Here are all your updates so far from todays practice. Remember, this post gets continually updated on a regular basis, so keep checking back. We've also got some more AP photos. Click the picture on the right to view all of them.
MalcolmJenkins hopefully i can make this a productive day...tryna make the best of it
jeffduncantp Still no official word on Bell. He practiced throughout so didn't look serious. Shockey to speak after afternoon practice.
jeffduncantp Another camp observation: Media horde has multiplied. Local media overflowing, all seats in work room taken. Visiting media out of luck.
jeffduncantp Saints media fashion trend 2009: Hipster hats. Lotsa reporters rocking straw fedoras w/their requisite cargo shorts. Bucket hats a close 2nd
therealJShockgetting ready for round 2 for the day.......
saints83 Man today was a hot one! I think we had about 10 guys need IVs. Well back out to the next practice, I feel like I have been here a week
jeffduncantp 3 fracases in evening practice. Reis-vs.-Strief. Torrence-vs.-Bushrod. Hargrove-vs.-entire O-line. Done for day. White Linen Night on deck!
"I'm definitely 100 percent injury-free," Colston said. "It's just a matter of now trying to manage it so I can come out of preseason feeling the same way. I'm always going to be leery of that and keep working hard."
"I'm going to do what they'll let me," Moore said. "They don't want me to have any contact for another two weeks at least, so I won't be in team drills."
"You come out here everyday you're challenged to hold onto the football the right way, you're challenged to pickup blitzes and anymore this game is about applying pressure to the quarterback," Payton said. "How you get it, whether it's a four man rush or applying pressure, the ability to change his comfort level is critical in terms of forcing turnovers and bad decisions. From that aspect, he's really been good. They've done a good job defensively so far of creating pressure."
"Pete handles all the quarterback meetings with (quarterbacks coach) Joe (Lombardi)," Payton said. "Pete sits in on all the installs. He's involved in the installs. He handles the staff. (Friday night) for example, practice is ending, the staff is meeting at the hotel and Pete's running the meeting. I'm not there. That happens a lot. He's done a great job."
"He came here from San Diego with a pretty diverse background and each year he's done a great job with not only working with the quarterbacks specifically, but working with the group in general," Payton said. "He's had two opportunities to leave as a coordinator and to his credit he's stayed with this system and this offense. He's a huge asset for me and he is very talented."
"His role on game day is on the sidelines he'll work hand in hand with the quarterbacks as they come off, communicate with Joe Lombardi," Payton said. "They'll go through the pictures with Drew (Brees) and the quarterbacks and really be my voice or ear in the passing game with my thoughts each series. I have a lot of trust in him. He works very hard at it, is very diligent and very thorough. He's done a great job."
Porter Picking Up Right Where He Left Off - New Orleans Saints official website
"It feels great being out here practicing again," Porter said today after the team’s morning practice session. "I am pleased with how I have been able to get right back to playing before I was injured."
"Things were going well and I was gaining confidence on a daily basis," he said. "You hear guys say that the game starts to slow down a bit for them as they become more and more familiar with all that is thrown at them and I definitely felt that way."
"I thought it would be one of those things, that despite hurting pretty bad, would only force me to miss a week or so," Porter said. "But then they said it required surgery to repair it and that it would mean going to injured reserve, and that ends your season."
"Right now you see all of us on defense competing really hard and trying to do what the coaching staff is asking us to do," Porter said. "It’s great working against what was the best offense in the league last year, because it is only getting us better and testing us on each play."
"That keeps your focus all the time," Porter said. "There is no letting up. You want to be the guy making the play and creating a turnover or keeping the offense from making a play. Every play is a test and if you don’t do it right, not only are you going to hear about it from the coaches, but you risk the possibility of someone coming into your spot and getting the chance to show that they deserve to be in there."
"That’s motivation, in itself," he summarized. "I know every guy on this field wants to be out there making plays, I am no different."
"It's still training camp, but the fact that it's here and this is where we normally practice helps out," Thomas said. "It feels good to be home. Jackson, Miss. was good, but the guys feel more relaxed here."
"It's always good to get your mind off everything," he said. "When we were there we weren't getting caught up in stuff outside of football and I think we really came together as a team."
"Here we're not building, we've got a good group on offense and defense," Thomas said. "What we're doing now is just putting the pieces together."
