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Saints News: 6.2.08

Back to your regularly scheduled programming today. Thanks for bearing with me this weekend. It is hard work trying to figure out what 19 year old girls want to buy.

Looks like good news for Pierre fans like myself. Information coming from the Times-Pic. Coach Payton praises him yet again...

"Pierre is someone who blocks the pressure real well," Payton said. "That's a strength of his. He's so smart. You need that in the nickel because of the looks we get. We get a lot more complex looks in third-down or long-yardage situations than we would in the base. From a running back standpoint, you've got to be smart to see what's going on."

The kid himself spoke as well.

"Like I said last year," Thomas said, "any way possible for me to get on that field, I'm getting on that field. Special teams, or it's on the offensive side, anyway they need me, I'm going to be there. I'm going to give it my all wherever they put me, wherever I'm at."

"I'm getting there with the ones," Thomas said. "Coach is rotating us in there with the ones so we get a feel of where we're at, because right now nobody has a place. Everybody is fighting for a spot. The depth chart is not set yet and probably won't be until we get into the season.

"I've still got a way to fight, just like everybody has a way to fight. That's what I'm going to keep doing. I'm going to fight just like last year. I was fighting to get a position to get on the team. I'm going to fight again."

If you're not on this bandwagon yet, I suggest you climb aboard. This kid is gonna take off.

The Times-Pic had an article about Mark Simoneau and his resilience and hard working attitude. For the second year in a row, Simoneau must battle against a new middle linebacker brought in to supplant him.

"I'm kind of looking at it the same way (as last season), as far as trying to take care of what I can take care of," Simoneau said. "Obviously, Jonathan (Vilma) is a great player, and he's going to bring a lot to this team. It's just a situation where I'm just going to try to get better every day and help this team as much as I can."

"I've been in the system two years now," he said. "In this camp, I have a better feel for my angles on certain plays, just being comfortable in the system. That's definitely an advantage, just time in the system."

"You can only control yourself," he said. "I guess sometimes you're trying to look on the outside, see what everybody else is thinking and how they're evaluating everything.

"If you do that you lose focus on what your job is, and (your job) basically is just to get better. If you're focusing on those other things, you're not getting better, and you're going to have no chance in the end. That's my mindset, just to worry about playing better myself. And hopefully, that'll take care of it."

Coach Payton thinks highly of him.

"He's doing well," Coach Sean Payton said of Simoneau. "He's been here the whole offseason, he's one of those guys who's pretty diligent about taking care of his body.

"The best thing is, there's competition there. (And) we go by what we see. When it comes to Mark, he certainly has responded to that. He understands that. It's no different than it is for some players at other positions."

I think we can put the Shockey rumors to bed. Ahhhh. Remember those days? The Sun-Herald had a story about the tight end position. Seems the Saints are sticking with that they have.

"That's the group we're going to battle with," Saints coach Sean Payton said following the team's final minicamp practice on Sunday. "The key is the health of some of those guys, and I'm anxious to see the young guys as well."

Eric Johnson is recovering from an injury but should be fine.

"It was an offseason injury which is something that is really frustrating," Johnson said. "I'm just waiting for it to heal up. Just want to work through it, but there's not really much I can do about it right now. I should be ready for training. I'll have about a month to really go out there and run before training camp."

Mark Campbell has his work cut out for him.

"This is my 10th year and I feel like I have to compete every year," Campbell said. "I have to go out there as hard as I can. There's no room for complacency. I don't think you can stick around if you are a complacent guy."

"We've had four OTAs and now the minicamp," Campbell said. "I'm not going to come out and be where I was at before. I'm seeing some progress, but I've got to knock some of that rust off. I learn as I play so it's starting to come back to me now. Really by the time we finish these OTAs, I'll be full strength. And as far as my injury is concerned, it's like it never happened."

This one  from Houma Today is actually from yesterday. Its a long in-depth history of defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. "BeBe" had some words of wisdom to share with us.

“When we grew up the skilled people in football were the running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks, but in today’s world it has to be the defensive linemen,” the new Saints defensive line coach said. “The dominant defensive linemen are very hard to acquire, and you just can’t find those guys in any kind of numbers at both the college and professional level. I am very fortunate to come here with the Saints and have some real strong talent to work with.”

“I preach being quick. Quickness is the biggest attribute I look for in a defensive lineman. To be disruptive and get into the backfield, or even to stop the run, you have to be quick. Being quick means being in shape and being in great condition.

