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Fleur-de-Links - Oct. 13th: Pierre Thomas Still Not Practicing, Chris Ivory in Legal Trouble

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Work, get better,, get better WIN! That's the only thing on his mind this week. Gonna get it done!
Work, get better,, get better WIN! That's the only thing on his mind this week. Gonna get it done!

The Flying Frenchman was held out of practice again today, but has not yet been ruled out for this Sunday. Coach Payton said the the signing of Julius Jones was meant to add depth to our depleted RB corps and wasn't a show of disappointment with Betts and Ivory. Speaking of Chris Ivory, it was revealed today that he is facing felony B charges in the state of Washington stemming from a 2009 assault incident. The team and the league knew about this when he was signed. If convicted, he could face 3-9 months in jail. No word yet on when a ruling on the case will be handed down. Let's hope he can at least finish the season.


JonVilma51 work, get better,, get better WIN. that's the only thing on my mind this week, gona get it done!

T_Porter22 Early wake up in the morning...1 week of rehab in the books...good good progress to start..

jeffduncantp #Saints signed RB Chris Taylor to the practice squad & waived QB Sean Canfield.

jeffduncantp Also, new #Saints RB Julius Jones will wear jersey No. 21 & S Matt Giordano will wear No. 37.

jeffduncantp #Saints injury report: CB Randall Gay (headaches); RB R.Bush (fibula); RB Pierre Thomas (ankle) & CB Tracy Porter (knee), did not practice.

Official_Saints Payton said adding RB Julius Jones is not a sign they are disappointed in Betts or Ivory. He said the move was to "add RB depth."

jeffduncantp Payton also said SS Roman Harper (hamstring) did not practice.

Official_Saints Coach Payton meets the media.

Official_Saints Payton on TB QB Josh Freeman "He has good arm strength. He is able to make plays with his feet. He is playing at a high level right now."

Official_Saints @drewbrees -"We are not satisfied with how we're playing. We will continue to make improvements & I am confident we will get back on track

Official_Saints @drewbrees meets the media

jeffduncantp #Saints QB Drew Brees said he & wife Brittany have received more than 6,000 suggested "B" names for their baby boy due Oct. 18, via Twitter.

Official_Saints Somewhere in this picture you will find @reggie_bush talking to the media

jeffduncantp #saints RB Reggie Bush said he hopes to return for the Browns game in Week 7, if not vs. the Steelers in Week 8.

nolaceasefire Vid featuring @MalcolmJenkins and Amanda Shaw explaining our naming contest up now!

Official_Saints WR Marques Colston talks with the media

Official_Saints New Saints RB Julius Jones, who will wear No. 21, meets the media



New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton vows more red zone attention |
The suspect areas are not exactly secret, according to Payton, and remain those he identified on Monday following the Saints 30-20 loss at Arizona: turnovers, penalties, and red zone production. That means ball security and red zone offense are areas getting heightened scrutiny at practice this week. It could also mean a particularly spirited practice Friday, which is when the Saints traditionally focus on the red zone with the first team offense going against the first team defense in full-speed, full-contact drills.

New Orleans Saints' injury report: Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush remain sidelined |
Cornerback Randall Gay misses practice with headaches; Roman Harper, Tracy Porter also sidelined

Gay misses practice with headaches, Thomas still out | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | | Eye on Black and Gold
Saints defensive back Randall Gay sat out Wednesday’s practice after suffering through headaches that Head Coach Sean Payton said likely stem from a concussion he suffered on Sept. 26 in the Atlanta game.



New Orleans Saints tailback Chris Ivory facing felony assault charge from 2009 in Washington |
Saints Coach Sean Payton said team was aware of incident before signing Ivory in April

Chris Ivory faces charges in Washington | | WWL Sports
New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory faces an upcoming court appearance in the state of Washington.



Once the best, Saints' offense may need reinforcements
As the offense formally known as the best in the NFL struggles, it is time to jog down memory lane.

Dropped again by Saints, Carney understands nature of the NFL business
"It just wasn’t a good hit,’’ Carney said Wednesday morning when reached by NewOrleans.Com. "I’d love to have a mulligan but you don’t get mulligans in the NFL. "So you just move on. You just move on. It’s that simple.’’