"I believe he has Pro Bowl potential," Sharper said. "He's doing extra drills after practice to perfect his technique."
"That's where it starts with knocking it down," said Harper, who was ribbed constantly by teammates for his stone hands last season. "Now I've got to start catching the ball."
"I told Kenny to stay away this year,'' a smiling Payton said of his longtime friend who first met in 2002. "Plus we can't hook up; he's on a West Coast tour when we're in camp.'
"You know, I'm pretty sure someone might throw a ball out to a fan or something if we can get Drew," Saints safety Roman Harper said. "You know, Drew's pretty smart out that. He doesn't throw many, especially against us. He kind of knows what we're doing a lot of times, and he's such a good quarterback and he's so accurate, he doesn't throw many to us. So we're just trying to take advantage of him if he ever does hang one up to us."
"He's tough to get. He's tough to get," said Sharper, the NFL's active leader in career interceptions with 54. "He's a quarterback that's not going to throw the ball up and just give you a chance too many times by making a mistake. So the first guy that gets him, he'll definitely be able to say he has a little one-up on the rest of us guys."
Morning practice report - Other signings may expedite Jenkins deal - NewOrleans.com
Day Two Notebook - New Orleans Saints official website
STC - Day 2/Practice 1 - WWL
Reggie Bush rests knee at afternoon practice - Times-Pic
"Most people in America don’t eat goat," Charleston said, his mouth turned up in a grin and his eyes darting back and forth between the two reporters standing near him.
"But it’s actually pretty good. Down here you eat alligator and everything like that. Up in Oregon, we eat goat."
"I’ve always been a guy that during camp, I’m the only one running on my own and doing stuff like that," Charleston said. "I saw him and said, ‘You know what, I can be that guy who goes in and takes it a little easy and feels no pressure at the end.’ I’ve never been that guy.
"I told Charles, ‘I’m going to work with you every day. I’m going to push you a little harder. I’m going to have something for us to do.’ "
"He comes to me now and says what are we going to do? If he says that, he’s got the will and the want to be in the best shape. I know I’m not in the best shape right now. That’s what we’ve got camp for. I’m trying to get him in the best shape he can be in."
"I dreamed about games like that," Charleston said. "I always wanted to get a two-sack game in. That was the best feeling in the world. That night, nobody could say anything to me."
"The guys around me, I’m developing a lot better relationships," Charleston said. "Last year, I came in the fifth week. Who is this guy? Where’d he come from? I’m pretty much liked by most people I’m around, but nobody knew who I was.
"It was kind of hard coming in the fifth week. I’m the new guy. I didn’t say much and let my actions speak for me."
"I know what it’s like to go and work for every two weeks and get a normal pay check," Charleston said. "I know what it’s like. I don’t want to go back. Anytime I think this sucks, I think about that. I think I could be a man in the crowd wishing I was here."
"I’ve been to Houston. I lived in Atlanta for awhile," Charleston said. "New Orleans has its own flavor. I like it. This is my kind of people. I went on a gator tour, went out on the swamp boats.
"Our bye week is gator season. And I want to go hunting for gator.
|The NFL Network's Steve Wyche talks about the Saints|
|New Orleans Saints training camp video log (Aug. 1, 2009)|
|Jeremy Shockey on offseason workouts|
Sean Payton Q&A
From the New Orleans Saints official website after this afternoons practice.
"Just a couple of practice notes: Kendrick Clancy we held out this afternoon with some back spasms and I held Reggie Bush out just to keep his knee from getting aggravated; he's doing fine. With tomorrow's ‘B' schedule, which is really one practice in the afternoon, we expect everyone to be full go except for Adrian Arrington."
Did Bush's knee have some swelling or anything?
"No, it's really one of the things that we wanted to do with the two-a-day schedule with him, just to keep that from coming up."
Any news on the Malcolm Jenkins negotiations?
"Nothing that I'm aware of."
Do you think that the fact that #13 and #15 have signed will expedite the process?
"Hopefully. That's what you look for, the clump around them. But certainly nothing new that I'm aware of."
Gregg Williams said yesterday that the culture that you've established here was part of what brought him here and that you come from coaching background that places importance on that. Does that come from Bill Parcells?
