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Canal Street Chronicles: Fleur-di-Links 8.11.09


JeremyShockey my life at this moment is like that movie groundhog day. whats up to my friends in miami hope you lobster season is going well send me some.

saints83 What day is it? Man in camp you lose all reality with the outside world. Just focused on the job and winning games. Good night!

drewbrees Thank you to all those who have sent well wishes to me and my family after the passing of my mother. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers


 New Orleans Saints linebacker Mark Simoneau has torn triceps - Times-Pic

 Memorial services still up in air for mother of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees - Times-Pic

 New Orleans Saints rookie Malcolm Jenkins sets out to prove he's worth $19 million - Times-Pic

 Malcolm Jenkins' first practice with New Orleans Saints has ups and downs - Times-Pic

 News and notes from New Orleans Saints practice Monday - Times-Pic


In perhaps the most dramatic play of camp, quarterback Drew Brees fired a 13-yard touchdown pass up high in the back of the end zone to a leaping Marques Colston with no time on the clock to cap a two-minute drill at the end of evening practice. Brees had a batted pass intercepted by cornerback Randall Gay on the previous play, but he got a reprieve thanks to a controversial decision by Coach Sean Payton (see below).


 New Orleans Saints place tight end Dan Campbell on injured reserve - Times-Pic

Brees back with team after mother's death - WWLTV 

Training Camp, Day 12: Offense, Defense split afternoon session; Colston is good - WWL

Jenkins has issues with the heat during first day in camp - WWLTV

Saints: Monday afternoon practice report -




Drew Brees Returns to Camp after death of his mother




Here is your WWL audio. In order we've got Charles Grant, Scott Shanle, Anthony Hargrove, "extreme" coverage, Heath Evans and Jim Henderson.



Sean Payton Press Conference Transcript

From the New Orleans Saints official website

Opening Statement:

"In a roster move, we waived Joe McMahon and signed Nate Bennett, another offensive lineman; and then Dan Campbell was placed on reserve/injured and we signed Malcolm Jenkins. Those are the two moves - the lineman for the lineman and then Campbell for Malcolm Jenkins."

You go back with Campbell, right?

"Yes, he and I were in New York together. He's just battling through that knee and we weren't really seeing the progress and I think he's frustrated as well. But he has been a pretty special player in my mind and a guy that has really brought some toughness. We'll see how he does, but that's where we're at."

Do you have any update on Bobby McCray and some of the other injured guys?

"McCray sat out this practice; Mark Simoneau, we're still evaluating. His wife is having a baby today. We say Billy Miller a little bit this afternoon. Nothing really significant - guys are battling through it. Adrian Arrington is getting back into the fray a little bit and that has been a positive.Courtney Roby I think needs about a day or two and D'Juan Woods is the same way. We just have to see how they're doing from the morning practice."

What are Roby and McCray's ailments?

"McCray just had some back spasms. Roby has a slight hamstring."

Does Tracy Porter have a hamstring injury too?

"Porter has a slight strain; nothing significant, though."

Any update on Chip Vaughn?

"We're still working on him right now. He's still having pain in that knee and some swelling. We'll see where he's at."

Is a scope a possibility with him?

"We'll have to see. There's nothing yet to announce, but as soon as I know something, I'll let you know."

How much does Jonathan Vilma have to process from the time the play is called until the play is executed on the field?

"He has a lot of responsibilities as a quarterback. He gets the helmet call from the defense on the sideline, he makes the call immediately in the huddle. And that call is one thing, if offensively there is a change in strength or motion, he realigns the defense and gets guys set up."

Does it take a special person to be able to process all that in such a short time?

"It takes someone who has pretty quick intelligence; a guy that can think on the field. It's not for everyone and a lot of guys struggle with it. Some guys are better at it than others and it's something that he's comfortable with."

Could it be more challenging this season with a whole new defensive scheme?

"He has a pretty good feel for what we're doing so I think he'll be able to handle it. He has handled different defenses now - if you look back to New York there were two and there have been two here. It's not unlike a quarterback in a new offense."

What were your thoughts on Malcolm Jenkins' first day?

"It's good to have him here. I said before that he's a bright player and a quick study and I know he spent a lot of time trying to stay on top of the installation while he was out. It's certainly good to have him here."

Do you expect to throw him right into the action?

"I think this morning's practice was a tough one to start with, but I think he'll be fine."

Will you play him at safety and cornerback?

"Some of the nickel packages move guys around but initially are thoughts are with him at corner."

In the two-minute drill at the end, was there a sack or did you call a penalty?

"I had a hard time with that. There was a guy in the neutral zone, we had a sack going on and I had 22 players screaming at me, so the easiest thing would've been to call a penalty or call a sack and I just said that it was fourth down and let's see what we have. We were trying to get the drill facilitated so I think that was one of the few things that would quiet both sides. It was fourth-and-goal from there and the guys made a good play."

What was at stake there?




