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Fleur-de-Links - Nov. 17th: Reggie Likely Ready

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Reggie Bush seems optimistic about returning to the field this week and facing his former USC coach, Pete Carroll. His return will be a welcomed sight. Pierre Thomas is looking much closer to returning than he did before the bye week as the crutches and walking boot are reportedly gone. He suited up today, but did not take part in team drills. Coach Payton says,

"He’s making progress. With him, I really just want to go day-to-day here this week and just see how he continues to move."

Wouldn't be surprised if he is held out for the Seahawks this week. Why rush him back now when Bush and Ivory look probable to play? Plus, Julius Jones will be extra motivated to perform well against the team that cut him loose not too long ago. JuJo will have revenge on his mind this week. Even though it would greatly help one of my fantasy teams if Thomas played this week, I'd rather see him get more time to fully heal and then suit up in Dallas on Turkey Day.

TWEETS:

reggie_bush Good morning!

HeathEvans RT @espn_firsttake: Who do you think has been Skip's toughest debater?? Give me some love Twitter Nation! respond to @ESPN_FirstTake

HeathEvans "@sportfanatik: @ESPN_FirstTake wht do u mean by toughest debater? @HeathEvans vs @realskipbayless wasn't much (cont) http://tl.gd/715p4l

jeffduncantp True. @carnedv: A week early, but curious now. WikiPedia says Saints've never played a TurkeyDay game. Is that accurate? http://goo.gl/P1s40

Official_Saints The Saints are back in action Sunday! Read our game notes for the Seahawks contest here: http://bit.ly/SEAGameNotes

AntonioPierce Greg Williams DC of #saints back in 04' always said make a MOBILE QB COMMIT early into his decision. Can not let QB by time with his Ft

LanceMoore16 Happy wednesday everybody. To the field I go. Ill holla later.

jeffduncantp Sunday vs. Seattle. RT @kdyess27: when is Ivory likely to return to action?

HeathEvans Vote for Heath Evans - Pro Bowl Ballot - http://ht.ly/3bqpb - I love Hawaii!!! You can vote as many times as you like.

jeffduncantp #Saints injury report: J.Shockey (rib), P.Thomas (ankle), P.Robinson (ankle), D.Sharper (ham), officially did not practice on Wed

Official_Saints Coach also said RB Thomas, DBs Robinson & Sharper, TE Shockey did not practice today.

jeffduncantp RT @miketripletttp: Saints' injury report: Reggie Bush limited, but still likely to play. ... Same w/Chris Ivory, M.Jenkins & J.Stinchcomb

jeffduncantp RT @wwltvsports: Payton on PT: "He’s making progress. With him I really want to go day 2 day here this week & see how he continues to move."

jeffduncantp Payton said Reggie Bush's return as a punt returner this week is "a good possibility."

jeffduncantp 3:15 p.m. RT @jazminheartsu: @Official_Saints @jeffduncantp @miketripletttp what time is the Saints vs Cowboys game on TDay?3

Official_Saints @drewbrees holds his weekly press conference http://yfrog.com/fv82ij

jeffduncantp Brees on a potential contract extension : "It's not on my radar right now."

alexbrown96 Are u kidding me???? Damn well i wont be flying Delta!! RT @bobbymccray: Thanks Delta for the extra $240 charge for my 2 Bags..SMH.

Official_Saints @reggie_bush meets the media. Says he won't know if he will play Sun. till end of week. http://yfrog.com/go33kfj

Official_Saints Texas native Remi Ayodel supports the Rangers in media open locker room http://yfrog.com/j6cphhj

PRACTICE REPORT:

New Orleans Saints injury report: Reggie Bush limited; Pierre Thomas, Jeremy Shockey and Darren Sharper held out of team drills | NOLA.com
Bush is expected to return for Sunday's game against Seattle Seahawks

Saints’ Thomas, Shockey, Sharper listed as DNP; Bush limited | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
"Each week he (Bush) has gotten better and better," Payton said. "There hasn’t been any setbacks. He’s better today than he was two weeks ago."

