Saints at Chiefs Wednesday Injury Report

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Seven Saints players listed on report
New Orleans Saints

T Terron Armstead (knee) Limited

CB Delvin Breaux (Fibula) DNP

LB Dannell Ellerbe (Quad) DNP

DT Nick Fairley (Not injury related) DNP

DE Paul Kruger (back) DNP

CB Sterling Moore (abdomen) DNP

T Andrus Peat (DNP)

Kansas City Chiefs

CB Phillip Gaines (knee) DNP

LB Tamba Hali (knee) DNP

CB Kenneth Acker (shoulder) Full

G Jordan Devey (ankle) Full

T Mitchell Schwartz (ankle) Full

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Conference Call with New Orleans Media

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What are some of the key developments you have seen with Michael Thomas, his connection and relationship with Drew Brees and his grasp of the offense once the team began gameplanning in the regular season?

“I think pretty clearly it’s not just day to day route to route, pattern, repetition. He’s one of those guys that once he has it, he has it. Last week, there’s a specific route we were running on the inside and he might not have had the reps that some other players have had at it, so the first time we ran it, it was all jacked up, but then we made the corrections, so I think with him, he wants it all. He wants to take it in and I think that he goes out there by gameday and is able to realize the looks he’s receiving. It’s not too big for him as a young player. I think he’s extremely confident and humble in a real way in really wanting to learn. Those are real good traits for a player at any position because they’re going to improve and they’re going to improve quickly and I think we’re seeing that daily.”

What are some of the things in Marcus Peters you see that stand out?

“He has very good feet and transition skills. We graded him coming out and had high grades on him. The other thing, when you see him, any errant throw or ball off-target, he gets his hands on, he has elite hands. You have to be decisive and your location has to be spot on. He can run, he can tackle. I think he’s one of the real, real talented good, young corners in our league. This is just into his second season, but he’s a special player.”

There’s been a lot of talk about the Microsoft tablets you have been using. How has your experience been with them?

“I think inside they’ve functioned. Outside it’s more challenging because of the glare. I don’t think there’s been a lot of talk actually. I think there’s just been talk in one city.”

If it’s been inconsistent how much of a problem has that been outside?

“Outside is more the glare. You guys look at your phones once in a while. Any type of sunny day or you’re looking down. The consistency comes with the prints, the pictures, I think that they’re working on it, but I don’t see it being a big story.”

Do you guys plan on designating Sheldon Rankins as your player to return from Injured Reserve?

“Yes, that would happen, my expectation is it does happen.”

Is he healthy enough to begin practicing today?

“Yes.”

Is his progress what you expect?

“I think we’re good right there. We’re ahead of the game with an injury question.”

Can you discuss what you saw in Joe Callahan to encourage you guys to claim him off of waivers from Green Bay?

“He’s a young player who I think has some pretty good feet in the pocket. His preseason was fairly impressive. We watched every throw. We knew of this player coming out. He essentially won the Division III Heisman Trophy award. But watching the preseason tape, he’s someone we felt that we wanted to look at. We felt we have some flexibility with our roster and we were able to make that move. I think he arrived on…I want to say Saturday. He was just getting a chance to meet everyone, obviously inactive (vs. Carolina) and we’ll work with him and Garrett (Grayson) both now.”

You will keep four quarterback for the forseeable future?

“Today, tomorrow.”

What was your message to rookie kicker Wil Lutz when he won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and what was his reaction?

“I don’t know that we go into the meeting and pay attention to what the league announces in regards to our special teams player (of the week). He received an atta boy to be honest. Jake Lampman was our special teams gameball winner.”

Why was Lampman your decision to receive the special teams gameball?

“He had three tackles. When you go back and look at the film, it was outstanding. His first game up, he was fantastic, kickoff coverage, punt coverage, disruptive, but we recognized Wil with an atta boy.”

What have you seen from your running game? Are you getting the consistency you would like out of it?

“Yes, I think when you throw it like we did effectively (vs. Carolina), I would say yes to answer your question. I thought we were efficient in running the football in the game we just played. The question then is how many times do you want to run it when a team is as banged up as they were in the secondary and as strong as they are in their front seven. So, I think each week you look at how they are playing and make your decision on how you want to win that game.”

Since 2006 you’re 3-1 against Andy Reid. What is it about your ability to scheme against him?

“I’m not scheming against Andy Reid. I wasn’t even aware of an overall record. This is more about the teams, the coordinators and so I think Andy’s one of the better coaches in our league. History will tell you that when you look at the success he’s had at Philadelphia to Kansas City. It’s been outstanding. He’s been consistent. He’s been (producing) a playoff-type caliber team and organization (wherever he’s been) and I consider him a close friend and someone I have a lot of respect for, but I think it’s more tabloid stuff there.”

