Saints coach Sean Payton post-practice press conference at Yulman Stadium
NOTE: Monday’s indoor practice scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center, will now be conducted at 3:30 p.m. It is closed to the public.
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
2017 Training Camp Presented By Verizon
Sunday, August 6, 2017
“To update the roster we waived long snapper Chase Dominguez. We terminated long snapper Thomas Gafford. We signed long snapper Justin Drescher and kicker Patrick Murray. We are really at 91 players with the British exemption (for Alex Jenkins).”
Was there something you needed to see to bring back Justin Drescher?
“There will be more competition. We will have some more guys that we will continue to work out. We will see how he does. We worked him out yesterday. We felt that we would be a little bit more consistent. We will keep paying attention to it.”
What were your thoughts on the crowd tonight?
“I thought it was great. We did this two years ago when we got back from West Virginia. It allows more people to come to a practice, to be out of the sun. With the schedule we had today, there were a lot of meetings and a lot of recovery aspects this morning. There were then more meetings and a walkthrough. Overall, it was pretty crisp.”
What did Justin Drescher need to show that he could do more consistently?
“He has been good with the punts. The key is going to be the short snaps and the coverage element. I think he is healthy. He has battled a groin injury during two of the last three years. We will keep evaluating it and see how he does.”
Why did you bring in another kicker?
“Part of it was that we knew we were going to release both long snappers. It would give us a chance to have someone that can punt and kick. We are familiar with him.”
Does it help save Wil Lutz’s legs?
“Anybody who is here, we are evaluating. We had that flexibility.”
How does Clay Harbor help the depth at tight end?
“He made some plays. The one thing that we keep talking about with him is his consistency day to day. He’s had some good days, and there have been some other days where he’s had either a mental error or been just a tick late on something. He’s a veteran player that I thinks a better receiver than blocker. He gives us another good target.”
Is there a higher excitement level given that it is now game week?
“I would say this: there’s a preparation shift towards Cleveland. Tomorrow, we’ll have a good Saints-on-Saints practice wearing full pads. I do not know that these guys have quite shifted to that mentality, probably because they can’t yet. It’s Sunday night, and the game’s Thursday, so you’re driven by the itinerary. We’ll shift over to that pretty soon.”
Are you antsy to see your guys play?
“Yes. Absolutely, it helps in the evaluation.”
We have seen Kenny Vaccaro do a little bit of everything. Can he play high too?
“Yes. I thought he practiced well tonight. Generally, when you watch a player like him, the closer to the ball that he is, the better. If you are going to have two safeties, they have to be able to play in the middle and halfway. So, he has that position flexibility. He’s doing a lot right now.”
Does Alex Okafor have some versatility going inside and outside?
“I think so. He had some outside rushes. We worked him in the NASCAR or nickel rush. He is healthy. You are seeing some really good signs from him.”
When an outside guy goes inside, is there a specific quality you need to see?
“That is a good question. It is a little noisier inside. The good news is that you are working on a guard. A big part of it is the direction the center turns. If the center turns towards you, there are probably two helping. If the center is working towards the other tackle, then you are isolated one-on-one with a guard.”
What is Ryan Ramczyk dealing with?
“Nothing right now, specifically. We’ll get him back out there as soon as we can. No injury news.”
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