Payton post-practice quotes on Graham, Cooks and Brees
Opening Statement: “We’ve changed our schedule for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, where we will practice at 11 a.m. Obviously the Wednesday schedule stays the same where we will practice in Mandeville (High School) at 7. It’s really Monday, Tuesday and Thursday where there’s a schedule change. All of our guys did weights and film in the morning, practiced in the afternoon. We had a little bit of an installation and are getting acclimated to the weather.”
Was it plan, coincidence or a little bit of both where so many players returned today?
“I think part of it’s coincidence. I would say a lot of it is. Probably as early as two or three weeks ago, there were a handful of guys. I think it’s important that you don’t measure the rehab or recovery of an injury in this (or a) coming week. You have to pay attention to how it’s doing and with people like Drew (Brees), it’s making sure he’s healthy and not just hurrying back. There are a handful of players like that, Kenny (Stills) (and Drew). I’m just naming a few.”
Have you handed the play-calling duties to Pete Carmichael?
“The first two games, yes. He’s got experience. We go back to 2011, where he had most of the season and he did outstanding with that. He’s definitely someone that can handle that. How we handle the season and we go back and forth. We’ll give some thought to it. Generally, there is input from myself if he’s calling them or maybe Bret (Ingalls) in the run game. We’ll see how that goes. We have someone who in his ninth year is very good at it.”
Can you talk about Jimmy Graham dunking over the goalpost Friday and if you guys talked about it afterwards?
“He and I met. I’m his biggest fan. I’m sure as we get going here that type of thing won’t be a problem. Rules change constantly whether you like it or not or whether or not we voted for him. He’s outstanding. He’ll be ready to go. What took place in the meeting will stay between he and I.”
What are your impressions of Brandin Cooks?
“I think he’s picked up fairly quick. That’s encouraging. You don’t know until you are in the installations. He missed a few of those OTAs that some of the other guys were here for. He’s handled it well each day at practice. He’s doing well for a young player.”
How do you think the team handled coming back to this climate?
“It’s a climate change. Today we had cloud cover, so our practice after a game usually is not as long. We’ll be smart. Something I said, the water breaks will be a little bit longer than they were for the first three weeks. It’s going to be important that we stay hydrated with our legs, getting in the cold tubs, all those things”
Were you watching the penalties a little closer in practice today?
“It was a point of emphasis that started with this morning’s meeting. How could it not be? Listen, I know they’re up throughout the league in the preseason, but I know we’re at the top of a preseason schedule. Those are things we have to go through.”
Have you talked to the players about making adjustments to avoid these penalties?
“Typically, yes, I think it’s going to be different. Typically preseason is a real point of emphasis to get on the same page. Going back through the film and I felt this way after the game, I didn’t think we were sitting on a ton of what if calls. There might have been two. But when you get in the 20’s, you stop worrying about two.”
Is there a dialogue with the league office?
“No the dialogue would be the yearly meetings you have with the officials. They’re doing a good job with the challenges for the officials too. At a high speed, these guys are making yearly changes and getting acclimated. There are training camp visits where every team has a group of officials come in and go over the rules. They are usually there for the better part of three days like we had, in meetings, talking to the players and making them understand this is how they’re seeing it this year. It’s imperative for everyone to adjust.”
Has the versatility of Marcel Jones and his opportunity to play helped him?
“He’s really made some considerable strides at guard. I don’t know that it’s on our radar to put him at tackle now. But he’s received some valuable reps with the first unit. There’s some good things on tape and things he’s working to improve on. We still fortunately have two more games and quite a bit of time. He’s someone that I would say has steadily worked on his deficiencies and gotten better and better. He’s worked on his power and he’s smart.”
What was the thought process behind the night practice in Mandeville?
“Mickey (Loomis) and I talked about it in the spring, just changing things up in regards to our fan base and going back here for three days and then going up there for one practice. Prior to me being here, it’s something they’ve done before in regards to scrimmages. It won’t be a scrimmage. It will be a practice. We’ll work through the logistics and I’m sure it will be a good setup”
The cooler weather at seven doesn’t hurt?
“Yes, by nighttime, it will be a little cooler.”
If the injury to Drew Brees had occurred to Drew Brees in the regular season would he have been able to play the next game?
“I would say the decision would have been based on if it’s going to linger for the next five, six, seven, eight weeks or is it something that with the proper rehab was going to get better. My guest is we probably would have been smart and rested. You torque your body to throw. I think it would have become more problematic, yet, that’s just based on how it sounded. I know it was pretty significant, pretty sharp.”