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Canal Street Chronicles: Fleur-de-Links 8.25.09


wwltvsports practice ending. Focus on special teams, 2-min drill and 4-min drill today. Light practice overall.

wwltvsports Who sat out: R Bush, C Vaughn, J Harrington, D Woods, D Dinkins, J Brown, C Grant, D Sharper

JeremyShockey long day!!!! just got home

Pierre_Thomas Long day at the office. We're on that daily grind. To all the kids out there: the NFL is no cake walk - ya gotta work hard everyday! Who Dat

saints83 Glad to be out of camp, still had a long day but I finally got back on the field with my boys, I never thought I'd miss prac so much   


 Coaches and teammates satisfied with New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Shanle" - Times-Pic

"I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I don't know," Shanle said, smiling, after being asked why people love trying to give away his job. "I'm not one that's going to go out there and talk about myself and throw my stats out there and say, 'This is what I've done since I've been here.' I've never really gotten caught up in that.

"As long as my coaches and teammates think I'm doing a good job, I'll have a job. So I really don't get caught up in that. But maybe we need to pose that as a question, have people respond."

-Scott Shanle

"I'm very comfortable playing with him," middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "I had a good feel for him last year, and we got better as the season went on, playing off each other. He's the most underrated player on our defense, one of the most underrated guys in the NFL on defense. I like the way he plays; I like the way he comes downhill.

"It's definitely one of those things where, if people were able to watch film the way we watch film and see the quiet things he does (they'd appreciate him). He's not a loud guy, not vocal -- but he's a real good linebacker.

"He takes on blocks, he covers his guys. There are plenty of times that he's covered Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates, and we left him one-on-one. (Shanle does) things like that, where it may not show up on stats but you look and say, 'Wow, he's one-on-one with one of the best tight ends in the NFL right now and doing a good job.' You can't really account for that with the media, but for us, as players, we look at that, and we appreciate it."

-Jonathan Vilma

"It's one thing if you feel like you're not holding up your end of the deal, you're not making a play, you're letting the team down," Shanle said. "But I feel like I've done some good things and made plays. I think when you start worrying about other things -- people don't like me, don't think I should be a starter -- you really can't concern yourself with that a whole lot. Just keep trying to do your thing."

-Scott Shanle

"I think it's going good," he said. "I'm getting a new understanding of a new defense. I think I carried over a little momentum from last year, just understanding the game."

-Scott Shanle

"I'm pretty comfortable," Shanle said. "Just going back to last year and building some confidence and understanding what offenses are trying to do, I think my understanding of the game is as good as it's been. That goes a long way. Even though I'm playing a new position, I still understand what they're trying to do."

-Scott Shanle


Fresh from arena2, Harper hopes to stick around -

"I've never really been a showboat-type of guy," Harper said of his high-stepping finish to his TD return against Houston on Saturday night, which drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. "It's just something that kind of happened."

-Rod Harper

"I definitely think it opened the coaches eyes a little bit to maybe making plays with the ball in my hand," Harper said. "So I think that definitely helped me out a little bit, but I think I have to make more plays on kick coverage and things like that."

-Rod Harper

"So he drags me down the sideline," Harper continued. "We go all the way down to the 15 and at that point I didn't even know we had a penalty. Then he's like, 'That penalty's on you and this is where we're going to have to kick the ball off.'"

-Rod Harper, on Heath Evans

"When I stepped in at Green Bay, I was unprepared," Harper said. "Coming to arena2 before coming here, I was in shape. I was used to a game that was real fast ... so I feel like it prepared me well, and being on a small field and being able to make catches in traffic, when I came back to the big field, it really helped me."

-Rod Harper

"It's definitely a long ways from arena2 — different pay and also the talent — but it's really a dream," Harper said. "I'm having a blast."

-Rod Harper


Camp Day 26: Specialty, 2-minute offense on display - WWL

Saints Preseason - What have we learned? - WWL

Kristian: Saints shift to "regular season" mode - WWL

Saints Head to Superdome for Workout - New Orleans Saints official website

"It’s where we’re going to play all of our home games this season and it’s where we should be the most comfortable," Greer said. "It just gives us a chance to get used to the lighting and beyond that, it breaks up the routine a bit, and every little bit helps at this point in training camp."

-Jabari Greer

"For the receivers and defensive backs, the football is usually framed by the crowd, but on kickoffs and punts, it can get into the lights and against the darker ceiling, which can present it’s own unique problems. But if we get the extra work in here, certainly I think it’ll would work to our advantage down the line."

-Jabari Greer


Video: Kincaid: Saints get sense of normalcy in Dome - WWLTV

 New Orleans Saints plan pep rally before season opener - TImes-Pic

"This year we are kicking off the season in a big musical way and integrating Saints excitement with the YLC for a concert at Lafayette Square," Saints owner/executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc said. "Bringing the team, mascots and Saintsations to our fans will make this the place to be on Friday before the home opener. It's Saints football fanfare and music free to our fans but all for a good cause as the food and beverage concessions benefit the YLC community programs."