New Orleans Saints cut kicker John Carney |
They also waived DeShawn Wynn and signed Julius Jones

Kicker John Carney said he understands New Orleans Saints' decision to release him |
"Just understanding the business and the situation we're in right now, with the Saints roster being tight with injuries," Carney said. "They're trying to get the right players on the field to get back on the right track. I understand the move.

New Orleans Saints released John Carney and waived DeShawn Wynn |
The New Orleans Saints have released kicker John Carney and waived running back DeShawn Wynn and signed free agent safety Matt Giordano and running back Julius Jones Giordano is a sixth-year NFL veteran who initially entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2005, playing for the Colts for four seasons. The 5-11, 207-pound safety... news: Ex-Seahawk Jones signs with Saints, who need RB help
Former Seattle Seahawks running back Julius Jones has signed with the New Orleans Saints, a source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.

New Orleans Saints sign RB Julius Jones - ESPN
The New Orleans Saints have signed free agent running back Julius Jones, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.



Saints lacking swagger, red-zone efficiency - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Coach Sean Payton says there's no need to panic, but his team has several issues that need to be resolved. - National Football League news

Football gods helping LSU, but not Saints
NEW ORLEANS – Luck is a common element in football, and it can be a good thing or a bad thing. Just look at LSU and the New Orleans Saints.

Kurt Warner: Arizona's Max Hall 'reminded me a lot of myself' -
Kurt Warner saw glints of his young, underdog self in undrafted Arizona quarterback Max Hall when the former Cardinals signal-caller sat down with the 25-year-old rookie before Warner's called the game on TV for Fox Sports.

Video Review: Defense can't cover for Brees, offensive shortcomings | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | | Eye on Black and Gold
Well, I truly thought after the Carolina game that the Saints’ offense would get on track, especially against one of the statistically worst defensive teams in the NFL.



Eagles trade running back Mike Bell to Browns for Jerome Harrison
The Cleveland Browns have traded disgruntled running back Jerome Harrison to the Philadelphia Eagles for running back Mike Bell.

Should trick-or-treating be moved to avoid conflict with the Saints game? |
Weigh in on the Halloween Who Dat Dilemma.

Always adjusting: Jenkins learns new position - The Lantern - Sports
Former Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins spent all of his 2009 season adjusting to the pros. Now he's spending the 2010 season adjusting to a new position. With Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter already established as the starting cornerbacks for the defend- ing Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints, the team's selection of cornerback Patrick Robinson in the first round of the 2010 draft all but solidified Jenkins' move to safety.

NFL Power Rankings: Saints aren't looking so hot now - NFL - Football
Man, you don't look so good. The lingering party after Super Bowl XLIV wouldn't affect this season, the champs insisted. But the Saints sure look hung over, and on both sides of the ball, Pete Prisco says in Power Rankings.

Where the Saints rank in the NFL - Week 5: Brees' ratings dropping | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | | Eye on Black and Gold
Total offense (346.8 yards) – 10th Rush offense (75.6 yards) – 31st Pass offense (271.2 yards) – 5th Total defense (306.4 yards) – 9th Rush defense (118.8 yards) – 22nd Pass defense (187.6 yards) – 6th



New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Post-Practice Press Conference

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Opening Statement:

“The roster moves first: we signed Matt Giordano, safety, number 37, and we signed running back Julius Jones, number 21 and released DeShawn Wynn and John Carney. For practice squad transactions, we added running back Chris Taylor and released Harry Coleman and then added Reggie Jones and released quarterback Sean Canfield. Those are the active and practice squad transactions. Real quick with the injuries, these are all full: Stanley Arnoux (ankle) full; Drew Brees (knee) full; Jimmy Graham (ankle) full; Chris Ivory (knee) full; Jon Stinchcomb (shoulder) full; Zach Strief (knee) full; Leigh Torrence (toe) was full; Anthony Waters (hamstring) was full today; Jimmy Wilkerson (knee) was full; Usama Young (quad) was full; Marques Colston (rib) was full and Jeff Charleston (neck) was full. Will Smith was the one player that was limited, with his groin. Then the following did not practice: Randall Gay did not practice. He had some headaches this morning as a result, I’m sure, dating back not last weekend but prior from his concussion, and we held him out. Did not practice: Reggie Bush (fibula); Reggie Bush (knee) and Pierre Thomas (ankle). Most of today was first and second down with Tampa Bay.”