How important is it for a player like Willie Snead IV to go back to school in the offseason to finish his requirements at Ball State?

“Absolutely. All these guys, we talk about it how it’s a short train ride and we’re all off and the train keeps rolling. Man, it’s preparing to get on with your life’s work once football’s finished and that’s for all of these places. The transition element is the most important. I love to see the chance for players to go back and graduate and at least there’s that idea to ‘here’s my next step I think’. You don’t have to know what it is, a lot of times it finds you. I like the idea of having the flexibility educationally to choose or give yourself more options.”



New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees

Local Media Availability

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Just talk about the job your offensive line has done so far this season.

“They have done a phenomenal job, really in all phases, pass game, pass protection, the run game. We do a lot of things offensively, we move the pocket a lot, change up the launch points, I mean we do a lot of things that require a lot of expertise and attention to detail on their part and they have been shuffled around a little bit with some injuries and just guys in different places, but I mean together as a unit they’re just so steady and so poised and really a tough group and a great group of leaders as well, but (they) always hold each other accountable.”

What makes Kansas City such a difficult place to play and Marcus Peters such a tough cornerback to play?

“Arrowhead is one of my most favorite places to play, from my Charger days when we went there once a year. I always felt like we were going there late in the year, in fact every game I can think of playing in Kansas City was in December. When there was something on the line, obviously divisional opponent and it’s such a great fan base, a sea of red. The National anthem finishes up and the home of the Chiefs (roar). Great, great tradition as you come rolling up to that stadium. Hank Stram (coached there) I was always a fan of his, he’s a Purdue guy by the way and Len Dawson (played there) as well, just being fans of those guys and tracking their careers and obviously what they accomplished there back in the 60s and 70s. I think just from that time until now it’s always been one of those places. Marty Schottenheimer, my coach in San Diego coached there for a long time and won a ton of games and just the history and the legacy of playing in a place like that. It’s always a tough place to play, it is a tough place to go get a win. Obviously they’re a very good football team and you mentioned Marcus Peters he’s playing as well as anybody in the league right now in the secondary. He’s (Peters) a very dangerous player and has exceptional skills, exceptional ball skills, great instincts, especially for a young player. He just seems to have a nose for the football and obviously he has a great group around him, he’s got great safeties and a great front seven that can apply pressure on the quarterback to force them to maybe get a ball out sooner than they want and obviously he’s there to make the plays. That whole unit, I mean there are other guys in that secondary that are ballhawks. Definitely a great challenge for us.”

Do you feel like you will be able to matriculate the ball down the field?

“I hope we’ll be able to matriculate the ball down the field. I think every gameplan we put a lot of time and effort and thought into and we’re still in the beginning stages of that right now, but I mean at the end of the day it is about our execution and identifying those matchups when the ball needs to come out accurately. Guys just making plays and our ability to make a play on the football and just do all those things that will help us be successful.”

Do you think Alex Smith is an underrated guy?

“I don’t think that Alex gets the respect that he deserves. I think that he has played very well, in his time in San Francisco they made those playoff runs and now in Kansas City for Andy Reid. I have a lot of respect for him and I think he’s a tough guy. I think he is very versatile. I think he can do a lot of things and listen he is a veteran guy and I think he came in in 04, 05 so he’s been around a long time and man he’s a guy that will pull the ball and run 25 yards down the field. He’ll execute the short passing game, the long passing game. They do a lot of really interesting stuff with their offense. I really like watching their offense and they have some playmakers as well that (Alex) he spreads the ball around too. I think he is a very good football player.”

You have the youngest receiving corps in the National Football League, are you surprised by their maturity?

“Yeah, we put high expectations on ourselves and I think we see this as man we are all in this together and we and I know the coaching staff work tirelessly to try and put those guys in the best position to succeed and give each guy opportunities and throughout the course of the game you never know how it’s going to end up. Did we know that Brandin Cooks was going to have two big plays that resulted in seven catches for a buck 73 or whatever it was in the last game? No, I mean it just happens, but all those guys are ready and always prepared and they know their opportunities will come and they work extremely hard and they push one another too. I mean there is a pride and there is a sense of competition from that group. They push one another.”

How complete is Brandin Cooks?

“He can do a lot of things and do a lot of things well. He is a big time player who we rely on to make plays.”

Do you know why you play better at home than on the road?

“No, well I mean I can’t say I’m familiar with the stats, but if we are just looking at wins and losses home and away over the last couple years I have to think it has to be pretty close to being equal.”

