NEW ORLEANS—Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Opening Statement: These players did not practice: Bobby McCray (back and knee), Lance Moore (ankle and hamstring), Marvin Mitchell (hamstring) and Randall Gay (hamstring). The following players were all limited: Jermon Bushrod (thumb), Jahri Evans (toe), Jabari Greer (groin), Reggie Bush (knee), Scott Fujita (knee), Mike Bell (knee), Lynell Hamilton (shoulder), Jo-Lonn Dunbar (wrist), Jeremy Shockey (elbow), Chris McAlister (knee), Jon Vilma (knee), Pierre Thomas (wrist) and Jonathan Goodwin (ankle). We spent most of the day on base, first and second down, what would kind of be a Wednesday practice, but on Thursday
Q: What specifically has been nagging Bobby?
A: We sat him today. We'll see where he's at tomorrow. He has been able to play through them and played pretty well last week in a rotation. I think it's fairly common at this time of the year in week 12, dealing with some of these nicks. The key is the rehab and rest and getting these guys not only physically ready to go, but mentally ready to go.
Q: Are you hopeful about Jabari Greer's ability to play?
A: Yes. I was encouraged with what he did today. We felt like we made a lot of progress with him a week ago, kind of like Reggie (Bush). Today he was able to get reps. I'm hopeful he'll be able to play this weekend.
Q: Did you feel like the team was rested?
A: Yes, because they were three days removed. It would be very similar to what a Wednesday would be. I think and I said this to them that I think the time from the game is important. We can do more the day before a game and so that's kind of the direction we headed after this Monday night game.
Q: Will you work on Saturday?
A: It will be Saturday. It will be more of a walk through. It will be a little bit longer than what would normally be a Saturday.
Q: When you have temperatures like this do you want to take it easy because it's hard to stretch in this cool weather?
A: Today was good. I don't know what the temperature was, but the forecast is 45 there, so it was good to get outside again. I think being on the grass helps them more than anything else.
Q: Is it also beneficial to do a practice on natural grass when you're going to be playing on the same surface on Sunday?
A: Today was good coming outside.
Q: Can you talk about how well Marques Colston has been playing this year even though he probably hasn't seen as many touches as in past years because the ball is being spread around so much?
A: He gave us some good run after the catch last week against some contested throws. The touchdown he had was in two coverage and he did a good job of catching it and getting in. He's a big target. It's good to see. There's a lot of confidence with his range and the quarterback and being able to place the ball in a lot of different areas with someone like him, both outside and then last week you saw it in the slot as well and he's done those things very well. He's playing well.
Q: Has his success been quieter because everyone around him has been doing so well?
A: I think by nature he's someone that's fairly quiet, but I do think that whether it's in the base or in the nickel, he's an important part in what we're doing. There's a lot of confidence in what he can do. He's got good range and good solid hands.
Q: A couple of weeks into Tracy Porter's rehab how is that looking to you and is it still accurate to say that he's going to return before the end of the regular season?
A: Number one, I think it's going well. It's going ahead of schedule with where he's at. Obviously we were encouraged with the diagnosis and I do think we're going to have him back before the end of the regular season. That's a plus.
Q: Are there the number of players in limited participation because of a Monday night game?
A: It's probably a combination of playing Monday night and we come back out here and make sure to monitor how many snaps they're getting and I think being where we're at in the season, it's just making sure we hit them all.
Q: When you lose a guy like Reggie Bush, who is a unique skilled player, can a guy like Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell fill in the same duties and plays?
A: Pierre would take similar touches or similar plays, different than maybe Mike Bell or Lynell Hamilton and so. The screen pass that Pierre scores on the other night would probably be Reggie's play if he's healthy and so to answer your question, there's some characteristics that both of them would have in the passing game that would allow you to call certain plays without Reggie Bush with Pierre Thomas, but that would be a good example.
Q: Was the Darnell Dinkins touchdown drawn up with him being the primary receiver?
A: No. In fact, when we scored, I didn't see who caught it. (Jeremy) Shockey was primary and if you went back and watched it, there were a lot of guys sitting in one space, so it wasn't the way it was drawn up. Drew fortunately found Darnell. Shockey was the intended receiver.
Q: Was Darnell in the wrong place?
A: He was in the right place. We could have practiced that play eight times last week and he wouldn't have gotten any throws with it. I guess he was in the right place the other night, but it was designed to be really in that case the fullback Dave Thomas or Shockey in the corner and we got held up on a release and Dinkins ended up finding an open cavity. Drew was throwing it to him, but he wasn't the primary.
Q: Didn't it look like he stepped right through it and there was nobody there?
A: It was a heavy play action off of a lead and they did a pretty good job of defending the pass and Dinkins ended up being the open guy. I don't know that even on the drawing, he's drawn in with a route assignment.