Can you discuss the roster moves?

“The idea with Matt Giordano was to help in special teams. He’s someone that we were familiar with and really the last few weeks has been rehabbing what was a groin. He was last in Atlanta’s training camp. That would be the significance of his signing. In regards to Julius Jones, it’s really just an additional back. I’ve seen it perceived as that we’re disappointed with the other two and that wouldn’t be the case. It’s really to have depth right now. We’ll see where Pierre (Thomas) is at this week. The swelling has continued to go down; there’s still some soreness. It really just gives us depth at that position and if in the case that Pierre is unable to go this week, Julius would be the third halfback up and involved in the rotation.”

Does he play special teams?

“No, he does not. Giordano for special teams, Julius Jones for running back depth.”

Chris Ivory has a court date in Washington that could fall during the season. How are you dealing with that?

“That’s something that way back in the draft we were aware of. It’s something that we’re completely on top of. It’s an incident that goes back to when he was at Washington State, if I’m not mistaken. He’s handling that with his attorneys and we’ll continue to follow it and make sure that if there’s anything we can do on our end to support it we will. Right now there’s really nothing new in regards to that other than just keeping track of the progress on it.”

Has the league been in touch with you guys about the situation?

“All parties have been on top of this since prior to the draft.”

Can you talk about releasing Carney and going back to Garrett Hartley?

“In an ideal world, it would have been nice to kick them both this week. The challenge was that the moves I mentioned earlier make it difficult. In the end, it really became a challenge to carry the second kicker. Garrett has done a good job of responding. I thought he kicked exceptionally well today and had a good week last week. It just became too much of a challenge to carry the extra kicker.”

Is that a move that might have been made even if John hadn’t missed the kick last week? Were you ready to go back to Garrett?

“That’s a good question. I think just paying attention to how Garrett is kicking and how he has responded, without getting into the hypothetical, with the two needs here it just became challenging with that extra specialist, especially with the additional injuries.”

Did you mention Roman Harper injury-wise?

“If not, I should have. Roman Harper did not practice with a hamstring. We held him out.”

Having watched more film, what have you done in the past 48 hours to better put your finger on the struggles of the offense?

“I think I was able to put my finger on it Monday. We have to be more efficient in the red area and do a better job with our ball security. Our rushing statistics the last couple of weeks have gotten better and I think that’s important. When we’ve been clicking, we’ve had balance and we just haven’t been throwing the ball. The two specifics would be the tight red and the turnovers.”

Is there a risk to getting too far out of balance with the run and pass?

“Certainly there are games that dictate one way or the other but usually we’ve complemented each other pretty well that way. We do a lot of play-action and that’s effective when you’re running the ball efficiently. That’s something that we’ll continue to work on. The encouraging sign is that in the last two weeks we have run the ball more efficiently per carry and we’ll continue to work on those points of emphasis.”

Do you feel like isn't the feared unit that is has been?

“I think each week we’re going to get our opponent’s best shot and you make what you do of each game. In our league there are a lot of good players and I don’t know if feared is a good word that teams have or people have. Certainly there is respect, and that’s something that’s earned and it’s not carried over year to year; it’s earned each week. What’s most important are the wins and losses. I think that aspect of it is something that is pretty common. Each week you have to go out and earn what you’re going to get. No one’s going to give it to you or concede anything. You can see that each week when you look at the games and each week you could pull a number of examples out. It’s something that we have to earn each week.”

How much did your familiarity with Julius from your time together in Dallas factor in the decision to sign him?

“I was with him when we drafted him. But in this case, I think he was the number one graded player available. He became available when Seattle had made the trade. I’m quite certain that had he not been with us in Dallas that this same thing could have taken place. Now I know the player in regards to what we’re getting and that certainly helps. He did a good job today. He’s very smart; he’ll pick things up very quickly and he’s healthy. I was encouraged with the snaps he got today.”

