Canal Street Chronicles: Fleur-di-Links 8.13.09

Sorry for the lack of a training camp update yesterday. There wasn't much coming in the way of news until later in the day. So here is everything I've collected. The boys are off tomorrow in preparation for the game on Friday. Ooooooh, I'm so excited!

 

Twitter

SupaFreak69 Gettin ready for the Bengals to come in town...why must people shout loudly bout wat they know not....I tell ya what I Love training camp.

jeffduncantp FYI: Saints are $4.9 million under the salary cap so signing Brooks won't be a money issue.

jeffduncantp My guess: He'll take Simoneau's spot. Reserve WLB/MLB in 4-3, w/1st unit inside in 3-4. @BigandEasy Jeff, will Brooks start?

JeremyShockey got some friends in town for the game fri... its another wet day in new orleans..

CPT23 We're ready to rock the dome Friday! I hope all our fans are ready to rock it with us!!

MalcolmJenkins between practices... bout to catch a quick nap... Get ready to see the Saints this friday!!!

drewbrees We have a great coach and a special group of players. I am so proud to be a part of this team. That's all I have to say.

usama_young28 I'm Focused

jeffduncantp Derrick Brooks not @ the start of practice today. No official word yet on where the situation stands. Will update after practice.

jeffduncantp Boxer Jeff Lacy also visiting practice. He and Roy Jones Jr. were introduced to the team before the workout.

jeffduncantp The Saints will make no signings of any kind today, according to a Saints spokesman.

FletcherMackel Play of the day so at saints afternoon prax; Chris reis tipped passe, int malcolm jenkins.

FletcherMackel Sean payton says saints did not offer dbrooks a contract. Will make a decision about a new LB sat/sun. Gregg will. says brooks inpressive.

jeffduncantp Rookie FA Reggie Jones went down with left Achilles injury. No official diagnosis, but didn't look good. He'd recently switched to safety

SupaFreak69 sittn around...got meetings and then a deep sleep.

JeremyShockey gong to get some rest.... redy to play a game fri night... .night everyone

saints83 Roy Jones Jr at practice today getting ready to fight Jeff Lacy who was also there. Great to meet people who at one time where the best

CPT23 I'm gonna be dreaming of those Friday Night Lights!! It feels like high school football again. No butterflies yet though. G'night ya'll

SupaFreak69 layn up at da hilton. less than a week left in telly. Then off to houston for a week.

Linkage 

New Orleans Saints rookie cornerback Malcolm Jenkins is trying to catch up in a hurry - Times-Pic

Shockey Q&A: Full speed at all times - Yahoo! Sports

Video: Cody: Not signing Brooks yet says two things - WWL

Saints hold final workout before preseason opener - NewOrleans.com

Saints work out Brooks, Smith; don't make move on either yet - WWLTV

Updated with video, Wednesday New Orleans Saints post-practice report - Times-Pic

Training Camp, Day 14: Bush doesn't practice; final Bengals prep and more - WWL

New Orleans Saints' Charles Grant refuses to wear purple and gold - Times-Pic

Derrick Brooks works out for New Orleans Saints, leaves town without a contract - Times-Pic

Saints vs Bengals Entertainment Schedule - New Orleans Saints official website

McCray Thinking Big - New Orleans Saints official website

"He is putting me into position to make plays," he said. "I don’t have to drop back now, instead I get to do what I do best."

-Bobby McCray, on Gregg Williams

"Bobby has great length, speed, and more power than people think. He’s a great player for our team."

-Bill Johnson

"He is a good, complete football player," Johnson continued. "Some people think of him solely as a good pass rusher, but that’s just not true. He can do it all."

-Bill Johnson

"I can definitely see the difference with Coach (Gregg Williams) here," McCray said. "He’s a great coach. With him, the sky’s the limit for this team."

-Bobby McCray

"With the aggressive mentality that Coach Williams has brought," McCray continued, "I have a great opportunity to make plays."

-Bobby McCray

 

Dig The Connections - New Orleans Saints official website

"It’s a bit weird having an association with a team and then getting an opportunity to face that team in your first game with your new team,"

-Digger Bujnoch

"I grew up learning about all of those people and hearing about it from people because I grew up and attended high school (Elder High School) in Cincinnati," he said. "My parents didn’t really harp or talk too much about it growing up, but other people would so obviously I was interested to learn more about my dad’s career, which I have a lot of admiration for."