"There have been a number of people that I've been fortunate enough to work for that helped mold what I would eventually become as a head coach and certainly Bill would be one of those figures. That was one thing that he stressed - the importance of having the right locker room and having the right mentality in the locker room. That's something that we pay close attention to. It's something that's not easy and it's something that you have to continue to work on or it can go the other way quickly. Collectively as a staff, as an organization, we take that into account very seriously in the selection of players or the signing of players as to how they're going to fit in this team. I think that is important to winning football."
So you think that really makes a difference?
"No question. I've said before and credit to New England, if you just pay attention to who's winning, typically those teams have very good cultures; the ones that are winning on a consistent basis."
Heath Evans said that he saw it as much when they lost as when they won. Is that the case?
"No question. It's easy when you win. It's the culture when you hit the bumpy roads that come with the 16-game regular season."
Anthony Hargrove said that the team is kind of like a "big brother" to him. When you have a culture like that, can afford to take a chance on a player like Hargrove?
"I think you can. Once it's established, I think you can. But it has to be the right player because we've seen cases where maybe there has been a team with a real good culture and yet the individual wasn't able to fit in. When that happens, then there's probably not a lot of places that individual is going to fit in. I think you can."
Have you seen such feistiness before in the second day of practice as you did today?
"The only concern that I have is that we have to be able to learn to practice without the full pads on. I don't want to lose a player. That hurts us to start the season. But I think they've been competitive; I think they're practicing hard and I think their intent is good. Those are some of the things that you want to see."
What does it say about a guy like Jeff Charleston that he's willing to stay after practice to work and run with Charles Grant?
"Every once in a while you come across a player that finds a way to catch your attention, and he's one of those guys. He's one of those throwback players that knows that his effort and his intensity and all those intangibles have to be at a high level for him to have a chance and he understands that. He's a player that knows who he is, and that's a good thing in our league."
What are your views when dust-ups like those happen?
"It's a little bit more challenging when two of them break out at the same time. But there's that five to ten-second period where hopefully then it's controlled by the team and I think even in that case today, you saw ultimately the team take care of it."
Do you like to see a good scrap like that?
"Like I said, I like the competitive nature of the way we're practicing. We just want them to be careful and not do something stupid."
What kind of things do you expect from Pierre Thomas this season?
"He's knows the offense very well. We expect him to be a big contributor as a running back for us - it's that simple. We expect him to be a guy to get a lot of carries. The key is staying healthy for him, but he runs with good pad level. He's a guy that doesn't take a lot of minus-yardage plays, which is a big plus for him and he's very reliable in protection."
So he needs to take another step forward since he's in year three now?
"The key for him is just the consistency in regards to his injuries, just being able to stay healthy and stay on the field."
Do you like his weight to be where it is right now?
"Yes. I think he's at a good spot right now. When you look at him, I think he's carrying it well. I'm always mindful or cautious of guys that play skill positions that put on weight. I think you have to be careful there, but I think he's playing at a comfortable weight right now."
What have you seen from Tracy Porter so far in these first few days?
"It is early, but he's a guy that is smart. He has real good ball skills and he's taking reps at punt returner as well and he can run well. He's right there in the mix. He did some good things a year ago."
When you look at receivers and cornerbacks, what is it about their feet that is important?
"So much of the game is start-and-stop. If your ability to start and then stop and then start again is better than your opponent's, then it gives you an edge. Conversely, if you struggle in transition - if when you stop it takes you a while to get back started again, then it becomes a challenge for you and you're behind a little bit. That quickness and agility is a key component to this game because there's so much of it that takes place on every play."
Pierre Thomas said that he'd like to recreate something like what Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister had in 2006. What are your thoughts on that?
"I think he's anxious and I think he is certainly ready to take on that role. Now we go through the process of preparing him for that. I said earlier that in the group as a whole, there are some interesting players that we have to do a good job of evaluating. When you talk about the Mike Bell, Lynell Hamilton, the P.J. Hills and Herb Donaldson, I'm anxious to see all of those guys. It's hard to get them all work. You'll see in practice that we'll start clumping two or three of them in a nine-on-seven and not try to give each one of them two reps but try to give one of them a little bit more work. That gives us a better chance to look at those players."
Sean Payton Q&A
From the New Orleans Saints official website after this mornings practice.
