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Canal Street Chronicles: Fleur-di-Links 8.2.09

Not as much info here as in previous mornings. I think everyone took it easy on their Saturday night and went to check out White Linen night. Remember, weather permitting, I will be out at Saints training camp later today. You will want to follow our Twitter account for live updates while I am there. 



saints83 New defence looks real good. Tomorrow is another day for us to get better. And media I didn't know you cared but thanks for following.    


 News and notes from New Orleans Saints' Saturday practices - Times-Pic


Leading off team drills in the morning workout, defensive end Charles Grant and middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma both greeted running back Reggie Bush deep in the backfield for a sizeable loss. That set the tone for another win by the defense. "Sean Payton asked one thing from me when he hired me: He wanted the guys on the defensive side of the ball to play with a swagger," Williams said. "That's what we're doing."


"I've always been close to my teammates," said Bush, 24. "I've always been a team guy."

-Reggie Bush

"He comes in here and we laugh, and he gets made fun of like everybody else, and he makes fun of other people," defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis said as Bush walked by still laughing and joking inside the locker room. "I don't think he is outside of that circle at all. I don't think he tries to put himself outside of that circle. As long as I have known him he has been an open team player and a good guy."

-Sedrick Ellis

"He's hesitant," Miller said. "When you get a guy like that -- I'm sure he's in a situation where everybody wants something from him -- he's got to be a little careful who he opens up to and who he allows into his small circle."

-Billy Miller 

"It was overwhelming for him," said Mike Ornstein, Bush's former marketing agent. "If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have done that again. I think I put too much on his plate. "We had 28 national commercials. We were on 31 covers of magazines. At the end of the day, we created such a phenomenon that he could do nothing unless he had a 2,000-yard season and had 100 catches. He wasn't going to live up to it.

"He had a hell of a first year, and still people look at it like he had a bad year. But because we built him into this plateau of being such a great player, we may have overdone it.

"He made a ton of money off the field. I don't think it went to his head, though. But listen, when you have 28 national commercials, you're right up there with Michael Jordan."

-Mike Ornstein, Bush's former marketing agent 

"Those expectations were no higher than I expected out of myself," he said. "I don't think they were set too high for me. With the unfortunate couple of injuries, I haven't been able to perform to my best ability. But the good thing is I'm young, so I still have time."

-Reggie Bush   

"I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent," Bush said. "I would say strength-wise 100 percent, health-wise at about 90-95 percent. Which is expected on the first real day back. I'm still staying on top of it like it was the first day being injured."

-Reggie Bush  

"I can run the ball between the tackles," he said. "Anybody can run the ball between the tackles. I don't feel like that is going to make me or break me. I don't feel like running the ball between the tackles is going to win us the Super Bowl or help me win the MVP.

"It's being versatile, being able to run the ball between the tackles, outside the tackles, returning punts, catching the ball out of the backfield and catching the ball down the field. That's what I do. That's who I am."

-Reggie Bush

"The direction the NFL is headed toward you don't see those types of backs anymore," Bush said. "You see guys who are splitting time. You see guys who are able to play running back and multiple positions. The days of the one-running-back system are over. Teams can find guys who can play running back and be split out wide and play the receiver position, and do punt return and kick return. It gives them more versatility. That's where the NFL is headed."

-Reggie Bush   

"I had to recommit myself and to really focus down to staying healthy and having a great offseason and get myself to 100 percent," Bush said.

-Reggie Bush

"He wants this to be his breakout year," Ornstein said. "And he's doing everything he can. He's not a party guy. He doesn't go out. He takes care of his body. He gets a massage twice a week. He goes to a chiropractor once a week. He has a chef that cooks him healthy food.

"It's not like he's going out having a great time. He's really focused on football. And now instead of wanting to be in L.A., he wants to be in New Orleans. He wants to be around his teammates."

-Mike Ornstein

"There are goals that you set, and I want to be in the Pro Bowl," Bush said in June. "But injuries have kept me back from being able to perform to my best ability. When I'm healthy it's kind of apparent what I am able to do. But if you don't stay healthy the whole season, your chance of making the Pro Bowl is slim to none.

"I know that it is in my future. I'll get there; it's just a matter of staying healthy."

-Reggie Bush 

Running backs don't lack for bravado - Times-Pic

"I didn't care (who the Saints brought in)," Thomas said. "I'm not worried about that. If they want to bring in another guy, let them bring him in. I said earlier, I'm going to beat out whoever they bring in. That's my whole goal, my whole mindset. If they want to bring somebody in, I'm going to beat them out."

-Pierre Thomas

"That shows a lot of confidence from upstairs in knowing that they feel like they have what they need here," said Hamilton, who spent all but the season finale on the practice squad. "That makes us work harder to prove that. It's fierce. All the guys are good. All the guys bring a lot to the table. We are only going to make each other better."

