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Sean Payton

From the New Orleans Saints official website

Opening Statement

"You get to a point in the draft where you're looking to specifics. Both of these players, we spent more time with having spent time with them on campus for visits. One of them we see certainly as a safety and the other one a guy we'll start off at the weakside linebacker position. He has some versatility. I think both of these guys played in a great program, a program that is up and coming. They're well coached, come from a good defense and we're excited that both of these guys were available when we were picking. We had to sit through round three and then we had these two picks pretty quickly."

Did you entertain any thoughts of moving into the third round?

"No there wasn't a player that said "Go get him" to start any discussions. Generally you like someone when you move into a round. Not that we didn't like anybody, but there was nobody that stood out that we felt like we needed to go and get."

Did Stanley Arnoux fly under the radar because of all the buzz about Aaron Curry?

"They play great defense there. There are a handful of players getting drafted off of this team and that's a credit to the coaching staff. You saw that with Connecticut. You've seen it with a number of programs where all of a sudden they have a great junior/senior class. I think Wake's one of those programs. When you watch Curry or you watch film of Wake, you see Stanley Arnoux. He's the kind of guy you see make a lot of plays. He's around the ball often. Those are good traits to have certainly as a linebacker."

Was any thought given to drafting an offensive player?

"It wasn't as much offense-defense as much as paying attention to the grade itself and these two players stood out a little bit. There was a blip in regard to where they were graded. Obviously they both played defense, so it's really a discussion more about the player and the position he plays than offense or defense."

Can you talk about Vaughn's pass coverage ability?

"He has real good size and range. He runs well. He's a guy that has outstanding speed and real long arms. We're excited about those attributes he has."

What safety position will be play?

"He will play free safety to start. If you were trying to discuss about what were some of the things that caught our eye, he does have in our option good range in the back half of the defense."

Does Arnaux project as an outside linebacker?

"Yes, we project him outside at will for us. That's not a big projection. We just feel like that would be a fit for him. He played in a stacked position at Wake and did a good job of it."

Did you consider a running back at one of the spots?

"No. Just to answer your question, these two players were graded higher than the runners we had left. When the day started, there was a runner at two that had a value grade we felt (good about). The day's not over yet. We're still working and we felt like where their grade was, certainly the position, but more importantly where their grade was, one of the things that we've been able to do very well with these mid range picks or later picks is look for a few attributes that a guy has that we have a vision for and we think these guys have some of those things. When we talk about aCarl Nicks or a Jahri Evans, those are guys that had something that specifically stood out. With that selection or these last two, we weren't looking at the running back position."

Do you consider running back a need area?

"No, I don't consider it a need area. Yesterday we talked about trying to maybe move up. I've mentioned it before. I'd certainly like a big back. We think that would be something that would help us. When you try to identify it specifically as a need. We'll wait and see. It's hard to put it as a need. Certainly you've heard me discuss that kind of back, but what I don't want to try to do is try to manufacture a pick. That's the worst thing we'd want to do."

Seattle took the franchise tag off of Leroy Hill. Would you have any interest in him?

"Nothing right now that I would comment on that. The focus for us has been on this process."

With Vaughn's pick, does this cement Jenkins working at corner?

"I think our intentions are to start him out at corner and the reason I say start him out at corner, obviously we know he has flexibility. Much has been read about that. But ultimately we want to get our first four or five guys on the field. The competition I think is healthy for that position group. He'll start at corner and certainly Vaughn will start at safety."

Will Usama Young be at safety as well?

"That's kind of the direction we're headed. The thought process for us now is moving Usama back there. We haven't really announced it. I've had a chance to talk with him about three weeks ago about that possibility and I think that's something we want to do."

Did any of your scouts or coaches have ties to Wake Forest?

"There wasn't any specific tie. I think our scouts do a great job and when you get to a school like that where in the last five years they've changed their identity as a football program with what they're doing in a tough conference we feel like, it's good tape to watch, especially their side (Vaughn and Arnoux) side of the ball on defense. It's exciting."

Do you see Jenkins, Vaughn and Arnoux all having an impact on special teams?