"I don't know that there were any injuries to report. There were a couple of upset stomachs;Jammal Brown had a little bug and that was about the extent of it. This afternoon we'll go outside again, which is a little bit contrary to the normal schedule, but we'll be out here again in the afternoon battling through it."
Does Jammal have a flu bug?
"I don't know if was that or a little bit of the heat, but he should be fine."
Would you say that Lance Moore and Adrian Arrington are both limited still?
"Lance I would say got a little more work in one-on-ones and seven-on-seven. Adrian, with the hamstring, it's really us monitoring it every day. With Lance, his lower body is fine and he's doing real well. With Adrian we just have to get his hamstring right before he gets back out."
Anything to report on the Malcolm Jenkins contract front?
"No, nothing new."
You've always had an elder statesman type in your receiving corps since you've been here. This year they're a younger bunch but still experienced. Did you not need the older presence this year?
"We're pretty comfortable with the group that we have. We're spending time evaluating some of the younger guys, but I think the reps that Marques (Colston) has had, Devery (Henderson), and even Lance Moore and Robert Meachem for that matter - those guys have had a lot of work. A couple of the other free agents that we signed have been around for a while like - Paris Warren - but we'll see. Those guys have had a lot of reps. I don't know that purposely it worked out that way or if it was just a matter of where we were with the roster."
Did you feel like you needed to have that older guy those first couple of years?
"I don't know that specifically. We had veteran experience with a guy like Joe (Horn) our first year and Terrance Copper had some experience, but he wasn't that old. It really comes down to production. It's a group that works pretty hard and it's not a high maintenance group like it can be sometimes."
How has Marques looked to you?
"Pretty good. This is his first full work. All of these guys are carrying their pads for a second day now, so really it's a process that takes place to get used to that. So far he's doing well."
We've seen Jonathan Casillas watching with the ones the last few days. Is he someone that could make an impact?
"He's one of the young guys that is clearly going to be evaluated both in the kicking game and at linebacker. We felt like there were some things in the spring that he was able to pick up on. He started a little late because of his injury, but he has some promise so we'll see."
Is that similar to what you've done with Marvin Mitchell?
"A little bit."
How do you feel about your backup quarterback situation?
"I feel good about it. We have experience there obviously with Mark Brunell. Joey Harringtoncame off of what we thought was a pretty good year in Atlanta the year we acquired him. Our job is to make sure that both of those players are mentally and physically ready to go in at any time and I think they understand that. That's the nature of the position; that's the challenge of the position sometimes. That being said, it can't slow down progress. We're still coaching those guys and not taking anything for granted. They have to be ready."
Would you say that the #2 quarterback job is open?
"We talked about it in the spring that those guys are competing for that. More than just that spot, there are a number of jobs that are open. We'll have plenty of time in the preseason to evaluate these guys in the games."
Is that a coach's nightmare, to lose a guy at such a key position?
"It's certainly one of the things that you're always guarded against and you're hopeful that it doesn't happen. But I think that also is a little bit of the reality of the game that we play. You don't know what position it will come at - these suspensions for instance on two guys right off the bat if they hold up. The key is preparing the whole roster and not just the front line guys."
What kind of offseason has it been for Pierre Thomas?
"Pretty good. He has been healthy; he has his wrist back; his hand is feeling pretty good. I think his weight is at the right spot and that he's in real good shape."
Last year he had 160 offensive touches and 12 touchdowns. Do you see his touches going way up this year?
"We'll see. He's certainly one of the guys that will be in the mix for runs and plays other than that. He's a guy that's consistent. There's something to be said for knowing exactly what you're going to get from a player and that's one of his assets."
Does the fact that you didn't bring another veteran running back in say something about the confidence you have in Pierre Thomas, Lynell Hamilton and Mike Bell?
"There is a group behind Reggie (Bush) and Pierre that is going to be really interesting to evaluate. Mike Bell, Lynell Hamilton and then P.J. Hill and Herb Donaldson - there's a group of guys that we have to get a handle on in the next four weeks as to where we think they fit and they'll get a lot of work. Not just in practice, they'll get a lot of work in the preseason."
When Casillas wasn't drafted and you guys were looking at bringing in free agents, what was it about him that caught your eye?