You’ve been so good as a red zone offense over the years. Did Arizona do something special or did you just have breakdowns?

“I would never want to discredit the good play of another team or of an opponent but we saw the looks that we had seen. There are two thoughts; are you getting more pressure in the red area or are you getting their coverage of choice? We got a lot more coverage. It was nothing of getting a new look. We weren’t efficient enough, whether it was throwing or running the football and we didn’t take advantage of some short fields. On the second drive, we put a good drive together and scored a touchdown off a play-action pass to (Jeremy) Shockey, but it’s those other opportunities that we’re talking about.”

There seems to be a feeling that although the Bucs are 3-1 that they aren’t a legitimate threat. Why are they a good team?

“At the end of the day, they’re 3-1 because they’ve earned that. They’ve played some very tough games and battled back last week against Cincinnati. To answer your question, number one is that their quarterback is playing well. He’s a guy that’s tough to sack; he’s a guy that can scramble – we’ve seen him make plays with his feet. He’s also a guy that’s a threat to scramble to prolong a play and he’s really dangerous that way. He has real good arm strength; he’s playing with a lot of poise and confidence. They’re taking the ball away on defense. They’re second in the NFL with interceptions. They have very good team speed on defense and you can see that. It’s a young team that is playing with a lot of confidence and you can see that on tape. Raheem (Morris) and his staff have done a very good job with a lot of young players getting them ready for this season and it’s evident. They are playing well. It’s not a result of anything other than that. I think it’s something that they’ve earned and they’ve done a good job to start the year the way they have.”

In terms of won-loss, you’re better off than you were at the start of the 2007 season but you’ve had some similar offensive problems to that season. Do you see anything in common?

“I don’t know that there are any similarities to ’07. I can recall the beginning of that season and obviously starting off 0-4 the way we did, but I think it’s a different team. Clearly the personnel is different. The key is today’s practice, tomorrow’s practice. The key is the process. If you asked where do the answers lie, they lie within the workweek. That’s the one thing that I like about this team that we have now; the leadership, the focus and the poise and understanding that obviously it’s a long season. When we put up the pertinent statistics and areas that we need to improve and point to how we’re going to play this game, they understand completely all of those things. It’s something that all of us look closely at and say that collectively these are the challenges that everyone discussed at the beginning of the year. No one said it was going to be easy; it’s going to be a tough challenge and I think we’ll be up for it.”

With Gay’s headaches coming back, is there concern that this issue could be prolonged?

“I don’t know that the feeling is that it could be prolonged but certainly we have to pay attention to the symptoms.”

Was there a reason you’ve improved in rushing defense in the last two weeks?

“I think the one encouraging statistic from the last two weeks would be the rushing numbers on both sides of the ball. That was something that we pointed out early in today’s meeting. Defensively those rushing totals are way down and offensively those rushing numbers are up. That’s important for us as we go into the meat of this schedule. If we want to have success, that’s going to be critical for us.”

As a head coach, when do you look at personnel and think of making changes? Is it subjective to each position?

“Clearly not now. Normally the answer would be at the end of each season we would spend a lot of time going through our roster, grading our players, but clearly it wouldn’t be now.”

As far as making moving a starter out of that role, when would that happen?

“I think that gets evaluated every week, with success or without success. The challenge all the time in our business is to constantly look at if we’re doing the right thing with the right people; to evaluate what we’re asking them to do and then if we feel like they can do it. That’s something that is always ongoing.”

With Randall’s headaches, is this an in-house decision or does he get evaluated again?

“This was our decision today. This was not external.”

So he doesn’t have to go out for an evaluation?

“No, he had already been through that. This was really just paying attention to how he felt this morning and deciding to hold him.”

Would you say that injuries account for the lower ranking of the running game this season as compared to last season?

“I don’t want to point to injuries. It’s an area that we feel we can improve on; it’s an area that we feel like we’re going to improve on. We understand the importance of that aspect to what we do offensively.”

What kind of message did you have for the Vandebilt High School team when they visited here?