-Digger Bujnoch

"Each day I’m working on going out and trying to hold my own and make a name for myself," Bujnoch said. "It’s about getting the mental and physical parts down and executing and not letting there be a drop-off in productivity from the first team to the third team."

-Digger Bujnoch

 

Roy Jones Jr and Jeff Lacy Stop By Saints Practice - New Orleans Saints official website

"Hey, we have an early morning practice on Sunday, so we won’t be there for the fight, maybe you guys can give us a round or two before it gets started."

-Sean Payton

 

 

 

Video

Jeff Duncan's New Orleans Saints training camp video log, Day 13 (Aug. 12, 2009)
Video: New Orleans Saints practice August 12, 2009

 

 

Audio

Here is audio from WWL's Sports Talk. The first three are from Tuesday and the second three are from yesterday, including Scott Fujita.

 

 

Sean Payton Press Conference Transcript

From NewOrleans.com

Opening Statement:

"We pretty much have the same injury list that we've been operating off of. Adrian Arrington took limited reps; we're still resting Tracy Porter's hamstring along with Courtney Roby. We sat Billy Miller in this afternoon's practice just to get him off his feet and give him a breather. His knee has some swelling but he should be fine. Mark Simoneau is going to have his surgery tomorrow. Chip Vaughn already had his surgery. In regards to playing time for Friday night, the two guys that just had surgery will be out, Courtney Roby won't be ready to play, I'll probably hold Tracy Porter in this first game. We'll see where we're at D'Juan Woods; he got some reps today and looked better. We'll see where we're at with Malcolm Jenkins, just being that he has just joined us."

Can you tell what happened with Reggie Jones out there today?

"They think it's his left Achilles. We won't know until the doctors take a peek at it, but that's the early prognosis."

Will Lance Moore play Friday?

"We'll hold Lance back this week. He's the one guy I forgot to mention. Reggie Bush should get some snaps. He should be ready to go; we backed off his practice reps today but he should be fine."

How did the workouts with Derrick Brooks and Derek Smith go today?

"They went well. Those guys are both in great shape. We're not going to do anything right yet. I talked to both players and we're going to get through this game on Friday and into the weekend and then make a decision in regards to what direction we want to head."

What would trigger a move there? Would it be something you see Friday night?

"No, I think it's just a matter of timing. The obvious first thing is that we wouldn't expect either player to play in this game so there's no urgency in signing a player right now two days prior to a game. We'll see after Friday's game where we're at."

What did you do as far as working them out?

"Just linebacker drills. It was a pretty extensive workout that Joe Vitt and Adam Zimmer put them through."

Would contract terms be an issue?

"I don't think so. I think that both players are hungry and looking for an opportunity. I don't that would be a big sticking point."

What would prompt either one of them getting signed?

"With the loss of Simoneau, we felt like we wanted to take a look at a couple of veteran linebackers. We're going to get through this game Friday and see where we're at, discuss it some more, and then one way or another make a decision by Saturday."

Do you feel like there might be another team coming in for one of these players?

"It's hard to tell. I wouldn't know. You never really can tell. Certainly two players of their caliber are on the short list of a number of teams."

So is it less of an if than a when?

"I didn't say that. I said that we're going to make a decision by Saturday whether to sign a player or not and we'll get through the game."

What role would Derrick Brooks fill on this team?

"In either player's case, they would be a guy that could come in and initially give us depth because there would be a learning curve that's pretty significant this late in the process. That being said, both of them are in real good shape; both of them have played a long time and had successful careers. You wouldn't want to necessarily at the very beginning define a role but we understand that they're both experienced players that have played a long time in this league. We would only sign one of those players if we felt like they were going to play a role that we felt that we needed."

How long will the starters play on Friday night and how will you split the reps between the quarterbacks?

"Typically in this first preseason game we go about a quarter with the starters. The second wave goes the second quarter into the third quarter and then the third group will finish the third quarter and play the fourth quarter."

Will it be Mark Brunell and then Joey Harrington at quarterback?

"No, what I'll do is probably get Drew Brees some work and then get Brunell in there some with the first group and take him through somewhere in the third quarter and get Harrington about half of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter."

How much has Jonathan Vilma meant to this team since he's been here?

"Quite a bit. He's a guy that works extremely hard at his position. He's a quick study. He's one of the leaders on defense. He has been an important acquisition for us."

He said that it meant a lot to him that you guys stuck by him this offseason. Can you talk about that?

