Saints rule out Brees, Smith, Rankins for Seahawks game

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Tre'Quan SmithThree New Orleans Saints players have been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks including Drew Brees as expected.

Brees (right thumb), wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith (ankle) and Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) were all listed as out on the official final injury report of the week Friday afternoon.

Seattle did not rule any players out but former LSU offensive lineman Ethan Pocic (neck) and cornerback Neiko Thorpe (hamstring) are listed as doubtful.

Rankins is still working his way back from an injury suffered last January in the NFC playoffs while Smith was injured in the second half of the New Orleans loss last week against the Rams.

WR Tedd Ginn Jr (Thigh), Full
RB Zach Line (Knee), Full
G Andrus Peat (Ankle), Full
DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles), Limited. Out
WR Tre’Quan Smith (Ankle), Did not participate. Out
QB Drew Brees (Right thumb), Did not participate. Out

DE Ziggy Ansah (Shoulder), Full
T Duane Brown (Not injury related), Full
DE Jadaveon Clowney (Not injury related), Full
WR Tyler Lockett (Not injury related), Full
WR DK Metcalf (Not injury related), Full
LB K.J. Wright (Not injury related), Full
WR Jaron Brown (Toe), Limited
G Mike Iupati (Foot), Full
DE Quinton Jefferson (Hip), Limited
WR David Moore (Shoulder), Full
DT Poona Ford (Calf), Limited
C Joey Hunt (Ankle), Limited
G Ethan Pocic (Neck), Did not participate. Doubtful
CB Neiko Thorpe (Hamstring), Did not participate. Doubtful
S Tedric Thompson (Hamstring), Limited. Questionable
G D.J. Fluker (Ankle), Limited
CB Tre Flowers (Ankle), Limited. Questionable
RB Rashaad Penny (Hamstring), Limited. Questionable

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Post Practice Media Availability

Friday, September 20, 2019

How would you describe the challenge for you this week? For you, is that any different or does it feel normal than usual? How different would you say for you this week is?
“Relative to us being here, we are pretty good at setting up shop and being at other places. Our advance crew does a great job. Our schedule this week’s been really good. The facilities here are outstanding. I think it’s worked well. You’re in close proximity to everything you’re needing. You’re in a hotel where you’re meeting rooms are, where you’re eating. I think that the players have handled it well.”

So you’re glad you decided to come here?

“Absolutely. Oh yeah, absolutely.”

From an offensive standpoint, how different is this week for you?
“We’ve been through it before a few years ago with Luke (McCown). Look, that’s why Teddy (Bridgewater) is here. That’s why Taysom (Hill) is here. Those guys have been great in the preparation. Obviously, anytime you miss a starter there’s that adjustment that take takes place and certainly with the quarterback position. But, those guys would be ready to go. We’ll be excited about playing.”

Can you sort of embrace that? The challenge?

“Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. That’s what we’re paid to do.”

Does this test your creativity a little bit, this kind of week?

No, I think more than anything it is about putting our players in the best chance to have success. Our jobs as coaches are to give them the best chance to win. Hopefully we’ve done that during this week. We’re still not finished. Tomorrow we’ll have another walkthrough and clean up, make some corrections.”

If you were designing an offense around Teddy Bridgewater’s strengths, is it not that much different than designing it offense around Drew (Brees’) strengths? You don’t have to drastically change your playbook to suit him.

“No, I don’t think we’re talking about drastically changing the playbook. There’s just certain things that you want to feature. And there’s certain things, especially when you’re the starter, you’re receiving 90% of the reps. And so this week we’ve been able to work obviously a lot of situations with Teddy and with Taysom (Hill) as well.”

How would you describe the way they’ve handled this week?

“Good. I think good, focused. It’s an important game for us.”

How has Sheldon (Rankins) progress so far?

“Good, he’s doing well. I’m pleased with, I’ve said this before, with where he’s at and he’s out there getting a lot of snaps.”

Does this defense need to pick up its game at all with Drew (Brees) out?
“Collectively as a team, we just have to work on making the corrections and work on playing a better football game this week in a tough environment against a really good team. So this’ll be a good challenge for us.”

This is ahead to next week for Dallas. If I could just ask you this about the success Kellen Moore’s having, when you were play-caller at first in this league, was it an advantage for you that other teams did not really have a book on your tendencies yet?
“I think a lot is made of that. I’m sure relative to some formations and the way you want to present an offense it can be a little different. And yet, ultimately, it’s what you do during the week in preparation. How you practice, how you prepare, I say it all the time, I think often times we’re winning on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. When you get to the game, your players, your quarterback especially, you kind of anticipate what’s getting ready to come.”

When a defense is trying to figure out what they are going to get out of your offense. Did you find in your first couple of years that you were unpredictable?
“When we had a good team early on. Look at it, a lot of it depends on what you’re trying to do.”

How much material did you change in your first step from like your first couple of years of being a play caller to when you were in New York?
“It was all based on who we had in our personnel relative to kind of putting together our plan. So in each place for me and each stop, it’s been different because the teams have been different.”

The Patriots cut Antonio Brown and his agent Drew Rosenhaus said that he still wants to play football. You’ve addressed this before. Has your mind changed? Would you be open to bringing him in?
“I think right now, where we sit, I like our depth at that position. I haven’t really paid much attention to the other teams and hadn’t heard that yet. But, it is what it is. I am focused really on the guys that are here and I thought we had a good week at that position specifically. So we’re excited to get going.”

What actually happened to (Alex) Anzalone? It was kind of a surprising IR. Is he out for the season?
“He had a surgery. Initially it was going to be reserve/injured where we were going to have a chance to bring him back and then after they did a second evaluation, he had a (shoulder) procedure done last, probably two to three days ago, which is going to be a little bit longer and it will likely put him out for the season.”

The same shoulder named previously?

“He’s had shoulder injuries with both sides. The procedure went well, but he is on reserve/injured.”

Same question with Keith Kirkwood, frustrating for him to go down right before you put inactives in, but he’s on IR too. Is he going to be out for a while?

“We’ll see.”

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael

Media Conference Call

Friday, September 20, 2019

Just from your perspective, what’s this week been like with Teddy (Bridgewater) and Taysom (Hill) kind of at the helm of the offense?
“I think this, I think when you talk about those two guys, obviously those are both guys that have had success when they’ve played in this league. We’ve approached it just like any other week. Our goal every week is to lay out a plan that we think gives our team the best chance to win and get those guys on the field and do what’s best for them.”

How different has it been for you just not having Drew (Brees) out there?
“Obviously, his presence is huge, but again, this is part of it. It is disappointing that it (thumb injury) happened. But again, it happens. A lot of teams are dealing with and you got to approach every week the same and put your best effort forward.”

Is this week different putting together a game plan knowing that you are preparing two different styles of quarterbacks?
“I think that you look at it and say, okay, what do these guys do well. I think that goes for everybody on the field, whether it’s receivers, running backs, tight ends, whoever’s all the on the field. Just making sure that you put them in the position to do the those things that they do well and making sure that’s what you’re giving them (is) the best chance to be successful.”

Have you talked to Drew Brees this week? Has he been in good spirits since his thumb surgery?
“I would say more text messaging going back and forth a little bit. He’s obviously a very positive person and we’ll be excited when he gets back.”

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