“It was just this past Friday, they came out to practice – they had a game over on the West Bank – and just thought it was a good idea. Someone had approached me at the fundraiser the week before about having their team possibly come by. More importantly than anything else, it was our players being around them, being there to talk with them. Some of the parents of the students lost were there as well and it was I think part of the healing process for them and really us letting them know that our thoughts are with them. More than anything else, I think it was a chance for them to be around our team. I had a chance to spend maybe 10 minutes talking with them. Anytime you do something like that, it doesn’t just benefit the other group. It always seems to benefit yourself as well and you feel good about doing it, so that was an easy decision for us.”

What is the process of working on being more efficient on offense? Do you go back to square one?

“The aspect of square one would be the fundamentals; ball security, blocking, the little details. It’s in the hard work. So to answer your question, to some degree it is the fundamentals of what we think wins, so extra attention to ball security drills, extra attention to the penalties, extra attention to that tight red zone. Those are the ways that all of us know how to correct something; to make sure that we don’t sugarcoat it or avoid it, we address it head-on and work to improve it.”

Is that introduced in your practice plan, the extra attention to certain things?

“You might change the amount of reps that you give a certain period. That’s something that we’ve done throughout the years that I’ve been here. You might have a team period of eight plays that goes to 12 because you want to have more of an emphasis that week on a certain area. Clearly the red area would be one that we want to make sure this week that we look closely at and work to be more efficient with.”

You said that the answers lie within the workweek. Has what you’ve seen during the week not been there on Sundays?

“No. I just finished telling them that if we keep practicing the way we practiced today and if we keep coming to work the way that we prepare and work at it, the rest of this stuff will take care of itself. So, no.”



Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Raheem Morris and QB Josh Freeman talked to the New Orleans media this morning about Sunday's matchup with New Orleans and their 3-1 start, equaling their win total of 2009 in October. Below is a transcript of the conference calls:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris

When this game came up on the schedule probably a lot of people didn’t expect the Buccaneers to be ahead of the Saints in the standings. Is that something that took you by surprise? 

"No, I don’t think you can even say we’re ahead of the Saints. They’ve played one more game than us. . We’re going to be competing against a very good football team. They’re an offensive juggernaut. They got a great defensive scheme. I think it’s a good matchup game for our division. It’s an exciting game no matter what’s going on. The records never tell the story of the game. It’s never a factor. It’s always a fun, entertaining game."

 Do you think you’ll see a sense of urgency from the Saints coming off of a loss?

"They’re a well-coached team. They always have a sense of urgency. Unfortunately things bounced the wrong way for them last week. They’ll be looking to bounce back and they’ll come out here doing what they’ve able to do. We got to be ready to defend them and stop their defensive attack and also on special teams as well."

 Have you seen teams using cover two defenses against them and defending them so they can’t have the long pass? 

"People do different things. You have to mix it up a little bit. When you’re playing a guy as talented as Drew Brees. They make a lot of checks at the line of scrimmage. They’re able to change their plays. You can’t just go out there and say you’re going to play Tampa two against the Saints because they’ll slice and dice you and get a bunch of yards against you. They have a different game plan every time coming in. You better be prepared every time you go out there and play them."

 What’s your take on the NFC and how wide open it is right now?

"It’s really like that every single year. Every once in a while you have a team that really steps up and is undefeated at this point at 5-0 or 6-0. Really, the league is like this every single year, we just fail to notice it a lot of times. There’s always the guys that come up and make plays and always the guys that are finishing. There’s the unexpected. Teams that were 6-0 last year were the Denver Broncos and some other teams. This year a couple teams moving up are Kansas City and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s parity in our league."

 When a team like the Saints loses some playmakers like Reggie Bush and Darren Sharper, does the line become that close?

"I think you have to say that. 3-2 is not that bad of a record. It’s early in the season. These guys are consistent. When you lose a couple of your playmakers you lose a couple of key guys. Hopefully it works to our advantage. We love playing against Reggie Bush. We love to go against Darren Sharper. They’re very skillful players. They also have backups that go in and get the job done as well. We have to be prepared against everybody. You have to be prepared to play against the best players that are playing every week."

