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Transcript: Coach Sean Payton Post-Practice Media Availability - Monday, August 26, 2019

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton speaks to the media after practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Monday, August 26, 2019
Post-Practice Media Availability

Opening Statement:
"Today we put Garrett Griffin on Reserve/Injured. And then Sheldon Rankins came up passed physical, and then we also terminated/injury settlement, Chris Clark, tackle."

How impressed are you that Sheldon Rankins is able to come back so fast from his injury?
"It's encouraging. I'm not going to put a time clock on when we think he'll be able to play because obviously the injury he had was significant. But he's worked real hard to put himself in that position."

Was it another vet day for Drew (Brees) today?
"Today was a vet day for Drew."

Was it "Congratulate Little League Day" or just a vet day (joking)?
"Man, how about it? They won everything right? There's nothing left to play? That's pretty good. Those kids will remember that forever."

The timing on (Sheldon) Rankins, was this earlier than expected?
"So, there's a point at which there's nothing else to do from a training standpoint and now it is just limit him and begin to get him up to speed practice wise. That'll take a little bit. That afforded us the opportunity to bring him up. He still has some work to do though."

You had said earlier in camp that Sheldon was coming along. Did you envision this being the day?
"No, I would say honestly, no. I think that is the good news. He has really done a remarkable job just since training camp has begun. He and the training staff, those guys have really worked at it. A player has an injury like that, 10 people have it, and the recovery, just based on a lot of things, can vary. Obviously, we're encouraged that he's at the stage he's at right now."

I assume there could have been a temptation to just wait the six weeks for the roster spot?
"I think the feeling was that he'll be ready earlier than six weeks and then how much earlier and then you go back and forth with -- I think it's worth doing what we're doing now."

You've obviously seen a lot in your career. Have you ever seen someone recover that fast from the Achilles?
"No and it was a little bit more in depth than just that. But again, I don't have the date off hand. It was in the playoffs. Right? Obviously, the surgery went well and his rehab was going well, so we'll be smart."

In your conversations with him, did you get the sense that (Sheldon Rankins) had been really working hard to get back?
"You see it. The amount of time he is in the training room, in the locker room, it is kind of a lonely time for a player. I only know that having gone through it myself, you know, when you have something that significant, there is a lot of quiet time where you are just working and everything else is moving along. He is done well."

Is there any potential for week one for him?
"Like I said, I am not going to get into when (he will play). That would be unrealistic (to put specific timetables at this point)."

Two days before the preseason finale, what's your message to the team and also, especially for those guys who are continuing to fight for a roster spot?
"It's the adjustment from the schedule we had a week ago to this week's schedule, which is different. Building off the game we just had, I would say it's more about scheduling and making sure -- tomorrow will be for the most part, our last Saints on Saints practice because Wednesday we'll turn around and focus on Miami and then get ready for the start of the season." 

Are you emphasizing especially to the younger guys, I think you do this every year, that you're not just auditioning for this team, but for the entire league?
"Yes. You're putting your tape together and everyone's looking at it. Not just our team. You see it every year. Players will get claimed or traded, end up with another team. I think they understand that."

With Deonte Harris, how do you balance his punt return versus the kick return that he fumbled as far as evaluation?
"I think we can correct the latter. It's hard to invent the first thing. He will work on that. He's young. I'm encouraged with what I've seen."

Marcus Sherels was back at practice today. He hasn't played in a preseason game yet, is that a possibility?
"We'll see how he's doing this week."

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