-Lynell Hamilton

"Reggie, myself, Lynell, Mike, we feel we have to get it started," Thomas said. "We feel we are good backs that can help lead this team. We just have to play our role. "I believe I've gotten myself prepared. My mind is set for it. I'm learning the offense very well. I'm picking up blitzes and pass protections well, and I think I can handle it.

"Last year it was all about showing them that I can, showing them that I can take that load, take the 15 carries if they wanted to give them out, I could take the pounding. And I could do it for weeks. I tried to show them last year that I could do it. And hopefully coming into this year I can show them that I can be the guy they need."

-Pierre Thomas

"I don't want to put a lid on the container," Bell said "I'm excited. If I can stay under 220 the whole year, I feel like I'm going to be a force to be reckoned with."

-Mike Bell 

Saints attempting to channel their inner intimidator -

The Saints -- considered more fun and finesse than mean and intimidating -- are adding some rough stuff in training camp workouts hoping to change the team's mental approach.

 New Orleans Saints training camp Saturday notebook - Times-Pic

Payton gets encouraging news on holdout  - The Advocate 

Payton gets encouraging news on holdout  - The Advocate 

Cody's Camp Thoughts: Lance Moore showing his stuff  - WWLTV 


Jeremy Shockey Q&A

From the New Orleans Saints official website

Q: Do you like training camp fracases like what happened out there today?

A: That makes practice a lot quicker, anytime there's both sides of the ball competing as this side does, those will break out. This is day two, so I probably expect a lot more confrontations like today and the next couple days.

Q: Have you seen it happen this quickly in a camp?

A: Anytime both sides are really excited to give each other a good look, a push turns into a shove and then they gang up on each other.

Q: How do you coming into this camp mindset wise after struggling with injuries last year?

A: I don't even think about last year to be honest with you. I know what it takes to be prepared. I'm excited to be healthy and to be able to show my skills. So far so good, it's a long camp and even a longer season.

Q: How excited are you to be healthy?

A: It's something that a player can't control and you just have to embrace it and take it as you can and run with it. The toughest part of this game is staying healthy and probably at the position than anything else, I play a pretty hard position, a rough position with a lot of contact. It's good to be healthy and to be able to help this team. I don't want to harp on last this. This is this year. I'm just excited to be here and to give the defense a good look and they do the same in the drills.

Q: What does Drew Brees mean to you as opposed to other quarterbacks you played with?

A: He's got all the physical tools. You can tell he's grateful for what he has. He's in a linebacker's body and he has a linebacker's mentality in how he plays the game. It's great having him. I'd always heard a lot about him and how he prepared. It's amazing. When he's around it just makes you prepare more and play at a higher level.

Q: Can you talk about playing against a Gregg Williams defense?

A: Gregg is one of the coordinators I played against in the NFC East, so I'm used to it. It's exciting. I know the defensive guys are excited. I know if I played defense, I'd want to play for him.

Q: What led you to want to spend more time with Drew Brees and do you see progress in the chemistry between the two of you?

A: Yes, it's good to obviously compete and start chemistry early. It does nothing but help the relationship between us and the whole offense. Getting started here and being in the offseason program definitely helped. You have to be prepared because he'll tell you straight to your face if you're not and your wasting people's time. You don't want to get called out by Drew. He's definitely a guy that will say something.

Q: Do you see a lot of precision in this offense?

A: I see that everybody that's got two hands, Drew's going to find them. He's a good quarterback. I don't think it's around one person. I think it's collective. I think it's the receivers, the backs and anyone really going out in a pattern. Its fun and you saw last year how he throws the ball around. I don't think he keys on one person, tight end, receiver or running back. It's not just one position.

Q: Do you see less and less negative feedback from Drew?

A: Don't take too much on that one. He makes you work a whole lot harder than other people I've been around. He puts a lot on himself and the people around him. He expects a high level. I think a lot of people can build off that.

Q: Do you think teams might underestimate you because of the injuries?

A: I don't think about it like that. I want to help this team out. I could care less about the accolades I get. I want to have a chance to be healthy and help this team. Last year's last year. The year before that is the year before that. I'm just trying to forget about the past and prove to myself and everybody else I can play at a high level. Being injured is the hardest thing mentally. The game is hard enough healthy. Being healthy is an upside for me.

Q: Are you limited at all?

A: I'm not limited at all. It's preseason right now.

Q: Whenever you were at your healthiest last year, what percentage would you put it at?

A: It's hard to put. It's really hard to gauge. Even if you're just 85 percent, it's hard enough a game as it is. Not being healthy is not impossible, but it hurts a lot. I'm blessed being healthy.