 What’s working really well for you guys this year?

"We’re formulating our team. We’re trying to play better. We want to play hard and consistent. We’re trying to play smart ball. The only way you can play juggernauts like this that you’re going to face is to play that way. That will give us an advantage and that will help us stay in the game at the end."

 Are you proud of what your quarterback has been doing?

"He’s been cool under pressure. He’s got a ways to go. He’s wise beyond his years. He’s been comfortable, he’s been clutch, he’s been a closer, really impressive when he’s been in. In terms of the NFC he got player of the week honors. It’s something he can build on and something he can be like your guy. It’s just going to help him out the rest of his career."

 What do you attribute your high number of interceptions to? Do you have some ball hawks back there?

"I tell our DB’s all the time that when technique and opportunity meet that’s when you have turnovers. Right now, technique and opportunity are meeting at the point of confrontation at the back end and they’re cashing in on a bunch of interceptions. I think we have some plays that we’ve left out there and can have more. They see that. They’re hungry. It’s no different than what you were last year when you won the Super Bowl last year. They made plays when they had opportunities and they counted. Hopefully we can do those things this season and follow in the footsteps of the Saints."


Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman

 Can you talk about what you have done to improve as a team?

"We had a really big offseason. With our offensive coordinator and the addition of Alex Van Pelt. We got a lot of quality work in since then. I understand blitz packages. I understand schematically what we’re trying to do as an offense a lot better, the drop backs. I feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket. I’ve also been more accurate."

 Did you see the potential of this start from your team heading into the start of the regular season?

"For sure. We’re young. We have talented players, a lot of guys that are willing to work hard and lay it on the line. When you have that combination, you feel like you can go out and it’s a matter of executing on Sundays and not making any crucial mistakes that cause us to lose games. Fortunately we’ve been put in some situations where we’ve had an opportunity to win the game at the end and we’ve taken advantage of them."

 Is being ahead of the Saints in the standings prior to this meeting something you wouldn’t have envisioned?

"I have no idea. You start of the year. Everybody starts out at 0-0 and it’s what you do afterwards that makes a mark. Obviously we have known what kind of team the Saints are. After winning the Super Bowl, they’re still a very talented team and we have to work extremely hard to prepare for them."

 What in particular make their defense a challenge for you guys?

It’s a number of things. Interceptions, their ability to disguise coverages and mix up coverages in the secondary, blitz and drop into coverage at the same time. They really do a great job of disguising it. You have to get into a rhythm fast until you get used to it. It’s something we’ve had to spend some time on."

 Did you spend some time working out with Drew Brees in the offseason and did you get to know him a little bit?

"Yes, our offensive coordinator Greg Olson coached Drew in college. He has an ongoing relationship with him. He presented it to Josh Johnson and me the opportunity to go out to San Diego and work out with Drew for a week. It was just a great opportunity to go out, get some work in and learn something from a great quarterback. Being able to go out there was a good experience. You get an opportunity to spend time with Drew Brees, who has been successful in the league for a very long period of time. Me a young, quarterback, you like to spend time (with a veteran). You have Alex Van Pelt our quarterbacks coach who played in the NFL for a while, but we don’t really have a veteran quarterback (on our team) in the league who has done it like Drew has. It was an opportunity to go out and be around his work ethic and be around his personality. It was definitely a good experience.

 Was that win you got in the Superdome last year a confidence builder for your team?

"It was a good win. To be honest, we went in there and offensively didn’t have a very good half from the perspective of scoring in the first half. The Saints got off to a hot start like they usually do. I think we drove down for two minutes and got a field goal and it was 17-3 at the half. In the second half our defense shut them out and we were able to generate some offense. We had the huge play with Michael Spurlock. Yes, for a young team, a win builds confidence, playing one of the best teams in the league that ended up being the best team in the league last year, to come away with the win that was big for a young, up and coming team."

 What is the atmosphere like among the fans? Are you starting to have people excited?

"I don’t know. I definitely think we’re getting some more fan excitement because at this time last year we were 0-4 and it took us 16weeks to get to three wins. It’s definitely a better football team and we’re learning on the fly."



First posted by H-B Nola: