New Orleans head coach Sean Payton said OL Jammal Brown missed the morning workout on Friday for a funeral and that WR Carlos Robinson tweaked a hamstring.
Other than that, there was little to report in terms of player availability.
Meanwhile, Payton talked about the team’s caution in dealing with their plethora of players returning from knee injuries. Two starters — CB Mike McKenzie, RB Deuce McAllister — are all coming off knee injuries from last year. TE Jeremy Shockey is coming off a broken ankle. Payton said the Saints have a plan for all three in camp.
“I think you need to have some patience in understanding the nature of the injury when you start talking about Deuce (McAllister) or Mike McKenzie or when you talk about (Jeremy) Shockey’s (ankle) break,” Payton said. “Some of these injuries have really kept these guys from playing football for half a year or longer. We just need to have a plan and stick to it. As a coach you want to get everybody in there and get him started, but you also have to be mindful of not having a setback. We’re trying to do that in the case of these players.”
Payton also said tight ends coach Terry Malone is spending extra time with Shockey to get him acclimated to the playbook.
The Saints rotated Jonathan Vilma and Mark Simoneau at middle linebacker on Friday. Vilma came to the Saints for a fourth-round pick, and most have assumed he would supplant Simoneau as the starter. Payton said there were a couple of reasons for the rotation, one of which was an offseason rules change.
“There’s competition right there at that position,” Payton said. “We have similar competition battles happening in other areas, but with Mark and Jon, Joe’s (Vitt) done a good job of moving those guys in and out with the ones and twos. They’re both getting a lot of work. They’re both getting adjusted to the earpiece system that the defenders are going to have now and getting signals from Joe Vitt throughout the course of practice.”
— Reggie Bush had trouble fielding punts during the morning workout and stayed after practice.
— Payton implied that WR Skyler Green would need to make an impact on special teams to make the final roster.
— Payton said that WR Adrian Arrington has “picked things up quick” and is handling the workload without any issues.
Want more from Friday’s workout? Saintsinsider’s Matthew Postins will analyze players like WR Robert Meachem, WR Devery Henderson and the Saints’ pass rush, plus examine Green’s and Vilma’s early progress. Click here to read this exclusive article.
Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of Saintsinsider.com.