The Star News out of Wilmington, NC has an article on second round draft pick Tracy Porter and his success so far at mini-camp.
"He has good ball skills," Payton said. "When a corner doesn't have good ball skills ... there's no downside to throwing in the direction of a corner who can't catch the ball real well. It's either going to be complete or incomplete.
"When a corner does have good ball skills, your location has to be a little bit more exact because of the fact that he's capable of picking off a bad throw. I'm encouraged with how he catches the ball."
"He gets his hands on a lot of balls and I think that he has good cover skills," Payton said Saturday, after the rookies had finished their third practice. "He's very comfortable in his backpedal and he has pretty good football awareness, which I think helps especially when you're playing in the secondary."
"He's very comfortable right now in some of the things that we're asking him to do," Payton said. "We'll see once we get the pads on and these guys get a chance to get more work. ... When he gets a chance to work against some of the front-line receivers, he'll be challenged more than he has been."
What does Porter think?
Saints coaches "liked how I played the game, they like how I grasp the game," Porter said. "I'm definitely loving the way they are coaching. They coach you each and every play on what you need to do on your technique to make you a better football player.
"I definitely believe I've grasped the schemes and plays. They throw a lot at you quickly, and I definitely believe I caught on to them quickly and I'm out there performing. It's been a great adjustment for me."
When asked about competing for a starting job, he hedged.
"If that happens, it happens," Porter said. "For the most part, I'm coming in like any defensive back, like any other football player, trying to earn a spot, battling for it on the field."
I like what I'm hearing so far.
The comparisons to Marques Colston don't appear to be stopping anytime soon for Adrian Arrington. The Sun Herald had an article about the Saints late round pick. Let's hear what Adrian has to say.
"That's one of the things (the team) was talking to me about how Marques came in and he was a late-round pick," Arrington said. "He came in here and got over 1,000 yards and a bunch of catches. So whether it's this year or down the line, I hope I can come in here and make those types of catches too."
"You just want to go in there and listen to the coaches," Arrington said. "The coaches tell you everything you need to do. So if you listen to the coaches, you'll be on the right foot whether you get to play or not. At least they know that you are trying to do what the coaches are telling you."
"I've got to work on getting down on my breaks and getting out of my breaks," Arrington said. "Also work on my blocking a little bit more. I just want to become more well rounded."
Here is another article on Adrian Arrington with a little Carl Nicks added for spice from The Advertiser. Nothing new here, just the usual number about two guys who were overlooked in the draft and now have chips on their shoulders and are now going to try and come out here and prove everyone wrong.
The Times-Pic had a personal piece on Coach Sean Payton and his new foundation called Payton's Play It Forward Foundation, started by he and his wife Beth.
The goal of the foundation is to raise money and awareness for families and children in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast communities. Initially, money will be raised for three specific charities: Brad Pitt's Make It Right NOLA, Blaine Kern's First Responders Fund and the Dr. Phil Foundation for children in Louisiana.
Payton is particularly enthusiastic about the foundation's signature event, a Black & Gold Gala fundraiser that will be held inside the Superdome on Oct. 10, featuring master of ceremonies Chris Berman, honorary chairs Jimmy Buffett and Irma Thomas, and ideally, a star-studded entertainment lineup.
It seems Coach Payton has been a little too involved and needs to cool it and leave it to the experts.
Both Beth and the foundation's director, Karen Hegner, gave the coach some playful grief for being a little too hands-on with the foundation's logistics. Payton has tried to orchestrate everything from menus to seating charts to the backdrop of today's news conference. But clearly, the third-year Saints coach is passionate about the project.
Mike Detillier did a piece for Houma Today giving his list of 15 possible breakout players of the 2008 season. There is one Saint on his list.
13. Bobby McCray, defensive end, New Orleans Saints
Ever since his college playing days at Florida, McCray was considered a stock-market player and someone who could look great in one game and disappear in another. Landing in New Orleans and getting some tough-love coaching from new Saints defensive line coach Ed Orgeron might just be the right medicine for McCray to develop into a consistent pass rusher this season.
Check out this link from NFL.com for a video of a Q&A with Big Sed.
Peter King has his usual Monday Morning Quarterback for SI.com. He had this to say about Sedrick Ellis.
6. I think the Saints are giddy about how defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis will fit on their front line. Ellis looked good in knifing through offensive-line gaps in minicamp, which obviously means very little since the workouts were held without full pads. But Ellis is vital to New Orleans' plans, because they didn't have anything close to an interior defensive presence last year, which hurt the ability of their outside rushers to ever have clear rushing lanes to the quarterback.
I will leave you with some more pictures from this weekend, found here are the New Orleans Saints official website. All photos courtesy of Michael C. Hebert.
The new kicker is jacked!
Denzel Washington's son, John David. Actually, he really does look like Denzel!
Carl Nicks wearing the smallest jersey the equipment manager could find. Seriously, is that a youth size?
The Big Man.