Reggie Bush, New Orleans' future star, spoke to the media after Friday's practice. He discussed the…
Sean Payton Press Conference - June 3
A: "I thought it was good. I think the people are excited. It's been a while, but I think they were out there for one minicamp we had a month ago, but today there was a lot of people. I'm sure they'll be back this afternoon."
Q: What appealed to you about signing Jamie Martin?
A: "He's a good decision maker...His history in this league. He's been in the league a long time. He's seen a lot of film. He beat us when we were with Dallas last year. He was with St. Louis. There's some reliability with the guy who knows not to turn it over. I think he's accurate. He's got good anticipation. He's a pretty sharp guy. Those are some of the traits. He's been in this league for a number of years and has had a lot of experience. I think that's important as well."
Q: Were you sold on him or did Joe Vitt do the sell job for you?
A: "No, I think the whole process begins where you begin to evaluate the player. Joe, what do you think of the player? Who else has rated this player? Rick Mueller, what are our grades on him? So, there's a lot that goes into it and then you bring him in, you visit him. This is a good fit. He's kind of one of those even keel guys who never gets too excited or too down. He's got a pretty good personality. I think he's grasping what we're doing pretty quickly. He's got a pretty good idea of how to locate the football. He's got pretty good anticipation, so those are good things."
Q: What is the story of Donte' Stallworth?
A: "Right now, he didn't practice today. I told him I didn't want him to practice. There's certain expectations I have for this team. He's no different than any of them and I leave it at that. We'll see him out here tomorrow. There's certain things that we're going to do the right way. There's certain ways we're going to be on time, meetings and all that other stuff, so we're not getting sloppy. I don't want anybody to get sloppy. I wasn't happy with a few things and we'll leave it at that."
Q: Can you talk about your concerns with the offensive line?
A: "It is one of those position groups where you have some concern, but in 2000 when I was with the Giants and we went to the Super Bowl, Lomas Brown, Glenn Parker and Dusty Ziegler. We do have some turnover there and people switching positions. Jammal at the left side. You have some turnover at the guard position. You have a new center working and obviously competition at the right tackle position, so we're starting a little bit from square one. Upsetting the apple cart when you're 13-3 is one thing, but upsetting it when you're 3-13 is another, so I think it's easier to do with the latter."
Q: Are you concerned about your run defense?
A: "It's hard to say. You haven't been in pads. I don't know. We'll wait and see. These guys got to work with each other to keep from getting hit. The defensive player wants to impress his coach and get across the line of scrimmage and fill the gap and the offensive line coach is all over the guards and centers to stop the penetration. There's some give and take at these drills out here, which is different. You want to keep these players healthy, there's rules we have to live by, because it's the off-season. Until we get into the pads, I wanted to make sure we get guys healthy enough. At that time, we'll have a better feel."
Q: Can you discuss the fan atmosphere and them chanting for Reggie Bush?
A: "I think the town's excited. Anytime that's a case, that's a good thing. I think the fans here have been great. Just in my short five and a half months on the job, the people here certainly have a passion for the team, the city does, the region and all you guys. I guess it's hard to explain until you get here. It might be a little bit like the Cubs in Chicago and we got to find a way to give them a good product and win games for these guys and I think that in Reggie's case, there's a little bit of momentum in the off-season. He's part of that, there's a lot of parts to it, but I think they're excited about that and deservedly so."
Q: Does the passion of the fans surprise you?
A: "I think the thing that's challenging is right now just with everything that's happened, I think it's probably a little bit surprise to all of us that the organization sold more season tickets than in anytime in the history (of the team), coming literally the year right after Katrina. It's hard to pinpoint and that's a credit to the fans here locally and also in this whole Gulf South. Obviously they've made a statement. They're excited about this team and it works out with the opportunity to play good football for them."
Q: Are you going to cut anybody at lunch again today?
A: "I'm going to cut my sandwich first. No, right now, we're ready for this afternoon's practice and things are going well."
Q: Have you seen any specific instances in these practices that makes you think that Reggie Bush is special?
A: "I think you can see it in skill positions in these type of practices, the ability to move and I think you guys can see it too, however many people came here can see that, so his elusiveness and ability in space are noticeable and good things. We just got to make sure we keep him healthy and do enough things to complement the other players in the system and we'll be fine."
Q: What is the remainder of your off-season program?
A: "We go Monday through Thursday this upcoming week, four, then Monday through Thursday the next week. That's it. After this minicamp, tomorrow being the end of minicamp, we got one practice (a day), we go two weeks straight excluding Fridays. Monday through Thursday, Monday through Thursday, we do eight of them."
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