New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Nick Toon Post-Practice Media Availability Tuesday, August 13, 2013
How did it feel to get back out in a game again?
“It felt great to get back out there on the field. It was great to start with a win. There are a lot of areas we can improve on, but it’s a starting point.”
Is it as big a deal for the offense in that two-minute drill as it is for the defense?
“Yes. Everybody wants to win. All football players are competitors and everyone out there wants to win and have success, so it’s competitive on both sides of the ball.”
Malcolm Jenkins made it a point to tell us that the defense has won the last two two-minute drills. It’s a way for them to kind of measure where they are as a defense in a certain situation and the same for the offense, right?
“Yes, (it’s) definitely a crucial part of the game. Two-minute is something that determines the outcome of a lot of games in this league so it’s a crucial aspect of the game both offensively and defensively.”
What do you have to work on even after your success in the first preseason game?
“There’s always stuff you can get better on and clean up. There were a few mental errors, stuff like that, all the little stuff that comes along with playing the game. Some of the things (are things) that Lance (Moore) and Marques (Colston) and those guys have developed over time. They have been playing in this offense for a number of years and there are some little things that come with time. I’m just trying to go out there and get better every day.”
Can you talk about what Benjamin Watson adds to the offense?
“Anytime you can add an athlete like Benjamin to the squad, it’s an asset. Him and Jimmy (Graham) are both phenomenal athletes. He (Watson) has had a lot of success in this league and we’re happy to have him.”
New Orleans Saints Inside Linebacker Jonathan Vilma Post-Practice Media Availability Tuesday, August 13, 2013
We have gotten different responses from the offense and the defense. Who won the two-minute drill?
“Malcolm (Jenkins) picked off the Drew Brees pass and we won.”
Jimmy Graham said the offense should have won and that his touchdown should’ve counted.
“Yeah…he said should’ve. They didn’t.”
How competitive are those drills?
“Very competitive. You’re talking about the number one offense over the past six or seven years. For us, we want to make our way against them. Any time we get competitive periods like that we take them very seriously.”
How did you feel about the success the defense had in practice on third down situations as well at the first preseason game?
“We like the fact that what we’re being coached to do (things for game) and what we’re executing on the field and practice is correlating to the game. Granted, it was only one preseason game and they didn’t have their whole offense in and we didn’t have our whole defense in, but the fact that we can just take the coaching from the meeting rooms, to the practice field, and to the games and have them translate is encouraging.”
New Orleans Saints, Tight End Jimmy Graham Post-Practice Media Availability Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Two weeks into training camp, does the focus change much or is it the same mindset at this point?
“Well, for us, it is definitely the same mindset as it was even the first day. We install short yardage in our empty package, we are still learning and implementing on increasingly plays. It’s just like the first day.”
Can you address the defense and Malcolm Jenkins posting an interception at the end of the two-minute drill today?
“Well, that is very arguable, because I caught a pass and I would not ever gotten tackled. It would have been a 60-yard touchdown and somehow they blow the whistle like Roman (Harper) was going to catch me. So I would say we won that and they got a second chance. Either way I would have scored.”
It seems like right now whether it be tight ends, receivers or secondary it seems very spirited right now. The competition has taken another step. Would you agree?
“With the way Sean (Payton) and (Rob) Ryan are built, we have many, many competitive (team) periods. Today I went one-on-one with the corners and safeties they tried to spur on that, the competitive spirit after practice. Sean talked about how this game is played with a lot of emotion and how you just can’t turn that emotion on and the ways of doing that is here in practice with a live two-minute drill. I would say that Sean and Ryan (are) being very competitive and challenging each other very well.”
How do you think it has been different with Sean Payton coming back?
“It’s been good, it’s been back to normal. He is yelling at me again, making sure that I am perfect on every play. (Being) a guy who is always working on constant skill development is very important. It just makes it easier when he is there able to correct things like that.”
New Orleans Saints Outside Linebacker Will Smith Post-Practice Media Availability Wednesday, August 13, 2013
Jahri Evans being a veteran like yourself, obviously he brings a lot to the offensive line. How much of a leader is he for this team?
“He’s a big leader. He’s a leader on and off the field. He works hard and he’s been playing at a high level ever since he got to this league. He’s an impact player, and the younger guys and offensive lineman look up to him.”
Will, for you how much different was in actually being out there in the game being at outside linebacker as opposed to practice?
“It’s a little bit different. It’s obviously a lot faster. You’re going up against different people. We don’t really game plan for preseason games so you don’t really know what to expect. It’s kind of a weird feeling but I’m glad to get it out and keep working on it.”
Did it feel natural at all?
“Yes I’m a football player so just being out on the field is always going to feel natural to me. Just learning the defense and adjusting to new things I’m seeing is the most difficult part of it.”
The defense seemed pretty high following that Malcolm Jenkins interception at the end of practice. Can you talk about winning that drill.
“We always have a drill at the end of practice where we’re competing against each other and we try to win every single one of them. This particular one was the two-minute and whoever won didn’t have to run and we didn’t want to run today. Everyone was jacked up and Malcolm made a great play.”
We saw Junior Galette and Martez Wilson back out there today. They didn’t do much but how are they coming along?
“I have no clue. You (would) have to speak to Sean (Payton) and Scottie (Patton) about that. I don’t keep up with the day-to-day activities or the training room.”
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