"He had a draftable grade. What typically happens when you finish the seven rounds is that there are a few magnets that stand out above the others because of the grade that you had on them and you start there. There were two concerns with him - one being the injury problem and not being able to work out at his pro day and that left a lot of people skittish and then there were a few incidents on campus there that also did that. That being said, when you saw him play there were some things that excited you so we were excited to sign him as a free agent."
Are you still as excited after having him in here?
Do you get encouraged when you see the guys that were drafted around Jenkins get signed?
"Yes. When you start seeing the guys in front and behind, then you're hopeful that the process speeds up. What you don't want to see is two or three days turn into a week or a week-and-a-half. Now you wait and you hope that we can get this thing resolved quicker than later."
After three practices, can you give out a grade on which unit - offense or defense - has gotten the better of the other so far?
"I don't think we talk about that. We're able to see the tape and what's important is to evaluate each segment in its separate phase. First off, you have three different groups that are going against each other, but I think as you watch practice - and there's an ebb and flow to practice - typically my experience with camp is that the key is the consistency aspect of it all. A lot of times you'll see one better in one session and then the next group play better in the other session, but it's still early. The competition aspect of it is healthy and it's good."
Gregg Williams said that the defense won both practices yesterday.
"Is that right?"
How is Usama Young making the transition from cornerback to safety?
"He's doing well. He had a good offseason we felt. He was one of the pleasant surprises. When you make a move from corner to safety like that there is a lot that's involved in it. He has picked things up pretty quickly and we're excited about where we're at."
Is it too early to say that there's a renewed sense of urgency with this defense?
"I think we're seeing a lot of things that are positive, and yet we have a long ways to go both offensively and defensively. I don't really buy into picking up where you left off, for instance, as it pertains to the offense. We have a lot of work to do. In 2006 we had a pretty good year offensively and then in '07 we really struggled in the first four weeks of the season. You have to start right from the beginning with the fundamentals, whether it's your veteran players or your young players. You can't take anything for granted. We have to be able to as a team play a complementary game and hopefully we're able to do that."
Have you noticed a different culture around the secondary this year?
"From a personnel standpoint it's different. There are a lot of new faces in the secondary and they're adjusting to the new scheme well. I see guys that are in position and I think we also have better depth than we have in years past so you're seeing some pretty good competition. You can take the cornerback position for instance. As you try to put all those hats in order, there's a lot of work to be done yet for evaluation of those players. That has all been encouraging."
You had talked about a list of needs and wants going into the offseason. Was improving the secondary high on that list?
"It was one of them. The cornerback group was one of them and I think we have to have better play than we did a year ago."
Have you noticed different safety play from Roman Harper with Gregg Williams here?
"He's had one of his better offseasons, if not his best offseason. We're anxious to see his progress. He's a guy that we think can be an impact safety for us and we have a lot of time to get a peek at him."
Is it maturity or the influence of Gregg's defense?
"It's probably a combination of a number of things. He was in position last year a number of times to make some plays and hopefully he is able to do that this year."
Is Adrian Arrington's recovery on schedule with you guys?
"It has probably lingered a little longer than we expected. With the hamstring we would have hoped he would have been ready to start camp, but those are kind of tricky. The worst thing we could do is hurry him back and have a setback. The best thing is to get him healthy and get him out there, but he's probably a little bit behind schedule."
Are you reducing reps at this camp because it is more of a veteran team?
"I think to some extent. I also think that the amount of work we have gotten in the offseason has allowed us to do that. We have a lot of players back know our system now. It's still training camp, so I still believe in the two-a-day routine. I still believe in the grind."
Is it less of a grind this year?
"We're just trying to keep them a little fresher. The roster limit has changed the last two or three years so we have to be flexible with that."
Has the culture of this team changed since you first brought them up in Millsaps?
"I think to some degree they know what to expect. I think that there's still a formula that never changes. I go back to the offseason, the reps and work we had, allows us for instance to be 20 minutes shorter on our p.m. practice yesterday."
Would you have not done that in Jackson?
"Probably not in that first year."
Any noticeable progression in Sedrick Ellis going into year two?
"He's doing well. He's in shape."
Sean Payton Q&A
From NewOrleans.com after yesterday afternoons practice.
Opening Statement: This P.M. practice is scheduled a little bit different than it has been. We're not on the field quite as long for a couple of reasons. I thought the first day went pretty well. The guys were moving around. I think you could see the work in the offseason right now. I think they're in pretty good shape, having the opportunity to come in here; we made that decision this afternoon with some of the rain. Our plan tomorrow is to be outside twice and we'll go from there.