"Those are tough decisions that you have to make. They don't always favor the player but certainly with his age and where he is in his career, we felt that he was a priority guy for us to re-sign. When we made the trade for a player with one year left on his contract, we were hoping that he would be able to play and have success and if that was the case - which in his situation it was - we felt pretty good about re-signing him."

You've had people that have excelled in other sports speak to your team over the years in Avery Johnson and Roy Jones, Jr., etc. What does the team get out of something like that?

"I said this in the introduction of both of the boxers that these guys have won a lot of fights. When you look at Roy Jones, Jr.'s career, it's unbelievable. We can't have enough of those guys around our players - guys that have been competitive and in the arena. They understand the battle. It should be an interesting fight Saturday night; I haven't followed it much, but there will be a little bit more focus on our part now having had a chance to meet these guys."

Do you have a pick for the fight?

"No, I'm smarter than that."

Will you go to Biloxi to watch the fight?

"No, we have film to watch and meetings scheduled so we'll watch it on TV."

What is your schedule for tomorrow?

"The schedule tomorrow is much like a Saturday before a game. We'll have a brief walkthrough, go through the mechanics of pre-game for all these guys because it's the first time. We'll hold practice here inside and it will really be more of a walkthrough."

Are you leaning toward putting Simoneau on injured reserve?

"That's a question that we haven't really answered yet. We have discussed it, but a lot of it is going to be determined based on how we think the surgery went and the doctor's prognosis."

From what you saw from Brooks today, could he play outside still you think?

"That's his position. He moved around well. He was nicked up with a hamstring last year and another injury, but prior to that he was playing at a good level. We'll see, but that would be the position that we would start him at."

Outside of Vilma and Marvin Mitchell, who would go into the middle linebacker spot on Friday?

"Our plan initially is to start with Vilma and play Mitchell. Jo-Lonn Dunbar is a guy that could take snaps in there."

Would you move Anthony Waters inside at all?

"We'll probably leave Waters outside right now and we'll see how it goes."

 

 

Gregg Williams Press Conference Transcript

From NewOrleans.com

Q: Can you give us a snapshot of what you thought of the defense's performance at the scrimmage?

A: I thought they had fun playing. I thought we played with good enthusiasm. I thought we were pretty good around the ball. Great defenses are great around the ball. We were able to get some takeaways. You guys documented sacks, but we had several others where guys were pulling off. We were doing well in that area, as far as the younger guys. The older guys kind of grasp what we're doing, why we're doing it and have bought in pretty well. Four preseason games are going to be important from a fundamental standpoint. We're not going to try to do a whole lot defensively from packages and scheme. What we're going to work on is the fundamentals of the game. We're going to block, tackle, those type of things and try to get good evaluations for our pro personnel department.

Q: Were you present when Derek Smith and Derrick Brooks worked out?

A: I did. I was impressed. We worked both of those guys very hard by design. Anytime you come in at the middle of a training camp, there's physical catch-up more so than mental. Both those guys are pros. Both of those guys have played under a lot of different systems. They understand the game of football but they had to do a conditioning check along with that. I was very impressed with both of them. They had fine workouts.

Q: How far along is Malcolm Jenkins?

A: Mentally he did a lot of studying. He really did. He's a smart kid. I went through a lot of different testing procedures and maneuvers before we said he was who we wanted. He's done a great job of staying on top of things. Right now, behind the scenes, there's no such thing as time and a half. He's making pretty good money. He's meeting us at 6:30 in the morning. When I have staff meetings with the coaches, one of the DB coaches is in a staff meeting with me, the other is with him. They're finding him and the thing about is they're coming back to me with smiles on their faces saying he's got it and is doing a pretty good job. From a mental standpoint, pretty amazing and impressive. The physical part of it he's doing through. Day one you saw the heat get to him, day two he's as sore as all get out, day three is the hump day, you're the sorest, day four you start to come out of it a little bit and day five you get over the hurdle. From a physical standpoint you could see he was in good condition but he's going through that physical downtrend he won't come out of until the middle of next week.

Q: What was your initial assessment of Roman Harper before you were able to break him down and work him out?

A: I liked him coming out. I scouted him a lot coming out. He was a very physical football player, very similar to some of the guys that I coached before that were real stout and physical in the box. He knew he had to make some improvements in playing the ball. I think he's had a good camp in terms of playing the ball. He still has a long way to go, but he's improved those skills. I've had a lot of safeties that we haven't put in the back end. We wanted them there as a versatile undersized linebacker to be able to go down and hit. There's no doubt in my mind he can do those things. He's a good blitzer. I think he's a good tackler and now the next step to be an elite player at that position is that you have to be able to make plays on balls down the field.

