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Vilma Back In The Game

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            <span style="">Q: How did you feel today?</span>                  

A: Today felt good. It was the first day. It felt really good being out there today with my teammates, actually being able to hit people now. It felt very good. It was my first time in ten months in pads. That was exciting. I went out there. I ran around, felt really good, had some contact, didn't feel anything, so I'm excited and can't wait for the next practice.

Q: Have the Saints told you to be cautious at times or to go after it?

A: They told me to go after it. I have a good deal with them. I told them I will honestly tell them how I feel, if I was really feeling it or hurting or anything. We don't' want any setbacks. That's the biggest thing. I want to be ready for the first game of the season. I'm really gauging it as well as the training staff and Sean Payton. He's really watching me as I'm going and gauging how I feel and I told him I feel good.

Q: Can you discuss how this new start feels for you?

A: It feels great. The teammates I have right now are tremendous. Just being out there watching the conditioning, everyone made their weight. We came out here today just flying around and having a lot of fun. That was very exciting to see. I'm excited for my teammates, because I know we're going to be good.

Q: Do you think your injury will affect your ability to compete for a starting role at all?

A: I really doubt that. I don't think so, especially the way I felt today at the first practice. I felt fine and it felt good. For me, it's really more about learning the plays and getting used to my teammates.

Q: How much more comfortable do you feel about being back in the 4-3 scheme?

A: I feel very comfortable, aside from terminology, I have to learn that again. The concepts are the same from my first two years in the NFL, so it feels really good getting back around and getting my feet on me. There's different footwork and different reads than when you're in the 3-4, different reads a little bit as far as the running back reads, so it's coming back to me and hopefully we'll get better as we keep going.

Q: How do you describe your reception with your teammates?

A: It's been great. My teammates have been very cognizant of my knee. They don't want to do anything crazy when we're out there. Everyone's asking me how my knee's doing. They really care about my well being besides being a player. Of course I want to go out there with them when the first game starts so I'm taking care of it. My teammates have been great so far.

Q: Do you have any history with Jeremy Shockey?

A: Yes, we played two years at the University of Miami. I think we lost one game in those two years, won a championship together, so it's great. I know a whole lot about him. A lot of people hear the outside stuff, the bad stuff and the negative comments and things like that. I know Shockey as a player, as a teammate and as a person. He's great. I love to have him on my team.

Q: What's he like as a person?

A: He's a guy who's obviously not shy and a lot of people can take what he says the wrong way, but us as players, teammates and friends, it's great that you have a guy who's honest like that. He's up front and he's forward about everything. I can really relate to him.

Q: Is it kind of ironic that the two of you are restarting your careers with the same team?

A: It will be a little irony if we both win the Super Bowl. That would be great.

Q: Does Shockey change the things you do in terms of defensive schemes when you play him?

A: Definitely, a guy like that especially when you have a really good tight end like that, it makes you adjust your defenses and adjust your coverages, even adjust some of your blitzes sometimes because of him. I know that other teams are going to have to do that, especially with the other weapons we have on offense with Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, so on and so on. It's going to be tough for opposing defenses.

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