"We're hopeful they will. We try to take that into consideration with a player. What's our vision for the player. We all know it's hard for a rookie to break into the starting lineup. The easiest for a rookie to make a team and play early is to play in the kicking game. We hope that's the case with these three guys."

What do you think of Jenkins' special teams abilities?

"I think Malcolm has real good instincts and the other thing with him is everyone you to about him describes him as tough. He's physical, he has courage and he's not afraid of contact. I think those are some of the things you need to have in order to be a pretty good special teams player. It's hard to play special teams or at least it's hard to play special teams well."

Will Jenkins miss some offseason workouts due to Ohio State's academic schedule?

"Ohio State players are on quarters which basically sets them back a little bit time wise. He'll be in for the rookie camp next weekend. His graduation date of his class is June 11 or 12 and then he can come here after that. He'll miss our veteran's minicamp and a couple of the OTAs and he'll join us. That's just the way it is with schools on quarters (system) and there's about 20 of them."

Does that affect his on-field or classroom progress at all?

"We can't control it. Obviously it's not optimum. We've gone through it before with players. We know the schools that have been involved and we just have to work around it. It's a rule that's in place. We just have to do a good job in the three days that he's here next week we bring him up to speed and then quickly when he returns on the (June) 12th or 13th, the day he arrives here, we have that block of time for two to three weeks before he breaks and we return to training camp. Obviously you'd rather have him here the whole time, you just have to deal with it."

Can you discuss the ball skills of Jenkins and Vaughn?

"I think they're two different players. First in Malcolm Jenkins' case, you see him at corner. I think he has outstanding ball skills. I think he's very good at run support. In Chip Vaughn's case, he's a guy with real good range. He's a guy that has long leverage, he's tall, and he can run. They're additions for us that we think will help the Saints in the secondary. Their skill sets are a little different. Nonetheless we think they're good defensive players. We're happy to have them."    


Chip Vaughn

From the New Orleans Saints official website

How does it feel to have a college teammate coming with you to your new NFL team?

"It feels great. It's fantastic. It's something that I kind of had a feeling that it would happen with either me and AC (Aaron Curry) or me and Stan (Stanley Arnoux) on a team. I felt that one of us was bound to end up on the same team. It just feels great."

What was your phone conversation with Stanley after you both were picked like?

"Both of us were all geeked up and started laughing because we couldn't really believe what had just happened. It was a very joyous conversation. It's something that finally happened and we're just ready to go down there and get to work."

What do you think your primary attributes are that attracted the Saints to you?

"I'd say it's my versatility. I played free safety and strong safety and I can play corner in red zone situations if need be. I feel like I was the total package to them."

Coach Payton said they're projecting you as a free safety. Are you comfortable at that position?

"I am. I feel that I am just a safety. I'm not a free safety or a strong safety."

What conversations did you have with the Saints prior to the draft?

"I hadn't really talked to the Saints at all. I met with them at the Senior Bowl but beside that I hadn't really had any contact. No workouts, no contact, no visits. When I got the phone call from the Saints, I was shocked."

We have you listed at 6-2, 221 and running a 4.42 40. Is that correct?

"Yes sir it is. I had run a 4.36 but that's all good."

Did you run the 4.36 at the Combine?

"Yes I did. Some teams had me running between 4.36 and 4.39 as my fastest time and being the fastest safety up there."

Stanley said that the Saints got one of the best safeties in the draft. What do you have to say about your college teammate? What kind of player did the Saints get?

"The Saints got a player that is one of the most consistent and reliable players that I have ever had the pleasure of being on the same team with. Stanley is accountable as he plays. He's always in the right spot, always knows what going on. The Saints got a steal with Stan. Stan is a great player."

There have been so many Wake Forest defenders taken in this draft. Did it make you a better player playing with them the last few years?

"We all bring our own games to the field. Alphonso (Smith) brings his game, AC (Aaron Curry) brings his game, Stan brings his game and me. When you play with great players like that, it makes your game better because you don't want to be that weak link out there. Playing with those guys for the past four or five years has helped me tremendously."    