Q: Do you agree that you have safeties who want to make the big hit and ones that want to make the big pick and can you mesh those?

A: I've always liked those ones that wanted to hit. I had a good one in Sean Taylor, who flipped over to wanting to make plays on the ball, LaRon Landry, try to get him to make plays on the ball, Blaine Bishop, Marcus Robertson. It goes way back. I've had some good safeties that were really physical, but the difference in making a good defense is when they understand when a play on the ball is so much more important than the big hit. Playing pass defense is alsmo making sure that if you catch the football, you have to pay a price. Roman fits in very well. All of our guys do now.

Q: What do you hope to see from your defense in the preseason?

A: Fundamentals. I really want to see them play fast, play confident. I really would like to see them do the things from a communication standpoint. That was one of the things when I came in that a lot of people talked to me about. There were guys here who were players and coaches on the staff now where we needed to improve our communication. Those were things, basic elements of solid defense. I'm not trying to trick. We're just trying to play sound, hard nosed, defensive football.

Q: Can you talk about your foundations' event tonight?

A: It's going to be a neat thing. Sean (Payton) bless his heart has had me sequestered through most of training camp. I really appreciate the Nacho Mama's at Elmwood having a great thing tonight and tomorrow. A lot of the proceeds are going to my foundation. I'm a sucker for kids. I have three children of my own, but have a lot of kids across the country I help also. It's going to be a great event. Who knows, one of the prerequisites for Derrick Brooks and Derek Smith if they want to make the teams is if they go over and sign autographs tonight. Some of our guys will be over there that are out of the meetings. It's a good partnership with those people who I met when I first cam into town. The city has embraced me and has been very friendly. It's a fun place for me to be right now and appreciate them getting involved in the foundation because I really care for the kids.

Q: Can you talk about the progress of Rod Coleman and DeMario Pressley?

A: Rod has done really well after the year off now that he has really caught his second wind, you'll start to be able to see some things he did in the old days. We need him to be able to teach and mentor these young guys in what it's like to rush the passer from the defensive tackle position. He's playing probably more solid inside against the run than before he got hurt. I'm getting that report from Bill Johnson who was coaching him at that time. Pressley's having a very good camp. What you guys need to see is that you kind of need to keep track. When we play, you'll see some players play multiple positions. Pressley is one of those players you'll see at the defensive tackle position and at the defensive end position. He shows some very good agility, some very good explosion. He really like him there on the run downs against tight ends. He's had a real good week of practice. He's one of those players you want to give as much time as you can to watch him play this weekend.

Q: What do you compare the level of your installation to?

A: The only think I could compare it to is the pace of the installation. Because of Sean's (Payton) tremendous organizational skills and also because these guys want to, they're volunteering to be here all offseason, as of next week we'll start on the fourth installation of the book. We've put the book in three times already at the conclusion of this game right here. That's pretty impressive. There's an awful lot to learn at a pretty fast pace. For the first installation, we had a high level of participation and then for the next installation was in the OTA's and minicamps and now leading up to the minicamps and the first game we've done it a third time. From that point of view, I think the players and the coaching staff have done a very good job of putting it in. Now there's an awful lot of refining to be done. There's some slowing down. There's an awful lot of verbiage and the language. Now we have to a better job with techniques and that's what we hope to see in these games. As we try to simplify now and not overload and put clutter in there. Let's simplify it.

Q: Can you talk about Will Smith's camp?

A: He's had an excellent camp. Him and Charles (Grant) have both come back and had an excellent camp. It's been great for me to see what they look like this summer, what they look faster and both of those guys have had an excellent camp to date.

Q: Is it fair that Derrick Brooks gets more attention than Derek Smith?

A: Derek Smith was coached by one of my closest friends in the league. There is a pretty tight fraternity and hotline in the league. One of my friends who coached him in two places he played at is one of my two closest friends so we've talked about him. It's really an even race in that respect. Both those guys you have to treat with great respect. They worked out very well, both of them.

Q: Is there any concern that in terms of building camaraderie of bring a new guy in at this point?

A: There's always a concern of bringing a guy in to your locker room at this time when it is so strong. I laugh and I grin and they talk about bringing him.

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