NFC South RBs coming and going - NFC South Blog - ESPN
The Saints have done a nice job without their offense producing the way it did last year. But having Bush back could really boost this offense as the Saints head for a playoff drive.

SEAHAWKS @ SAINTS:

New Orleans Saints Week 11 Game Release

Source: Reggie Bush of New Orleans Saints plans to return Sunday against Seattle Seahawks - ESPN
Saints running back Reggie Bush, who has missed the past seven games due to a broken fibula, plans to play Sunday against Seattle, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Reggie Bush, Pete Carroll trying to move on from USC controversy | NOLA.com
Pair will reunite in New Orleans Saints' game vs. Seattle Seahawks on Sunday

LAGNIAPPE:

Where the Saints rank in the NFL: Defense remains 3rd after bye week | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Total offense (369.9 yards) – 7th Rush offense (93.7 yards) – 25th Pass offense (276.2 yards) – 5th Total defense (277.0 yards) – 3rd Rush defense (110.7 yards) – 17th Pass defense (166.3 yards) – 1st

Saints still bringing blitz from DBs - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Even though the Saints have endured a bunch of injuries among their defensive backs, it hasn’t stopped coordinator Gregg Williams from being aggressive with his secondary.

Matt Ryan, Drew Brees excel vs. blitz - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Other than age, there’s an easy way to see who the most experienced quarterbacks in the NFC South are.

Panthers place Williams on IR; Clausen sits out
Things just keep getting worse for the woeful Carolina Panthers.

Tom Dempsey to appear at Saints Hall of Fame
Two weeks after the 40th anniversary of his NFL record-setting 63-yard field goal garnered national attention, Saints Hall of Fame kicker Tom Dempsey will appear at the Saints Hall of Fame Museum on Sunday, November 21 from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m., prior to the New Orleans Saints game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Imagination Movers to sing national anthem at Saints game | NOLA.com
The 'Ace of Cakes' recently paid them a visit.

NFL playoff predictions with seven weeks remaining - Jerome Bettis - SI.com
Prediction: Falcons win the division; Saints get a wild-card berth. Put Bettis on the list, Stu.

New Orleans Saints license plate agreement being completed | NOLA.com
Office of Motor Vehicles branches expect delivery around Dec. 1

NFL official injured in Saints game released from hospital | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Al Nastasi Jr., the NFL official who was hospitalized after a hit during the Saints game against the Browns last month, has been released from the hospital, according to his family

TRANSCRIPT:

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Post-Practice Press Conference

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Opening Statement:

"Let’s go through the injury report for today’s practice: tackle Jon Stinchcomb (knee) was limited; running back Reggie Bush (fibula) was limited; Chris Ivory (shoulder) was limited; Malcolm Jenkins (neck) was limited; Darren Sharper (hamstring) did not practice; Pierre Thomas (ankle) did not practice; tight end Jeremy Shockey (rib) did not practice; and cornerback Patrick Robinson (ankle) did not practice. Most of the work was base, with some nickel today with the schedule being a little different having gotten some work in on Monday."

Do you see these "amoeba" or free-floating defensive fronts as a fad or something you think you’ll be seeing more of?

"I don’t think it’s a fad. We’ve seen it in years past. I think it’s something that for the last couple or three years you’ve seen more and more, especially on third down. It’s trying to get off the field defensively, not trying to be stagnant but trying to really confuse the protections to begin with and get a guy free. I wouldn’t say it’s anything new; it’s something that has existed now for a couple of years."

Do you think you’ll see more of it?

"At Carolina we got a few snaps of it. Each week you try to prepare for it. One thing that helps is that when you stay in the third down and manageable situations where it’s not as one-dimensional to where it’s just pass. When you stay underneath third-and-seven, I think it’s harder to play in the third down and two-to-three or four-to-six, and yet each week you work on those different looks."