Stanley Arnoux

From the New Orleans Saints official website

Q: What are your thoughts about coming to the Saints and is there any surprise there?

A: I came on a visit about a week ago, and I really enjoyed the facilities and the coaches, and all the players that I met. The city looks good and I'm just excited to be a member of the organization.

Q: What does it say about Wake Forest that both you and Chip were just a few picks from each other?

A: That's definitely a bonus coming in having a player like Chip in our class and to get to grow with him as a player. He's one of the guys I think highly of. I trust him, and I'm just so excited right now.

Q: Stanley, they're telling us down here in New Orleans that they're projecting you as the "Will" Linebacker. How does that sit with you, and did you play any of that in college at all?

A: I did. I actually played my first two seasons as the "Will" Linebacker. I switched over to the "Mike" for my junior and senior year, but I'm comfortable in any of the positions, and I'm willing to play any of the positions here.

Q: Do you feel like you flew under the radar a little bit with Aaron Curry out there getting so much of the attention?

A: A lot of people might think that, but actually it brought a lot of attention to Wake Forest and other players like Chip and Alfonzo, DJ Boldin and Tony Wilson. We got some exposure just from everyone coming in to look at A.C., and when you turn off him you can see flashes of all of us. It's definitely a plus having him on our team.

Q: How did it make you better playing with so many talented guys on the defense the last couple of years?

A: You've got to set the game up and elevate your game because sometimes you look up and A.C. or Alfonso or Chip are playing at a different level on the defense, so you've got to continue to progress and continue to better your game.

Q: Do you feel like having a guy like Chip with you, a guy you're familiar with, will help make this transition a little easier?

A: I think so. I think it's somebody out there to talk to, and we're going to be going through the same things both being rookies and trying to come in and contribute. It's definitely going to make it a little easier.

Q: I know it just happened, but have you two talked about playing on the same team in the pros?

A: Actually, he's one of the first people I called. I talked to him and his mom. They're happy that we're going to both be in black and gold again. It's so exciting and I'm happy about it. We did discuss it, and we've both got something to look forward to.

Q: Stanley, should you have been picked ahead of Chip?

A: No, I think the coaches do what they've got to do. I don't decide when I get picked. I know that now that I am picked, I'm going to be a good football player and I'm going to help the team out.

Q: When you talked with Chip, were you kidding about that?

A: I was actually excited because he just got picked, and I was planning on calling him. Right before I picked up the phone to give him a ring, my phone rang and it was a 504 number, and I said, "I know that's New Orleans." I was so excited.

Q: What kind of player are the Saints getting in Chip Vaughn?

A: A tough football player; a hard hitter; a smart player. He's one of the best safeties that was in the draft this year.

Q: Your name would suggest that you have some French heritage, do you?

A: Yes, my grandfather is actually French. Both of my parents were born and raised in Haiti. So, that definitely has a lot to do with being a French colony way back in the day. So, then it's also a plus coming to a city like New Orleans where there is so much French and Creole influence with the food and everything. I was just so excited.

Q: Do you know how to make a roux?

A: No I don't.

Response: You will

Q: Do you think it'll help to have another middle linebacker in Jonathan also being a South Floridian with Haitian ancestry?

A: Yeah it will. He's just a player that I've looked up to in the past and watched and studied his games. Having him right next to me, that'll be great experience.

Q: And you guys will speak Creole French back there so nobody else knows what's going on?

A: I'm able to, so I definitely will.

Q: Stanley, what do you know about Gregg Williams?

A: I know he's a great coach. I got to speak with him briefly on my visit, but I do know that he is a great coach. He coaches his players very well.
Q: What do you know about the Saints situation at outside linebacker and your potential opportunity to make a quick contribution?

A: I just know that I've got to come in and work hard. I know it's an organization where a lot of players are hard workers, so I've got to come in and get in the playbook right away. Even if it's on special teams at first, I've got to come in contribute to the team as much as I can.

Q: Do you feel like you're an exceptional linebacker on pass coverage?

A: I do. I think that's one of the parts of my game that was overlooked, but I think I do pretty well at pass coverage, getting depth and playing the ball.