"Nothing, just bragging rights."

What are your plans for Jenkins in Friday night's game?

"We haven't come up with them yet; we'll have to wait and see. I want to be smart about that. There's a chance that we may or may not play him, just with the amount of time that he'll have had going in. That being said, he'll certainly get more work the next week versus Houston."

Are you thinking about maybe bringing in another tight end?

"We're sitting with four. It's a tough number. We've talked about it and that would be a position where we'd say that we're a little light."

How crucial are these preseason games for a player like Skyler Green?

"I think they're crucial for him along with another 25 or 30 players. We talk all the time about their ability to contribute, not just on offense or defense, but on special teams. When you go into a game with 46 players, these guys are going to have to play, they're going to have to be on the field. Certainly in Skyler's case as a returner and as a gunner, all the things he can do to give him more snap value come game day."

Did anything catch your eye when watching the film of the scrimmage that you might not have seen live?

"I thought the encouraging thing was that we got our hands on some balls defensively, which was good. I thought the two quarterbacks did a good job of getting the offenses going. Some of the young runners did a good job of hitting some of those plays. Overall, I thought we played with pretty good effort and part of that probably was coming inside out of the heat. But there is a lot of work we have to do still and fortunately for us we have four weeks of preseason games to clean up some of the mistakes."

How has Jahri Evans matured as a player and what is his potential?

"He's a very intelligent guy and picked things up very quickly. He has great power and certainly he's one of the mainstays for us on our offensive line. He has a good anchor; he's tough to beat in the pass rush and he gives us real good movement at the point of attack. He's certainly one of the guys that we look to to run behind and he certainly protects the pocket. He has been real consistent."

Can you talk about the play of the offensive line as a whole since you've been here?

"We made some changes in that first year in moving Jammal Brown over to left tackle and one of the things that has helped is that we have had continuity at that position group. We've had an occasional injury and a guy like Zach Strief has stepped in and played. Jonathan Goodwin played quite a bit even when Jeff Faine was here, so the continuity has helped us. They have a real good grasp of our protections and what we're trying to accomplish. Getting Carl Nicks in there at left guard gives us some size and some mass. That has certainly been something that we feel has been a strength of ours and we have to continue to build on."

Is the rotation of the defensive linemen at tackle on third down something you'll experiment with throughout the preseason?

"I think Sedrick Ellis will be in there, but what you're trying to do and what most teams are doing now is getting their four best pass rushers on the field, especially right when you get past that third-and-three and you know that there's a slim chance of a run. That being said, we're trying to get our best pass rushers on the field. Teams are moving ends inside and you see teams moving linebackers to the outsides. Whoever we feel gives us the best rush and is the freshest, that's one of the big goals."

Is the pass rush more important now than in the past?

"It's a league that has moved towards - especially on third down - to throwing the football so you're seeing the emphasis placed on rushing the passer more and more."

Has Carl Nicks come along faster than you thought he would?

"He played in his rookie year and for a fifth-round draft pick, we felt like he picked things up pretty well. He still has a lot of things to work on but I think he has handled the transition well."

Did guys lose a lot of weight in the heat of this morning's practice?

"I would imagine so. It was pretty hot until we got the cloud cover later on. I think that's part of training camp. We try to monitor how much weight they're gaining or losing. We just have to take enough water breaks to keep them hydrated and that's what we've tried to do."

Was the heat getting to the point where you were concerned?

"I don't know. You look back - and the guys that were here three years ago in Jackson can recall some practices that were close to that, if not hotter on that turf. That being said, we just have to smart about the amount of water breaks that we take and making sure that we cool their core body temperature down. I thought they handled it pretty well. Certainly it was warm, but I thought they handled it well."

Will you go with two more practices tomorrow?

"Yes. We're going to be twice more tomorrow, outside in the morning and then back in here in the afternoon."

On Campbell, is it the same knee that he had surgery on this spring?

"It's the knee that he had scoped in the spring. He was still having trouble with it. It was healthy at the beginning of camp and then he had a setback and he could never really get going again."


Drew Brees Press Conference Transcript

From the New Orleans Saints official website

Can you discuss the passing of your mother?




"We'll have a memorial service next week. It's still up in the air as to when. I'll be gone for a short time next week."

How did things go today?

"It was good to be back and get your mind back on football. It was a long, tough weekend. To be back around the guys...Everybody was so supportive. This is a big part of my family too. It's good to be back."

Do you think you'll play Friday?

"Yes, I don't see why I wouldn't. We'll just keep on plugging away this week and wait and see."

Do they know more about your mother's death?

"No and I appreciate everybody giving their condolences and everything, but it is what it is. I'd rather move on and I'm trying to."

A bunch of players and teammates have sent out public messages in support of you. What is it like to have that kind of support?

"It means a lot. This is part of my family too. I know that I got a lot of text messages and calls as I was trying to take care of things and traveling over the weekend and just giving me their support, letting me know they have given me prayers and condolences. These just aren't my teammates here. They are high school teammates, friends all over the place that were lending their support. That means a lot."

Can you give a day one assessment of Malcolm Jenkins?






"You get out in this New Orleans heat for two-a-days your first day and it's a little bit of a shock to the system. What we went through the first day or two is what we're going through right now. He's obviously playing catch up a little bit because everything's installed for the most part offensively and defensively. He's getting thrown in the fire pretty quick and I'm sure his head was spinning a little bit today. He looked like a number one pick. We'll try to groom him and he'll obviously continue to try to find his role on the team this year."

What did you tell him when you walked over to him this morning when it seemed he was struggling with the heat?

"I asked him if he was alright. I said for him to hang in there, it's the first day and of course it's a little bit of a shock. We need you."

Can you talk about the fourth and goal competition?

"That's what's fun and that's why you try to practice as realistically as it is on game day. You're going to have situations like that. Carolina had one in the first game of the season last year against San Diego and Jason Kyle who we have now told Mark Brunell about that specific play where they basically threw it up for a tight end made one of those catches like Marques (Colston) did. It happens. The more you can try to mimic that in practice, you come out in a game and it's a little bit more expected."

Do you have supreme confidence that if you throw it to Marques in a certain spot he can get it?

"You saw how high up he got. He was up above the crossbar catching that ball. He's a phenomenal athlete and certainly a guy I have a lot of confidence in. There's a lot of places I can throw the ball."

How did you think the offense looked in the scrimmage?

"I watched the film. There's always good and bad. I felt like they ran a lot of plays and really got some good work in. I thought both quarterbacks did a good job with the installs, taking a lot of reps and working with a lot of different personnel groups. Certain guys you're used to throwing with and maybe you're put in there with guys that you haven't had a lot of time with, but yet you have to be able to trust them. When I'm watching film, I'm watching quarterbacks, but what I saw was a great tempo, they were physical. I know the guys were hurting a little bit today, but it looked good."

Did anything come to mind when you saw Marques Colston make so many plays?

"That's your trusty over there. If in doubt, throw it to the big man."

How does the heat affect you as a quarterback?

"I'm not running obviously, like the other guys. The centers are sweating like crazy and sweating all over the ball. You'll have sloppy balls. You have to find a way to get a grip on it. Other than that I just think it's trying to motivate the guys in the huddle. Those O-linemen are coming back tired and the wideouts are coming back from the route they're running. At this point in camp, they get heavy-legged already and have a tough full-padded practice. Part of your job as a quarterback and leader is to try to motivate guys. You might say this situation is a third and five. We need it and then maybe their mind goes off of how tired they are and how much their leg or back hurts. It becomes all about making the play and then it goes onto the next play and one play at a time."

As a quarterback how can you appreciate the leadership role Jonathan Vilma has taken on the defense?

"You could say he's somewhat like the quarterback of the defense. He has to make all the calls in the huddle, whenever there's checks to be made, he makes checks. He lines people up. They put a lot on the shoulders of the mike linebacker just like you would with a free safety as well. He has a lot of responsibility, but he's a smart guy. He's a good football player and is a good leader."

Tom Brady said he'd like to play more in the preseason. What are your thoughts about how much is enough in the preseason?

"What I've played since I've been here has been fine. I understand a big portion of the preseason is devoted to evaluating players. I understand that. For me, definitely as we get closer to the season, by the third preseason game you want to get a half in. There you can get into situations, create tempo, move the ball and that kind of thing. Those are the things I want to get out of a preseason game. I want to look sharp, make good decisions and get the rhythm and tempo back again."

Do you think Jammal Brown has been underappreciated?

"I think Jammal has done a great job. He's only missed a game or two over the last couple years. As far as being pretty durable he's done that. He's had to go against some pretty tough challenges if you look at our division alone. You have (Julius) Peppers, (John) Abraham and plenty others too. You talk about Gaines Adams in Tampa and some of these young guys coming up the ranks. On the left side typically you're going up against you're better pass rushers. It's all about the offensive line has that chemistry. They've been together a long time. I think their chemistry and communication is great. They've seen a lot of things and been in a lot of situations together. Each guy relies on the guy next to him a lot and say I'm going to do my job, I trust him to do my job, I'm going to help him out, he can help me out."

Can you talk about the continuity on your line?

"We've only lost Jeff Faine and Goody's been here the whole time and started a few games even that second year when Faine was here. There's a lot of carryover with those guys. We have one of the best offensive lines in the league. It's not just the things they do on the field. It's the fact that they're organizing film sessions together without the coach during game week, the Thursday night O-line dinners with them that I attend and I yuck it up with the boys. I think that builds the camaraderie and relationship. It goes beyond what you do on the field, but when you're on that field together you care about that guy and when you genuinely care about that person, you don't want to let him down and he's having a tough time you're going to help him out, when you're having a tough time, he's going to help you out. We all stick together."