-Rita Benson LeBlanc




Sean Payton news conference 8-24-09
Saint Practice in Superdome




WWL's Sports Talk



Sean Payton Press Conference Transcript

From the New Orleans Saints official website

Opening Statement:

"Just to go through the injury list: Jeff Charleston practiced, he has a thumb that he's working with; Scott Shanle practiced - he's better today; Pierre Thomas we sat - he has a medial collateral sprain. It's nothing significant but nonetheless we sat him. Scott Fujita was fine; Joey Harrington we held out today because of the concussion from the game. Billy Miller got work today. Pierson Prioleau got work today. Paul Spicer got work today. Zach Strief got work today. Of course, Stanley Arnoux is out. Jammal Brown was out. We held Reggie Bush with the calf strain. Anthony Davis has an elbow sprain; we held him - that was from the game. Darnell Dinkins is still working on the ankle and we held him. Charles Grant with the hamstring, we held him. Darren Sharper with the Achilles, we held him. Chip Vaughn of course and D'Juan Woods were held out."

Could we see Charles Grant back this week?

"This is a week where I'd say it's questionable now. He may or may not be ready for Saturday's game. If it's not, I envision him being able to play next Thursday night."

Reggie was pretty adamant that he's going to play in Oakland. Do you agree?

"I think we'll see him playing in this weekend's game."

Is this week Pierre Thomas' turn to get a featured amount of carries?

"We'll see. I don't know that it would necessarily be his game. Last week it was more of the nickel snaps that he got, but I'd like to see him get more base. The plan going in was to try to feature Mike (Bell) and give Pierre the nickel snaps. We'll see by Saturday."

As a veteran, does Pierre need time to show what he can do?

"They need the work. I'd like to see him get a few more carries and some more touches in the base offense."

Why did you move practice to the Dome today and what are the benefits of practicing here?

"The footing. Each year they put a new surface down and in the first preseason game we were still working through the cushion of the surface. They made some changes to try to firm it up and I wanted to get in here one more time before the company that put the surface down left town. That was really the main reason."

What did they do to the playing field?

"It was a mixture of the rubber and sand. It was a little soft the first time out; we were catching our feet a little bit. It was better today."

What is the story on Chip Vaughn?

"We're in our third week post-surgery. It was a scope. We're waiting to see how he recovers."

How much work do you think Reggie Bush needs?

"Like with Pierre, we gauge it by how we feel he's doing in practice. I think he has had a good training camp. I want to give him some playing time in this game and then I think he'll be close to being ready. I'd like to see him get out there in this game and get at least 20 snaps."

Do you expect Pierre to be back practicing tomorrow?

"We'll see."

Will Robert Meachem be involved in the kickoff return game again?

"You'll see Meachem; you'll see Courtney Roby as kick return candidates. Pierre Thomas has handled that as well. I think you'll see some of Robert in this game."

Could you explain the free kick situation from the 40-yard line you were working on today?

"At the end of a half or game, if an opponent is punting out of their own end zone with six or seven seconds left in the half or game and you have the opportunity to catch the ball in the air, you can actually fair catch it, place it down right there and attempt a field goal. That's the exercise we were doing."

Is there a story on how you found Rod Harper?

"It was really a case of Ryan Pace having a chance and seeing the numbers he was putting up in the Arena Football 2 League. He was off to a real good start, we saw some film and brought him in for a workout. He handled the workout pretty well and he has just competed now and worked hard. He has done a good job."

Where does he fit in the big picture as a returner or wide receiver?

"I think he's probably a little bit further along as a receiver than a returner. Some guys you might put in the other direction, but in his case he came in primarily as a receiver and we have given him work as a returner and he's good there as you saw the other night when he returned that punt."

Are his chances of making the team hinging more upon how he does as a returner though?

"I think it's both."

Are you saying that the fifth receiver will also need to be a returner as well?

"No, I didn't say that. You said it. Obviously versatility in special teams is important."

Could you address the change in the training camp schedule?

"I think we had gotten to a point with our two-a-days and we felt that we knew we were going to break camp when we broke for Houston and what I wanted to do was to get them into their in-season routine. That's mainly the case - to get them into the routine that we use during the season. That's what we're utilizing now."

How much does that have to do with you possibly thinking that the team is further along than you expected?

"We have a lot of stuff that we still have to work on. Fortunately we have two more preseason games and three more weeks here. We have to get a lot of things corrected, but I think mainly now it would be the equivalent of us returning to Metairie after we had been in Jackson. The training camp timeline ended after we finished practicing against the Texans in regards to the two-a-days. Getting into this routine is important."

Do you think you might come back to the Superdome for another practice?

"I don't think so. This is only the second time we've ever practiced here. We did it that first year to get used to the footing and the lighting. Today was just getting used to the surface. I don't envision us coming back here to practice."

How has Adrian Arrington looked since getting on the field?

"He played well the other night. It's good to see him healthy. For him, it's just getting through the hamstring and now he's close to 100 percent. I was pleased with that."

It seemed like you got a good look at the two punters today. How did they do?

"Both of those guys are competing. We're charting everything they do. Anytime they punt the ball, we're recording hang time and distance and making sure that we get a clean evaluation of both of those players."