You and Reggie Bush had both spoken pretty confidently last week about him returning for this game. Does that still seem likely?

"Yes. He was limited today; he moved around pretty well and got some good work. We just keep plugging ahead and increasing the workload."

Was Pierre Thomas able to do some more today?

"Yes. He’s making progress. With him, I really just want to go day-to-day here this week and just see how he continues to move."

What is the status of Shockey’s ribs? Is it a pain tolerance thing?

"He didn’t practice. It’s just getting through that initial soreness."

Is Pierre out of the boot and off crutches?

"Yes. He’s been out now and was out and all that."

How would you see your gameday roster looking if Reggie is able to play? Would he take the spot of another running back?

"We’ll see. There are a lot of move parts to it when you take into account the handful of guys that didn’t practice. We have some flexibility and we’ll wait as the week goes on without trying to on Wednesday predict where it would be. We’ll see how it goes."

Is this the best that Reggie has looked since his injury?

"Yes. Each week he has gotten better and better progressively, so yes. There haven’t been any setbacks, so naturally he’s better today than he was a week ago or two weeks ago."

What have you been able to do in recent weeks to increase your yards per passing attempt?

"It’s just being mindful of our shot plays and continuing to work on those each week in practice. Those can come on early downs; those can come on third down. It’s each week trying to create those opportunities and yet check it down if it’s not there. Drew (Brees) has done a good job at that."

Is there anything you’ve done differently as far as play design?

"We always look to tweak and come up with new thoughts and we’ll continue to do that."

What have you seen from Seattle so far?

"They’re a team with real good speed. They played well last week. First off, in the return game, Leon Washington is a huge threat as a returner, just as (Golden) Tate is on their punt returns. That’s one aspect that jumps out at you. With Matt (Hasselbeck) at quarterback, they’re playing with a lot of confidence. He played well last week. They have speed outside at receiver and they have size as well. Defensively, you get a lot of different looks, especially in the nickel. They’ve been able to rush the passer as well as anyone this season, when you look statistically at their hurries, their sacks, their numbers. They cover well on the back end. So they present a big challenge and there are some looks that are different and are unlike some other defenses that we’ve faced prior to this game. They’re playing with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence."

You’ve drafted guys from USC in Reggie Bush, Charles Brown and Sedrick Ellis. Do you have a relationship with Pete Carroll as a result of that?

"Just professionally from over the years. Outside of that, it would be more of the league events. He’s done a great job when you look first at the success that they had at USC and then the success that they’re having right now in quickly turning their program around."

What kind of challenges face you in playing this game and then turning around with a Thursday afternoon game next week? Do you prepare any differently?

"The key is just making sure that you’re looking at the rep count. The focus obviously this week is just on Seattle and then the Thursday game after becomes a little bit more challenging in regards to how much time you spend practicing and meeting and going through walkthroughs. But it doesn’t really affect this week at all."

Were you able to spend any time on Dallas during the bye week?

"No. Our prep and everything has been just Seattle."

Can you talk about Mike Williams and his re-emergence this season?

"Every once in a while in our league, a player finds another chance and another opportunity and he has taken advantage of it. He’s making a lot plays. He’s a guy that has real strong hands and does a great job of making plays above his head. Certainly you can see the confidence in Matt (Hasselbeck) in their passing game in calling his number, he gets targeted quite a bit and he’s playing with a lot of confidence. That’s a credit to him and to the staff there. They’ve done a good job of bringing him along and you can see that each week on tape."

If Reggie is a full-go this week, would that include punt returns?

"We’ll see. We’ll see where he’s at."

Is it tougher to get back into that than at running back?

"I think it’s a good possibility. I don’t know that it’s tougher. That’s something that we’ll consider and look at as the week goes on and have a plan once the game starts."

AUDIO:

AUDIO: Kristian - Brees Anxious To Have Reggie Back - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports

VIDEO:

Saints Vlog: November 17 - Back to work for Seahawks test