The Saints were back in action today, and you can tell by the tweet count. The Saints were back outside which meant the media was able to tweet what was happening live instead of waiting hours later. So everyone can enjoy from their instant analysis.
Of course we don't have just tweets. We also have tons of links available and a video or two for now. Though most videos aren't likely to appear until later tonight, at which point we'll update the post to get as much information for you guys as we can. So continue reading to see what happened on day eleven!
UPDATED [8/9/11 9:00 PM CDT] Added new transcripts and videos!
"There are three players that remain on the failed physical list:
Has that (Oxnard) been in the works for a while?
"Probably a couple of weeks, we just started talking about it. What I wanted to do – Mickey (Loomis) and I talked about it for a while – I wanted to lengthen training camp. Logistically there were some issues here with our hotel in adding a week to training camp, more than we normally would have. With the trip to Oakland, we looked into a few different locations, but Oxnard was one that we spent some time with. When we were able to put the pieces together, we ran with it."
It seems like there is some "musical chairs" going on with the linebackers (besides
"Well, we have more depth; we have experience and we have some young guys. When I talk about experience, you’re looking at
Are you concerned about your numbers at wide receiver with a game Friday night?
"No, I think we have a chance to get a couple of these guys back. I think we’re alright at that position from a depth standpoint, so I think we will be able to handle it. The two ankles (Arrington and Fayson) are ones that I think we will have back sooner than later. They’re not one to two week long injuries I don’t think, so I think we’ll be okay."
Without the benefit of a scrimmage, are you eager to see some of your young guys play in a game?
"All these guys. We did a little live work at the end of practice there, but all of us will be anxious to see how they respond in a game setting. We have a few days to get them prepared for that and I think it’s an important step in the evaluation process but we’ll be excited and I think they will be too."
Was the idea of extending training camp by a week something you decided before camp started or is that something you kind of figured out once camp started?
"As camp began, we kept looking at the calendar trying to find more time where these guys are together. I think we travel well, and we do a good job. We’ve done this before in various places. After we complete this camp, this gives us an additional week – it’s more time together."
Is it more camaraderie than playbook installation?
"It’s all of the above. When you get out to Oxnard, some of you will see it. The weather is perfect from a standpoint of teaching and training. It gave us an additional week, and we’re going to take advantage of it."
Will Friday be in any way different than a first pre-season game without the lockout?
"Certainly there will be fewer snaps for the young players than they normally would’ve had in leading up to this game. That being said, as far as how we play our guys, I don’t think it will be that much different. We typically look at snaps, not quarters. Numbers can be pretty deceiving. We try to get somewhere between the 12-17 snap mark. There will be a couple of exceptions regarding certain players. When you get into your second phase, you look for a similar pitch-count, then you finish the game."
How does it complicate things for the offense that the younger guys have not had as many reps as they normally would? When you look at our offense, it is a lot of guys that have been in the system for a while now. On the offensive line, we have one new starter at this point at center in
Is it different going into the pre-season because of the time lost over this past off-season? I will be honest; we haven’t talked much about the first pre-season game to this point. We are still three days away. I know we are going to take a look at the 49ers here soon. We are still in the phase of installing our own offense and defense and making sure that guys know what they are doing with our system. Then we will worry about how to move the ball against another team.
Because of the offseason, is the first preseason game more like a scrimmage? It puts a premium on the reps that we get during practice. (We are) making sure that guys get quality reps. We don’t have room for many reps. You have to get the most out of every practice, every time we step on the field. We are on track for where we want to be, but we still have a long way to go.
Do you do anything different to prepare? It’s the same prep. We have an idea of how much the one’s will play as it has been for every first preseason game that we have been a part of. I think the big difference is, now, what do you do with the young guys? A lot of them have not had a lot of experience with our team in this offense and this defense and this system. We will manage that. I know Sean (Payton) has a plan.
With the excitement around the end of the NFL lockout, what do you think about the atmosphere going into the first game? I think it’s awesome. The fans will be crazy like they always are. The who-dat nation never ceases to amaze. You can sense it out here. The turnouts that we have had at practice have been phenomenal. Everybody is talking about the first game in the dome and just football being here. Everybody is excited, as are we.
What do you think about going to California for a week? I think it is a good change-up. We will be able to get a lot of work done out there. Obviously, the conditions are a lot different. The ability to maximize reps. It’s like the situation where we went to Millsaps. It’s like when any team goes away for camp. You sequester yourself away from all distractions and you can really just focus on football. We love to have training camp here, in New Orleans, in front of our home fans. That has been great for us for three years. We have gone and scrimmaged with the Bengals, Patriots, and Texans. We just find ways to shake camp up a little bit. It just shakes up the monotony. You have the opportunity to change it up and add a little competition to it as well. I think this will do that.
Is there camaraderie as well? Definitely. Every year, every training camp, you have to establish your identity again as a team. No matter what you did the year before, no matter how many of the same guys you have coming back, you have to re-establish that identity. That’s yet another one of those stepping stones toward doing that.
What are your thoughts on Mark Ingram thus far? Do you think that there is an adjustment to the physical nature for rookies coming in? That’s usually the case. He is used to playing big time football. You play in the SEC or Big Ten, you are used to playing physical football. Every week is such a competition, such a challenge. Obviously, he had that experience coming in, but, still there is an adjustment. It is a long season. It is 16 games plus, hopefully, a lot of playoff games. As you look at it for a young guy, it’s not only about adjusting to the physical nature but then also, how do I take care of my body and make sure that I am able to survive through that length of a season. It’s a marathon. I think he is one of those very smart, attentive guys who pays attention to the other veterans: guys like Pierre (Thomas) and (Darren) Sproles and the things that they do in order to learn and in order to make sure that every time they are on the practice field its 100 miles per hour and then to be able to recover, come out the next day and do the same thing. I think consistency is always a big thing for rookies coming in as you learn the system and learn the nature of the game. He seems to be on track. Obviously, I have been very pleased with his progress.
How competitive does it get down there inside the five or ten yard line? That’s the scoring zone. That’s what it’s all about. You have to score touchdowns on offense, and defensively you have to hold them to a field goal. They’ve got something we want and vice-versa. We take a lot of pride in that period. That is why it is really hard to do that and not do it full-tilt. You do a couple periods and then there is a lot of jawing. Full go, four plays. You score, you win. You don’t, you lose.
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