Guys like Warren Sapp, John Randle, Cortez Kennedy, Alan Page, La’Roi Glover and Tommie Harris are disruptive players. They all are good leverage players and they know how to use their hands, but the first thing that jumps out at you about them is how quick they are. If I were to put together a prototype defensive tackle for today’s game it would be Warren Sapp. Sapp had tremendous initial quickness off the snap, great hand usage, he was mean, tough and a tremendous athlete. When I first saw him play he was in the eighth grade and he was a quarterback and he returned kicks. Warren was a great athlete with a tremendous competitive spirit. ”

And what about our boy Man Child?

“When I went to the Senior Bowl I was really looking for a job, but I was surprised at just how quick Sedrick was. When I recruited him and coached him he was more of a power-player, but he has really worked hard on improving his overall speed, quickness, and his ability to get off blocks and be a force in the middle. Ellis was the best player in Mobile, no question about that. We are thrilled to have him here with the Saints.”

“This was Sedrick’s redshirt freshman season at USC and he was a backup to Mike Patterson. He played as a reserve in 11 games that 2004 season, but where he really started to show up big was in the practice sessions leading up to the national championship game. In those 20 or so practices he was really looking good and I told Pete Carroll at that time that Ellis could be every bit as good as Mike Patterson. Being at Ole Miss the past three seasons I didn’t get to study his whole body of work on the field until I came to the Saints, but I knew about his strong work ethic, his power, his ability to get off of blocks quickly and his football intelligence. We wanted to get a chance to get either Sedrick or Glenn Dorsey from LSU, and we are thrilled to get one of those two special guys.”

“I don’t want to go overboard about Sedrick because he hasn’t played a game in the NFL yet, but he really does compare favorably to Cortez Kennedy. Cortez was a couple of inches taller and just a bit quicker, but Ellis is every bit as strong as Cortez was. Sedrick has the perfect build for a defensive tackle. He has a huge wingspan and long arms and very long legs for his body, and you can see where he gets his explosiveness. Sedrick has an explosive lower-body and great power in the hips. He is built like an icebox, but he is awfully quick.”

I'll leave it the same way they do in the actual article. With coach Orgeron talking about our great state of Louisiana.

“In Louisiana it is just unbelievable to think about the football talent that comes from this small state. Per capita, Louisiana produces more players than any other state and the athleticism is something special. The people love their football here in Louisiana, but it is also an avenue to succeed doing something. We have great shipbuilders, fishermen, and oilfield workers, but if you don’t want to do that, sports, and in particular football, give you another avenue to take. When you watch the NFL and see players like Eli and Peyton Manning, Ed Reed, LaRon Landry, Jake Delhomme, Reggie Wayne, Kevin Mawae and Marcus Spears playing in the league from this state, that tells you volumes about the talent here. Football has been real good to my family and me. Now it is my time to get that Super Bowl trophy brought here to Louisiana and the Saints.”

More  about Sedrick Ellis and the rest of the defensive line from The Advocate. Bobby McCray had this to say.

“They said they watched a lot of film on me and they liked my work ethic,” McCray said. “I figured a team with a great offense — we came in here and they whipped us last year (41-24) — explosive offense, why not come in and be a nice addition to the defense?

“They were talking about wanting to get a better pass rush. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the one they had last year, but it’s a good addition for me to come in and try and help them out.”

“If all three of us can stay fresh we can get after the quarterback, not even mentioning what we have on the inside,” McCray said. “We’ve got a lot of great guys and we’re just trying to have a good rotation, keeping guys fresh, and having an effective pass rush.”

With the current staff, we have pretty good depth and flexibility. We already know how well Big Sed is doing. As for Hollis Thomas and DeMario Pressley...

Payton said Saturday that Thomas is overweight but he’s not concerned about him being in shape for the season.

Pressley was sidelined during mini-camp by a foot injury. Payton said he hopes to get him on the field during the remaining Organized Team Activities, which conclude June 12.

These two articles discuss Reggie Bush's hopes and dreams for the upcoming season, including punt returns. One article is from Houma Today and the other is from ESPN.

"I definitely made it a point to be here more, be around my teammates more," Bush said. "There are certain things you can do around the practice facility that you can't substitute for when you're not here, like watching film with the coaches. I'm just trying to find every edge possible to get better."

More on this later today.

This guy  says the hit on Reggie Bush early in the Divisional Championship game against the Eagles in 2006 was the greatest in NFL history. I know, it's an amateurish post by this guy and I try not to link to low quality stuff, but I thought you guys might find it interesting.