August 17, 2006

Payton Press Conference Thursday Morning

Q: Can you discuss why Adrian McPherson was not present at practice?

A: "He's having his second opinion done in New Orleans today."


Q: Is there a concern that his injury might be more serious than previously thought?

A: "I don't know. I think he wants to have a second opinion. Maybe he gets more information. Maybe we get more information."

Q: Have you ever been around a more bizarre injury?

A: "No, that happened in Philadelphia my first or second year there. The mascot ran over a security guard during a game on the sideline, but again, it's unfortunately."

Q: Is there anything special in going up against Bill Parcells and the former team you coached for in this game?

A: "I think it's more back to being the second game of preseason and there's so many pressing things going on in regards to the evaluation of players. I think those are the things that are most important. Those are critical decisions we have to make. They're going to affect our team throughout the season, so it's an important game for a lot of guys as we get into this second week. We play them in the regular season. I'm sure Bill and his team; they're going through the same type of tough decisions. I think that's where it's at."

Q: Do you think you'll make some cuts after this game?

A: "It would be hypothetical. I'd be guessing. I don't anticipate knowing that. Right now, we're just trying to get guys as healthy as they can be, so they're 100 percent, so that when we're evaluations them, we get a true of evaluation of what the player is."

Q: Can you talk about the play of the special teams units last Saturday?

A: "We kicked it pretty well, so I think coverage units were areas we wanted to focus on."

Q: Will it improve with the practices?

A: "Hopefully, part of that's effort and energy. I thought the effort level and the energy level was pretty good. John's (Bonamego) made a great emphasis on this this week, but it was the coverage unit particularly on kickoff we really want to work on."

Q: Will Deuce McAllister play as much as some of the other starters such as Drew Brees?

A: "I think he'll get at least a quarter and then we'll see how he's doing and how many plays we got in the quarter. Drew may have to play a little longer. We'll see. With (Aaron) Stecker down, we're just going to have to be smart on the rotation how we use these backs with Deuce, Reggie (Bush) and Jamaal (Branch) and Freddie (McAfee) obviously. We'll try to make sure we give them enough touches, him specifically just to get in the flow of things. I think he's ready for that."

Q: Can you talk about what Reggie Bush has brought to a community recovering from disaster?

A: "I think there's a sense of hope and excitement surrounding the team. I think the fans in a city really get excited around draft time. I think Reggie Bush, not only himself but some of the other players that have been on this roster, some that we have acquired in the off-season. I think the city's excited for the season. The team's back. They haven't had football for a year. I know there's a lot of other pressing matters with the town and a lot of more things of pressing urgency. People are trying to get back in their homes, get their businesses up and running. This is one small part of it and I think he represents a small part of it as well."

Q: What do you think of the contributions Reggie made to the community after the draft?

A: "I think it's wonderful. Everyone kind of has a part to play in it. Regardless of the amount, it takes a lot of hands, not just a few. That's one small part. I know the city's grateful."

Q: Does Jamie Martin's performance make you feel good about the quarterback position?

A: "He's missed some snaps with everything that's gone on. I know he's wanting to establish a little bit of a rhythm. In the meantime, Todd's (Bouman) played pretty well. Competition at that position is important. We haven't announced a depth there. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these guys in the next three weeks. The one thing I got to do a good job of is to give whoever it is at the quarterback position enough snaps to get into a rhythm. I think it's hard when you start splitting these games in three or four ways. What Bill (Parcells) did the other night with (Tony) Romo...I'm not going to say we're going to do that, but you get a true measure when you allow a guy to play a whole game, so I'm going to try to emphasize each of these next three one specific guy outside of Drew, for the majority of the reps and see how they do."

Q: What's been the biggest surprise for you in your first camp as a head coach in something you have had to deal with that you might not have anticipated dealing with?

A: "I think logistics of the day are different than they were as an assistant. There's more responsibilities and more things that tug at you. I think maybe you know that's coming, but you got to deal with that and it pulls you away sometimes from the football part of it."

Q: Can you talk about the play of Josh Bullocks and the secondary overall?

A: "I think we're making some strides. This morning work, the two minute drill and some of the seven on seven work we've done on these alternate days have helped. He's got some experience now. I don't consider him a rookie or a young player having played last year. It's good to get him out there, without having him in the spring because of the shoulder injury. These next couple weeks will be important for him as it will be for a lot of players. He's getting a lot of snaps and picking things up."

Q: How does the daily practice match up of Jammal Brown against Will Smith help each guy?

A: "I think it helps. I think when you have good work over there and you have competition, it can only help a player technique-wise. He's (Brown) working at it. He's going against a good player this weekend. Chances are he's going to go against a good player every weekend. That's where teams put their pass rushers most likely, so he's working at it and yet he still has a lot of technique work to do. We have a lot of work in our protections and blitz pickups. Those are some of the areas we need to identify and bullet point for the next couple weeks before we leave camp."

Q: Are you comfortable with him being out there alone against the top pass rushers?

A: "That's a good question right now. I still have to see more before...I think he's gotten better. I think this weekend will be a good test for him in regards to mixing up the protections we use."

Q: Do you think you should go back to the right side with him or is it a non-issue?

A: "It's a non-issue."

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