It hasn’t necessarily been weather elements but is there anything else that makes it harder to have success with the passing game on the road?

“Anytime you go on the road, there are certain elements that go along with that. Why does everyone want homefield advantage in the playoffs? There’s a homefield advantage certainly. I don’t look at it any differently. I would say this year, if you looked at it, we have only played three games at home and have only played two games on the road. I’m sure there is a pretty big discrepancy right now. I do not see that lasting. In other words, I think the expectation is still the same. Whether we are playing at home or we are playing away, the expectation’s still the same. Something else might be required to win that game more so than just airing it out. I think we had some opportunities in the passing game this past week that had us throwing the ball maybe a little but more than usual. I think overall we go into every game talking about being balanced and spreading it around, and trying to be somewhat unpredictable to the opposing defense. ”

The last couple of years have been something like taking one step forward and two steps back; could you use that and say now that we have taken one step forward, we don’t want to take any steps back in any way?

“I’ve said this many times but I think we’re an ascending team. I think we’re trending up. I think we’re getting some guys healthy. We’re headed in the right direction. The challenges continue to come. On the road at Kansas City is going to be an extremely tough place to get a win. Every opponent that is on the sheet this year is one that is going to be a very tough challenge for us. One game at a time but we are looking to get a little bit better each week.”

How can you not make it a nailbiter like last time? (Question from Jarrius Robertson)

“I don’t know. They have all been like that this year. What do you think?”

I think we can do it better and win on the screen pass. (Jarrius Robertson)

“So look for more screen passes for Jarrius (laughter).”

On the road on the grass you guys haven’t done nearly as well; do you have any explanation for that?

“In our dome (it’s) homefield advantage, number one. Number two, (it’s a) fast track. Just those two things might attribute to that. I still feel like we can be just as effective on the road on grass wherever we play. I don’t stress that. We’re talking this week about how this is a loud environment. That’s one of the loudest stadiums in football. Communication is at a premium which directly results in our ability to execute. If we focus on that, we’re going to be just fine.”

Now that you are gameplanning and you are working with Michael Thomas, how much has he grown week to week?

“He has grown a lot. I think we continue to put a little more on his plate each week. Obviously, we have high expectations for him as we continue to move along here. It’s a little bit at a time. We’re not asking anybody to be a world beater. Just do your job and do what you are coached to do. This all tends to work together if we just all focus on that.”

How much does it work for him?

“I think he has done everything that we have asked him to do. He is a very consciences kid who wants to do things the right way. He works extremely hard at it. We spend a lot of time on task during practice and after practice talking and going through things, as I do with all of the receivers, tight ends and (running) backs. That is the type of time, energy and effort that we need to put into the passing game to be effective.”

Sean (Payton) said that he is able to pick things up quickly; is that generally the case with (Brandin) Cooks and (Willie) Snead IV? Are they all similar that way?

“It is time on task. Guys learn a lot better when they are able to go out and actually feel it and do it, as opposed to just seeing it on the blackboard or just seeing it on film. Certainly, those things help and there is a progression to it. I see it, now I go out and execute and now let’s begin to show some different looks that might vary the depth or the angle that you are breaking or the variation or nuance of the route.”

Are there any benefits to having such a young receiver corps such as maybe they don’t know another way?

“Except the way that we are molding them and teaching and team? Yes, I love that. That is perfect.”

Were there any worries or concerns with that coming in?

“Guys come from college and it is the development of any player at any position. They’re going to come in and they are going to do certain things. It’s like alright, this is the way that we are teaching it, this is how we are going to do it and this is why. A lot of times we have the ability to show them 11 years’ worth of film to show why something should be done a certain way or how it has evolved. Here is the evolution. Here is where it started and this is where it is now, and maybe like hey, this is where we can take it once we get really good at it. Then, you incorporate new things each year as well. We are taking these guys right out of college and this is their first team so (it’s like) this is how we are doing it and this is how it needs to be done, and this is what I am expecting. I can also tell you that this is when the ball is going to be there and that is when you need to be there.”

Can you quantify what (Sheldon) Rankins would mean to the defensive interior when you guys get him back?

“I think it will be tremendous. I think (Sheldon) Rankins will not only add depth obviously but he’s an explosive player. We got to see three weeks of him with pads on. He was impressive. When he does come back, I think we’re all excited about the opportunity to have him out there and the element that he’ll add to that defensive line.”

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid

Conference Call with New Orleans Media

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What do you need to see out of Justin Houston this week for him to play?

