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Q&A with Head Coach Sean Payton-Monday

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Post-Practice Media Availability
Monday, August 19, 2013
Opening Statement: “We released the following players: Steve Breaston, Patrick Crayton, Seneca Wallace. We waived Jarred Fayson, Ricky Henry, Chase Thomas, Dion Turner. Kenyon Coleman was moved to injured reserve. A.J. Davis was waived/injured. Those were just today’s transactions. We’re obviously below our 90 and, just with the way the schedule shapes out, it’s something we wanted to do ahead of time.”
After reviewing the tape, how did Ramon Humber look Friday night?
“I thought he looked great. He played well, he played exceptionally well. I thought it was probably one of his better games that I’ve seen at linebacker.”
With cutting Steve Breaston and Patrick Crayton, what does this mean about Nick Toon and Kenny Stills?
“There’s certain guys you bring in and you want to look at and make sure that they’ve got an idea of what you do offensively. Then, possibly during the season, if something should arise then they are a player that you could potentially sign and they know exactly (what) the system (is). That being said, the younger guys have done some good things. (Marques) Colston is getting close to being back. We’ll just keep developing and working with the guys that we have right now.”
In cutting Seneca Wallace today, is it set in stone that you like Luke McCown as the second quarterback?
“Right now. He’s doing well; Ryan (Griffin) is doing well. We decided to make that move today. The schedule is different than it used to be ten years ago where you were concerned about your number because of the amount of practice time you had. With the way our practice schedule shapes up, this is something that we felt was going to help us get more repetition with some of the other guys competing and we’ll continue to look at doing that.”
What would you like to see this week out of the running game especially against the Houston Texans?
“Just consistency. Getting ahead of the downs. There were some positives about last week’s performance in regards to the running game and yet when you look at the tape there is some yardage left out there that we just have to look to clean up and become more efficient with.”
Do you have to be more judicious with the amount Marques Colston practices during the year and having to monitor him?
“There are certain players, Marques being one of them, that not only this year but in years past we just have to look at the reps they receive during the week and be smart about it. He would be one of three to four guys that we’ve just got to look at either (on) a Wednesday or a Thursday of just not overdoing it and being smart, so yeah.”
Joseph Morgan and Victor Butler are still currently counting against your roster right now. What is your thought process with these two guys?
“We just haven’t had to make a decision yet because of the numbers. We’ll just continue to wait.”
When you look at how Ramon Humber and David Hawthorne played Friday night, does it make you feel good that perhaps that position is settled in, even the backups?
“Both of those guys played well. With the snaps that they’re receiving and the reps that they’re receiving, going into the start of the season we just have to develop and train and be ready to play. Knowing how the season unfolds, all of these guys will end up in roles that are significant. We just don’t know which game (it will be), and hopefully you stay as healthy as possible. But with the roster size that it is and the length of the season, that’s pretty normal.”
In the past you have tended to like veteran receivers. Is there something about Kenny Stills and Nick Toon that make you more comfortable going with them?
“Marques (Colston) in his rookie year really established himself in training camp, not so much in the offseason. This time frame has given us a chance to evaluate both of those two players. They’re different in some regards, (with) their skill sets and we’re going to give them a ton of reps. There are a number of little things they have to work on that you see on tape that would be probably harder to see from just live TV feeds. Both of them are picking things up fairly quickly and getting acclimated to what we’re doing. It’s that natural progression, if you will, that takes place over eight years and it is continuing to develop younger players so that they’re ready when that opportunity comes up. For a guy like Robert Meachem, it took longer, and yet it worked out very well. These two guys are different in that Kenny (Stills) has just gotten here as a rookie and Nick (Toon) has been here and had an injury. The repetitions are valuable for both of them.”
Talk about Garrett Hartley’s camp.
“He’s been solid. I thought the other night he was very good. The first field goal that he hit, it was good to see. He’s been very consistent.”
Do you have any thoughts on how much the starters might play on Sunday?
“Typically (you are) going through the first half and then kind of looking at the snap count at halftime and then making a decision. There are times when we have come out in the third quarter (with starters) because the reps weren’t as many and we’ll kind of approach it the same way.”
Can you estimate a time for Jonathan Vilma’s return?

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