team than a year ago. And so I think that process obviously begins during training camp, but I think to say that you have a pretty good feel for it. I do not know that that's the case. Certainly there's optimism in a number of areas. We have a lot of returning guys that have played not only in regular season, (but) played a lot of postseason football. Hopefully we can keep improving so that when we get started we start playing with confidence early on and understanding the importance of any part of your schedule, no different than the first part of your schedule. I think that is something that evolves a little bit."
What do you guys need to do to recreate some of the defensive consistency you had last season?
"I thought we played the run well. I think that's going to be important. I thought we took the ball away well towards the latter part of the season, I've seen it. that's something you coach, you work on, and trying to be smart assignmentwise with where you're supposed to be."
What's your impression of (these) young backup linebackers? What we see on film with (Vince) Biegel, Kaden Elliss?
"(Vince) is a guy that'll compete as a kicking game player and also as a backup linebacker. (Kaden) Elliss is someone that we feel like when we drafted him was smart. Of course Craig (Robertson) we're more familiar with because he's been in those roles. All of those guys, how do they function when they're playing defense and then how do they function in the coverage units or in the return game?"
When you bring in a new piece kind of like (Jared) Cook, how does the process work between trying new things that maybe his skillset can help you out schematically and also just you have to still get him to know what you guys are doing on offense?
"I think it's both. I think you're expanding always and you're looking at things that fit what you're doing. The way it's called, your terminology, your system stays intact. He is learning that and has picked that up well. I think it's a little bit of both."
Action photos of New Orleans Saints Training Camp at Ochsner Sports Performance Center on July 30, 2019.