Q: If Jo-Lonn Dunbar plays well enough do you look at him as a potential starter?
A: I think all these guys are competing for playing time. He's a young player that we like. We think he's going to make a big impact for us on special teams and for snaps. He's a guy that's pretty smart and has a pretty good grasp of what we're doing. For him in this second year, how many snaps he can get, not only in the kicking game, but does he figure in on defense? We're looking at all these young guys right now and trying to get them work and the preseason will be important.
Q: Can you discuss how much comfort level you have with Pete Carmichael Jr. as your offensive coordinator?
A: A lot. Pete handles all the quarterback meetings with Joe (Lombardi). Pete sits in on all the installs. He's involved in the installs. He handles the staff. Today for example, practice is ending, the staff is meeting at the hotel and Pete's running the meeting. I'm not there. That happens a lot. He's done a great job. He came here from San Diego with a pretty diverse background and each year he's done a great job with not only working with the quarterbacks specifically, but working with the group in general. He's had two opportunities to leave as a coordinator and to his credit he's stayed with this system and this offense. He's a huge asset for me and he is very talented.
Q: What is his role on game day?
A: His role on game day is on the sidelines he'll work hand in hand with the quarterbacks as they come off, communicate with Joe Lombardi. They'll go through the pictures with Drew (Brees) and the quarterbacks and really be my voice or ear in the passing game with my thoughts each series. I have a lot of trust in him. He works very hard at it, is very diligent and very thorough. He's done a great job.
Q: When you made a change in offensive coordinator what convinced you Gregg Williams was the guy?
A: You first look at the body of work that's important. He had a track record that was coincidental and for a number of years I had experience in going against him. Then in the interview process, you saw his passion for what we were wanting to do. I think the combination of what he wants to implement, his past success, his ability to come in and play a key role from a leadership standpoint and get those guys up to speed, all of them factored in.
Q: What did he do in that interview that convinced you to hire him?
A: It was a full day of meetings. It's hard to point to one thing, but it's easy to point to a lot of things, which I did. But, I think when he left we felt comfortable that if we were able to secure him...He had a number of teams interested...If we were able to get him on board and the search was going to stop there and fortunately it did.
Q: How long did you have to wait to be able to hire him?
A: It was probably six days after the interview, maybe a little less than a week. He went up to Green Bay, came back and then we spent some time on the phone and got it done.
Q: Even if you didn't work with him personally, did you talk to people who worked with him?
A: I talked to a number of guy, various coaches, and various players. Mark Brunell was with him in Washington. The linebacker that I had in Dallas that is now in Miami at Washington. I talked to assistant coaches. I talked to other coaches that had been with him and much like you would if you were signing a player you do homework. All those things factored in.
Q: Did the game against Washington in 2006 and their defense's performance against your offense make an impression?
A: That was just part of it. That was one game. There have been a number of games that made an impression over a period of time.
Q: How do you think your offense has responded to the increased intensity?
A: Good, we get challenged. It's helpful for us. You come out here everyday you're challenged to hold onto the football the right way, you're challenged to pickup blitzes and anymore this game is about applying pressure to the quarterback. How you get it, whether it's a four man rush or applying pressure, the ability to change his comfort level is critical in terms of forcing turnovers and bad decisions. From that aspect, he's really been good. They've done a good job defensively so far of creating pressure.
Q: Are there any individuals that have impressed you today?
A: Mike Bell did a good job and made some good runs. I thought defensively there were a number of players that got their hands on balls. I think a lot easier after two, three four days, after a week, where you start to see guys make repeat performances. Overall, knock on wood, we were healthy today, guys seem to be flying around. The offseason work from a football standpoint or the football x's and o's helps us he a lot in the first day or two because we give them a lot and their ready to pick it up in the first day or two. We have a long way to go. Fortunately we have time on our side to evaluate and make proper decisions.
Q: How much did Jonathan Vilma work?
A: Pretty much the same, about two thirds of what (Scott) Fujita and (Scott) Shanle or one of those first line guys would do, not just quite as much, but similar to this morning.
Q: Is Jeremy Shockey healthy?
A: He's in good shape. He's injury free, he's moving around well. It's good to see him running the way he's running.