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Transcript of Press Conference with Coach Sean Payton

From the New Orleans Saints official website.

Most of the guys except for Adrian Arrington will be back this afternoon. Adrian Arrington has the turf toe. He might be a couple of days (out) or even longer. Josh Bullocks will practice this afternoon after not practicing in the morning. Bobby McCray has a bruised ankle. He’ll practice we think in the afternoon. Mike McKenzie will practice in the afternoon. David Patten will practice in the afternoon. Josh Savage probably won’t. He has a shoulder problem suffered prior to the game and it’s still aggravating him. Jonathan Vilma will practice in the afternoon. Brian Young will practice in the afternoon. We signed wide receiver Joe West and waived Wale Dada. Our numbers are still at 80. It will be good to get a group of these guys together at practice this afternoon when we put the pads on.

Q: What is your overview of the game after viewing the game film?

 I was pleased with our effort. I thought our guys played hard and there was a lot of hustle. You could see that not only with the offense and defense, but when you watch the special teams tape, I felt we did a good job. I was encouraged with how we played in the kicking game. We had one big return and we did a pretty good job in coverage. I think that there are some things from alignment and assignments that we have to clean up, mistakes that will haunt you in a regular season game and we spent some of the morning practice working on those now. By and large after the first week, the good news is that we still have three more preseason games and we’re going to need those practices and those games to make the changes and improvements as we move forward. I was pleased with the effort.

Q: Did you finally see what Robert Meachem can do?

It was real encouraging. For a young player, you receive more confidence when you play like that. He came up big with the post route that he dove and caught and later on he turned that crossing route into a touchdown. Those are all positive signs. He played very well, that was encouraging.

Q: Did anybody stand out on the offensive and defensive line?

I thought Jonathan Goodwin played well out front. He was a guy that graded out well when Doug (Marrone) went through the grades offensively. Defensively, I thought early on we did a good job of stopping the run. The guys on the defensive front got behind the quarterback a couple of times. He stepped up and made a pas. I thought we played with good energy on both fronts. The encouraging thing was that it didn’t appear to be too sloppy. We had one substitution problem, but by and large, guys were on the field that needed to be on the field. We had two quarterback-center exchange issues that bothered me that we have to get cleaned up, that can really hurt you in a regular season game, but both fronts played with good energy and that was good.

Q: Can you identify whey Tyler Palko has that problem so often?

I don’t know that we specifically know why but we need it corrected, because it happened with two centers. We have to a better job of seating the ball probably and not pulling out too soon. That’s something we’ll work on with him.

Q: What do you need for Robert Meachem to do to attain the third receiver slot?

I think continued improvement on all the details such as route running, the exactness of the positions. The plays he made the other night were encouraging.

Q: Will Deuce McAllister and Marques Colston practice this afternoon?

They’ll also go this afternoon.

Q: Is there another dimension on this team that hasn’t been shown yet, because of the lost or hurt players?

I think it’s like most teams right now. You play your first preseason game and your list of guys not playing is probably fairly long. You hope it’s not too big and the key is getting these guys back and getting them healthy and starting the season healthy. That’s the biggest thing. We’re not holding anything back. Other players are getting a chance to see reps though. I was glad to see (David) Patten, (Terrance) Copper and Lance Moore go in with the first group, function with (Drew) Brees, as well as to see (Robert) Meachem play. It just gives other guys a chance to get more reps and that’s a good thing in the preseason. It’s important for us to have all our guys ready for the season.

Q: What does Devery Henderson have to do to retain his spot in the rotation at wide receiver?

I think he’s competing like the rest of these guys, not just for playing time, but he’s competing for touches. There are only so many passes and only so many plays in a game. I think with him, it’s getting healthy and getting back into the swing of practice. I think all of these guys want to play their best and for the guys that are injured, the challenge is the time they missed, catching up and not becoming too rusty. His hamstring is doing better. He’ll go this afternoon and I think he’s doing better.

Q: Would you like to see these players that have been hurt step up and be more active?

Of course.

Q: Is there a mandate that they pick it up?

There’s no mandate; these guys are injured players. You want your injured players to get healthy, and then when they’re healthy you want to be able to practice with them. What you don’t want is to put an injured player on the field too early and then have him out for a month. The key is to go through the correct rehab and go through the correct treatment, get them healthy and have them start practicing again. That’s where we are. The encouraging thing is that for a lot of these guys, we’ll have them back this afternoon and we’ll see where we are.

Q: Will Jeremy Shockey be full-go as of now?

He’s probably going to be on a one-a-day schedule. He’s getting there. He’s certainly a lot better off today than he was a week ago.

Q: Were the two failed fourth downs in the game a result of missed assignments?

 The run was a missed assignment. We let a linebacker come through a gap and he made the tackle for a loss. On the fourth-and-one pass, we just have to do a little bit better job with execution and exactness within the route. Those are easy calls to make in the preseason; more difficult in the regular season.

Q: Will Shockey do team work this afternoon?


Q: Is the plan for him to do more of that this week?

He should with a number of these other guys practicing once-a-day. That’s the plan right now.

Q: Are you concerned with the amount of time that Brian Young has missed in the last year?

He’s going to obviously need to get reps. He’s a quick study but he’s just fighting the knee right now. We’ll see where he is. Again, we have a lot of time here. We have four weeks before we play a regular season game. With a guy like Brian Young, the key is making sure that we’re keeping him up to speed with what we’re doing – and that comes fairly easy for him – and then just getting him the reps he needs. I quite certain that he’s going to be ready by the time we start.

Q: Were you pleased to see the Cardinals defer after the coin toss?

Barring any weather, I think the easiest thing to do is to just take the ball and that hasn’t changed. If we win the toss, we’ll probably end up taking the ball. If the weather is an issue, we could defer, but we were playing inside.

Q: How did the defensive helmet communication work in the game?

It was pretty smooth. Everything seemed to go pretty well. Mark Simoneau had it for the first part of the game and then Marvin Mitchell after that. I thought Mitchell played pretty well the other night and he had it for the latter part of the game.