“I think the odds are against him (Houston) playing this week. That’s not what I’m looking at, it’s just a matter of him getting back and kind of getting back in the swing of things. I think that would be premature.”

With the trade of Knile Davis, how much does that signal a full workload for Jamaal Charles?

“Yeah, so I mean we rotate the running backs and we’ll probably keep doing that, but I think you’re reading that right. He’s (Charles) is feeling better and he had a pretty good workload last week and held up good.”

When you look at the Saints offense, especially Brandin Cooks, what are some of the challenges you see with him, Willie Snead, Michael Thomas and Coby Fleener and even Josh Hill?

“All those guys you named are good football players and the guy pulling the trigger he’s (Brees) bigtime. He knows how to utilize all of those guys. I followed most of those receivers in college and they’re kind of doing the same thing they did in college. They are really good football players and so like I said Drew (Brees) knows how to get them the ball.”

What is the biggest difference you see in Drew Brees in 2016 compared to the past in 2012 the last time you’ve seen him?

“He hasn’t changed, he’s been great the whole time. There is not a whole lot of a difference. I think when it’s all said and done I think the combination of Sean (Payton) and Drew (Brees) will go down as one of the great head coaching/quarterback combinations that have been. They have been together a long time. They know what each other’s thinking. They are both very talented and you see the production.”

You are 1-3 vs the Saints since 2006, how do you explain that?

“They were pretty good I guess. We’ve had some knockdown drag-outs with them. They’re well-coached and they are a good football team and that part hasn’t changed.”

How often do you use these league issued tablets?

“No, I don’t use them very much, but I know my guys like it. They use it more than what I do.

Is that because some say they don’t work as reliably outdoors and you are primarily in outdoor stadiums playing at Arrowhead and in the AFC West?

I go back there and take a peek at it, but I’m normally pretty good without it. I’m okay, I got it, I normally can see what I need to see and go.”

What is the key to Marcus Peters getting his hands on so many interceptions?

“I think with all good corners they’re instinctive. Are they going to take some chances? Will he take some chances, yes he will do that, but he studies, he loves to play and that normally is (a good combination). He’s got good instincts and good physical skills. I that think all those make up a pretty good corner.”

Are we expecting a hungry pig left play call this weekend at Arrowhead Stadium?

“I don’t think so, you get away with that only once? Right.

Who came up with the Hungry Pig play call? It sounds like something you came up with.

“I’ll probably take credit for that one. Those other guys had a great gameplan, but I’ll claim the hungry pig. That was for all the chubby guys out there.”

Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry

Conference Call with New Orleans

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What are some of the challenges you see in this Saints offense?

“Not only are they fast, but all of them touch the rock, so you have to be aware that anybody could get the ball at any given time and just be aware that everyone’s a threat.”

What is the biggest takeaway you have from the Steelers game they were able to take advantage of receivers down the field. What from that can you apply to this game?

“Communication.”

What have you seen out of Dee Ford so far?

“He just keeps going, he’s always hungry for improvement. I think that’s one of the best things that he has about him. He’ll come and have a great game and make a lot of plays, but he’s still focused on getting better and trying to help the team.”

Do you feel like he’s taken a step forward?

“Yeah, I think so like I said he’s hungry for improvement and that’s what he works towards every day. It’s not just making plays, but making plays on a consistent basis.”

What do you do to make sure emotions don’t get the best of Marcus Peters during the game?

“We just have our talks. As much as I can, I just tell him about my experiences and stuff that I have been through and hopefully go off of that. At the end of the day he is grown and he has seen a lot of things. In no way am I going to try to change who he is because that’s who he is and I respect who he is. That is just how he plays and sometimes you just have to deal with it. He is not disrespectful or doing anything to anyone. As long as he keeps balling and doing what he does there is no problem. I love the way he plays. I love his passion. In no way I’ll tell anybody to keep him from doing that.”

What is the key to him seeming to having an interception every week?

“Just being on the same page, film study and communication. Those are the main things and also playing fast.”

How much do you sense that Brandin Cooks is expecting the rivalry to be back going back to them playing against each other in the PAC-12?

“I’m not really sure about that. I just know every time he’s on the field; he brings his A-Game. I’m not really sure about the rivalry or whatever they had in the past but I just know he is going to preparing like he usually does and that’s 100% every day. I’m pretty sure he’s looking forward to it because he’s always looking forward to a challenge. At the end of the day, he just wants to get out there and help his team.”

When should a defensive back look for the ball?

“Just trusting instincts and practice.”

Do you expect a hungry Volunteer left on Sunday after the Dontari Poe play running right last Sunday?

“I don’t know man. You will have to ask coach about that.”

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