INJURY REPORT: On failed physical list-- Chris Ivory, Tracy Porter, Greg Romeus. Guys tht did not practice on Wednesday: Ezra Butler (hamstring), MarquesColston (knee) ,Jarred Fayson (ankle), Adrian Arrington (ankle), Ramon Humber (quad) Jon Stinchcomb (knee), Roger Allen (knee) Alex Barron (knee).
The Saints are preparing for Friday night's opening preseason game against the 49ers in the Superdome.
Here are comments made by Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton on Tuesday to get their thoughts on training camp so far and the game with the 49ers as well as the team practicing at Oxnard, Cal., from Monday, Aug. 22 through Friday, Aug. 28.
Because of the offseason, is the first preseason game more like a scrimmage?
Drew Brees: It puts a premium on the reps we get during practice. We're making sure 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're on track for where we want to be, but we still have a long way to go.
With the excitement around the end of the NFL lockout, what do you think about the atmosphere going into the first game?
DB: 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 we've had at practice haven been phenomenal. Everybody is talking about the first game in the dome and just football being here. Everybody is excited, as we are.
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?
DB: 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 is such competition, such a challenge. He had that experience coming in, but. still there is an adjustment. It's a long season. It is 16 games plus, hopefully, and a lot of playoff games.
As then 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 though hat length of a season. It's a marathon. He is one of those very smart, attentive guys who pay 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. 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. I have very pleased with his progress.
It seems like there is some musical chairs going on with the linebackers besides Jonathan Vilma. Tell us what you liked that you've seen so far.
Sean Payton: Well, we have more depth. We have experience and we have some young guys. When I talk about experience, you're looking at Will Herring, Danny Clark. I consider Jonathan Casillas and Scott Shanle to be experienced players. Clint Ingram is healthy and a much different player than he was a year ago. Plus, we have the younger guys that are competing in there. So it gives us some versatility. It will be an important evaluation for us as we get into these games.
Are you concerned about your numbers at wide receiver with a game on Friday night?
SP: No. we have a chance to get a couple of those guys back. 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 we will have back sooner that later. They're not one to two week injuries. We'll be okay.
Will Friday be in any way different than a first preseason game without the lockout?
SP: There will be fewer snaps for the young players than they normally would've had in leading up to this game. As far as how will we play our guys, it won't be much different. We typically look at snaps, not quarters. Numbers can be pretty deceiving. We try to get somewhere bet-wen 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.
Has that Oxnard been in the works for a while?
SP: Probably a couple of weeks, we just started talking about it 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 normally would have. With the trip to Oakland, we looked into a few different locations, and Oxnard was one that we spent time with, When we were able to put the pieces together, we ran with it.
by Ed Staton