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Sean Payton talks about New Orleans Saints first practice



New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability
Friday, July 25, 2014

 
Opening Statement: “Just one roster note, today Jairus Byrd we put on PUP.  We will work day-to-day with him and the good news is it is going to be sooner rather than later.  I don’t want to put a time on it, but his progress is ahead of schedule.  Until we take him off PUP, he can’t participate obviously, in any of the team drills or practice drills.  We are still just getting it to where we feel he is 100 percent and then clearly before we leave here he will be back on the roster.  It is just a matter of us making sure we feel that he is ready to go at 100 percent and there is no risk of any injury.”
 
Any update on Kenny Stills?
 
“He had a tight quad two weeks ago when he was training out in San Diego.  It is the same right quad.  I don’t think it is real serious.  I will get some more information here with Scottie (Patton).  I know it is his right quad.”
 
Can you talk about being able to recover quicker here in West Virginia?

 
“It was one of the items we pointed to, just the overall temperatures.  It is a little bit like Oxnard, Calif. but the taxes are a little different, so it’s a little more favorable than that.  But the overall temperatures, the average temperatures this time of the year are significantly less or different than what we are accustomed to.  It is going to be important that we transition into that heat.  I think we will do a good job of monitoring that.  But obviously the weather at this mornings practice was fantastic.”
 
How are the fields?

 
“The fields held up well. Whenever you are on a new grass field like this, and this is a different type of grass than we are used to at home which is more of a Bermuda surface.  This is more of the grass that a lot of us grew up on.  I thought it held up real well.”
 
Was it a productive first day?
 
“I thought it was sharp (out there). You really look at each day. Yesterday, I felt real good after the conditioning test.  We will be out here again this afternoon.  I thought overall that guys moved around real well.  Without pads on there’s a little bit of skill on how to practice with each other without taking guys to the ground.  I thought we did a good job of handling that too.”
 
What did you see from Brandin Cooks and Joseph Morgan today practicing punt returns?
 
“There is a handful, not just those two, we have a handful of guys that are all competing to show the ability to do that skill consistently and not just two out of three times.  It is a position battle that a lot of guys will have opportunities at.  Brandin certainly and Joseph, Tavaris (Cadet), Andy Tanner, there will be a bunch of guys that we look at and they will have snaps throughout the preseason until we get comfortable and make a decision.  That was today’s emphasis and then we will get the kick returners after the next practice.
 
Can you talk about Joseph Morgan’s return after the injury he had?
 
“The 2013 season he was injured, but the progress from when we finished in the spring until today has been significant.  When we broke after the minicamp and we kind of went through the injury report, we talked about Byrd, (John) Jenkins, and (Joe) Morgan, there are a handful of guys that you are anxious to see their progress in the next five weeks prior to the start of (training) camp. Fortunately, all of those guys have done well (in their rehab).  There haven’t been any setbacks.  Joe I would say, particularly, really has recovered well.  Look, the knee injury he had was significant.  It was much more than just an ACL, so to see him out here and to see him at the conditioning test and do all of those things, it takes a full year with the injury he had and some.  It was good to see and he was running well today.”
 
Can you talk about the aggressiveness you saw from Brandin Cooks today?
 
“It was an interesting play because there are some different things you see on film and it is harder for a player with his stature, farther down the field you go.  Often times it is harder to make plays above your head, but it was a good play in traffic.  It was good to see.”
 
Can you talk about PGA player Bubba Watson’s performance today?
 
“Let me tell you what, he thought it was a little underthrown.  I like him on the tee box. It was a little bootleg, but we forgot to tell (Robert) Meachem not to run and he came back and said you could have at least told me I didn’t have to run a full deep post.”
 
Do you allow yourself to take part in any of the amenities at the hotel?

 
“On a limited basis, there is so much to do here and yet there’s not, (because) for the players, there is not that time.  When they get a day off there is a lot that they can do, but it is kind of honing in a little bit and saying hey, there is a main reason we are here. With any spare time we are hoping they are studying or resting, so when we get into this schedule, one of the reasons it is set forth this way or laid out this way is so there is a gap between these practices that allow them to get off their feet.  I think they are smart enough to understand what they need to do to prepare and get their bodies recovered.  Although there are a ton of things to do (at The Greenbrier), our main emphasis here obviously is football, rest, recovery, and more football.  That is one of the things we talked about last night.”
 
How do you evaluate who won between offense and defense with no pads on?
 
“Well, sometimes it is like a political race where both sides claim a victory.  I think until you get into live team drills, scrimmages, you are hoping guys are in position.  I thought on the one bootleg play, I thought the defender (Tyrunn) Walker was in position, but Luke (McCown) would tell you that no way he would make that tackle.  That is one of those examples, but staying up without the pads really understanding your alignment, you assignment and then reacting quick, those are the things we are looking for in a practice like today.”
 
What have you seen from Brandon Coleman?

 
“He is one of the young receivers that we picked up in the offseason after the draft.  We have two big rookies that both have made some plays in minicamp.  That was a big play and good to see.  It was a real good throw too by Ryan (Griffin).  It is just always interesting to see these younger players, how they transition from the spring or they have gotten a taste for what we are doing and all of a sudden now they get to install it or hear the install again.  Hopefully they continue to progress.”
 
Are you pushing these guys a little harder considering the weather and the recovery?
 
“I don’t know if it is any harder.  I would say this, when you are in the extreme heat, your mindful of where they are at and you can feel practice sometimes.  I think it is the latter really, you really pay attention to when you feel like there is no sense of trying to run afterwards, but I felt like their legs were in great shape.  I felt like, obviously, you don’t have to take as many water breaks.  They (water breaks) don’t have to be as long.  That is one of the benefits.  It is really trying to use common sense as to how you feel they are responding.  That being said, the spring different than the fall, now we are getting ready for football shape which is carrying your pads, carrying all that equipment and getting used to it and playing with it.  There is always a little bit more conditioning that you do in training camp that you might do in your timeframe in the spring. You’re limited in how long you are on the field in the spring.”

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